Research:Newsletter/Production process

These notes outline the tasks involved in the production and distribution of each new newsletter issue every month. Names in brackets indicate the members of the editorial team who have experience with carrying out the corresponding step. See also this table for more details on some tasks - as noted there, help is welcome; leave a talk page comment there in case you are interested in getting involved.

Newsletter content preparationEdit

During the monthEdit

  • Find new publications to review, via Google Scholar alerts, Tweetdeck (for @wikiresearch), or tips sent by readers (Miriam, Tilman, formerly: Dario)
  • Tweet/retweet from @wikiresearch as appropriate (Miriam, Tilman, formerly: Dario). NB: The text of all tweets authored by Tilman or Miriam (excluding retweets) are licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
  • Import tweeted papers into Zotero, via this spreadsheet (Massly, Tilman, formerly: Dario).
  • Export from Zotero into the Etherpad todo list, using the "Wikipedia" export feature (Masssly, Tilman, formerly: Dario).

About one week before the planned publication dateEdit

(publication usually occurs on the last weekend of the month, tied to the Signpost's publication schedule, see Signpost newsroom for the most up-to-date information)

Up to the Signpost's publication time:

  • Curate incoming reviews, including copyedits and formatting: ...
  • Fill the "other recent publications" section (example) with items from the Etherpad that look unlikely to be read and reviewed soon, optionally quoting from their abstract (Tilman)
  • Add per-review bylines, in addition to the general bylines on top (Masssly, formerly: Hanteng, Heather)

After publication of the Signpost versionEdit

Prepare the version published here on Meta (Masssly, Tilman, formerly: Dario). The necessary steps can be gleaned from these edits):

  • Import the page from enwiki via Special:Import. Check "Copy all history revisions for this page", but do not check "Include all templates". As comment, one can use something like "for syndication as Wikimedia Research Newsletter.
  • Adjust wikilinks, using regex search and replace
  • Fix images if necessary (the Signpost sometimes uses a special layout template for them)
  • All necessary citation templates should be present on Meta too. In case a template doesn't work, consider replacing it by pasting the original wikitext into en:Special:ExpandTemplates. Some template parameters may not be supported for the time being and need to be removed (see e.g. Template talk:Cite_arXiv).
  • Add standard WRN header and footer
  • Update Template:WRN current and Research:Newsletter/Archives

Newsletter publicationEdit

Publish and announce in other channels:

  • Tweet the Meta-wiki version from @wikiresearch, pinning the tweet (Tilman, formerly: Dario).
  • Consider posting it manually from the WikiResearch Facebook page (delete the post mirrored from Twitter in that case), pinning the post
  • Send announcement to the Wikiresearch-l mailing list (Masssly, Tilman, formerly: Dario)
  • Send out HTML email version to subscribers (Tilman):
    • Start a draft email in Gmail
    • Add subject line (e.g. "Wikimedia Research Newsletter, January 2023")
    • At the bottom, add the following boilerplate text (centered and in small font, replacing your email signature if you use one):
      "Thanks for subscribing to the HTML email distribution of the Wikimedia Research Newsletter! Click "Email" above to manage your subscription. To be able to view the illustrations, remote loading of images must be enabled in your email client. Images are only loaded from Wikimedia Foundation servers and are not used for tracking purposes. Feedback about this service is welcome at wikiresearch-contact"
    • Open the mobile Meta-wiki version (example)
    • Click on the "Contents" box to expand TOC
    • Select an area around the content (i.e. try avoiding the MediaWiki header and footer)
    • Copypaste into the Gmail draft (above the footer)
    • In the Gmail editor, manually remove content above the WRN header and below the WRN footer, leaving divs intact
    • Check for formatting issues (e.g. <math>...</math> code might not have survived the copypaste)
    • Send the result to research-newsletter
    • Log into [1] and approve your mail


  • Notify authors of reviewed papers (Masssly, Tilman): ....
  • Update stats... (old spreadsheet / PAWS notebook)
  • Set up new Etherpad to coordinate reviewers' work on the upcoming issue (it is linked from Research:Newsletter#How_to_contribute, the link there should update automatically). (Tilman)
    • Copy over the previous month's Etherpad, updating dates (Tilman)
    • Delete all entries that were covered in the just published issue (Tilman)

Once a year:

  • Prepare Zotero dump of all papers covered in that year's volume, and a PDF book with all 12 issues (Dario, Tilman): ...