Grants talk:IdeaLab/Empowering Book Authors to Contribute

Latest comment: 7 years ago by Ruslik0 in topic Comments by Ruslik0

Reminder: Project Grant Application Deadline is Aug. 2nd


@Culturalresearch: please note that the deadline for the first round of Project Grants is August 2nd. If you'd like to be considered in this round, please update the status on your grant from "draft" to "proposed". Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 04:48, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Thanks Alex, I cannot find any command or way to do this change, do you know how to do it? Thanks a lot--Culturalresearch (talk) 08:47, 2 August 2016 (UTC) Alex Wang (WMF) (talk)Reply
@Culturalresearch: you can change the status under the "edit source" tab. In the third section from the top, there is a line that says "status". Change it from "draft" to "proposed". Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 18:22, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

@ Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) Thanks Alex, I could see it only now and did it right now (03 August, 17.21 european time). I had a health problem yesterday and could not do it earlier. Maybe it's too late or the change will not be considered, however I hope this will be take into account for further deadlines. Thanks again, sincerely --Culturalresearch (talk) 15:22, 3 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Questions on the proposed grant


Questions by Joalpe


@Culturalresearch:, thank you for submitting a project grant application. I am writing to ask some questions, that will hopefully provide a better assessment of what you intend to do.

  • Evidences
    • Could you please provide evidences that support the claim that there is a bias on Wikipedia against book authors?
    • Could you please provide evidences that support the claim that there was a bias against positive posts of yours because you were referring to a book you wrote? On a side note, as you certainly know, there are well established rules on Wikipedia on self-promotion, with a specific topic on citing oneself. I am not 100% sure how your proposal would contribute to further ground and promote these specific rules.
  • Goals
    • Could you please define what you call "real specialists"?
    • As you know, Wikipedia is grounded a volunteer, collaborative community. To foster this community is as important as improving content quality and quantity. How do you expect your proposal to have an positive impact on fostering this collaborative community?
  • Measures of success
    • How do you expect to be sure you are identifying book authors within the global community of editors?
    • This section of your proposal does not seem to bring any metric for measuring any achievement of your proposal. What are you thinking of?
  • Budget
    • Could you please specify how each expected activity listed on your budget section will contribute to the proposal goal and the Wikimedia strategic goals?
    • I am especially concerned with what you have called "Editing". How would this differ from "paid edit"?

As a general comment, wouldn't the goals of your proposal be achieved, at least partially, with a voluntary contribution of yours and other editors on preparing an informal set of guidelines that book authors or anyone who is considering referring to oneself on a Wikipedia entry could turn to? --Joalpe (talk) 13:45, 13 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Questions by NickK


Hi @Culturalresearch: and thank you for your proposal.

First of all, I have some experience working with book authors, thus I have to say that this has a huge potential but is not an easy job. From my experience, authors of reference books (e.g. encyclopaedias) have high chances of becoming very good wikipedians as they already know how an encyclopaedia works and how to interact with diverse contributors. Still, they often have troubles understanding the technical side of the project. On the other hand, authors of research books have most challenges becoming contributors as they are often not used to writing together with people with opposite points of view, thus one has to explain them the cultural side of the project. Thus please keep in mind that book authors may have very heterogeneous needs.

Then, I have a few questions to understand your approach:

  • You want to build a team of "Book Writers Scouting". Can you please specify what this team should look like, e.g. how many members, of which backgrounds etc.?
  • You intend to run training sessions. How many sessions do you intend to organise? In which countries and in which languages? Who will run these sessions (preferrably names, but you can just provide expected backgrounds if you have no names) and what will be on the agenda?
  • You state intend to spent 3000 USD "Preparing and presenting results to Wikimedia top management". I would like to know what is behind this line: reporting on grants is done on wiki in the very same way as you made a submission, thus there is no need to make additional line on this. In addition, documenting and reporting progress is a part of project manager responsibilities, thus I would suggest giving this task to the project manager, already budgeted in your grant.

Finally, I would like to second Joalpe's question regarding measures of success. Please make sure to provide figures of expected result before your request is considered, as we need to know what you expect to achieve (e.g. how many book authors you expect to enroll: will it be 10, 100 or 10.000?) It is not a big issue if your final result is slightly worse, but please provide at least approximate numbers so that we can measure if your project is feasible.

Please do not hesitate to ask me if anything is not clear enough. Thanks — NickK (talk) 17:06, 17 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Eligibility confirmed, round 1 2016


This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 1 2016 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 1 2016 begins on 24 August 2016, and grants will be announced in October. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 17:58, 23 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Comments by Ruslik0

  • Book authors are often experts in their field but not always. In reality the significant proportion of books (mainly self published) are just crap. From the proposal it is not clear how good books will be separated from bad ones.
  • The proposal lacks specific projects goals. The project plan and budget look incomplete. The duration of the projects is not specified.
  • No effort have been made to communicate the proposal to its target audience - project administrators. I much doubt that local administrators will be willing to participate in it taking into account that there are no endorsements.
  • The proposal needs a lot of more work before it can be seriously considered for funding.

Ruslik (talk) 11:57, 28 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Empowering Book Authors to Contribute

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • The proposal aims to address a target audience that has typically been underrepresented on the Wikimedia projects, and has the potential to result in significant content improvement, but the lack of detail in the proposal makes a specific evaluation of potential impact difficult or impossible.
  • There are a few ways to be adapted in other wikibooks editions, but it depends on their experience.
  • Encouraging book authors to contribute to the Wikimedia projects is a worthwhile goal in itself but only for good authors of good books. This important distinction needs to be made clear to increase the potential of the project.
  • The proposal is based on an assumption that there might be a bias against book authors on Wikipedia (which language Wikipedia?), though no evidence is provided. Evidence was requested on the talk page but no answer was provided. This discussion process with the community and the committee is of real importance for improving the proposal.
  • The proposal is quite interesting and can develop into something bigger if it is setup correctly. However, the proposal looks unfinished. The potential impact is unclear because of the lack of clear objectives and impact measurements.
  • The project can generate significant impact if it manages to convert book authors into successful content editors. However, there is no definition of who are the book authors in question: it will be very impactful if it concerns authors of reference books, but it will have a more negative impact if it will involve original research books.
  • There are clear metrics to be measured, but the main activities are not developed: we need the activities to see if the metrics are linked.
  • The proposed approach is innovative and could potentially result in significant impact. However, the lack of a clear implementation plan poses a significant risk to the success of the project; it is unclear how the proposed approach will actually be executed.
  • A strong aspect of the proposal is the concern of improving content on Wikipedias and providing eventually better policies for citing oneself. It is not clear, however, how the proposal would actually tackle this issue.
  • The lack of a sustainability plan is a big concern. The proposer does not establish a mechanism to deal with Conflict of Interest generated by authors writing about something they know a lot.
  • Unlikely to provide significant learning as this is an undeveloped plan.
  • The proposed budget lacks detail, and it is unclear how the participants plan to execute the project and whether they have the qualifications to do so effectively.
  • I would like to better understand the grantees experience working with book authors.
  • Given the historical controversy regarding participation by authors on Wikipedia, community engagement is critical to the success of the project. Unfortunately, I do not see evidence of community community engagement.
  • The lack of endorsements and answers to talk page questions might be a signal that this project is not backed by the community.
  • We should encourage more experts and professionals like scientists and doctors (like Wiki Med project) to take part in Wikipedia regardless of whether they are a book author or not.
  • I would like to see that there is demonstrated community interest and need for this type of project.

This project has not been selected for a Project Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding. This was a very competitive round with many good ideas, not all of which could be funded in spite of many merits. We appreciate your participation, and we hope you'll continue to stay engaged in the Wikimedia context.

Next steps: Applicants whose proposals are declined are welcome to consider resubmitting your application again in the future. You are welcome to request a consultation with staff to review any concerns with your proposal that contributed to a decline decision, and help you determine whether resubmission makes sense for your proposal.

Over the last year, the Wikimedia Foundation has been undergoing a community consultation process to launch a new grants strategy. Our proposed programs are posted on Meta here: Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-2021. If you have suggestions about how we can improve our programs in the future, you can find information about how to give feedback here: Get involved. We are also currently seeking candidates to serve on regional grants committees and we'd appreciate it if you could help us spread the word to strong candidates--you can find out more here. We will launch our new programs in July 2021. If you are interested in submitting future proposals for funding, stay tuned to learn more about our future programs.
Return to "IdeaLab/Empowering Book Authors to Contribute" page.