Research:Committee/Areas of interest/Expert involvement

The goal of this subgroup is to study effective strategies to increase the volume and variety of expert contributions to Wikimedia projects. Parul Vora at the Foundation is currently running a series of studies on expert reviews and article feedback functionality.

Research tracksEdit

There are two key issues to this area of interest:

  • understanding the general reasons why experts (scientists, academics in general, and outside academia) do not contribute to Wikipedia in their fields of expertise
  • identifying virtuous strategies to obtain expert feedback that can directly inform article quality discussions or improvements

Barriers and opportunities for expert contributionEdit

We are running a survey inspired by a discussion that Daniel started on the "top 10 reasons why academics do not contribute to Wikipedia". The goal of this survey is to help us understand why scientists, academics and other experts do (or do not) contribute to open collaborative projects such as Wikipedia and to help us find ways around barriers to expert participation. We ran the pilot phase in December 2010 and received feedback on the design that was implemented before the launch of the final version. The final version of the survey went live on February 9, 2011.

Expert review of Wikipedia articlesEdit

Erik's recent blog post on Wikipedia's collaboration with the Encyclopedia of Life presents an extraordinary model on how to involve external experts in article curation. The strategy consists of exposing Wikipedia content so that it can be embedded in external expert communities, get experts to assess the quality of the embedded article and feed the assessment back to Wikipedia to help contributors improve its quality. Erik suggests we should explore "similar partnerships with subject-matter experts in institutions (like universities and libraries), scientific associations, and specialized knowledge communities". A first goal for this group would be to:

  • think of the general specifications for an infrastructure that would generalise lightweight expert curation of Wikipedia articles following the EOL example.
  • compile a list of existing projects in different disciplines that could be involved to run a pilot of an EOL-like curation system.

Further details can be found on the expert review page.

See alsoEdit