Daniel — Hello everyone - I closed the Skype session.
Werespielchqrs — Are we giving up on Skype?
Eloquence — if you haven't set your nickname yet, you can do so by typing /nick YourNickName
Eloquence — Guest99997, that means you ;)
<John___> — Hello everyone
Eloquence — Werespielchqrs, yeah, for now. we can use another voice communication method next time
Ziko — hello
Eloquence — but I suggest we just get started here
dennyV — does anyone have a count on whom we are still missing?
DarTar — Guest99997: are you Giota?
dennyV — I am Denny
millosh — btw, folk at wikivoices are very experienced with skype conferences. maybe we should ask durova to help us next time with skype
Eloquence — millosh, yes, it would be great if you could reach out to her for advice
millosh — this was the only time when multiuser skype conference worked well for me
millosh — i'll do that
DarTar — Giota is not here yet, she's trying to connect
millosh — guest is yaroslav
Eloquence — dennyV, let me do a quick spreadsheet check -- I just sent out the information again by email :)
Eloquence — hi yaroslav, you can change your name by typing /nick YaroslavB or whatever you want to be known at
Eloquence — aaron halfaker seems to be missing
jtriedl — A couple of people are struggling to get IRC to work, and are explaining the problem on the etherpad
Eloquence — mayo seems to be missing
jtriedl — some experts should chime in to help them.
Eloquence — I'll take a peek
YaroslavBlanter — ok, at least it worked
YaroslavBlanter — \nick ymblanter
Eloquence — yay
Eloquence — hi giotita
giotita — hello
YaroslavBlanter — Does anybody (Erik?) has a program for the meeting, or do we just discuss the general points (mission etc)?
Eloquence — YaroslavBlanter, there's a super-rough agenda, basically I was hoping to review the areas of interest, begin talking about the scope of the committee etc.
Eloquence — let me individually prod mayo and aaron, and then we'll get started
Daniel — just tried to get Mayo an Aaron via Skype; both off.
Eloquence — ok
YaroslavBlanter — Mayo and Aaron are not logged in on skype
giotita — the only problem is now, that I only have 15 more minutes
Eloquence — aww
Eloquence — ok
Eloquence — I've emailed the list and tried to prod by skype, and the information is in the pad
Eloquence — let's get started for now and hope they can join us
jtriedl — Should we make an agenda on the Etherpad?
millosh — yes. we'll have the log, so they would be able to read it
Eloquence — let's talk about the agenda here for now, and see if we need the pad
Eloquence — Hi WereSpielchqrs!
giotita — If we talk here, then we can copy to the pad
YaroslavBlanter — are we using the same pad which we used to coordinate the meeting?
Eloquence — yes
jtriedl — Yes.
jtriedl — I'll copy while we talk.
Eloquence — for next time, as an alternative to voice, we can look at webex conference calling, and milos is going to speak to the organizers of the wikivoices podcast about their experiences with skype.
Eloquence — thanks for making do with a low-tech solution for now :-)
lucadealfaro — I tend to think that we should not be setting research goals.
DarioTaraborelli — lucadealfaro: see john's comment - it'd be nice to see if we there is an agreement on this
Eloquence — I'll give my own take on why I instigated this group, and what I think we can get done together, and would love to hear/read your thoughts
lucadealfaro — The Foundation may well have goals, and that is fine.
lucadealfaro — But we should leave to researchers the freedom + ability to define research.
DarioTaraborelli — (I mean the comment at the bottom of /Areas_of_Interest)
Eloquence — The idea for starting this group was inspired by my conversations at WikiSym 2010
millosh — i think that we should say what are our preferred areas for research. not goals, but preferred areas. in the sense of what is needed to wikimedia
dennyV — to give context (copy and pasting from wiki page) : [John]: One general theme that we should explore in some of our first conversations is the extent to which we should see ourselves as a body that is helping to influence the direction of research on Wikipedia, vs. a body that is helping manage access to resources for Wikipedia researchers. I am strongly in favor of the latter. The argument in favor of our focusing on providi
Eloquence — What I noticed was a) There was a large pent-up batch of specific issues that researchers had when conducting research in Wikimedia projects
Eloquence — so, that includes technical access
Eloquence — subject-matter recruiting
dennyV — It is very difficult in advance to predict which types of research will be most valuable, and if we’re trying to do that, we will often be getting in the way of researchers as much as we are helping them. On the other hand, there are a number of ways in which Wikipedia it is not yet an excellent platform for carrying out research, and by removing those obstacles, we have the potential to do a great deal toward enhancing the
Eloquence — sorry, subject recruiting
YaroslavBlanter — In my opinion, we are both
Eloquence — it includes access to non-public data
Eloquence — letters of endorsement
Eloquence — etc.
Eloquence — But b) I also felt that there was a huge interest among the researchers present to know more about what WMF is doing, and what the specific problems were we were tackling
Daniel — a strategy on how to get subject-matter expertise is also probably worthwhile
Eloquence — lol, fair enough daniel
giotita — I agree that the scope should include both
Eloquence — So, I felt that to the extent that there is interest among researchers as to what our core problems and challenges and questions are
giotita — and that WMF is also an object of research ... esp. if this is action research
Eloquence — we should try to help document those problems and challenges and questions
jtriedl — What does "how to get subject-matter expertise" refer to?
Eloquence — so that researchers can think freely about strategies to help provide answers.
Eloquence — jtriedl, I meant "recruit subjects for studies", was a typo
lucadealfaro — If we want to include both, we can: (a) help researchers get access to Wikipedia resources, but without favoring one line of research over another, and (b) give advise to the Foundation about the research that is needed.
jtriedl — Got it.
Daniel — @john (1) a play of words, (2) how to get experts onto WMF projects, so as to help improve the content
jtriedl — Denny is disconnected ..
Eloquence — lucadealfaro, Yes, that's I think my overarching view
lucadealfaro — I think it may well be valuable to advise the Foundation on what tools for research are needed.
jtriedl — He says he's getting DNS fail on freenonde.net right now ..
Eloquence — I want to add one point that I think is likely to be somewhat controversial ;)
lucadealfaro — They have the resources to do something.
YaroslavBlanter — (a) I am not sure: do we want for instance endorse research of what type of BLP violation lead to higher court claims?
lucadealfaro — But if we advise researchers, "we would like research on X", then what? We are not giving out grants, are we?
YaroslavBlanter — I would say we also need to put some restrictions
jtriedl — what is BLP?
Eloquence — When I had these conversations, it was pretty clear that there were lots of things that the research community wanted. It was, on the other hand, also clear, that most of the research wasn't particularly open (open access, open data).
YaroslavBlanter — BLP = biographies of living people
Eloquence — So, my own bias is going to be very strongly to tie any access to restricted resources that require WMF time and effort to open access / open data practices and policies within the research community
lucadealfaro — I am not saying we should approve all research. But we should approve research on the basis of which type of data access it needs.
Daniel — I am very interested in this open access/ open data angle
lucadealfaro — We are not "endorsing" research by approving it.
YaroslavBlanter — This I would probably agree with
lucadealfaro — Yes, I agree with Erik, and I am also very interested in such open data access.
Ziko — yes
DarioTaraborelli — lucadealfaro: I very much agree, I really do not think the committee can review all research projects involving wikimedia data let alone approve them
Eloquence — lucadealfaro, we might actually end up giving away $ eventually, but yeah, the best we can really do at this point is identify larger themes, justify why we're interested in them, and hope that some researchers agree. it's not meant to be didactic
giotita — I too agree with Dario
DarioTaraborelli — (which I think was the same point John was making)
jtriedl — I think we should definitely include some notion of open access / open data. We should be very careful about how we define it, though. Do we want to refuse to support research
Eloquence — other than prohibiting unethical or disruptive research, I don't think we need to exercise a huge degree of influence on what type of research is happening
WereSpielchqrs — I think we could and should be able to produce guidance as to certain research methods that the community accepts and others that it treats as vandalism
Eloquence — WereSpielchqrs, exactly
Daniel — I@dario I do not think the committee would have to do the reviews on its own - we could invite others to review, under the premise of publishing the reviews
jtriedl — that is published in places that do not allow free distribution of articles? I would be hesitant about that.
lucadealfaro — I would require open access / open data only for research that uses user time.
Eloquence — does everyone know about the spam experiment that someone conducted on the english wikipedia recently?
DarioTaraborelli — Daniel, I tend to disagree
jtriedl — Denny needs help with Chatzilla.
lucadealfaro — I think if we required open access to what everybody gets out of running a dump analysis, we would only push underground a lot of results.
Eloquence — This is an example of research that's absolutely unacceptable IMO
Eloquence — so I agree w/ WereSpielchqrs that it would be good to provide some high-level guidelines and principles, without going into the process of saying "We don't think this research contributes to the field" -- the latter is not our job, but the former is
Ziko — there must be a code of ethics for researchers
lucadealfaro — I think it would be easier to have a policy that said:
WereSpielchqrs — Providing we have drafted some guidelines and agreed them with the community then we don't need to review research proposals - we can create a page for proposals and there will be community volunteers who will do the reviewing
lucadealfaro — For some data (dumps, etc): do whatever you want and don't ask.
Eloquence — WereSpielchqrs, very good point
YaroslavBlanter — And another question is how we can have these guidelines imposed
Eloquence — I'm all in favor of moving toward community processes wherever possible.
lucadealfaro — For user studies that require WMF resources, user involvement, or anything like that, we review
jtriedl — I agree with the idea that we should not review proposals ... except for user studies!
Eloquence — YaroslavBlanter, obviously, at the end of the day, we cannot prevent someone from vandalizing wikipedia
DarioTaraborelli — the committee could help review borderline cases, but I am in favour of minimising the bureaucracy involved
YaroslavBlanter — I guess we should indeed review any research proposals which are potentially disruptive
lucadealfaro — (or ask the community to review)
DarioTaraborelli — YaroslavBlanter: yes, that's more or less what I mean
Eloquence — but we can make a very explicit statement, for example, if a research project violates ethics and has not been reviewed through proper community processes
giotita — aside from the guidelines and the proposals that require endorsement, we cannot deal with every researcher that may also act independently
Eloquence — giotita, yep
Eloquence — so, I think there are some obvious things we can do
jtriedl — The panton principles seem great.
giotita — @Eloquence but yes, the explicit statements and 5-6 core guidelines should the trick
jtriedl — We need to fill them in with more detail, though. In particular, it's difficult to define fair time-frames without careful thought.
Eloquence — - we can formulate some high-level principles and ethics of research in Wikimedia projects, vote on them as a group, and share them with the community
Eloquence — - we can try to help develop the community processes that currently don't really exist
Eloquence — - we can make sure that researchers have a good, clear landing page ("Here's what you do if you want to research Wikimedia") that explains all this
jtriedl — I also think we can insist that researchers follow these principles if they want to use resources, and in particular, we can make it difficult for them to get things like the ability to recruit new subjects if they don't play by the rules.
Eloquence — jtriedl, exactly
Eloquence — This is all just in the area of process, but IMO a good way to get started
Eloquence — I want to check in at this point regarding an earlier formulation of the relation of the committee to the research community, and our ability to give guidance vs. make requests
Daniel — agree with john.
Eloquence — so, I want to ask: Does everyone agree with the general principle that, our job is not to tell researchers what to do, but we do want to try to document areas and themes of high concern to WMF and the Wikimedia community?
YaroslavBlanter — I guess a good question is do all the researchers want to be in contact with us / with the community or some of them just prefer to carry out research, publish it but never get in touch
DennyV — I agree with the first part. I do not fully agree with the second.
Eloquence — DennyV, can you elaborate?
DennyV — Even documenting these areas is a kind of agenda setting for the WMF and the community.
millosh — (i agree)
jtriedl — I agree with the first part. The second part seems fine to me, but I wouldn't put it at high value for this group.
DennyV — and for the researchers.
Eloquence — I'm not sure why agenda-setting is a bad thing?
YaroslavBlanter — I am not sure how "not telling researchers what to do" agrees with prohibition of disruptive research
lucadealfaro — I also agree with the first part, not with the second.
DarioTaraborelli — dennyV: I tend to see it as a call for help from the WMF ;)
Ziko — well, if we do kinda support research, we have the right to define what research we find important and what not
lucadealfaro — We can clearly advise the Foundation if asked
giotita — sure, I agree with Eloquence, so long we won't be biased against those that want to research something that is not in the priority areas
DarioTaraborelli — not necessarily as a way to orient research
millosh — DennyV: there is no other entity which would do that, except us
jtriedl — I personally think the highest value actions for us are to (a) document how people ought to behave; and (b) provide tools so people can do the research.
lucadealfaro — We can clearly publish if we want a list of topics on which we wish somebody worked.
Eloquence — lucadealfaro, that's essentially what I mean.
DennyV — Yes, but claiming that in the name of the community?
lucadealfaro — But beyond that, I don't think we should give the impression that we 'foster' some type of research
giotita — yes, Dario's point is good
Ziko — jtriedl: +1
jtriedl — I think it is fine for us to provide the list of topics. I have no problem with that. It just seems likely that we'll fight a lot, and that it's not the most important thing.
millosh — we can talk with community and facilitate that, instead of doing everything alone
lucadealfaro — Erik, what I am saying is that it is very different to provide some advice to the Foundation if asked,
Eloquence — DennyV, as a WMF committee, this group is really serving as an extension of the Foundation, which performs agenda-setting / priority-setting activities all the time
lucadealfaro — and to instead say that the Foundation (or us) 'wishes' researchers outside would do certain things.
Daniel — agree with <lucadealfaro> We can clearly publish if we want a list of topics on which we wish somebody worked.
WereSpielchqrs — Actually I think we should be telling researchers how to interact with Wikimedia and that sometimes means saying what not to do. I also think we can advise where overlaps might occur and pass on requests for research
Ziko — we are saying actually: do what you want. if you want wmf support you must respect our guide lines, and we must find your research worth supporting it
jtriedl — There may be some nice intermediate paths. For instance, I would be happy to facilitate a panel at a major research conference at which some members of this committee might give a presentation on their views on high-value research contributions to Wikipedia.
Eloquence — so, here's an example of what I'm talking about
jtriedl — This might be easier to create than "this is what WMF thinks is needed for research".
Ziko — yes, wmf has a lot of goals (supporting WPs in poor countries), and research is a way to enforce that
Eloquence — you all know, I assume, the various graphs and visuals that show a stagnation of active editors across all Wikimedia projects combined
jtriedl — yes.
Daniel — yes
DennyV — yes
giotita — yes
millosh — (:
Eloquence — so, the obvious questions that can be asked about that have been some questions that have kept us busy internally and externally for a while
Eloquence — :)
Daniel — sure
millosh — (btw, i was thinking about the same example :) )
Eloquence — so, in that case, I'd appreciate coming to this committee, and saying, "Here's a set of questions we have, and some stuff that we've already done, and some stuff we're about to do, can you help us formulate this into a bigger strategic document that asks the research community for help"
Eloquence — and without specifying "We need X, Y, Z to get done", but rather "We wonder why this is the case, and we have some theories, and here's what we know, but we'd appreciate if everyone could bring their crumb / favorite methodology to the table"
jtriedl — What would the target of the strategic document be?
jtriedl — Funding agencies?
Eloquence — think of it a bit like a harvard case study
Eloquence — where you're essentially documenting a set of facts about an issue, and leaving questions open
YaroslavBlanter — No, the target would be to formulate tactical and strategical priorities
DarioTaraborelli — I see the WMF's potential role as setting potential "research competitions" to accelerate research in given priority areas
YaroslavBlanter — First for the community
Eloquence — I think the target audience would be often individual researchers who are enthusiastic enough about WMF that they would read such a document :P
YaroslavBlanter — Because right now we can notanswer simple questions just because we have no data
millosh — jtriedl: the target is to know should we continue to work on wikimedia projects or it is wasting of time ;)
Eloquence — I know that this isn't necessarily the case, and that this isn't necessarily useful for all researchers
Daniel — I also like the idea of research competitions as a way to highlight priorities
DennyV — target in this case means "audience" not research goal
Eloquence — but I think a valuable service that we can provide together (WMF with this committee) is help bundle these "cases" and summaries
jtriedl — Yes, denny
giotita — Yes, I agree with the Harvard style case studies
Eloquence — so that we can both identify themes, call them out, and give useful starting points etc.
millosh — in brief, we should say: we would like to get answers on those questions. not to force anyone, but to ask the researches to help us
Eloquence — millosh, yes
giotita — I meant I like the idea of the case studies with open quiesitons
YaroslavBlanter — Basically, making a wishlist first
Eloquence — so, I'd like to experiment with this approach, basically
DennyV — so, keep a bibliography of wmf-related research
DennyV — maintain a list of open issues and questions
Eloquence — DennyV, YES :-) that too
Eloquence — the current bibliography is sadly outdated :-(
Eloquence — and incomplete
Daniel — perhaps a first step in finding our way would be to review a set of past research projects, and comment from the perspective of the various "areas of interest" tht we signed up for.
DennyV — and identify priorities with regards to the community and wmf interests
WereSpielchqrs — The WMF has access to things that are not available to all researchers. We could put a survey link on a geonotice where editors see it or email an omnibus survey to editors. Researchers could get individual questions on that survey
giotita — have you guys seen the zotero list...?
Daniel — after a while, this should naturally lead to some idea of what we/ the community find worth supporting
millosh — there is a bibliography at strategy wiki, which i've made a year ago with a friend
Eloquence — WereSpielchqrs, "how to run a survey" deserves almost its own little wiki page and starter kit
millosh — but, not complete
Daniel — which zotero list? link?
DarioTaraborelli — to come back to the general agenda of this meeting, it sounds like we are discussing a lot of issues already mentioned in specific areas of interest, maybe the next step would be to ask all participants to this chat to help articulate each area of interest into a specific sub-agenda? Erik?
giotita — it's of published papers on wikimedia related projects ... not a list of projects itself, will try to find it
Eloquence — DarioTaraborelli, I want to make sure we have consensus on the points we're just talking about
DarioTaraborelli — ok fair enough :)
Ziko — it would be a good start to have ONE bibliography at one place
Eloquence — because I want to be sensitive to both a) people's interest and engagement in this committee, b) the view of researchers in particular on some of the methods and approaches
Eloquence — regarding the "case study" / theme topic approach, I understand that if not everyone here wants to spend time on it, but what I'd basically like to do is this
millosh — Ziko: i think that that one is the most complete up to date
Ziko — ok. there are other lists, and they should be combined
Eloquence — share howie's case study with you when it's complete, get your feedback and input, and get your help with disseminating it, if it makes sense.
Eloquence — would that be something anyone would object to?
jtriedl — No, that's fine with me.
millosh — Ziko: my list is the product of combination of the previous lists :)
jtriedl — Other activities seem more likely to bear fruit to me, but that's why we have lots of us ..
Eloquence — jtriedl, exactly :)
Eloquence — getting back to dario's point -- I think we should try to formulate three or so areas of actions, that each of us can commit to dedicating some time to
Ziko — millosh: so it is clear at the other lists that the more complete list exists? fine
Eloquence — I say "areas of action" because I think mostly it's going to be a set of activities e.g. organize the research bibliography
Eloquence — and creating the page -- we'll figure out how to organize it
DarioTaraborelli — shall we create a subpage for each areas of action as a next step to (1) define specific tasks and (2) see who is willing to participate in which area?
Daniel — I think this subpage approach is useful
Eloquence — DarioTaraborelli, that sounds good, then we can use the mailing list to make sure everyone can add themselves to an area of work
Daniel — one for each "subcommittee", plus possibly one for each of us
DarioTaraborelli — are people happy with the current AoI list for example? Or should we maybe merge some of them?
Eloquence — DarioTaraborelli, are you volunteering? :)
DarioTaraborelli — sure, I can start reorganise the page
Eloquence — DarioTaraborelli, I would suggest just picking an initial smaller set of work areas, like the ones yaroslav identified
Eloquence — we can't solve all the world's problems immediately ;)
DarioTaraborelli — we can create stubs though :p
Eloquence — lol
Eloquence — fair enough
Eloquence — OK, dario is volunteering to re-organize the page
Eloquence — yay ;)
DarioTaraborelli — I am just thinking how to best move forward to reach an agreement on specific sub-areas
Eloquence — as a final closer, can I ask everyone for a one sentence comment
Daniel — Is there a history of how the Committee's priorities have been defined?
Eloquence — as to what area of work they are truly excited to get started on? :)
Eloquence — I'll start: I'm excited to help re-organize the bibliographic, landing pages, starter kit etc. -- I think Meta in general needs a lot of clean-up, and I'm happy to help
Daniel — I am excited about getting a workable open access/ open data policy off the ground
Eloquence — Daniel, I think we're defining them right now ;)
DennyV — I am excited about providing the so-called "starter kit", i.e. identify and possibly create resources that would foster research on them.
Ziko — I believe that there are some basics that are still needed. The bibliography is one example. On my agenda there is a concept for a "Wikimedia Handbook and Yearbook", I am now discussing with Zack.
jtriedl — I believe the most exciting opportunities are exploring new interfaces that encourage new users to grow into Wikipedians; I am most excited about developing ways that researchers can participate in creative exploration of intelligent user interfaces.
Eloquence — Ziko, but, the real question is, _are you excited_ ? ;-)
YaroslavBlanter — I am most interested in brainstorming on what research is currently needed
Daniel — @eloquence so if we can redefine them, what about something slong the lines of expert recruitment for WMF projects (not currently on the list)?
Eloquence — I keep getting confused between the two points of subject recruitment and expert recruitment ;)
DarioTaraborelli — I like very much the idea of setting up an environment to boost the volume of research on wikimedia projects and help people (researchers, journalists, interested editors) to navigate through it to avoid redundancy - the idea of testing how new interfaces affect collaborative behaviour is also very close to my interests
WereSpielchqrs — Daniel I suggest we refer expert recruitment to the next Cambridge meetup - as far as I know the only wikimedian meetup where professors are in the majority
jtriedl — Does any work get done there?
Eloquence — Daniel, it's a hugely interesting area -- not entirely clear it should be in the scope of the research committe, but can I ask you to lay out your view to rcom-l to get a discussion started?
Daniel — fine with me.
jtriedl — My experience is work is proportional to (Ph.D. students - professors) : 2
DennyV — :D
Ziko — Aren't there a lot of students searching a subject for their BA/MA thesises?
Ziko — -es
Daniel — I'll be happy to provide an intro to the topic to the list
Eloquence — cool
Eloquence — it looks like our ability to get excited as a group is tempered by our nerdiness ;-) but I'm pleased by the progress we're making so far
DarioTaraborelli — Ziko: that could very well be a topic for research competitions
Eloquence — hey aaron :)
Eloquence — we're just about to wrap up
Ziko — dario: what do you mean by research competitions?
DarioTaraborelli — formulate research questions that can potentially involve several research groups at the same time
DarioTaraborelli — many conferences / scientific societies run similar contests
DarioTaraborelli — hi aaron
jtriedl — Or the Netflix prize :)
AHalfaker — *Sigh* when i initially looked at the time conversion charts, I put the converted time on Sunday for CDT, not saturday :(
Eloquence — Takeaways: 1) Dario will help organize some action pages on meta for the different areas of work, 2) we've all expressed our top interest here already, and will get started on the respective wiki pages, 3) I'll share with you Howie's research case in the next 2-4 weeks
DarioTaraborelli — sounds good to me
Daniel — sounds fine to me
millosh — yep
Eloquence — OK, everyone - thanks for coming, and I'm hopeful that we will yet get to use voice communication :)