User:Guy vandegrift/Wikiversity as a haven for lone wolves

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Note to all: Feel free to edit this document. It is a collaborative essay about facilitating the creation of uncollaborative work.

replaces this rambling version of the same essay with the same name


This essay proposes the use of permalinks to protect creative work. Please only use permalinks as you modify, and only link to permalinks when writing about or referring to it on the wikis.

We need to recruit quality writers in order to make Wikiversity grow. To accomplish this we need to allow work to fully attributed and stored in such a way that credit goes to the people who deserve it.

Why Wikiversity will grow[edit]

Wikipedia is a remarkable asset, but it cannot be alone. We cannot have only one article on the Industrial revolution or Global warming. We need diversity, many points of view, and many levels of instruction. For these reasons, and because of the sister-links between these wikis, both Wikiversity and Wikibooks are destined to grow. The only question is whether we facilitate that growth, or impede it, or accomplish nothing by spinning our wheels. I know we are not impeding and hope we are not spinning wheels too much.

So now we ask: "Why isn't Wikiversity growing faster? The answer is that Wikiversity is not popular, and to complicate matters, it's not popular because it's not growing. I believe that Wikiversity's rate vaguely resembles exponential growth. The common view is that exponential growth is dramatic, but in reality slow initial growth is an equally clear indicator of exponential growth. Wikiversity is not growing because it is small, and Wikiversity is small because it is not growing. We need to break that cycle.

How to make Wikiversity grow[edit]

Making Wikiversity grow is a two step process: First we assess how Wikiversity is different from Wikipedia. Then we inform the public as to how these differences make Wikiversity a better choice for most people ("most" because with parallel pages and tolerance of diversity, Wikiversity should be bigger than Wikipedia).

Page protection versus author ownership[edit]

No colleague is more valuable than one who informs you when your wheels are spinning. User:Mu301 pointed out[1] to me that the biggest detractor for scholars isn't that Wikipedia allows their work to be edited, but that virtually no prestige is awarded for such work.[2] Though unaware of the low priority given to the issue of page protection, I have hinted that Wikiversity might someday contain peer reviewed articles.[3]. The footnotes to this essay contain only permalinks to illustrate the point that work written by sole authors can be protected using permalinks, not page protection.

Conclusion, footnotes, and policy proposal[edit]
  1. The Wikiversity templates and other documents on the subject of page protection should be written in such a way as to inform readers that Wikiversity has the flexibility to attribute your work and ensure that it can not be altered by others. This is achieved using permalinks and will in no way violate Wikimedia policy.
  2. At some point in the future Wikiversity needs to establish a peer reviewed journal. Perhaps it might be called Math, Science, and Engineering Education. Authors and editors may submit links to their pages. If a page is deemed worthy, the author/editor will be asked to print it as a pdf file that can be stored as a permalink on the page. A non-pdf permalink will also be stored, but we have to be careful with the figures--I don't think we can permalink images, but I'm not sure. I mention contributions by "editors" because a lot of Wikipedia articles seem to have two or more focuses. Do some cutting and you might have a short article suitable for a college course. A good example is this simple discussion of relative motion in a Wikipedia article.[4] By the time it gets here it is entirely inappropriate for a first year college course. The users who copy, properly attribute, and then edit w:Relative velocity will get a byline and a permalink establishing that their version was accepted by the Journal. The proposed journal would simply store a permalink to the edited version, which could reside on any wiki (Wikipedia, Wikiversity, or Wikibooks) that agrees not to delete it.
Footnotes (all permalinks)
  1. Colloquium#Announcement_of_intent_to_protect_quiz_pages See comments after "Could we talk a bit about the why before we dive into the how?"
  2. Special:Permalink/1496699#Lack_of_incentives
  3. The_strange_case_of_role_reversal_between_the_elitist_and_wild_sisters
  4. Taken from permalink w:Special:Permalink/689567972