Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/March 2015

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Should we have our own inactive administrator policy?[edit source]

User:Rschen7754, a steward, came here on November 2014 to leave notices on inactive administrator's talk pages about their demotion if they do not respond within a month. Most of them are most likely demoted, but shouldn't we have our own policy about inactive administrators instead of having a steward come here and run that? Thanks. --atcovi (talk) 16:38, 4 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]

We only need our own policy if it were to differ from global policy. What differences do you propose? -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:45, 4 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
And that is a global policy? I thought there is a custom not to demote inactive admins and it is even written somewhere.--Juandev (discusscontribs) 04:08, 18 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Admin activity review on meta. "Inactivity" is defined as two years with no edits or logged actions. Stewards review periodically and if they find an admin with that condition, the process initiates. It then requires community action. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:19, 20 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
See meta:Requests for comment/Activity levels of advanced administrative rights holders. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:39, 18 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • I don't think we have a policy. We have never removed for inactivity. It was tried once, a disaster. However, if we don't establish a policy, stewards will follow the global policy. The global inactivity standard is very low, i.e., no edits or logged actions for two years. However, there is a problem. Once a user has been notified, the stewards may interpret the policy as requiring local consensus to keep the rights, even if the user responds. That can create a disruptive discussion.
  • It is clear that the intention is that local community wishes be followed. So we need to develop a policy on this. If rights happen to be removed while the local community wants to keep them, any bureaucrat may restore them. They are not claiming authority over Wikiversity. However, it would be much cleaner to have a policy. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:49, 18 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I think having a local policy would be preferable. (I'm one of the admins who had his rights removed.) The Jade Knight (d'viser) 06:41, 20 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
The stewards have always said that removal of rights is not a big deal because they may be restored by a 'crat. So, we have choices here:
  • Define a policy. It is likely, my opinion, that if we do define a policy, it will be stricter than the meta policy, not looser. Two years is a very long time with no activity at all. Such an admin will not be familiar with current community standards and practice. To make it clear, there are also arguments for keeping all administrators. Maybe, someday, they will make that crucial block of a vandal. Defining a policy will take some substantial discussion, site-notice. I don't recommend it.
  • Advise our crats to restore the admin bit for any admin desysopped for inactivity, on 'crat talk page request by the admin. In the absence of clear advice, any 'crat may use their discretion.
  • Suggest that a desysopped admin state a candidacy at Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship. Any permanent admin may then mentor, and a 'crat would set the bit. This would create the community review that the global community wants. If a sysop has received the notice but has not been desysopped, they may still create that candidacy page, and obtain a mentor, who would then notify the stewards of our community process, so that they do not desysop. If a sysop cannot obtain a mentor, for some reason, that could indicate some sort of problem. The community will decide.
Sorry if this bit you, Jade Knight, but doing something else for two years is not an offense, merely a possible cause of losing the bit, which doesn't mean all that much anyway. The real loss for us, was your absence, not anything to do with admin buttons. So welcome back! We are working on cleaning up the mess created from years of lack of overall organizational concepts, and we do this generally without deleting things, like a real custodian, who will put things in their place and who won't usually trash papers that he or she doesn't think are useful, unless maybe they are crumpled up on the floor.... All hands are useful, and one doesn't need admin privileges to work on this. One admin could handle all the deletion requests for this wiki in a few minutes, because we have made the process non-controversial. Usually. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:19, 20 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I feel like the proposed policy should be more strict than the Global One, what'd you say? -- (discuss) 20:51, 29 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Volcanoes, list[edit source]

I would like to take a great organization of our volcano resources: Volcanoes, list one step further if this meets with approval of the various contributors. The lecture/article Volcanoes already mentions several directly. Each of the volcanoes mentioned in the resource: Volcanoes, list can be extensive resources themselves about the geology and volcanology of each volcano with more images.

Here's my suggestions.

  1. For each individual volcano, for example, Volcanoes, list/Mount Vesuvius can be moved to Volcanoes/Mount Vesuvius.
  2. Volcanoes, list has geographic classifications of these volcanoes that can be resources of their own. For example, Volcanoes, list#Ring of fire would be great as Volcanoes/Ring of fire. As a separate resource, the planetology and volcanology of the ring of fire can be discussed.
  3. When I bring the resource Tephra layers online, it will involve chronologically significant volcanic eruptions. These volcanoes (each) can then be described as another subpage of volcanoes.
  4. Tephra layers could also be a subpage of volcanoes as Volcanoes/Tephra layers even though many of the oldest ones are not yet correlated with specific volcanoes.
  5. This may mean that the redirects to Volcanoes, list have to be changed and it may be better to have Volcanoes, list moved to Volcanoes/Geography or Volcanoes/Planetary science.

Suggestions, comments, criticisms welcome! What do you think? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 21:30, 24 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Works for me. Perhaps User:Pragmaticstatistic would be willing to add a Google Map of volcanoes as well. We should also set up redirects from Volcano and Volcanos to the project's main page. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 22:24, 24 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Structurally, I'd see the top level resource being Volcano (a resource about the phenomenon) Then there would be Volcano/List, with subpages with lists of volcanoes organized in various ways. There would be a master list of all volcanoes, by name. Under that list would be individual volcano studies. So .... Volcano/List/Vesuvius. Some lists might be simply category displays.
I think of a top-level resources as being a topic on which there might be a class in a university. Various resources used in the class are then organized under that, as subpages. There are, of course, cross-links where appropriate. Notice that the subpage link allows linking to a "sister subpage," that is, another subpage of the same page supra. Ultimately, Wikiversity resources may become Wikibooks, and the page structure described allows easy re-use and export and renaming of an entire structure, which, if made with care, will not require editing individual pages to avoid broken internal resource links. --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:25, 25 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
The reason why I never made a volcano specific Google Map is because one already exists. See the following map:
The map can be adapted by downloading it as a kml file and then importing the kml file into your own Google map and add to it and edit it. However, the map contains way to few volcanoes.
There are other volcano maps on Wikipedia, for example List of volcanoes in Costa Rica that have a box in the upper right corner for Google Maps that go to a map like this one below.
But if you check out the map you will see that the volcanoes are numbered rather than named and there is no content or link that goes to a page about that volcano. Also many of the placemarkers miss their target. This seems to me to be a situation where an automated procedure that took a spread sheet the Wiki list coordinates that had little involvement by a human to see if it hit its target. The links in the individual volcano placemarkers all go to the same list of volcanoes rather to content about the mountain. Wikipedia has lots of these and they seem to be set up for Wikipedia users to edit, but I do not know how they did it. Also, as you can see from this sample, no one ever participated in editing or contributing to it, and this map has been online for over two years that I am aware of. So all the concern about being able to edit my maps is totally unfounded since no one ever edited those on Wikipedia. Wikipedia only began doing this after I had placed several of my maps on their site and got into discussions with editors who wanted to edit my maps.
As for many of the maps I have made on, I obtained coordinates from Wikipedia lists on various subjects and created a better organization via a Google Map than the list. If Marshallsumter can assist in collecting the data, I am willing to assist with the project.
It might help me if we set up a Wikiversity Google Map account that can be accessed by a team of collaborators because already having 160 Google Maps for MyReadingMapped might limit making maps for my needs. I have no idea how many more maps Google will allow me to make using my account. If someone from Wikiversity can contact Heather Folsom, product manager at Google MyMap at maybe we can set this up so that I can help without affecting my account. She and I have a rocky relationship because I criticized the MyMap rollout on my blog when their upgrade on my maps nearly destroyed my web site and maps and then I ended up assisting her with their problems when she contacted me. Pragmaticstatistic (discusscontribs) 01:57, 25 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Wikipedia prohibits role accounts, like what you have suggested. We might consider one, but I don't see the need, and it creates security risks.
  • Nobody officially represents Wikiversity, to make a request like that. Any user may assist you, and I assume that any user may do what you have done with Google. If Google Maps are being used here, it might help. I highly recommend that you avoid irritating the Google person! Help, yes, constructive criticism, okay, complaint, not so good, anger, almost guaranteed to cause problems with anyone.
  • Wikipedia may have problems with original research, but we won't. (Notice, a problem will exist if someone thinks that a map is original research. Even if you think it's just a compilation of data from reliable sources, like a wiki article.) There also may be problems with many off-wiki links. (There, for sure, here, it's possible.) Just be nice, if any problems come up. Ask for assistance, don't thrash about. Good luck! --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:14, 25 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
If Marshallsumter wants me to assist, please have him contact me so I understand criteria he is seeking. However, I would rather collaborate by email rather than via these public talk pages. As for getting upset with Google, I helped them by showing them all the things they got wrong that caused errors in 160 maps and 250 pages on my site due to their MyMaps upgrade, and I assisted by offering solutions. What I got for helping is another round of errors that required correcting. The 2 month correction process cut my web site visitors in half.--Pragmaticstatistic (discusscontribs) 19:11, 25 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Regarding 'I would rather collaborate by email rather than via these public talk pages.', please note that a wiki is public collaboration. It doesn't work to just communicate privately with a single contributor, because it isn't a single contributor's project. The project belongs to everyone, which is why Marshallsumter asked here before embarking on restructuring it. If you'd like to contribute, please work with all of us to do so. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 22:18, 25 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I'll try it, but I would prefer to do it on a page solely devoted to the project. Not here. Please have someone contact me.-- (discuss) 21:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]

I recommend using Talk:Volcanoes to continue the discussion. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 22:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]

I would like to try to conclude this discussion with some observations about naming Wikiversity resources in competition with Wikipedia for hits, when the hit counter comes back on line. Here are some examples from the Volcanoes Discuss page and some extras in hits per month:
  1. Resource title - Wikiversity: Astronomy, hits per month 368, Wikipedia: Astronomy, 58,120.
  2. Radiation astronomy, 2,123, Wikipedia Radiation astronomy, zero, no such title.
  3. Dominant group and subpages, for 2014: 93,361, Wikipedia Dominant group, zero, no such title.
  4. Motivation and emotion and subpages, for 2014: 416,127, Wikipedia Motivation and emotion, zero, no such title.
  5. X-ray astronomy: Wikiversity - 193, X-ray astronomy: Wikipedia - 3,315.
  6. Astrophysics: Wikiversity - 165, Astrophysics: Wikipedia - 27,988.
  7. Mathematical astronomy: Wikiversity - 749, Mathematical astronomy: Wikipedia - 0, entry does not exist.
  8. Radiation detectors: Wikiversity - 764, Radiation detectors: Wikipedia - 0, entry does not exist.

While this is probably not statistically significant and Motivation and emotion is a course with a large number of subpages, a definite advantage of Wikiversity over Wikipedia in attracting readers or scanners at the least, it appears to be the case that the more unique a resource title is to Wikiversity vs. Wikipedia the greater the number of hits per month.

For resource titles such as Volcano vs. Volcanoes this may be insignificant because Volcanoes just redirects to Volcano on Wikipedia so having either one or both may not bring in many readers or contributors, but having both allows us greater flexibility for more informative content. Volcanic activity might be great here as well, but Volcanic activity on Wikipedia redirects to Volcano. An advantage of having Volcanic activity as a top level resource and Volcano as a subpage is the apparent greater generality. On the other hand, potential readers may search Volcano more often than Volcanic activity. Either one is fine with me.

With respect to lists, I have a tendency to put lists under lists, e.g., Volcano/List as a master list of volcanoes, where Volcano/Lists or Volcanoes/Lists is a list of lists. If there are no objections to Volcano as the top resource with all other resources as subpages, even Volcanoes moved to Volcano/Volcanoes or Volcano/Volcanic activity, then I'll start doing this. Further suggestions, comments, or criticisms are welcome! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 18:39, 12 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

I appreciate this analysis and observations. I personally think of Wikiversity resources as learning projects. Wikipedia has a long-standing policy of singular titles for encyclopedia entries. Wikiversity titles translate better as courses or lessons. I'm unlikely to sign up for a course on Volcano or even complete a lesson on Volcano. A course would certainly cover the plural, and a generic lesson on the subject would as well. Only specific lessons on a particular named volcano are likely to use a singular name. Therefore, I would create Volcano as a redirect and use Volcanoes as the learning project title. If we have a learning project on Volcanoes, having a list of them as a subpage would be a great addition, unless the list is made part of the main page and individual volcanoes become subpages as they are researched. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 18:55, 12 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Searching musicians[edit source]


I'm a regular contributor of the french version of Wikiversity. Since a few months, I try to write some music lessons, especially for jazz improvisation :

I would like to know if there is here musicians who are interested in the same way and I hope to begin a collaboration with some others jazz-players, ideas exchange, bit of scores, tips, etc.

You can answer here or on my own page of discussion :

Thanks a lot.


PS Please excuse me for my poor english...

csc in trigonometry?[edit source]

Hi ,

When I was editing the Trignomentry project , I stumbled on an odd issue. What is csc? To me , it is cosec. This is the first time I have seen this ratio being used. Here , csc is unrecognised. We always use cosec(1/sin) instead.

Now , when I was replacing instances of csc with cosec , I got parsing errors. It looked like this:-
Failed to parse (unknown function "\cosec"): \sec(90-\theta)=\cosec\theta

Failed to parse (unknown function "\cosec"): {\displaystyle \sec(90-\theta)=\cosec\theta} .
It seems that the parser does not recognise cosec.
Can someone enable cosec for this type? Or , explain what could I do instead? Should I use /operatorname instead? --Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 18:04, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Hope this helps. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 01:51, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
That's what is already specified. But I want to change csc to cosec(see above). How? It breaks if I try to do so.--Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 02:57, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
You can check Math markup language for alternatives but I think it only handles cosecant as csc rather than cosec or cosecant, for formula or equation evaluation. For entries only you could just write:
--Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 04:52, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Tables of OLMS (US government) data suitable for project?[edit source]

It was suggested that I use Wikiversity for my project, but by someone who isn't a Wikiversity editor. The project is for the most part simply collecting data from the US Office of Labor-Management Standards on unions, including membership and financial data, graphing it, and preparing it for charts on respective Wikipedia articles. Essentially, most of the content would simply be tables, paired with basic instructions on keeping them updated. The data is primarily intended not to be interpretive, aside from very rare and obvious corrections.

My main motivation for this project is that I have a folder full of spreadsheets that I'd like to divorse myself of. :) However it's also a question of maintainability if I'm the only one with the prepared intermediary data. Alternately, if anyone knows a superior way to collect this information online in a Wikipedian-friendly manner, please let me know. Djr13 (discusscontribs) 04:14, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Welcome! Interpretive isn't an issue here. We accept original research, as long is it is indicated as such. But it doesn't sound like that's a primary concern for your project.
I see three possibilities. One would be to upload the content directly to Commons. If Commons won't accept it, the files could be uploaded here and tagged as Fair Use (if need be). A third option would be to use Wikidata. Wikidata may be the best choice for the data itself, and then a learning project could be established here for any analysis or summaries you'd like to have. But I say that never having created any Wikidata myself, so i'm not sure how that will work.
The only real caution I have for you is to make sure that any content developed here will be welcomed back at Wikipedia once you're done. Some Wikipedia editors discourage the use of Wikiversity as a source. They tend to be more willing to link here using the Wikiversity template than to use content there from here. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:21, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I wouldn't be able to upload the spreadsheets as files here or on Commons. Copyright is not a concern though, it's all public domain. I don't think Wikidata can hold arbitrary statistics, only relations, but I could be wrong.
The project would merely be an intermediary, basically a place to stick data pulled from the OLMS database, and organize it so that it can be maintained and subsequently fed into charts. I suppose this might be considered a Collection(?), and any references to it would be supplemental to the direct citation of the OLMS data. The OLMS data is pretty much a primary source, but it's usually the only source of certain vital information and is legally submitted to a government body under threat of perjury. Djr13 (discusscontribs) 06:46, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
It sounds like you know exactly what you want / need. Be bold. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:14, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

[Global proposal] (all) Edit pages[edit source]

MediaWiki mobile

Hi, this message is to let you know that, on domains like, unregistered users cannot edit. At the Wikimedia Forum, where global configuration changes are normally discussed, a few dozens users propose to restore normal editing permissions on all mobile sites. Please read and comment!

Thanks and sorry for writing in English, Nemo 22:32, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Linking to beta projects[edit source]

The Dutch wikipedia has a new starting page ( At the bottum of the page you can find links to the sisterprojects. For wikiversity there's a link to the English wikiversity because the Dutch is still in beta. I tried to convince the Wikipedia community to make a link the Dutch version. Unfortunately without success. Can I do something? Because in this situation it will be more harder to get the Dutch wikiversity out of beta. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 21:09, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Inspire Campaign: Improving diversity, improving content[edit source]

This March, we’re organizing an Inspire Campaign to encourage and support new ideas for improving gender diversity on Wikimedia projects. Less than 20% of Wikimedia contributors are women, and many important topics are still missing in our content. We invite all Wikimedians to participate. If you have an idea that could help address this problem, please get involved today! The campaign runs until March 31.

All proposals are welcome - research projects, technical solutions, community organizing and outreach initiatives, or something completely new! Funding is available from the Wikimedia Foundation for projects that need financial support. Constructive, positive feedback on ideas is appreciated, and collaboration is encouraged - your skills and experience may help bring someone else’s project to life. Join us at the Inspire Campaign and help this project better represent the world’s knowledge! MediaWiki message delivery (discusscontribs) 19:22, 5 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Music and dance department(s)[edit source]

Hi !

There is something strange with the music and dance department. We have 3 differents pages now :

OK with that.

But there is another page :

So, what is the right page for Dance department ?


--Thierry613 (discusscontribs) 21:31, 6 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Departments are in the Topic: namespace. School:Dance should have been Topic:Dance. It started that way, but someone moved it. I just moved it back. Go ahead and clean up both School:Music and Dance and Topic:Dance as necessary. Thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:03, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks a lot ! --Thierry613 (discusscontribs) 03:29, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Aw, gee, I'd have thought a Department belonged in a School. But the whole organization of Schools and Topics wasn't well-developed. I'd have thought that Topics would be areas of interest, much less formal than Schools. A Department indicates a group of people organized for some purpose. Schools are that on a larger scale.
As long as resources keep moving toward better organization, it is okay if they are not uniform. Until we have an overall organizational structure, we will just keep getting more organized, in fits and starts. Gradually, scattered resources are being pulled together.
Mostly, I have ignored Schools and Topics -- and Portals, we have them, too. I've just worked on resources. Thanks. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:28, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
It's ok with me. I'm new here (and, worse, I'm french... :-) ) and I'm not yet comfortable with schools, divisions, departments, topics, portals, and other stuff. I have tried to re-organize a little bit the School of Music and Dance which seemed to me to be a little bit confused, but I think I have to practice... --Thierry613 (discusscontribs) 22:50, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

SUL finalization update[edit source]

Hi all, please read this page for important information and an update involving SUL finalization, scheduled to take place in one month. Thanks. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 19:45, 13 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Resources favored by women[edit source]

To contribute to the Inspire Campaign, I have submitted an idea at this website and a proposal to the WMF (see full idea). It is entitled, "Resources favored by women". The proposal seeks ideas for resources to be added to Wikiversity to encourage contribution to and creation of further learning resources. Suggestions, comments, and criticisms are most welcome! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 19:35, 14 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Starting an new project/course called All Connections[edit source]

Hi guys,

I am a newcomer. I come here from AdministrativeAssistance#All Connections on Wikibooks:Readingroom.

I have been guided by Pi zero. I am just an old Wikipedia editor, never being an administrator there, just a regular small editor.

Here is and excerpt from what I wrote there, and there reason I am here.

I have started a Quora blog one year ago, where the project got some interest there. AllConnections on Quora.

The most important to read is this: We write a book.

It would be a book about connections that I would write it by myself, but the book gets so massive that I need external help.

I create my own wiki at but it had been attacked by a spam bot from a server in Moscow.

I have one collaborator. He will help me starting and organizing the pages. I will be the peron that brings the content. I expect a third persons or other person to be able to organize the material better than me and our collaborators. If not, the course will keep it's original structure.

Cheers, TudorTulok (discusscontribs) 22:17, 15 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

P.S. I am waiting from you, if you have any start up tips regarding my course. What things I should avoid. I read some of the Wikiversity rules, but some of you with more experience might give me some useful tips before I start. Thank you!

Subcategory naming conventions[edit source]

I want to verify this is consistent with our conventions:

I understand that our naming convention calls for subcategories like (a) Category:Engineering thermodynamics instead of (b)Category:Engineering/Thermodynamics. That created a problem when I wanted to put a lot of data-type pages into a sub-sub category. Note the two ways of creating sub-categories. In (a) the category is a proper category that becomes a subcategory only after declaring it with a statement; in (b) we import the Wikipedia way of using subpages into the category structure.

I needed a "data" category for several pages intended to help students verify the Steam Tables. These pages will give students the opportunit to do useful research as we gauge the accuracy of Wikiversity's Steam Tables. Once the various pages have been used in this way, they will become almost useless. I needed a way for us to keep track of all these data pages.

My solution was to adopt the more conventional (a) method and with Category:Engineering thermodynamics declared as a subcategory of Category:Engineering, but to adopt the (b) method for the more obscure data: Category/Engineering data/Steam tables Is this OK?

I might add that we don't need to worry too much about organization. Wikipedia and commons are both very disorganized, yet both highly successful. On both systems I just use Google, employing one of many methods to restrict the Google search to a wiki-sister. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 16:16, 21 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

YesY Done Everything is explained on the "main" category page Category:Engineering data

Subpages/List[edit source]

I've modified the {{Subpages/List}} template to hide redirects and strip prefixes (show subpage name only, not full title). In most usages this seems to be a better display than listing the full title and redirects. If anyone objects, let me know and I will revert and figure out how to add these as template options instead. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:32, 23 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]