Talk:WikiJournal User Group

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Up for debate: four modest proposals[edit]

The proposals[edit]

I have written an essay on the lessons of the ongoing WikiJournal experiment. The essay concludes with the four proposals reproduced below. I would be interested to know other people's appraisal of the WikiJournals so far, and their ideas on future evolutions. The proposals:

  1. Do not duplicate articles: do all the work on the original Wikipedia article, do not have a WikiVersity version. Aims: reducing complexity, saving work, and not confusing authors and reviewers.
  2. Make authors optional: Wikipedia articles could be submitted by editors, reviewers, or others. There could be a process of nomination and votes to decide which articles to prioritize, possibly coordinated with disciplinary WikiProjects. Authors could also be optional for revising the article, as anybody can do it.
  3. Focus on reviewers and their work: the main outcomes could be the reviews themselves rather than the Wikipedia articles. The collection of the reviews and comments could be published as an article, with its DOI and PDF, and a title of the type "Review of the Wikipedia article on X". Anonymity would no longer be an option for reviewers. If this leads to a version of the Wikipedia article that satisfies the reviewers, that version can be published too. Otherwise, just link the review from Wikipedia for future reference.
  4. Be relaxed about official recognition: being recognized as a full-fledged traditional academic journal is not vital. It is more important to remain experimental long enough for finding what really works.

Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:43, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

Considerations from the May 2019 WikiJournal meeting[edit]

  1. Do not duplicate articles:
    1. Some view Wikiversity as a sandbox for Wikipedia so duplication is superfluous (particularly for articles submitted from Wikipedia) whereas others want permanently different versions at WikiVersity that can be more technical without being nixed by WP editors (particularly at WJM, WJH).
    2. Could possibly inter-wiki transclude if sister project.
    3. May not harm peer reviewer response rate (Wikipedia more recognisable ‘brand’ than WikiJournals).
  2. Make authors optional:
    1. We could have experiments about that: select a few existing Wikipedia articles and try having reviewers and editors work on them directly (‘contributors’ but no traditional ‘authors’).
    2. Aim to avoid the problems with the BMJ-organised peer review of Parkinson’s disease (comments from 2016 not fully addressed)
  3. Focus on reviewers and their work:
    1. Giving DOIs to reviews is an emerging practice in scientific publishing and we could do it as well.
    2. Moreover we could give more prominence to reviews on WP talk pages, especially when the suggested changes are not implemented.
  4. Be relaxed about official recognition:
    1. Official recognition seems indifferent to reviewers, but some authors will not contribute before the journals are on PubMed, Scopus, etc.


I have created a page for an experiment along the lines of the proposal. It would be good to have some feedback from the community, and more suggestions of candidate Wikipedia articles. Then I will ask for an official go-ahead, i.e. acceptance of the terms of the experiment, and commitment to publish the reviews as advertised. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:35, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

I'm looking forward to the results of this pilot. Afterwards I'll be interested to see a side-by-side comparison in how reviewers react to different types of invites. The concept of putting the peer review and reviewers more in the spotlight may also be more broadly applicable to other articles. e.g.: should reviewers be listed in the wikidata items and/or XML metadata for articles? Should the number and/or names of reviewers be listed on the article itself? It is also relates to discussions about how to handle anonymous/pseudonymous wikipedian authors as corresponding, named authors. (For ease of reference, here's a link to the meeting notes). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 13:00, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Bylaws review by AffCom part 2[edit]

Discussions are archived for review purposes. Please start a new discussion to discuss the topic further.

Outcome: Bylaws updated. And to answer the last comment, talents, experience and competencies can indeed be counted as activities beyond those that give diplomas, certificates etc. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 04:22, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Support for this usergroup to seek funding from the Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

If there is community will to develop the WikiJournal into a sister project then I would like to see a Wikimedia Foundation funding allocation to advance the idea. I am imagining that some money on the scale of US$100,000 - 1,000,000 should be allocated to develop this over 1-3 years. Since this is a professional-facing project it needs some professional infrastructure which we cannot reasonably crowdsource. This infrastructure includes establishing some partnerships with libraries and catalogs for journal indexing, building out some legal infrastructure, sorting out some translation for multilingual support, getting some consulting where we need expert comment which wiki conversion could not produce, staffing a community manager to administer a to-do list to amplify volunteer effectiveness, and creating a pool of travel funding for various participants to attend relevant publishing conferences in person to shop the idea around and report back with comments.

The sooner that this group makes any grant request to the Wikimedia Foundation through the grants process, the sooner that the group can evaluate its fitness to manage and apply for larger grants. I recommend applying for a $2000 rapid grant immediately to fund the creation of infrastructure and rehearse the accounting process the group has. After that, apply for 10k, then 50k, because the funding is around and it will save a lot of resources to use money rather than spend community labor and expertise on the things which are better resolved with small amounts of cash.

I especially favor using money to make this project more accessible globally. A journal in wiki is going to have several unusual advantages over any other, with one of those being able to readily tap into a multilingual global community base. From the foundation I think it would be wise to use money to facilitate multicultural participation. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:20, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

@Bluerasberry: I completely agree with the upscaling. We've so far been cautious to gauge community opinion (via the proposal on meta) on becoming a full sister project before approaching the WMF board. However now that the grant application for 2019 is accepted we can start thinking about what the next funding steps should be after the community feedback is in. There will be plenty to work out for such large grant applications, but there's definitely a huge wish-list for WikiJournals of both technical/infrastructure items that will be useful as well as advocacy, promotion and other support. We have several people involved with experience in large grant management, but we'll definitely also need experienced wikimedians to give advice and assistance. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 05:54, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree too with this upscaling. I have emailed the Affiliations Committee if they can consider a sister project application and whether we need to address additional issues at this time. I've just gotten the grant for this year approved, and I have still lots of emails to go through before being able to formulate such a new grant applications within the very near future, but I'll gladly have a look if someone else can write it. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 11:58, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Sister project application[edit]

As part of ensuring that the current Wikimedia community is aware of the proposal for a WikiJournal platform as a new sister project, I've notified a few locations:

  • The general Wikimedia mailing list "Wikimedia-l" (thread)
  • The Wikipedia Weekly facebook group (thread)
  • Twitter (post)
  • The most relevant WikiProjects on English Wikipedia (example)
  • Wikipedia discussion pages like featured articles, good articles, the village pump, the library
  • The main discussion location of each current sister project (example)
  • The main Wikipedian newspapers:

I've aimed to catch as broad a wikimedian audience as I can, but if I've missed anywhere please post. I only just realised I'd not posted here! T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 06:39, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

For The Signpost at English Wikipedia propose at en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Submissions when you have your draft. I will support. Blue Rasberry (talk) 09:49, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Article in The Signpost now published along with shorter notes in Der Kurier and Regards sur l'actualité de la Wikimedia. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:51, 1 July 2019 (UTC)

Surface tension is no longer a Good Article[edit]

The Wikipedia article on Surface tension, which had been submitted to the WikiJournal of Science, severely criticized by the reviewers, and not improved by the authors, has lost its GA status as a result.

I think this shows that Wikipedians can take WikiJournals seriously. Of course it would be even better if they would use the reviews for improving the article. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 21:27, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

I agree with this as a process. If the peer reviewers identify such significant errors in the article it is important for the wp community to know. I think that the initial note in September 2018 was easy to miss, so nominating for 'good article reassessment' seems reasonable. The wp community can then check whether they agree and add tags to the page if appropriate. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 04:22, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Clarification: as far as I understand nobody from WJS removed the GA status or initiated the GA reassessment. It was done by an independent Wikipedian, who saw our notice and acted on it. I am not advocating doing this ourselves. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 07:30, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Introducing Wikimedia Space: A platform for movement news and organizations[edit]

Hi WikiJournal User Group,
I’m writing to let you know that the Community Engagement department [1]at the Wikimedia Foundation is launching a new platform, Wikimedia Space. Here, you will find stories for and by contributors to the Wikimedia movement, and a space for discussions of different topics.

We know that finding information about Wikimedia activities and processes is very complicated, which makes the learning curve to enter our movement and be successful afterwards, really steep. By centralizing community stories and conversations in one shared space, we believe we are facilitating access and discoverability of topics across the movement, improving, in turn, connections among Wikimedians.

As an affiliated organization to the Wikimedia Foundation, we hope that you can share this platform with your local community, and we count on you to encourage them to add their voices. If you’d like to contribute stories, and overall, participate in the discussion section, please read our blogging guidelines and our code of conduct and join the conversation. Find more information about the project on its page on Meta.

Looking forward to seeing you at Wikimedia Space,
María Cruz, Communications and Outreach Manager, Wikimedia Foundation.
MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 17:53, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

  1. View the department's page on Meta-Wiki.

Updating guidelines for authors and reviewers[edit]

As part of updating the guidelines for both authors and reviewers (as well as per this page and comment 102 on this page), I've created WikiJournal User Group/Guidelines/Draft. I've also copied in all of the current relevant guideline content (permalink) to see where we currently stand.

I think having matching guidelines for both authors and reviewers helps everyone be on the same page, especially noting the differences for articles intended for wikipedia integration (in whole or in part) versus original research articles. I've also contacted the author of the Cell crosstalk post to ask for some external perspective, ideas and feedback. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 02:23, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

@Evo﹠Evo: On neutrality, I see you're embracing "balance". I don't necessarily disagree, but do offer some thoughts to consider:
  • Wikipedian neutrality puts strong emphasis on balance. Relative weight is based on how mainstream ideas are; a liability of this approach is that it consistently encourages bias toward the mainstream: prevailing prejudices of the day are over-represented.
  • What alternatives may be available depends on the nature of the project. An encyclopedia has to summarize, and is generally expected to engage subjective issues (though an encyclopedia could challenge this expectation).
  • Although Wikinews does observe a weaker form of balance —aspects of a story should not be misleadingly omitted— Wikinews compensates for that weakened strategem by emphasizing attribution: avoiding subjective and controversial claims by retreating into objectively reporting that such-and-such person in the story made such-and-such claim. Thus avoiding endorsing the claim ourselves.
  • Wikijournal (reminder: avoid camel case) cannot use precisely the strategy of Wikinews; but this seems the right moment to pause and consider what might be done. Academic journals certainly do have their own version of bias-toward-the-mainstream.
--Pi zero (discusscontribs) 04:14, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

Declaration on Research Assessment[edit]

Further to an earlier thread on the IOI project, It might be worth signing support for the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). From what I can see, the principles it's laying out are well aligned with the general thinking here (full declaration), including:

For publishers

6. Greatly reduce emphasis on the journal impact factor as a promotional tool, ideally by ceasing to promote the impact factor or by presenting the metric in the context of a variety of journal-based metrics (e.g., 5-year impact factor, EigenFactor [8], SCImago [9], h-index, editorial and publication times, etc.) that provide a richer view of journal performance.

7. Make available a range of article-level metrics to encourage a shift toward assessment based on the scientific content of an article rather than publication metrics of the journal in which it was published.

8. Encourage responsible authorship practices and the provision of information about the specific contributions of each author.

9. Whether a journal is open-access or subscription-based, remove all reuse limitations on reference lists in research articles and make them available under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication [10].

10. Remove or reduce the constraints on the number of references in research articles, and, where appropriate, mandate the citation of primary literature in favor of reviews in order to give credit to the group(s) who first reported a finding.

DORA declaration

What are people's thoughts? T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 02:53, 1 July 2019 (UTC)

The declaration is reasonable overall, except points 10 and 16 which tell us to favor citing primary literature over reviews. This goes against common sense and Wikipedia's rules. Due to this fatal flaw, I Oppose signing the declaration. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 01:41, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
The declaration prefixes the prioritisation of primary literature "...where appropriate". Does that not sufficiently address your concern? Prashanthns (discusscontribs) 04:41, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
No, the text is clear enough, and the repeated insistence on primary literature vs review articles means what it says, unless you think that the words "where appropriate" make points 10 and 16 meaningless. For a more detailed discussion of this aspect of the DORA declaration, see my 2013 blog post. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 08:15, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
As an editor of - within my field - a high impact factor journal I have always had some reservations about the DORA. I had not considered the point above about the citation of primary sources over reviews but, on consideration, I do not agree with it and I can see why it is in the DORA - to lever editors and authors away from, respectively, publishing and citing reviews which are well known to be the articles which contribute most to JIF. The DORA just seems anti-JIF with few positive suggestions (except point 6) and, as with all JIF criticisms, no suggested alternative. I also think it fails to acknowledge the value of JIFs which are, at least, an indication of quality in that journals that are included in the Clarivate JIF list have met some fairly important quality criteria. I tend towards Oppose due to above and because it tells us little we don't already know and will have zero influence in the Far East, South East Asia and selected parts of Europe - such as Italy. Rwatson1955 (discusscontribs) 13:35, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
While I like the general thrust of the declaration, I concur with Sylvain regarding points 10 and 16. These appear problematic both in a journal setting - review articles are vital tools for the research process, and discouraging people from creating them by taking away their cites seems counter-productive; and in a Wikipedia setting - there's a direct mandate here to use secondary rather than primary sources, and a review will always be preferred as a source over a primary research paper. Therefore, I don't believe adopting this declaration as it stands would be a suitable move for us. --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 16:07, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
The only part that seems controversial in the section for publishers is the second clause, "and, where appropriate, mandate the citation of primary literature in favor of reviews in order to give credit to the group(s) who first reported a finding." Given the preference for reviews in Wikipedia over primary research I would interpret the second clause as not applying in our case (i.e. it is not appropriate to do this when it goes against the rules/ethos of our project). With this interpretation, I support signing as I do not see how the second clause affects us as a project. The only reasons I see for not signing are political, i.e. being seen to support something that does not apply to us. Edwbaker (discusscontribs) 14:22, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough, if "where applicable" can be interpreted thus. We would have to make it clear, however, that we intend exemption from these specific clauses - presumably in whatever place we would record acceptance of the rest. --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 23:01, 8 July 2019 (UTC)

Op-eds in WikiJournal[edit]

I've been seeing academic journal have op-eds (or something like those). Why haven't I seen an op-ed or some kind of editorial, like the one refuting any published paper? --George Ho (discusscontribs) 21:04, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Do you mean op-eds by the journal/editors/its representatives in public fora (newspapers?)? Could you clarify/link to some examples? Prashanthns (discusscontribs) 04:42, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
I found one article commentary and two more. I also found two review articles, but I don't know how "review" is used. I also found one corrigendum, one letter, and one book review. --George Ho (discusscontribs) 12:46, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
So far we've avoided unreviewed opinion articles (other than the two published editorials). It's partly been because often such articles are not put through peer review, however the Trends journals do put their opinion articles through peer review, so it's not unheard of. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:44, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

Request light feedback on Wikibooks content collection[edit]

I have a collection of 400+ student research papers published in Wikibooks. Please check them out a bit at

I am writing to ask about the extent to which users producing individual articles from this project could submit them for publication and review in WikiJournals. Feedback that I want is

  1. How close are these articles as they are now to being of the sort which WikiJournal seeks?
  2. If anyone would recommend changes to the format and style of these articles, then what quick suggestions does anyone have?

Here is some background information on this: I am staff at the Data Science Institute at the University of Virginia where my role is Wikimedian in Residence. I have a set of Wikimedia publishing and research projects, and I also support anyone at this university who has their own Wikimedia projects. I could never have expected this coming here, but there is a professor in the Engineering and Society Department who since 2010 has been having students contribute essays to Wikibooks. Going back in time, in the past some people imagined that Wikibooks could be a venue for original research and publication, much as WikiJournal here at Wikiversity has become.

I would not want to disrupt this program because obviously it works for this class with students and the school appreciating the outcomes. However, I am wondering what anyone here thinks about matching what they already do to the WikiJournal publishing process.

If we were to try this, there are classes of students who would begin writing in fall 2019 and another cohort in spring 2019. What I am imagining is giving them an option to put their paper through peer review and get published in WikiJournal if they wanted to go a bit beyond the established assignment and try to engage here. If I did this, then that would mean that WikiJournal would have to be prepared for some of the challenges which face the w:en:WP:Wikipedia Education Program in its complicated history of managing wiki / university partnerships. I have experience doing classroom outreach, but for a positive student experience, they would need to get some kind of response to WikiJournal submission. If we tried a class submission experiment, then I am expecting maximum 30 paper submissions, but probably just 10. They would all come from new users in the class. All of the paper would be about the intersection of ethics and technology, probably laying out a controversy.

Thoughts? To what extent might a collaboration be feasible to start September 2019? Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:58, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

Authored by[edit]

[Text of email sent today]

"I was just wondering, doesn't this bit about primary author's first names and last names and and orcids seem extremely un-Wikipedian? Even though I spent two years rewriting this article from top to bottom and adding vast swaths of content, technically speaking the author(s) should be "Wikipedia editors" and then a list of every non-bot who has ever edited the page.

What has Wikimedia said about this aspect of your initiative? Aren't there licensing issues?Lingzhi2 (discusscontribs) 22:28, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

@Lingzhi2: Hi. For articles submitted from Wikipedia (example), we separate out submitting author(s) and contributors. The submitting authors fulfil the ICMJE author criteria, especially "Final approval of the version to be published" and "Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work". Contributors are acknowledged for their work in the author list "et al" that links to a list of all non-bots and bots that have edited the article, as well as in the right hand side with "This work is adapted from the Wikipedia article XYZ.". The aim is the comply with both the scholarly requirements for authors who agree to follow the article through peer review whilst clearly acknowledging the work of the wider editor community who are not directly involved with the peer review submission (and the technical requirements of the cc by-sa license). We somewhat adapted this from the "Author information/Contributors" section of the earliest Wikipedia article put through peer review, "Dengue fever: a Wikipedia clinical review" in Open Med.. Some authors also choose to put additional thanks for other editors or FA/GA reviewers in the acknowledgements section at the end (example). The Wikimedia Foundation hasn't yet made any formal statement on the practice, but I believe we do satisfy the licensing requirements (and more importantly, I think we do right by the contributors). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:35, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
The simple format change that removed the wrong "authored by", leaving the correct implication "nominated by" is a great improvement, and obviously fairer. Many thanks, Chiswick Chap (discusscontribs) 07:04, 15 July 2019 (UTC)