Talk:WikiJournal User Group

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Ethics statement[edit]

Location of draft:

Reflection in bylaws and role pages[edit]

Previous entries in this section


This was started as a statement for WikiJournal of Medicine, but it seems best to have one common ethics statement for all WikiJournals. Do you agree with this?
Also, additions and corrections are very welcome. In particular, there are some headers of possible topics to add, but with yet no text. I suggest that we remove all headers of empty sections in 2 weeks, so that we can move forward and ratify the ethics statement. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 14:53, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

Great work continuing to update the ethics statement. Something aggregated points discussed by bard members:
  • An Anti-harassment statement and/or a code-of-conduct statement could be added, or written as a separate page
  • Perhaps the ethics statement could be written as WikiJournal-wide, than each journal can link to it if it wishes to abide (if journals eventually really have different ethical requirements, they can add journal-specific amendments underneath their transclusion of the WikiJournal-wide foundation)
T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:59, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
@Mikael Häggström: The current draft ethics statement allows each section to be transcluded individually from Template:WikiJournal/Draft of duties of XYZ. It might be worth keeping it all on the same page to be transcluded as a single block into each (e.g. WikiJournal of Medicine/Ethics) etc with a final journal-specific section added at the end. For example, PLOS has a statement that covers all of their journals unless otherwise noted. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 08:37, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
Also, when we get membership of COPE, WikiJMed should also apply to be listed by the ICMJE using this form. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 12:35, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
That might be a good idea. Still, upon accepting the duties, I think these templates ([1] [2] [3] [4]) should be used at the pages of Editors, Peer reviewers etc. and therefore it's feasible to have them as separate templates. This will also help avoiding contradictions in the guidelines. Great idea with the ROOTPAGENAME ([5]) by the way! Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:41, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes, hardly anything (apart from the journal name, which I guess is what the ROOTPAGENAME supplies) seems to be specific to medicine, so sharing is obviously a huge saving of labour. Chiswick Chap (discusscontribs) 22:33, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
I now see the logic of having the 'Duties of X' sections separate be able to transclude both into the ethics statement as well as the relevant pages (e.g. /Reviewers). It maight be able to maintain if we store all the sections on the same page. I'll look into selective transclusion as an alternative implementation (see example in my sandbox here). I think this might be easier to maintain. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 02:18, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
I support the solution of selective transclusion as well; whatever works to avoid contradicting statements at different pages over time. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:31, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
I've now moved the ethics draft to WikiJournal User Group/Draft of ethics statement so that it can be the same for all journals. Still, I haven't gotten the transclusion to work for WikiJournal of Medicine/Draft of ethics statement. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo), can you assist? Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 14:49, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Done. The transclusion points to the template:XYZ page, so you just need to make a redirect from the template:XYZ → XYZ. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 17:07, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

Unifying templates[edit]

I think we should overall use more templates similar to Template:WikiJournal/Publishing/Intro (used in the intro of all Publishing pages such as WikiJournal of Medicine/Publishing). This allows for unification of our pages, as well as individualization where needed. Improvements to any information or guideline will therefore be shown in all journals at the same time, which will be of great help when even more journals are created. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:48, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

As above, obviously a great idea. Chiswick Chap (discusscontribs) 22:33, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree. Otherwise I suspect we'll have a lot of accidental divergence over time. Even the way that the Submission page of each journal transcludes the WikiJournal Preprints page makes maintenance and updates much easier. One long-term possibility would even be to have a single unified bylaws for the journals, with each journal having a journal-specific amendments section for anything that differs from the standard version. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 02:13, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
In emails last month, a "Code of Conduct" was also mentioned. With templates and/or selective transclusion we could also create such a page for each journal from content already given, mainly at "Ethics statement", since I assume the mast majority of the content will be overlapping. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:38, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

The ethics statement, once approved, has implications for the bylaws for each journal as well (WikiJournal of Medicine/Bylaws, WikiJournal of Science/Bylaws, WikiJournal of Humanities/Bylaws). It will also be reflected on the pages for each role, taking the medical journal for example: Authors, Peer reviewers, Editorial board, Associate editors. I see two main options:

  1. Using Templates or selective transclusion to transclude the same text in all places. For example, a template named Duties of the editorial board could be transcluded in the editorial board page, the ethics statement, as well as in the bylaws. It can be coded so as to display for example "...of Medicine" in the medical journal and "...of Science" in the science journal etc.
  2. Link to the ethics draft, such as further information: Ethics statement#Duties of the editorial board.

I think alternative 2 is better in the bylaws, because the bylaws are rather of a formal/legal nature (with entries almost in a list format), while the ethics statement is more of an ethical/professional nature (with more of a prose format). I'm open to either alternative for the pages of each role. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 18:29, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Ethics statement updates[edit]

I've done some more updates to the Ethics statement based on: COPE, ICMJE, and CSE, as well as the journal/publisher groups PLOS, F1000, and PeerJ.

Many of the issues are common to all journals. In addition, a few are unique to the Wikipedia-integration features of WikiJournals: large group authorshipattribution of content from Wikipedia, and the definition of a preprint server.

It would be good to have as many eyes cast over it as possible to check that we are happy to stand by it. We can also update and amend it over time as needed. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 04:45, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Great work, T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)! I've looked over it and made some amendments (page history). Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 15:38, 14 January 2018 (UTC)


The statement about self-citation is problematic and cannot reasonably be made precise. I propose the complete removal of this statement. If we started giving rules about self-citations, why not give rules about citations of friends, of rivals, citation trading, etc? Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:27, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Some similar points were also raised in the google group mailing list. I think compelling points are being made on removing the explicit self-citation limit. I think what such guidelines are attempting to achieve in other journals is to prevent people churning out papers that only cite themselves in order to bump up their own citations stats. Perhaps it's possible to reword it as something about publications should not be for the purpose of self-promotion? In particular, citations should be appropriate to the statement being supported. If anyone has an example from another journal's guidelines it might be useful for comparison. In general they tend to also be quite broadly worded so that they state expectations of how participants should behave (spirit of the law) rather than hard rules (letter of the law). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:30, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Given the discussion here and in the google group mailing list, I've removed the section on self-citation. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 23:36, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
It's all right without such a section from now. Pending what experience we will have in such cases, we can add such a section at a later time. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 15:44, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Self-citation is a logical part of academic publishing. Problems arise when there is a conscious effort from authors, editors or publishers to influence the integrity of the citations that are added. There have been many cases in the past of publishers or groups of journals who would form citation cartels and there is a recent case of a paper that was retracted for being cited too much on Retraction Watch. Encompassing this in a single statement is going to be very difficult, but a general statement like: "The WikiJournal of Science does not accept manuscripts that show aberrant citation behaviour" might be vague enough to be useful if an issue arises.Van Vlijmen (discusscontribs) 08:59, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Still, the vague nature of the statement would still limit its practical use. I'm still not sure whether it is needed. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 21:04, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Isn't the only practical use going to be that a paper can be rejected on the basis of overindulgent self-citation? A statement like the one suggested is perfectly useful in those cases Van Vlijmen (discusscontribs) 06:09, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Citing peer-reviewed literature[edit]

The statement that "Cited sources should be from peer-reviewed literature" is problematic.

This excludes many sources from the not so old times when peer review was not done systematically, such as: most (all?) articles by Einstein, or the articles predicting the Higgs boson in the 1960s. More recently, the existence of preprint servers is allowing increasingly many researchers to dispense with peer-reviewed journals: for example, the 2002-2003 articles that earned Grigori Perelman the Fields medal are published on arXiv only. These articles have attracted much attention and one may argue that they have been peer-reviewed, but not in an official or formal sense.

So I propose to remove the statement about peer review, at least for the WJS. This could be replaced with something about "reliable" sources, which may mean different things to different people in different fields. (Actually, much peer-reviewed literature is not reliable.) Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:27, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

"Self-published material may sometimes be acceptable when its author is an established expert whose work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third-party publications. Such material, although written by an established author, likely lacks the fact checking that publishers provide. Avoid using them to source extraordinary claims." (w:WP:RS#Exceptions) Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 21:12, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree with user:Tsirel. First, it is unlikely that an un-per-reviewed great discovery would be a suitable submission to any WikiJournal. Second, if an exception does arise, the editorial board can override this guideline on a case-by-case basis.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 22:28, 9 January 2018 (UTC) This is all a bit more complicated than I first thought. One problem is that "guidelines" serve two purposes: (1) to show the world what we want to be, and (2) to govern ourselves and each other. It's not easy to balance these.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 00:10, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
As I have recently been reminded [6], usage on WP at least seems to be that certain fields treat a large number of cites as equivalent to peer review when it comes to arXiv. However, I submit that this is a field-specific case, and that we might be better served with a blanket statement that mandates peer reviewed status unless well-established precedent for exemptions exists in the field. --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 07:58, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
To G.V.: No, sorry, my edit above is not my opinion but a Wikipedia policy. If you want to know my opinion, here it is. Given that the non-expert-driven Wikipedia permits some restricted use of self-published material, naturally, an expert-driven journal may permit a less restricted use of self-published material. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 18:30, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
To Florian (Elmidae): The notion of "well-established precedent" is vague. Moreover, our policy should not give the impression that all peer-reviewed articles are OK. (Think about water memory.) This is why I am advocating a more flexible policy, which lets an author cite any source (s)he can vouch for, subject of course to the scrutiny of our editors and peer-reviewers. After all, authors are supposed to be experts. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 23:01, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree that it is sometimes necessary to use a source without peer review. I also think it's all right to use textbooks as sources, but it's difficult to know whether the particular section has actually been appropriately peer reviewed. Thus, at this section of the ethics statement draft, I've now changed the wording to "Cited sources should be from peer-reviewed literature whenever possible, and preferably from secondary sources". Feel free to suggest a better wording. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 16:07, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
What about "Cited sources should be published and reliable, with a preference for secondary sources"? To be reliable and published are Wikipedia's standard requirements. But we could avoid the rather tedious discussion of which sources are reliable, and leave the rest to the authors, reviewers and editors. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 22:49, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Tricky. I'm likely too biased towards my own limited experience here. --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 06:49, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, we can leave some freedom for the reviewers to make case-by-case judgement as well. The wording is now "Cited sources should be from reliable, published sources, preferably peer-reviewed, secondary sources". Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 19:46, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
@Mikael Häggström: This looks good, thanks. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:11, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Is confidentiality possible?[edit]

It is definitely possible to keep submissions and their authors confidential before publication. But after publication, there isn't currently a way make the author's Wikipedia Username disassociated with their article. The "author correspondence by online form" links to their e-mail via Wikipedia user page. Also, as an example, the article for the Hippocampus on the WikiJournal lists "Marion Wright et al" as the author. When you click on the "et al" link, it goes to a breakdown of edits on the page by author. It is easy to assume that the Wikipedia User who has made the most recent edits is also the author of the WikiJournal article. It seems like we should mention that you must associate your full name with your Wikipedia username if you wish to publish (or do we allow publishing pseudonymously?) Rachel Helps (BYU) (discusscontribs) 17:32, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

You're right that we should point out somewhere that the publication is under the author's name. Currently, fully anonymous/pseudonymous publication is recommended only under extreme circumstances (examples [7], [8] and [9]). I'll think about whether that's best in the guidelines or ethics statement. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:21, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
I've now mentioned this risk at Author attribution. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 16:26, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, that addresses my concern. Rachel Helps (BYU) (discusscontribs) 16:55, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Confidentiality of submissions[edit]

The guidelines are written as if the standard procedure was for submissions to be confidential, whereas most submissions will probably be public. Actually, not allowing confidential submissions would make things simpler. (This would not prevent authors from confidentially consulting editors before submitting.) See this discussion at WikiJSci, so far inconclusive. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 22:21, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

I do think we should allow confidential submissions, by the reasons mentioned at the WikiJSci discussion. Also, I think the Submission pages and the authorship declaration form linked from there do a pretty good job already in encouraging authors to choose the non-confidential process. Practically, I think it already works in such way that authors may read the relatively short Submission page, without necessarily having to read the entire Publishing page, but perhaps it can be made even better. Perhaps something similar to Nutshell? Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:35, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

Author's responsibility to keep track of minor changes[edit]

We often do small technical edits to the wiki code of articles, so it's practically difficult to inform the authors every single time. Therefore, I've changed the draft page to state that "It is preferable that the authors are informed about changes, but it is ultimately the responsibility of authors to keep track of changes to their articles, such as by adding them to their watchlists." [10]. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 14:23, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Segregating guidelines about human research[edit]

This heading in mixes general stuff with stuff that is specific to human research. I propose to better separate the material about human research. (This material is relevant only to medicine and humanities.) Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:56, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

I've now edited so that it does not show those details in WikiJSci: [11]. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:54, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

Copyright and permissions[edit]

I am a bit confused about the statement under the heading 'Permissions' in the section on copyright and licensing: "Authors must gain written consent from the copyright holders for any copyrighted material within their work unless that material has also been made available under a compatible license." This means that the written consent statement must allow the author not only to reproduce the copyrighted material, but also to share it under our license, right?

Then we probably have to provide a template for such written consent statements. Alternatively, we could make things easier by only allowing material that is already available under a compatible license. Or by stating that authors must respect copyright law, without elaborating. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 22:40, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

I prefer giving an example of such a letter. We can easily adapt something from Wikipedia:Example requests for permission. I could do that in a near future. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 21:06, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

Inclusion of a Statement on the Compliance with Ethical Guidelines[edit]

With the increased scrutiny of abstracting and indexing websites, like Pubmed Central, it is important that every published paper has a statement on the compliance with ethical standards. This is very commonly added to publications from all the large publishing houses and makes a lot of sense as it forces the authors to make statements on these topics. A manuscript without such a section should not be accepted as the authors might plead ignorance on the topic.

A suggested section of a paper with no conflicts of interest and no experiments with human or animal subjects might be:

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Author 1 declares no conflicts of interest Author 2 declares no conflict or interest etc.

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors

If the authors have conflicts of interest or if they have used animal subjects, these statements should be amended to reflect this. If the authors have used human subjects, this should be noted and consideration should be given to the addition of a declaration on informed consent Van Vlijmen (discusscontribs) 09:12, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

The authors make these certifications in the authorship declaration form upon submission - see WikiJournal of Medicine/Submission. I'm not sure they necessarily need to write in in the article as well. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:59, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
How is a reader then to know when reading the paper? We have had scores of journals rejected of the last few years from inclusion in abstracting and indexing services for not having these statements included in the actual paper (with this being listed as the reason for rejection), so if a service like Pubmed Central is of interest to the journal, this will need to be addressed Van Vlijmen (discusscontribs) 06:06, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Necessary roles of authors[edit]

In Author attribution, after "Named authors must have contributed to all of the following aspects of a submitted article:" I added "unless otherwise stated in a section of the work that details the contributions of each named author" [12], because it might otherwise set unrealistically high demands on each named author. Also, it would encourage making such mentions of the contributions of each author. Another alternative would be to change the ANDs to ORs in the list, but I would prefer that, unless otherwise stated, each named author is accountable for all the listed aspects. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 21:14, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

How to ratify[edit]

I think we can ratify these guidelines after having a vote on this page where all participants give a Symbol support vote.svg Support or Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, or give additional comments or requests. I think we should count votes from those with any role in any WikiJournal (board member, editor, author or reviewer), but anyone may comment. A clear majority of Symbol support vote.svg Support among voters after let's say 10 days will lead to ratification of the ethics statement. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:27, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Agree, I think that would be the sensible way to organise it. Lets do it in a new section to make it clear, easily linked to, and archive-able. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 21:20, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Discussions with PMR about WikiJournal and Wikidata[edit]

Below is a summary of some discussion I had with Peter Murray-Rust (w:User:PeterMR) about WikiFactMine and WikiJournals. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 04:42, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

Content mine is a way for machines to extract WikiData facts from prose. The algorithms 'read' the academic literature and Wikipedia and extract simple 'semantic statements'. Human authors and reviewers are always in the loop, but the tools are there to enhance productivity by helping with fact-finding and fact-checking. This is all pretty experimental, but would be a nice set of tools to offer (optional of course). I've started drafting what a project proposal would look like at MetaWiki here.

  1. WikiFactMine-assistance for reviewers assessing WikiJournal papers
    • Automated tools to help peer reviewers identify statements that clash 'facts' in wikidata that have been extracted from the OA literature
    • WikiFactMine compares statements in submitted paper to those in wikidata
    • 'Uptodateness' checker
    • Maybe presented a bit like WhoColor?
  2. WikiFactMine-assistance for authors writing WikiJournal papers
    • Automated tools to highlight/summarise relevant 'facts' from wikidata for the author to consider including (assisted literature review)
    • Spellchecker (assisted copyediting)
    • Automated infobox generation
  3. Machine-aided redlink identification
    • Automated way of creating a 'most wanted' list of topics for people to consider writing WikiJournal reviews on
    • Topics that are the main subject of many papers in OA literature, but not present in Wikipedia
    • Also useful for general Wikipedia community
  4. Value-added for published articles by better integrating them into Wikidata
    • Extract machine-readable triplet statements from WikiJournal papers (to add to WikiData)
    • Add published paper as WikiData item & associate that item with key concepts

We also discussed ideas for how to engage specialist communities that might be interested in WikiJournals, and came up with a few ideas:

  1. Teachers and educators using Wikipedia as teaching tool, eg:
  2. Academic societies, eg:
    • Crystalography IUC
    • Antarctic research SCAR
    • Extracellular vesicles ISEV
  3. Another round of general outreach, eg:

I think there were some interesting ideas raised, so I posted them here for record. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 04:42, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

I think the WikiEdu angle in particular has some potential. I have seen some great review articles come out of undergrad class projects (admittedly the ones that stick in my mind were historical/social science, but still). Proposing eventual publication in a journal might also add another level of interest for students who are starting to develop an eye for their publication records. Maybe we should kick off some discussion on the WikiEd noticeboard talk page?
I'm generally not too hot on anything involving WikiData, because I think the entire thing is heavily flawed regarding accountability and accessibility. It combines some choice bad parts of WP (open to vandalism, complicated to edit) with a lack of some of WP's strengths (thousands of watchful eyes, some specialists on anything, functioning community decision processes). I'm not sure WikiData is really reliable enough to proffer as a fact-checking tool to reviewers. --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 14:01, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm also a bit sceptical about having any general mention of WikiData to authors or reviewers, since it would add to already lengthy guidelines for those not familiar with what WikiData is. On the other hand, those targets for further outreach seem to be highly relevant. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 16:43, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Hello - I'll introduce myself as Wikimedian in Residence at ContentMine. I'm currently volunteering with them.

On Wikidata generally, I see the history as generally parallel to Wikipedia's, though simpler. At five years in, there is a general consciousness of the need for references, and the metrics show it is getting better. The other is data modelling, and there Wikidata needs to model just about everything. Progress will be piecemeal. See w:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-06-23/Op-ed and quite a comprehensive discussion section, for much more about where Wikidata might be heading.

On the proposal now up at m:Grants:Project/ScienceSource. So, what would ScienceSource do with and for WikiJournal? The proposal says that it would process the WikiJournal articles within its biomedical scope. Actually, "process" is somewhat open-ended: it will depend to some extent on what the community would like to see done. It means building up layers of annotation, and those can be of different kinds.

The main thrust, though, would be this. First, identify terms in the text by their Wikidata codes. Second, look at pairs of terms to see whether together they mark out a statement in the paper that could be, or is, a statement in Wikidata. Potential statements of that kind can be referenced to the paper they are found in. Or, they can be referenced to the source cited. Either way, we want to understand the provenance of the statement, and check whether the reference is "reliable", in the sense the project will try to define, ever more tightly.

Short example: annotations lead up to the annotation that a certain statement is a well-referenced fact fit to be in Wikidata. Then a further annotation is added, of that annotation, that the reference cited is contradicted by new research. This happening should raise a flag and consequences ripple out (to the paper itself in Wikipedia form, to Wikidata, if we get clever to anything else referenced from the same citation). This would be a bit more than an alert. It would be within a machine-readable structure, recorded and documented by protocols ScienceSource would define and control.

As a listed participant in the proposal, I'd be glad to pick up on any points you'd like to raise. Charles Matthews (discusscontribs) 14:52, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

I can support having WikiJournal articles processed in this way, but it shouldn't be an additional burden for authors, but it's also up to other WikiJournal participants as to how much we want to implement this. I can't fully imagine how it would look like in reality. Would the grant need approval before being able to make a demonstration on an article? Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:54, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

No burden to authors. We'd appreciate support for our aims of added value. The configuration of the system is a substantial amount of work, so it is not feasible to process a small batch of material. All this would go on at arm's length from the WikiJournal editorial process, but might result in feedback on both content and referencing. Charles Matthews (discusscontribs) 11:18, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

Please see my blog regarding collaboration with Miraheze[edit]

I am currently advocating Miraheze as part of an effort to remove some of the chaos from Wikiversity. Miraheze could benefit the WikiJournal effort in two ways: First, you won't be so motivated to find a different wiki (a time consuming effort.) Second, it will promote the planning, collaborating, and composing of articles in Wikitext from the start. Even if software becomes available to convert Word and PDF files into wikitext, there is a certain style to wikitext that should be incorporated at the beginning stages of composition. One example of this is the convenient use of links to other WMF pages. Another example would be the construction of style guides. The following links to a personal blog. To avoid cluttering up this talk page, you might wish to respond on the talk page at:


--forgot to sign Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 9 January 2018 (UTC)

I'll keep this here, if you don't mind - better for getting more input. So, you are suggesting that all pages for the journal might move to Miraheze, essentially to make use of better software? (Not sure I get the first point above :) --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 14:23, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
I am currently involved in Wikiversity discussions that probably render that First point obsolete. One of the missions of Wikiversity is to host student low-quality efforts. In the past, I took the position that the need to host these low quality pages rendered any "housecleaning" of pseudoscience and other crank articles nearly impossible. How do we distinguish between a child's speculations and those of a "crank"? These low-quality efforts render Wikiversity a less than ideal host for WikiJournals. I toyed with all sorts of ways to somehow "split" Wikiversity into two two parts, and one idea was to use Miraheze, either as a host for the best, the worst, or a combination of both.
A number of experts in the "wiki-way" have convinced me that a better solution is to move the low quality articles into a "Draft" space that parallels Wikipedia draft space, except that I propose a less humiliating format. To see an example of the "kinder-gentler" draft space look at special:permalink/1803012 and note that the reader hardly notices this page is buried harmlessly in somebody's userspace. Also note that the userbox in the upper right hand corner is so much more tasteful than the template Wikipedia uses to identify Drafts.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 01:59, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
This example highlights the humiliating appearance of drafts in Wikipedia: w:special:permalink/808275590--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:04, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
I welcome any method for removing low-quality content from Wikiversity mainspace. Yet, I don't see enough reason to move any WikiJournal content to Miraheze, since I think the confusion of involving another wiki weighs more than any benefits thereof. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 16:49, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Mikael Häggström, Mu301:I agree 100% that there should be no WikiJournal articles hosted on Miraheze. Instead, I propose that:
  1. Would-be authors be informed that private Miraheze wikis are available at zero cost so that the authors may collaborate with some degree of privacy. All submissions would then be placed in Wikiversity space.
  2. That another and largely unrelated purpose of Miraheze be related to the question what to do with fringe-science and research articles that currently reside on Wikiversty. The impact on WikiJournals is secondary: We want to make Wikiversity seem more "conventional", and doing so will make it a better host for the WikiJournal group. I have no objection to creating a separate WMF wiki for WikiJournals, but until that happens, we should do our best to serve the WikiJournal group by maintaining Wikiversity's reputation.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 18:07, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

"Public academic peer review by independent experts"???[edit]

I was showing a colleague have now shown three colleagues the WikiJournal of Science and "Public academic peer review by independent experts, and the top menu Template:WikiJSci top menu raised some concern. I have two suggestions:

  1. Is there a way to emphasize that this is public review by "independent experts" on this page top banner?
  2. Is there a way to permit some aspect of "private" and "confidential" review. For example, you could give readers an email address for private communications, and have the editorial board ready to step in if anybody wants to raise an issue with a submitted paper. You need to do this for all submissions. I don't know if or how the academic community categorizes review methods, but at the very least, you need to satisfy the requirements of most tenure and review processes at the college level.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 17:31, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  3. I don't know why, but I tend to get weird ideas, which is reflected in my publication record: Music, Quantum Mechanics, and one article in the Philosophical Quarterly. I began in plasma physics (experimental and theoretical), but most of my work has been essentially pedagogical. And for each paper I published, there were two or three ideas that failed to ever get into print (example). OK-so take me seriously but not too seriously: I think we should charge a small submission fee ($40?) with the understanding that we will pay an expert to review the article. We could even guarantee publication in WikiJournal Preprints along with a critical but fair assessment of articles rejected by our more prestigious WikiJournals. Of course, in the spirit of the WMF, the money goes only to referees with little or no affiliation with the WMF. Referees too closely affiliated with the WMF would relinquish their fee to a designated charity unrelated to the WMF.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 14:20, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for those ideas! I made sections below to accommodate each topic. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 17:12, 14 January 2018 (UTC)


I think banner needs to be as succinct as possible, so I think the specification of "independent experts" can belong to the "About" page. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 17:12, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Peer reviewer anonymity[edit]

Peer reviewers may be anonymous, and there's a contact email that readers can use anonymously. There's no such specific email for WikiJSci yet, but I can set it up in not a too distant future (I'm a bit too busy with other stuff this weekend though). Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 17:12, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

The "may be anonymous" condition is sufficient and similar to journals which I have refereed. I am generally given the choice of whether to reveal my identity. What bothered my colleagues was the word "public". I guess it just means that the reviews will be made public, but they had the idea that "public" meant anybody could offer a review. I think the WikiJournals are suffering from their affiliation with the WMF -- my colleagues saw the word public and assumed the reviewing would be like those insane discussions we see on Wikipedia & sisters. To compensate, the WikiJournal editors need to go out of their way to dispel such misconceptions. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:01, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

Payed reviewers/editors[edit]

Peer reviewers should make their reports voluntarily and not for pay. To amend lengthy times to find peer reviewers, there are many things we should do before that, such as recruiting more people overall to the project, who can help out as peer review coordinators. If we keep having trouble finding peer reviewers, I'd rather start with a rapid grant to have a payed editor, who could both help finding peer reviewers, as well as performing other routine administrative tasks.Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 17:12, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

I have some experience (as an author and reviewer) with the physics journal JHEP, which pays peer reviewers ($30). As a reviewer I think that collecting the money is more trouble than it is worth, and being paid does not add to my motivation. (Just compute the implied hourly salary.) I am also skeptical that a paid editor can help us find peer reviewers: the editor would be unknown to the people (s)he would contact, and would send emails that would most often be considered as spam by the recipients. On the other hand, there are other tasks that a paid editor could usefully perform, once the volume of submissions justifies it. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 23:08, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Sylvain Ribault: I'm glad we have someone with your experience on board. If it didn't work for JHEP, then it is not likely to work for WikiJournal. I withdraw the suggestion. It is curious that JHEP's $30 fee so closely matched the $40 fee that I suggested. A $200 fee would be less hideous than what some predatory journals charge in page charges. But these WikiJournals are already avant-gard in many respects. Any effort to change the world too much is bound to fail. Let another journa experiment with that idea, IMHO--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 01:50, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Agree with the above. --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 06:45, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
FYI, I took this to the next level at Talk:WikiJournal_of_Science#Manuscript:_A_card_game_for_Bell's_theorem_and_its_loopholespermalink --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 17:25, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Anyhow, I'm still open for a hired editor to make invitations. Indeed, a hired editor would most often be considered as spam when inviting reviewers, but I'm not sure there's much difference from an invitation from a board member. Surely, an invitation looks more professional when coming from an academic, but at the same time I feel it's more effective if an administrator does administrative tasks so that academics can work with what they are specialized at. Mikael Häggström 19:56, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
I would argue that choosing and inviting reviewers is a scientific, not administrative task. Over time, editors should know their reviewers, their strengths and weaknesses, whom to invite for which type of submission. (I know a JHEP editor who has reviewers for rejecting papers, reviewers for accepting them, and reviewers for the tangent cases.) And in due time we should have enough academic editors that they need only invite reviewers whom they know, if only by name, or possibly reviewers who are recommended by a known colleague. At least that is how it might work in physics, would this be plausible in other fields? Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:33, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
I can agree to continue having academics and scholars making invitations to peer reviewers an for free, as long as we find volunteers to perform the task. So far we've eventually found enough peer reviewers, but finding them may take months in some cases. But if we can live with that, we don't need to hire anyone for it. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:25, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

WikiJournal of Psychology[edit]

Hi, I know a professor who would be really interested in having graduate students contribute to a WikiJournal of Psychology. Such a thing doesn't exist yet. How would one start that process? Rachel Helps (BYU) (discusscontribs) 22:31, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

My advice is to have the students create drafts of their articles on Wikiversity. Then either do the WikiJournal of Science a square and submit to the WikiJournal of Science, or take an afternoon to create your own journal on Wikiversity. I will help with the latter if you are interested.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:25, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Rachel Helps (BYU), would you consider the scope of WikiJournal of Humanities to include psychology as well? We can potentially add "psychology" in addition to its official inclusion of "humanities, arts, and social sciences in their broadest sense". Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 17:16, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
At our campus, Psychology is in the Math and Sciences division, I think because they have to learn statistics. It seems to be appropriate for it psychology to be in either journal. Interdisciplinary is good.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 01:53, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Either way, I think we should make it clear if a journal accepts submissions in social sciences or not. I looked at the WikiJournal of Science and they currently accept papers that fall under STEM disciplines, which does not include psychology. Rachel Helps (BYU) (discusscontribs) 17:34, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 18:59, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Since psychology is generally considered to be very cross-disciplinary, the majority of psychology topics would fit under WikiJHum. For example, clinical psychology would be within scope of WikiJMed, experimental psychology would likely fit into WikiJSci, with other psychology topics falling within WikiJHum's scope. In general I think that new journals need to have a starting quorum of editors to build and run it to avoid stalling. I've made a couple more comments over on the WikiJHum discussion page. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 20:56, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
If the professor mentioned by Rachel Helps (BYU) can pull together a team, perhaps an independent WikiJournal of Psychology can be created rather than including psychology under WikiJournal of Humanities. However, till this project can mature, psychology articles can be kept under purview of WikiJournal of Humanities and if a reasonable number of articles get submitted within a certain time-frame, perhaps a fork into this new and proposed entity WikiJournal of Psychology can be considered. Diptanshu💬 14:18, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

WikiJournal not yet a sister project?[edit]

Almost 1.5 years passed, yet WikiJournal has not yet become a sister project, despite huge support majority. What are the obstacles that prevent WikiJournal from becoming a sister project? --George Ho (discusscontribs) 11:57, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

I was just wondering about this same issue. The application to be a sister project is pretty well developed given the guidelines. It may be appropriate to contact the sister project committee (SPCOM) to remind them that the case is still open (they have a mailing list at, though it might be out of date. I don't think SPCOM has met in a while, since the last official rejection was in 2014 (wikifinition). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 12:40, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
Having followed a number of these proposals on meta I would judge this one to be very strong and the support for it to be extremely positive. Approval of the creation of any new wiki tends to take a very long time regardless of how compelling the arguments are. I would suggest adding a section at meta listing the submissions that have gone through review and that have been published to demonstrate to those unfamiliar with the project how much activity there has been since the discussion was opened. Approval tends to be based more on contributions and activity, rather than just based on the merits and support for it. They want to know: there is already a home wiki (here) hosting the project, so why do you need a new separate website to be created and configured? Is there enough participation for it to be a viable stand-alone wiki? (ie. counter vandalism, admin, and other wikignome contributions.) I think this is a fantastic idea, though I admit I'm a bit ambivalent about "spinning it off" from en-wv. It seems to fall well within the scope of our project and I'm not convinced that the case has been made that this is not a duplication of wikiversity. --mikeu talk 16:45, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
Having its own wiki would definitely be beneficial since it would also offer us a left side menu that is more specific to the needs of the project, such as clicking the main icon at upper left would take you to the main page of the project. After having ratified our ethics statement (discussion above), I can work on having the project at least approved as a thematic organization. That will be one step closer to having its own wiki. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 21:09, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
agree w/ Mikael Häggström--Ozzie10aaaa (discusscontribs) 12:03, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I also agree w/ Mikael Häggström. Any loss to Wikiversity due to abandonment by the WikiJournal group is overcome by the gain to those who believe all academic and scientific communications should be licensed under creative commons.Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 00:57, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

Unnecessary templates[edit]

Hi all! I think that some of the templates we're using are unnecessary and complicate the wikitext, namely all the {{review}}, {{response}} and {{Editor's comments}} templates (see here for an example). If reviews and editorial comments need to be distinguished from regular comments, and an appropriate section title is not enough, then we can repurpose the {{review}} and {{Editor's comments}} template so that they insert an {{Ambox}} explaining that what follows is a peer review or editorial comment. I think it would be neater and would make all the nested {{response}}s unnecessary. I'm willing to take care of the change if no one opposes. Ok? --Felipe (discusscontribs) 03:16, 24 January 2018 (UTC)

I think {{review}} and {{Editor's comments}} are worthwhile because of the standardized format, and reviewers are generally in touch with an editor who can help out with any wiki coding. However, I actually don't think we should have the {{response}} template, because its usage makes it difficult for those not knowing wiki coding to participate, and may thus discourage people in making entries. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:44, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
@Sophivorus: I agree that the use of {{response}} ends up making pages very complicated to format. It works well for the simple situation of single response to reviewer comments, but not when there is back-and-forth between reviewer and author. So, I'm happy to deprecate {{response}}, though I'm still keen on trying to eventually work out some formatting that helps make obvious reviewer comments versus author comments. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:55, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

Which posts to boost?[edit]

I have now received the grant money for the budget of 2018. I have paid the Crossref membership, and will pay for the domain names when it's time to do so.

Also, our request for an additional $400 to promote key posts (especially on Facebook) was also granted. Those Facebook pages are located at:

Now, which posts are we interested in boosting? Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:17, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

I'd guess the best use of promoting funds would be to boost posts about new content. That would be my first priority. Penny Richards (discusscontribs) 20:55, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
The WikiJournal of Humanities doesn't have a first issue yet, so I think it would make sense to boost a call for papers. The concept is a little difficult to understand at first so I would emphasize how academics can get published for greatly improving Wikipedia. Rachel Helps (BYU) (discusscontribs) 16:04, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree. This is something we understand, but there are many out there to whom this is something new. Do we have a quick and concise primer to share about writing an article for a Wiki Journal - maybe directed to the unaware, non-wiki folks, or even non-believers? Perhaps that would be something good to share on social media. Jackiekoerner (discusscontribs) 18:46, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Vote: Ethics statement[edit]

After some additional recent edits, the draft of the ethics statement is now up for ratification. This will be mirrored in each journal (with some automatic adaptation to journal names):

Those pages will also be linked from the bylaws of each journal, and will be reflected in their guidelines. All participants, please write Symbol support vote.svg Support or Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose below. We will count votes from those with any role in any WikiJournal (board member, editor, author or reviewer), but anyone may comment. A majority of Symbol support vote.svg Support among voters after 10 days from today (February 20) will lead to ratification of the ethics statement. Also, it is possible that there will be minor edits due to additional comments in the voting process, so please also check back shortly before the closing date to see if you still agree with your vote. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 18:52, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

@Van Vlijmen: I've updated the ethics statement to make more explicit that COIs and ethics statement should be included in the 'methods' / 'additional information' section (diff). I've also updated the draft template that we provide for authors. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 10:25, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support with changes made. @Evolution and evolvability: The current wording will require that the handling editors check the inclusion of these statements in each paper as I cannot stress enough that if these statements on conflicts of interest and animal and human subjects are not included structurally in all papers (even if there are no COIs or human / animal subjects), the journals will not be accepted in Pubmed / PMC Van Vlijmen (discusscontribs) 10:27, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
@Ear-phone: Well spotted! I agree that what is really meant is "public peer review (reviewer comments available to readers), but that "open peer review" (reviewer identity open) is optional for the reviewer. WikiJMed has always had a public peer review, but open is up to each individual reviewer. I've updated the relevant section to clarify this (diff). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 02:54, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
@Jackiekoerner: Thank you for the link to the MediaWiki technical space page. There seems to be no WMF-wide resolution avenue, so currently the reporting avenue is just to the Editor in Chief of each journal. I've added a section on who to contact, and some of the possible disciplinary actions available based on the COPE flowcharts (diff). I would be interested in the opinions of any other editors on what should be stated about the consequences of breaching the ethics policies. I've not found any examples in other journals of explicitly listing what disciplinary actions might be expected in the event of policy violation. Any recommendations? T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 09:21, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I added "serious" to the violations resulting in expulsion etc. since it may be too harsh in small irregularities [13]. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 02:03, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose -- Under the section Disclosure and Conflict of Interest, the text suggests that the author needs to supply information on any "patent activity on the work's content". I feel that the wording needs to cover patent activity which may be even be remotely related to the content of the paper. This brings the example of the Andrew Wakefield paper on vaccines to mind. I think it would be prudent to make it mandatory for the author to disclose all patent applications in which she was associated with in the last 5 - 10 years. --Drajay1976 (discusscontribs) 06:19, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
@Drajay1976: Elsewhere, we use the wording "potential or perceived Conflicts of Interest". Perhaps we can use a similar concept of "patent activity related to or potentially related to the work" (diff). Asking for a full list of all patent applications within the last 10 years, could end up with relevant applications buried under tens or hundreds of others. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 09:41, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support with the changes made. Here, the authors are required to submit any financial and personal relationships with other people or organisations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of financial conflicts include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patents or patent applications, and travel grants, all within 3 years of beginning the work submitted. I still feel that such explicit text should be used, if not for 10 years, within 3 years of beginning the work submitted. --Drajay1976 (discusscontribs) 05:02, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment -- What does the sentence "When authors submit their works they agree to that their content may or may not be kept permanently on a Wikimedia project" mean? I think this should be reworded for clarity. Is it saying that authors get the choose, i.e. "authors agree to whether or not their content is kept permanently"? Or is it saying that upon submission authors are aware that the content may be kept permanently, and authors will no longer have the right to change that fact? Mark L MacDonald (discusscontribs) 09:56, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I removed "may not", because the "may" implies that the opposite is possible already. Also, I added "...and that author requests for removal of their content may not be approved" [14]. Still, I'm open for other suggestions on this wording. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 02:10, 17 February 2018 (UTC)