Grants:IEG/Medicine Translation Project Community Organizing/Renewal/Midpoint

Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learnings from the Individual Engagement Grantee's first 3 months.


In a few short sentences or bullet points, give the main highlights of what happened with your project so far.

We had great success in our content goals, providing more translations by 3 months than what we had anticipated for the entire 6 month period of the IEG. We've ramped up our collaboration with Rubric and have started some potential collaboration with the UN GlobalGoals campaign. At the same time we've has some of our best coordinators and collaborators from Translators without Borders leaving us, creating a time-sucking hole for work that needs to be done to keep the project afloat. Much of this will be alleviated once the planned bot goes live, but for the time being it is a major issue that requires focus to keep things running.

               Full                   Simplified     
Year started 2011 2013
Article goal # 100 1000
Articles ready
for translation
33 224 Nov '15
Language goal # 50 100
Translations live 630 706 Nov '15
FA/GA translations 65 12 Oct '15
Translations needing integration Done 4 Oct '15

Methods and activitiesEdit

How have you setup your project, and what work has been completed so far?

  • I've continued pretty much in the same manner as the previous IEG period. The current goals are long-term and I've focused my efforts towards helping our new collaborations run smoothly so that we don't lose the enthusiams of our new partners.
  • The botspecs have been developed and are ready to find their way to a programmer: Botspecs

Midpoint outcomesEdit

What are the results of your project or any experiments you’ve worked on so far?

Please discuss anything you have created or changed (organized, built, grown, etc) as a result of your project to date.

  • 372 new translations live!
    123% of final goal 136% of final goal
As of October 1 we have 372 new translations live on various Wikipedias.
As for November 1 we have 412 new translations live on various Wikipedias. Our December goal was 300 translations. This was blitzed much owing to our new collaborations with Rubric which has really ramped up significantly.


Please take some time to update the table in your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed all approved and actual expenditures as instructed. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided there to explain them.

Updated to mid-term report on Oct 22, 2015
Expense Approved amount Actual funds spent Difference
Community coordinator $13,500 $6750 $6750
Programming $1,000 0 $1,000
Promotional merchandise and other expenses $850 $218 $632
Total $15,350 USD $6968 $8382

Then, answer the following question here: Have you spent your funds according to plan so far? Please briefly describe any major changes to budget or expenditures that you anticipate for the second half of your project.

Note: the programming budget has not yet been touched because we are still looking for a programmer.
Promotional/other expenses; funds are still available and will primarily be used at the NIH-conferance.


The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you are taking enough risks to learn something really interesting! Please use the below sections to describe what is working and what you plan to change for the second half of your project.

What are the challengesEdit

What challenges or obstacles have you encountered? What will you do differently going forward? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Loss of major contributors
This is currently the major effort. Our TwB coordinators who've been doing more work than we could imagine have left us, both for personal and work-related reasons. AS they left us far earlier than we'd anticipated keeping the project afloat and making sure things don't fall apart have been our major goals. I've spent time looking into how we can move these issues to on-wiki volunteers, and concluded that getting out the bot and getting it to update the tables is a priority.
  • Keeping community interest
One of the major issues that decrease participation is when editors find that their work is neither aknowledged or seen. One of the big reasons we've been able to increase the number of translations is that we've decreased integration times (only 4 articles left for integration September 2015).
  • Balancing editor retention/long-term goals
A major factor in the success we've seen the past months is that Rubric has been ramping up their contributions to the project. To keep them engaged a lot of effort has been expended to making sure things work for them. This has to be balanced against getting the long-term goals of the project running such as proper tracking of templates and getting a bot out so that we can automate the tiresome parts of the project.

What is working wellEdit

What have you found works best so far? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

After donating a large number of translations on Ebola in 2014 we've continued the collaboration with more topics translated into African and Indian languages

The following points are a collection of new work and continuation of work from last year, where we are seeing results by following the guidelines and scope we set last year.

  • New collaborations
    Once potential partners get what our project is about we almost always see immidiate enthusiasm. Translating this into long-term action is difficult, but immensely rewarding. These past 3 months have seen succes in this field, and we've been able to provide important new content in African and Indian languages. Just some short examples from the past months:
    The following articles are available in 14 different languages:
        Hepatitis A
        Pit latrine
  • Focusing on underserved communities
    Last year we made a major change to our translation approach. Instead of working with a few large communities with a few, very detailed, articles we decided to work shorter articles, but far more of them. This resulted in increasing amounts of participations because volunteering with a translation or donating on became a much more reasonable request. Full article translations still exist upon express request and where we know there is a sufficient number of volunteer translators.
  • New integration policy
    Focusing on communities and languages where we users are happy to accept content helps us keep focus. In the short run it might mean that we provide less content in Dutch and Polish, but in the long run we reach far more potential readers, and spend less time on unproductive community debates.

Next steps and opportunitiesEdit

What are the next steps and opportunities you’ll be focusing on for the second half of your project? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Getting more partners
In November I will be heading to Washington DC for the Wikimedia DC - Wikipedia Medicine conferance where I hope to meetup with a number of enthusiastic Wikipedians as well as representatives from a number of federal agencies. Many of these work with providing translated content into many languages, and any collaboration is going to be a huge boon to the project.
University College London is running a medical translathon on November 30th which I plan to attend to talk and help out. I hope promoting the project among the medical community there as well as anyone present for the translations can attract new faces to our project.
  • Programming
With proper documentation and cases for the programmers to see we can hopefully get a knowledgable. Once the first alpha gets up and running we will need to focus on bug-testing and test-cases. Once the bot is fully operational we need to gauge community use and interest.
  • Blogging
With the project as mature as it is we want to spread the word as far as we can, to new communities. Therefore I want to blog about it, and I will together with some others write about it for the Wikimedia blog, as writing for a couple of other blogs.

Grantee reflectionEdit

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how the experience of being an IEGrantee has been so far. What is one thing that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed from the past 3 months?

The project is just as fun working on during this second IEG-period as it was the first. I often find I have to take time and look at the things I've done to really appreciate the fruit of our labors, and focusing on the bot and running smooth collaborations helps me do that becuase I can see the result of the work of others while still contributing.

Losing parts of our TwB team hurts, but it is awesome to see that we've still been able to run and provide translations at a good pace. By not only using one translation provider we've increased our redundancy and hopefully we can continue doing this and pick up the same pace at TwB as we've had.