Requests for comment/Sister Projects Committee

This is a subpage; for more information, see the Requests for comments page.

I propose establishing the Sister Projects Committee, a body to review requests for creating, significantly modifying, and closing Wikimedia projects. Reporting to the Global Council, the Committee supports contributors interested in its mandate.

There is currently a lack of processes to guide proposals for new Wikimedia projects. Discussions often happen on an ad-hoc basis, and the nonexistence of clear policy regarding the matter leads many to be confused. Creating the Committee would eliminate this makeshift system.

Thank you for your consideration. Frostly (talk) 13:28, 30 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Charter edit

Mandate edit

  1. Review requests to create, significantly modify, and close Wikimedia multilingual projects.
    1. Examples of significant modifications include merging, splitting, adopting, and changing the logo of projects.
    2. Multilingual projects are those that do not have a specifically-defined language for content, as well as entire wiki families.
      1. Examples of "not multilingual":,
      2. Examples of "multilingual":,, the Wikibooks project.
  2. Provide community members with support regarding its mandate.
    1. Deliver feedback for improving proposals.
    2. Contribute guidance on options for incubating projects (e.g. Wikispore).
    3. Facilitate consultation of technical needs with the Technology Council.
    4. Ensure the wide distribution of proposals through venues such as CentralNotice, local Village Pumps and mailing lists.
  3. Develop implementation plans for approved sister projects.
    1. Liaise with the Technology Council in tasks such as reserving relevant domain names.
  4. Publish an Annual Report and regularly document its operations publicly.

Authority edit

  1. The Sister Projects Committee reports to the Global Council.
    1. Its decisions may be vetoed by the Council. However, the Council may not decide in issues within its mandate without previously consulting the Sister Projects Committee, unless the Committee lacks quorum.

Composition edit

  1. The Committee is comprised of eight voting members (including one Chair and one Vice-Chair), two observers, and one Global Council liaison.
    1. Until the Global Council is established, the Committee is to have one Board of Trustees liaison.
    2. The Committee may appoint additional liaisons as appropriate.
  2. The Chair breaks ties among Committee members.
  3. The Vice-Chair assumes the role of the Chair in their absence.
  4. The Chair and Vice-Chair are to be selected through a majority vote of Committee members.

Quorum edit

  1. Quorum is set at five members.
  2. In the absence of quorum, the Global Council has jurisdiction over the Committee's mandate.

Appointment edit

  1. Members of the Committee serve for a term of two years.
  2. Members may serve for a maximum of three consecutive terms.
  3. The Global Council issues a call for nominations:
    1. at the expiration of a term, and
    2. upon the resignation of a member.
  4. The Global Council appoints Committee members.

Amendment edit

  1. This Charter may be amended through community consensus.

Discussion edit

Would still be interested in being involved. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:13, 30 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Hi, thanks for pushing on this. There are related conversations happening around Wikimania. What might the work queue look like, given the current set of open requests? What issues should be resolved first? –SJ talk  15:35, 30 July 2023 (UTC) (more keen to help triage and make concrete proposals than to play a round of nomic!)[reply]

I'm still interested. Regarding Sj's comments, I think the first step is to work on resolving outstanding new project requests. Both Wikispore and WikiJournal's new sister project proposals have been open since 2019. It's not reasonable to delay them any longer (imagine if an RfC, RfD or RfA is open for 3+ years without closing!) OhanaUnitedTalk page 20:52, 30 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I definitely agree with Sj in that it's important to establish priorities. I think that Wikijournal and Wikispore are the most mature projects ready for a next step. Following with Wikifunctions' precedent, Wikijournal and Wikispore should have wikis on the Beta Cluster created. Frostly (talk) 03:25, 31 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Wikispore is already running on the WM Labs, and it seems a natural place to start incubating other projects that don't already have a host. Perhaps this discussion can continue there? @Pharos: wdyt? WikiJournal is a good example of a project with a happy home and process, using an existing wiki, and now has its own affiliate support, the question is what the ideal final form is (separate domain? separate tooling?) We should ask the active editors to update the proposal on what they need. –SJ talk  12:14, 31 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Currently it is being proposed that the possibly-to-be-introduced Global Council should decide on new sister projects: see Movement_Charter/Content/Global_Council#Approving_new_sister_projects_-_requires_sign-off. Maybe it's best to get into the discussions there? --MF-W 16:10, 14 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

The Global Council section draft notes that it'd likely be changed in the event of a separate Sister Projects Committee existing. I think that splitting this part off would decrease the workload on the GC. Frostly (talk) 01:12, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Just to note that Wikimedia Foundation Community Affairs Committee/Sister Projects Task Force is currently working on this topic. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 04:40, 16 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for bringing this up! I'm aware that the Board currently has the authority to approve new sister projects. I think that the creation of a separate committee would be beneficial in improving productivity; historically, proposals such as Wikijournal have been delayed significantly due to the many other commitments of the Board. Happy to answer any questions you may have! Frostly (talk) 01:16, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I am still interested in being involved. Thanks, Amqui (talk) 22:59, 14 November 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Amqui, great!
Frostly, OhanaUnited, agreed that we should use WikiJournal as an example, and reach clarity on what it needs and should do next. Would it be enough for it to have its own WM-Labs wiki like Wikispore has? Or to talk through with Wikispore [which aims to make incubating new Projects easier, wherever the resulting project is hosted] what it would need to move to its own wiki? What is its current sociotechnical roadmap now that it has some funding, does it have a wishlist? –SJ talk  05:27, 28 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Obviously the end goal of WikiJournal is to have its own separate domain independent of Wikiversity. I personally don't see the need to move to WM Lab or Wikispore just for the sake of moving in preparation for a second move to its own domain (i.e. I prefer A→C instead of A→B→C) because we have to modify the DOI anchors for every paper we already published each time it is moved. We have a technical wishlist page. As I flagged to WMF CEO during Wikimania this August, we need to stop getting stuck on neutral gear and spinning the wheels in the mud. If the sister project task force is created and gave the blessing towards WikiJournal and Wikispore, but proposals still needs the Board's approval, then we're basically back to square one since the Board has not have time to approve these projects for 3 (now heading into 4th) year. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:43, 28 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
I definitely agree that being basically back to square one would not be positive. The design of the Committee would be to replace the functions of the Board in this area. — Frostly (talk) 02:53, 8 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • As it is, most of the sister projects are relatively inactive and underattended. The most recent additions, Wikidata and Wikivoyage, are better. Is a committee needed to handle the one successful request that comes in every ~3-5 years? I don't mean to ask that in a rude way - I wonder if it would make more sense to have a bit more of an established process in lieu of a committee (RFC started, certified in some way when the community signals sufficient support, then presented to the board as a draft and then a further developed draft or something). I haven't done a lot of thought on this - I do not oppose a committee being made if people think it would have benefit. – Ajraddatz (talk) 06:40, 28 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]