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"Knowledge grows when shared." — Bhartrihari (discuss)

"Filmmaking" courses[edit]

I can contact Robert Elliott to await his response, but he hasn't been active since 2008. Meanwhile, pages related to Filmmaking, like "Filmmaking Basics" and "Film editing" pages, look very dated because it tells a student to obtain a free disk after completing other courses. Also, the "Film editing" page still retains a dead external link, i.e. Template:Star Movie Shop. What to do with the pages? --George Ho (discusscontribs) 10:59, 9 May 2017 (UTC); edited, 01:04, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

Please feel free to update these resources! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 12:00, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, but I'm not a filmmaking expert or anything like that. --George Ho (discusscontribs) 06:36, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

I tried emailing Robert Elliott twice, but I received an error message saying "550 Rejected". In other words, his email is not working anymore. --George Ho (discusscontribs) 01:04, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

User:George Ho, I was scrolling down the Colloquium just to see what I've missed by... and I saw this. I went ahead and tried to email Robert Elliott, and for me, it said: "Your email has been sent"... How did you encounter that error that you got? I never got it, and it seemed the message I sent to him via email has worked. Let's hope he reads it. -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 10:56, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
I was sending an email to "", Atcovi, rather than "Email this user". That's when I received the error message. I tried the latter as well, but he's not responded for months. --George Ho (discusscontribs) 18:14, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Shame... thanks for the clarification. -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 01:28, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

The Mind of the Universe: open source science documentary[edit]

Dear all, I'm new to Wikiversity, so apologies if this is misplaced. I work at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, a provider of large quantities of media on Wikimedia Commons. We have recently collaborated with Dutch public broadcaster VPRO to publish raw material of the documentary series The Mind of the Universe on Commons, (see here c:Category:Media from the Mind of the Universe). The Mind of the Universe is an international tv series and open source digital platform about the rapid evolution of our knowledge. It explores the human destiny and the world of tomorrow through the eyes of great minds from all continents all over the globe. The material on Commons consists mostly of interviews with researchers and academics from all over the world, covering topics like quantum mechanics, artificial intelligence, robotics and evolution. I am curious to know whether this material is of use for some of the educational materials that Wikiversity contains. The videos are subtitled, which should also help in searching through the (long) videos to find appropriate segments. Please contact me if you see opportunities and if there's anything we can do to make it easier for you to reuse these materials. Also, because it's such a unique project (broadcasters rarely publish their material openly, if at all) we are trying to measure the impact of doing this in order to have a stronger case the next time someone considers producing 'openly'. Are there ways to measure reuse and reach on Wikiversity? Many thanks! 85jesse (discusscontribs) 09:51, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

@85jesse: Welcome! Thank you for sharing these materials openly. I teach computer classes, but I'll let others speak to their learning opportunities. Regarding measuring use and reuse, files on Commons have a section at the bottom for File usage on other wikis. That gives you incoming links. Pageviews Analysis can be used to determine views. To increase reuse, I recommend adding visible categories to the files. All of the existing categories are hidden, at least on the first file I checked. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:42, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
@85jesse: Maybe this might interest you. I have put everything connected to a scientific project into a Wikiversity project. It is a nice way to keep a coherent set of information together. Please take a look at Hilbert Book Model Project The project supports English, Dutch, and a German version. These versions are interlinked.HansVanLeunen (discusscontribs) 11:00, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Upcoming Wiki Science Competition[edit]

Did you hear about the Wiki Science competition, starting in November?

The competition will focus on images, but it might evolve in the near future, so every content platform should take a look at it.

I've informed the village pump on commons, since there will be an intense workflow of technical uploaded by newbies, that will require some better categorization and translation of descriptions here and there, I think it's time to discuss it also here. I give you some details.

In 2015, limiting to Europe, we got thousands of entries, we can expect two or three times more this year. In the case of Italy for example we will send emails to many professional mailing lists, and other national wikimedia chapter will use their social media too to inform the public.

We have finished with Ivo Kruusamägi of WM Estonia to prepare some of the juries. I did my best to gather, besides people with a strong scientific background, also some expert wikipedians (because I ask first on wikipedia) here and there to take a look to the files on commons and not just the quality of the images. I have also informed users on English wikipedia, and will do the same on some other wikimedia platforms in the following weeks.

The final international jury is made of expert researchers, usually with interest in photography, but no real knowledge of the details of any wikimedia platforms. Some national juries should have enough expert wikimedians and wikipedians probably, I guess because of the presence of active national chapter in their set up, so someone might take care of some the uploads at least improving some categorization and using them in some articles.

Now that I am sure that we have enough "scientists" here and there and from different fields, maybe we can see if we can also gathers specifically expert wikimedia users. Or for example simple teachers and not researchers that can evaluate the quality of the images for more specific uses.

For the countries without juries, there is the possibility of creating a second-level jury to select images from the rest of the world to the experts of the final jury. For such second-level jury I have found some names, but the numbers of entries could be really high, so maybe that's where we can look for more standard wikimedia users.

if you are a citizen of a country with a national jury you could also join them directly (rumor has it, more will appear). I don't know the details in many cases, if they need more jurors or they are fine.

Anyone interested?--Alexmar983 (discusscontribs) 03:57, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

noratelimit Right[edit]

A situation has come up recently where an instructor wanted students to be able to create new accounts and begin working on content at Wikiversity. However, they ran into a problem creating multiple accounts from the same IP address. According to mw:Help:Mass account creation, the work-around is to grant the noratelimit right. Special:ListGroupRights shows this right assigned to Account creators, Bots, Custodians, Bureaucrats, and Stewards. I see two potential opportunities to quickly resolve this situation in the future:

  1. We add the noratelimit right to the Curator role so that instructors can create accounts for or with their students. The Curator role was created to allow instructors to support their students.
  2. We add the Account creators group as a group that Bureaucrats (or Custodians) can grant to users. Currently, neither Bureaucrats nor Custodians can add users to this group.

Please discuss and ultimately vote for or against each of these proposals. We need a vote in order to change group rights. Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Support submitting request. Thanks. While these rights are slightly dangerous, the value outweighs that, and in the very unlikely possibility that harm is cause, it could easily be fixed, even if a thousand accounts were inappropriately created. --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:41, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 22:53, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Add noratelimit to Curators Role[edit]

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support, Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, or Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support - this seems reasonable! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 23:57, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support They are trustworthy members. If this ends up being a problem, it can be removed. —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:43, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 17:04, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support - I experienced this problem first hand. It would be enormously helpful to be able to create accounts for students. After all, our goal is to turn them from spectators into participants. --Ireicher2 (discusscontribs) 04:02, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:41, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Add Account creators membership control to Bureaucrats[edit]

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support, Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, or Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment

Add Account creators membership control to Custodians[edit]

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support, Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, or Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment

Cleaning up OpenStax College[edit]

For some reason the editors at Wikipedia:Openstax chose to follow the standard practice of placing the sister-link to Wikiversity at the end under the "More resources can be found on Wikipedia" template (I had originally inserted sister-links directly into the textbook names so readers would quickly find them.) This means we need to clean up Wikiversity's OpenStax College resource, since it should be getting more traffic. If you wish to participate, look at my suggestions at Talk:OpenStax_College#Cleaning_up_this_page_for_convenient_viewing--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 17:03, 17 September 2017 (UTC)


Hello! According to the main page on this wiki, this site is now "with 25,000 learning resources and growing."! Cheers. (= Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 01:57, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

Good work everyone. -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 11:34, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
A large part of the last 1,000 comes from adding links to pages on Special:DeadendPages. When each of these pages is connected to something else (See Also, for example) it will then appear in the count. I've been adding a {{subpage navbar}} to subpages on the list. Note that the list is only updated occasionally, so there are some pages on the list that have had links added since September 8. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:29, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

Resource in German?[edit]

Is it a good idea, to put here a German-language resource? Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 17:56, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

@Tsirel: Not really, since there is a German Wikiversity. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:24, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
@Tsirel: - @Koavf: = That is not German, but rather Dutch. I say we leave it as it's under a page named "NL", which shows that it is a page intended to be here at the English WV as a non-English resource [as part of the project, I assume]. -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 18:43, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Ah yes, actually looking at it and seeing the "een"s and all the words with j's and z's is a give-away. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:46, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
For some reason, the scheme at Category:Materials by language was created just for four pages in Dutch. Altho I think that v:betawikiversity: should be shut down and incorporated into incubator:, that is clearly the place for material in Dutch. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:47, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
I am more in favor of keeping this resource, as I believe the teacher intended this Dutch version of the project to stay as a sub of the main English project [for whatever benefit to him]. I believe we should contact the teacher and ask him about this... @1sfoerster... maybe? It's hard to figure out the person behind this project as the main page itself was created by an IP Address. -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 19:00, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
These pages are not related to the Howard County (Maryland, US) engineering projects (1sfoerster). The originating IP is from Belgium. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:29, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

Thanks @Dave Braunschweig:... should've checked the IPs then myself. I change my mind: We should go ahead and move this project to beta.wikiversity. -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 14:22, 23 September 2017 (UTC)


From meta:Wiktionary: "On May 1, 2004, Tim Starling initialised Wiktionaries in every language for which there was an existing Wikipedia, leading to 143 new Wiktionaries." Shouldn't this be done with Wikiversity (something like new Wikiversities for every language with an existing, non-closed Wiktionary and/or Wikibooks)? KATMAKROFAN (discusscontribs) 20:41, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

See Betawikiversity --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 21:05, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Improved original sources[edit]

On Wikisource there is the Long Telegram, which is terrible to read with half the articles missing since it is, well, a telegram.

From the Wikisource Scriptorium [1] came the suggestion to add a cleaned up version to Wikiversity. Would that be the right place? -TriTachionTertiary (discusscontribs) 21:49, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

It would make an excellent historical resource! As the author was at the time in the employ of the USA government, the entire work is likely Public Domain. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 22:08, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Strange doubling of characters[edit]

Since some weeks the visuual editor shows a strange douubling of the uu character (as it is shown here) HansVanLeunen (discusscontribs) 11:03, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Moving OpenStax textbook materials into separate mainspace pages for each book.[edit]

I want to create a mainspace resource for each of over a dozen OpenStax textbooks. See discussion at Talk:OpenStax#Intention_to_move_each_textbook_out_into_main_space if you have any thoughts on the subject.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 14:55, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

How do I best setup a wiki page/topic etc. to work with government improvements?[edit]

Hi Wikiversity

I'm looking to setup a co-creation site regarding the co-creation of better livelihoods and communities in our cities.

I already have a community management program where contributors can create a profile etc., but it lacks the flexible possibilities that a wikipage has...

I'm especially interested in improving user driven city development as a democratic tool...

Thx for your reply!


--Fumzenberg (discusscontribs) 16:04, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

@Fumzenberg: I'd recommend starting with Urban planning. You can expand on the subject and then create subpages for different learning projects, different cities, or similar. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 18:27, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

Resource in Spanish[edit]

Revista Panameňa de Salud Publica, Ocupacional y Ambiental - why? Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 15:39, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

@Tsirel: Dave added a translate template onto the page here, but the author of the page removed it--and since then, the page has gone undetected with it's non-English content... I have added back the template, in hopes that the author doesn't remove it.
Thanks for bringing this up--next time you see pages like this, add a translate template to it--Like I have added it here. ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 18:22, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
At this point, it could also be tagged as {{Delete}}. There's an excellent Spanish Wikiversity available at Wikiversidad. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 19:07, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

@Dave Braunschweig: - We have pages in Category:Pages_needing_to_be_translated that have been here longer than Revista Panameňa de Salud Publica, Ocupacional y Ambiental and still exist here at Wikiversity. Should we delete the other pages in that category or give this page more time? -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 21:55, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

That's a great question for the community. Some would argue they aren't causing a problem and should remain. I think that non-English content here presents a dis-service to the non-English Wikiversities that need contributors in their native language. An exception would be user space content and projects like Hilbert Book Model Project, where the pages are actually translated into multiple languages and display by desired language. I would guess that at some point in the not-too-distant future, wikis for separate languages may not be necessary. The software will be able to translate dynamically, with hints added for any translations that need customization. But until then, content is separated by language. It's the basis for how Wikimedia wikis are organized. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 23:09, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Citoid activiation[edit]

Hi! As WikiJournals expand on Wikiversity (WikiJMed, WikiJSci, WikiJHum), the need to format references from DOI or PMID codes is becoming more important. Is it possible to enable the full Citoid extension? T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 06:28, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

Additional info, apparently it's a case of modifying the Citoid preferences, since base Citoid is already installed? I'm not too familiar with how the MediaWiki extensions work behind the scenes. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:20, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
See Special:Version. mw:Citoid is already installed. See Wikipedia:Wikipedia:TemplateData for how to add template data. I haven't worked with TemplateData yet, but You may be able to borrow from Wikipedia:Template:Cite_journal/doc. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:52, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
@Dave Braunschweig: I've completed the first steps for its activation as per instructions here. The next step is to copy this page from Wikipedia over to this location at Wikiversity. However I don't have the edit permissions. Would you mind copying it across to see it it works? T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:22, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
@Evolution and evolvability: Done. Note that import is better than copy, It includes the page history. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:27, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
@Dave Braunschweig: Champion! Autoformatting citations from DOIS, PMIDs, URLs and ISBNs all seem to be working. I see what you mean about the benefits of import over copy-paste. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:44, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

Participate in Dispute Resolution Focus Group[edit]

The Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program is working with the Wikimedia Foundation to help communities develop tools to resolve disputes. You are invited to participate in a focus group aimed at identifying needs and developing possible solutions through collaborative design thinking.

If you are interested in participating, please add your name to the signup list on the Meta-Wiki page.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn from the Wikimedia community. We value all of your opinions and look forward to hearing from you. JosephNegotiation (discusscontribs) 16:25, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

WikiScienceCompetition 2017[edit]

Hi! As I have informed few months ago, Wiki Science Competition has started, sitenotices have appeared for sure in Spain, Austria, USA, Russian Federation and Ukraine, and Italy will be join very soon with a massive national campaign.

As a member of the academic committee I did my best to reduce the gap between countries both in the composition of the juries and now in the outreach. I did inform many platforms during the preparation of the event, now I am informing all national institutions, associations and federations of teachers or scientists I can contact, especially those located in countries without national juries... and so on. That's why I am here.

We started to prepare banners for many countries but on meta they say it is not wise to use them all, so if you want to use the style and do one here on your wiki for few days, just inform us.

Otherwise, if you have social media and you want to inform your friends and colleagues, the twitter hashtags are #WSC2017, #WikiScience2017, #WikiScience

Plus, if you want, take a look at the files to help sorting them and to spot something worth to be used. For example this one is a nice diagram for a school textbook. i hope we'll get more.

Thank you in advance and whatever you do (join, inform, ignore) have fun!--Alexmar983 (discusscontribs) 08:09, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

@Alexmar983: creative of the Wikimedia Foundations--will see if I can participate. Thanks for leaving this notice here! -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 01:43, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
Atcovi without a banner not even for few days my only hope to get people from some countries it's to spam everywhere. Not just here. I have sent mails also to teachers unions.--Alexmar983 (discusscontribs) 02:23, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

The Community Wishlist Survey 2017[edit]

Hey everyone,

The Community Wishlist Survey is the process when the Wikimedia communities decide what the Wikimedia Foundation Community Tech should work on over the next year.

The Community Tech team is focused on tools for experienced Wikimedia editors. You can post technical proposals from now until November 20. The communities will vote on the proposals between November 28 and December 12. You can read more on the 2017 wishlist survey page. /Johan (WMF) (discusscontribs) 20:19, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Making Mediawiki MOOC-ready[edit]


I just created Making Mediawiki MOOC-ready to the wishlist. I foster everybody here to react to it and feed it further.

I also encourage you add any proposal idea you might have for Wikiversity.

--Psychoslave (discusscontribs) 12:29, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

@Psychoslave: Thanks for this. Note that I fixed your link above. —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:54, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Great, thank you Template:PingKoavf. Indeed the previous link was deleted because I had created a dedicated category for Wikiversity, but category creation is not part of the feedback process. So it might come back later if the team decide to do so. Cheers, Psychoslave (discusscontribs) 22:51, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

Changes to the global ban policy[edit]

Hello. Some changes to the community global ban policy have been proposed. Your comments are welcome at m:Requests for comment/Improvement of global ban policy. Please translate this message to your language, if needed. Cordially. Matiia (Matiia) 00:34, 12 November 2017 (UTC)


Are there any art courses on here? I've been trying to search for any art courses, since I'm in art at my school. So, isn't there any art courses I can go to?

--Joybeautynezzfan88 (discusscontribs) 01:19, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

@Joybeautynezzfan88: See Category:Art. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:41, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

New print to pdf feature for mobile web readers[edit]

CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:07, 20 November 2017 (UTC)


Is there any middle school courses on here? Since I'm in middle school. I've been searching for math courses. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Joybeautynezzfan12 (talkcontribs) )

@Joybeautynezzfan12: Of course! There several courses relating to middle school topics. Which ones are you interested in? Speak Math Now! (Algebra) is a course... but there are also notes/papers... one example is this science page I created, Geosphere... This page deals with Earth Science... BTW, this is coming from a former-middle schooler. ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 00:00, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
@Joybeautynezzfan12: You may also want to check our sister project Wikibooks which has textbooks. Is there anything in particular you were trying to learn? —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:50, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Commons Deletion Damage[edit]

A user is creating a resource and has an image. In some cases, the user actually has full rights, or might be able to obtain permission. So the user uploads the image to Commons, and uses it here. Perhaps years later, someone on Commons notices an alleged license defect. The user is long gone, has no idea there is even a discussion. The image is deleted, and then Commons Delinker comes here and removes the image. One cannot research the original image history, often, because the information has been deleted on Commons. (that is a Commons structural defect, all that metadata should remain public, because it is public domain, having been written under the standard license). Here is an example I just saw, but there are many, many like this.

  • In 2014, Lillie.t [(Contributions)] worked on Upper Limb Orthotics/De Quervain's Tenosynovitis, added a series of images on Commons, see standing Commons contributions and also the deletion discussion, closed November 24, 2017, and then Commons Delinker (a bot) removed the image links from our resource.
  • As is common, nobody with an interest in the usage of these files knew about the deletion request. The copyright argument was possibly sound, possibly not, depending on details that cannot now be seen, and it is entirely possible, even probable, that the user had permission to photograph and use those documents. Commons usually focuses on the photographer, not someone "setting up" a scene. But this is not the point here.
  • Someone who cares enough could ask for the files to be undeleted for review, but that's a lot of work, actually. There is a far simpler solution.

When a file is used from Commons, it could be copied here, so there is a local copy. This is contrary to common practice, it was routine here to delete local copies when images were moved to Commons. However, if there is a local copy, the Commons deletion would have no effect on our resources. What we would want, then, is an automatic claim of fair use when Commons deletes. It is utterly impractical for Wikiversity to manage detailed examination of license issues, and copyright can be extraordinarily complex. But Wikiversity may legally host even copyrighted material under a fair use claim, and if a copyright holder ever objects, the image can be removed (unless a stand is taken that the fair use is to be defended, which is rare, but the WMF has done this on occasion.) Conflict would be very rare.

A bot could copy all used Commons files here, including the license information. A global solution has been suggested, m:NonFreeWiki, notice the vote, This or the idea here would be completely legal and obviously serve the encyclopedic and educational usages. NFW would not require duplicate hosting all over the place. (I proposed that NFW simply be a namespace on Commons, thus files would be moved, not deleted and copied, which doubles storage space.) Until then, our most valuable resource is user and custodian labor, and the status quo wastes labor -- or trashes standing content. What could have been done in seconds with a bot takes much time. Disk space is cheap.

The automatic claim of fair use would be rebuttable, as with any claim, but the point would be to make it easy for users and for the vast majority of file usages to not require discussion or custodian attention. In lieu of copying all the images here, an agreement with Commons might be possible to transfer any images in use here instead of simply deleting them there. This would simply be a modification to Commons Delinker. The problem with the existing process is that the file and its information are deleted, requiring far more work to fix educational resources using the files.

To accomplish the task suggested here would take a bot, to search for images on all WV pages, and copy them, with all the information, from Commons. It would not take a bot having admin privileges on either wiki. This action itself is obviously legitimate because Commons is allegedly a repository of --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:08, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

If anything, we should have a local copy and then delete that so that it's technically saved locally and can be undeleted but so that any revisions and improvements to the "master" file on Commons will display here. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:39, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, not a bad suggestion, it would be superior to the present situation, but it would still require maintenance. When Commons changes a file, they really should change the filename. I am not sure what the software displays when there is the same filename here and on Commons. Any custodian can test this by creating a local file with the same name as a Commons file and a test page to display it. What I'm looking for is thinking toward reducing maintenance labor. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:14, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
@Abd: Unfortunately, I don't think there is a silver bullet solution here. By definition, reproducing Commons 900 times on every project is adding a lot of work. :/ —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:25, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
If it is to be done manually, yes. This suggestion is only for en.Wikiversity, which has, in practice, liberal fair use allowance, compared to some other wikis. That is why the suggestion is to copy all files, so that there is a local copy of all used files. There are many possible ways to implement this. But bot-copying is essentially set and forget. It is very little work. Then Commons Delinker would come, sometimes, and remove the links and another bot following up on CDL could simply restore them and add a generic fair use rationale. Those could readily be reviewed if it's decided to do so. A reviewer would have the Commons discussion to look at. The problem, Koavf, is that many or even most of the files Commons deletes and Delinker unlinks are actually usable here. They need a rationale, which wasn't put in because the user thought the file was free, or didn't realize that there was some defect -- or Commons simply makes mistakes. And then, with no file here, finding the file again is a piece of work, if it can even be found. In the example above, the files would not necessarily be available anywhere, the creator of the files uploaded them and apparently only for usage here.
Not a magic bullet, simply a possible solution that could avoid a lot of work. Presently, most of that work is simply not being done, so educational resources are damaged. I and some others have done some restoration work, but all that would be unnecessary if we did this.
What I would see is that we would encourage users to upload to Commons if the licensing permits. Only upload here if a non-free use rationale is needed. The problem here is not inappropriate non-free use, which is highly subjective (and therefore tends to waste time in conflict), but usage believed to be free.
Commons represents itself, on the home page, as "a collection of 42,983,133 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute." That is basically BS. It's a large collection of files that might be free and might not.
There is no process in place for systematically vetting the free use status of all files and warning people about possible non-free status. It's a wiki, and haphazard. So, years after upload (three or so in the case described above), someone notices a problem. And then the file disappears. Sometimes the problem is quite obscure and even silly. A generic solution, far more efficient than what I suggested here, called Non-Free Wiki, has been proposed on meta and had majority support, but there is no sign that it's likely to happen. Until then, we could do what I suggested and if the WMF doesn't like the extra file space being used, they might look again at NFW, because there are a huge number of files that have been uploaded directly to encyclopedias for fair use, and they are duplicated on hundreds of wikis. We would be small potatoes. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:30, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm not even sure that you're wrong but this is primarily a Commons problem. I've had a virtually identical conversation at en.voy within the past three months. Unfortunately, this comes up routinely and it seems like there should be 1.) some extra scrutiny at Commons for files which are being used on WMF projects and 2.) some kind of courtesy notice from a bot at Commons that alerts local wiki communities if a file in use at that community is set to be deleted. At en.wv, we can't control the former but we could at least make the latter and see if the Commons community can oblige us. Maybe it could be a standard to have a page like "foo:Community Portal/Commons alerts". —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:18, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
That idea is proposed at Meta:2017 Community Wishlist Survey/Bots and gadgets/Commons deletion notification bot by Doc James. I do agree that deletions from Wikimedia Commons should be discussed by the affected communities, and local copies are already allowed at many Wikimedia projects such as English Wikipedia so I would think that it's a good solution. --Donald Trung (discusscontribs) 12:06, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

Is This Wiki Underutilized?[edit]

I look at sites like Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and so forth; they are massive platforms.

Wikipedia is a huge encyclopedia. It benefits many.

This wiki exists to develop learning and teaching activities? And to publish and create research? Is my understanding correct?

It seems that if this wiki becomes huge and popular and contains copious amounts of content related to learning, teaching, and research, then this could really benefit humanity. Am I wrong?

Is this wiki experiencing linear or exponential growth?

If the amount of visitors this wiki has increases, does that mean that there will likely be more people to create material related to learning, teaching, and research?

Do individuals here have a vision as to what they might want this wiki to look like in 5, 10, or 20 years? What might that vision be? I hope these questions are useful to think about. I'd be curious to read your thoughts on this. Thanks! 🖖 Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 04:54, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

In a short answer: yes. I think your understanding is definitely correct but the problem is attracting a critical mass of editors who have something valuable to add. The growth at this site has been very incremental and small, unfortunately. I am not necessarily convinced that more editors will lead to more content nor that more content will be more quality. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:17, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: I am on Reddit frequently. There is a sub-Reddit called Theory of Reddit. It's interesting. Check it out maybe. In my estimation somewhere between 5% and 30% of content on Reddit might be related to research, teaching, and learning. So maybe as just a ballpark figure, maybe 10-15% of content on Reddit might be appropriate for this wiki, in theory? Reddit is massive and humongous. What if instead of posting to Reddit, users submitted that content under Creative Commons? That could benefit a lot of people potentially. Just some thoughts. Cheers. 🥦 Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 18:46, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf, Michael Ten: My focus is on college teaching, and I think two factors are inhibiting the growth of Wikipedia (and Wikibooks). The most severe is a disinclination on the part of the academic world to embrace the concept: Instructors, textbook writers, those who manage colleges and universities see no advantage to changing the status quo. When I mention to colleagues that textbooks, lesson plans, and even exams and study guides could be all provided under CC, they often bring up the impact this will have on employment. I believe (hope) that this can change, and I am seeing a growing interest, for example in the use of OpenStax textbooks (although the majority of instructors still have little interest in these materials.)
From my perspective, another problem with Wikipedia is that despite our best intentions, education is a competitive endeavor in which students compete for the best jobs and careers. This can be alleviated by the use of private wikis where students can write essays without seeing each other's efforts. That is why I am such a strong advocate of Miraheze, which uses wikitext in a way that would naturally permit the importation of student projects onto Wikiversity under CC-BY-SA. A year ago I introduced this node as a platform for students to write projects in an environment that minimizes plagiarism between competing students. Last Fall, I temporarily ceased this activity in response to a critical administrator. But after some thought, I realized that my status as a tenured professor should protect me in this. And, if the administrator continues to object, I would welcome public debate on this issue. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Guy vandegrift (talkcontribs) ) 21:39, 9 December 2017
  • My vision for Wikiversity would have there be a resource here (or a mechanism for quickly creating a resource) for every Wikipedia article, as a place to discuss and learn about the topic. As it is, people try to discuss article topics on a Wikipedia talk page, and are told they can't do that. I have never seen such a user be pointed to Wikiversity. There are sister wiki templates on Wikipedia, and they are used occasionally, but whenever an attempt has been made to point to a resource here from a battleground article on Wikipedia, the dominant faction there has removed it, claiming that Wikiversity resources are "self-published," which is highly misleading: that would forbid referring to other Wikipedia articles.
  • Nevertheless, this would drastically change the scale here. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:53, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • "people try to discuss ... on talk page, and are told they can't do that. I have never seen such a user be pointed to Wikiversity" — I did it (pointed them to WV) several times (and was not reverted). A link to WV from a WP talk page is OK as long as it is not an argument to change the WP article accordingly, but an advice to use WV (rather than WP) as a forum.
  • Moreover, a link to WV from a WP article is possible. "This option is rarely used, but here is a recent example: the Wikipedia article "w:Representation theory of the Lorentz group" contains (in the end of the lead, and again in Sect. 3.2 "Technical introduction to finite-dimensional representation theory") a link to Wikiversity article "Representation theory of the Lorentz group" (quoted from here).
  • Yes, WP articles are self-published. But! The WP principle "everyone can edit" is balanced with "verifiability" (="no original research"). Everyone can edit toward reliable sources (rather than toward his point of view). WV is not protected from cranks; this is the problem. Cranks are numerous and passionate. Several times I guessed that a problematic WP editor is not quite a crank, and I got into a long discussion with him, striving to understand, is it possible that I understand the matter very well and still cannot convinced him. Alas, all my attempts failed, see here.
  • Wikipedia's goal "to inform, but not teach, wide public" is definitely unattainable in mathematics, and maybe in hard sciences. You cannot inform wide public that "a continuous function on a closed interval is bounded" without teaching the meaning of these words in this context, with informal explanations of the intuition, examples etc. For now, mathematical articles on WP either violate the rules, or rightly revolt people; usually do both, as a compromise (quoted from here again). I like the idea of a "companion" to WP, as long as it is reasonably protected from cranks. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 06:22, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
One who reads Wikiversity should know and understand that content may not be neutral, it may represent opinion, and we do not delete content because it is unverified or unverifiable. (Wikipedia seeks neutrality in all encyclopedia pages, but there is also no guarantee of it, the structure doesn't create that.) However, if content at the top level in WV mainspace is not neutral, any user may address and fix this. We resolve content conflict by genuine consensus, normally. Wikiversity is neutral by inclusion, not exclusion. So it is far more like academia than an encyclopedia Anyone, no matter what their POV, may study a topic here, and write essays. Any user may move these to subpages with attribution. (If it is still problematic, it can often be moved to userspace, until and unless there is consensus for presentation in mainspace.) "Crank," in actual application, is a personal attack and an ad hominem argument against content. Bad idea. Arguing with cranks on Wikipedia is useless, and can get you blocked there (along with the crank, perhaps). On Wikiversity, it can actually create deeper content. It is rare that good-faith content is deleted here. Even if the author is a raging crank, as long as they avoid personal attacks, like calling other users "cranks." --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:38, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
I also responded to Tsirel on his user talk page. It may be of interest to some. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:19, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, I am not (yet?) an active user of Wikiversity, and I have only a slight idea of the rules here, but I do know about "neutral by inclusion, not exclusion" and all that. And for now I did not call "crank" any user of WV (and really I do not intend to do so), but I still think I can use this word generally (not personally). My main interest is, a "companion" to WP linked from WP articles and useful for students. WikiJournal could be used this way due to expertise of its authors, referees and editors. About WV (as of now) I doubt; you guess why, don't you? Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 19:08, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a giant Encyclopedia. Its Companion could be a giant Textbook. Content forking is needed, since different students need different explanations. Indeed, in the "real world" a lot of textbooks are available for every important subject. However, all textbooks are written by experts; and they seldom represent many conflicting points of view, at least in mathematics (about other disciplines I do not know). Likewise, the Companion could mostly describe a single mainstream point of view adapted to different students. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 20:01, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Textbooks are for Wikibooks. Wikiversity is for "educational resources" and "learning by doing." In academia, students write research papers. They learn to be experts by writing and discussion and research (only partly by "being taught." There are seminars and colloquia, etc.
I have found that experts are mostly reluctant to put in the work on wikis for free (in academic publication, the career effect is compensation, but that doesn't apply to wiki publication), but sometimes one can get them to comment. There are some exceptions. And some experts are cranks, wouldn't you agree? I agree with you that Wikiversity is not for what you call the Companion. Wikiversity might incubate it, though, but Wikiversity was an offshoot of Wikibooks. Some kind of publication imprimatur and nihil obstat from the Great Church of Scientism might be set up here or on Wikibooks using experts, but who gets to decide who the experts are? And is it the First Church or the Reformed Church? And then there is that nifty quote from Feynman. Did you know that I sat with him for two years in 1961-63, in the Feynman Lectures? I learned to think from him. And also to be very skeptical of stuffed shirts and imposed authority. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:41, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes... but I dream of a giant Textbook (call it WikiTextBook), a collection of units (call them resources, articles, sections, explanations, essays or whatever) such that
  • a unit is usually shorter than a book (otherwise it cannot be created wiki-wiki);
  • a unit is usually created by experts, or at least supervised (refereed, observed) by experts (otherwise it cannot be linked from Wikipedia) (and students expect textbooks to be professional) (WikiJournal may help).
It seems to me that Wikiversity and Wikibooks stay underutilized as long as they miss this mission. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 14:50, 11 December 2017 (UTC)