The following section discusses details of the implementation of the Research Namespace.
Choosing which pages belong in research space
The creation of researchspace will create situations where it is debatable whether a given page belongs. While such ambiguity is normal on wikis, a few guidelines might simplify matters. If placement of a page in research-space is under consideration, the alternative is almost certainly placement as a subpage of a mainspace resource devoted to teaching. New pages in mainspace need to be designed with this question in mind. The following questions should be asked as new resources are being constructed:
- Will the added page be useful to others who will be initiating other parallel efforts? For example, if an alternative method for performing a given science lab would make it more accessible to a school with limited resources, then it might belong as a subpage of the mainspace resource.
- Are the ideas presented in the proposed resource either controversial or too advanced for most students to follow? If so, the page belongs in research space.
- Are there likely to be many subpages associated with a given topic? If so, it might be best to place them in research space so as to not pollute mainspace with a large number of parallel pages.
- The most fundamental question is simple but subjective: Will a typical student of this subject find this page useful? If so, it belongs in mainspace, and if not, it belongs in research space.
Example: How to meditate
A collection of mantras available as spoken audio files on commons appears at Special:Permalink/1561914#Wikimedia_sound_files. In the future, editors might wish to write instructions on how to use them in meditation. The question of whether or not to place such instructions into a supspace or in research space requires that the following question be asked:
- Are there only a few meditation methods that the expert agree upon?
If the answer is "yes", then each method could have it's own subpage in mainspace, and the editors will attempt to convey the consensus expert opinion(s). But if one takes the position that anybody can devise a method for meditating, or if a large number of such pages are anticipated, then such pages should be categorized as research and created as subpages of a page in research-space with a title such as Research:Mantra meditation methods. This example illustrates the fundamentally ambiguous nature of the problem. The creators of the Meditation page might believe that there are only a few "standard" ways to meditate and plan for those methods to be described in subpages of mainspace. But they might later discover that a plethora of "teachers" wish to present their methods. To reduce the stress-level associated with debates like this, it is important that an effort be made to have a significant fraction of the pages in research space be true research and of high quality. Research-space must not be used as a dumping ground for fringe research.