Sister Projects Committee

Wikimedia committees Sister Projects Committee

This page provides information about the proposed committee responsible for creating and reviewing sister projects. We are currently in the phase of drafting and reviewing policies. Have a look at, help to write, and add your ideas to:

See also: Category:Sister projects committee, Sister Projects Committee/Overview

A sister projects committee is a proposed community committee that would be responsible for developing a clear policy and documentation for creating and reviewing sister projects. This would include adopting non-Wikimedia projects, and supporting and coordinating new project proposals to help them be successful; as well as considering requests to close, merge, or spin off existing sister projects.

For similar community committees whose processes we could learn from, see the Language committee and the Affiliations committee.

Current new project process

There is currently hardly a process to deal with New project proposals. That page lists things about gathering support for a proposal, and suggests criteria for interest and support that should be met before a proposal is reviewed. The 'review' step once a project meets those criteria needs to be worked out. [Historically it has only happened via a site-wide RfC and a cross-project discussion and vote; which is hard to launch and a lot of work.]

Current projects

Related discussion and suggestions

A recent thread on Foundation-l discussing the need for such a committee noted relevant categories and topics:

Communication and overview:

  • "project interviews" : talk to each project and identify the support that its community expects from the WMF and from other Projects. We all often hear that everything-other-than-en.WP-is-ignored but if we had some published/agreed expectations that would make it much easier to see what was needed.
  • "project reviews" : review how each project is working, and what open problems it has; is it growing or not, does it have other perennial problems. identify needs and possibilities. "what would an evaluation of Wikinews or Wikispecies say? Should we shut down such a project... cease to mention it on Wikipedia main pages... or invest money in promoting it?"

Naming, branding, visibility:

  • naming conventions: rename Commons to "WikiCommons"? claim
  • branding and cross-wiki promotion: have a WMF brand easily visible on every project header? Link visibly to all sister projects from the bottom of the sidebar / bottom nav?

Merge considerations:

  • merge WikiSpecies -- w/ WikiData, or back into Wikipedia?
  • merge-or-spinoff considerations: wikieducator and wikiversity have the same mission, and would benefit from being merged; 'who hosts the site' is a minor issue compared to the loss of splitting energy and focus across two wikis.
  • merge meta wikis: Outreach + Strategy + MetaWiki into (proposal, discussion)

Improvements and feature requests:

  • "easy improvements with high value". Start with Wiktionary
  • lower barriers b/t wikis: global userpages, talk, watchlists. help valuate, prioritize and organize these feature requests

Related research

Annual cycles, trying new things:

  • "Although our flagship project is highly successful, it would be good if we try to keep creating new communities. I have been sad for quite a while now that we don't create new projects any more. It would be great to see one new project every year :)"
  • "I had suggested earlier that we might even run this as an annual thing, with a Wikimania-style bidding process for the new sister projects."


Sister Projects Committee/en/Members

Task list

Here is a laundry list of potential tasks. Please add your own, and mark them as important/unimportant, and in/out of scope. Take the /Draft charter in mind.

Positional issues:

  • Defunct private wikis: (private, rarely used, unused since 2005), spcom (special projects committee, unused since 2006), &c
  • Single-purpose, now dormant wikis:, sep11 wiki, &c.
  • Periodic wikis: wikimania2005–wikimania2012
  • Combining meta discussions: Strategy, Outreach, Meta
    • Better plan for custom Meta namespaces: Grants, Research, &c?

Topic-specific issues:

  • Conference proceedings and research papers on wikis - where do they go? See recent proposal for a conferences wiki extension; (proposed as a sister project); &c.
  • Coordinating wiktionary with This was the original goal of omegawiki, the community still wants it; it addresses an underlying technical data-structure weakness.
  • Coordinating wikispecies (monolingual) with species data on wikipedia (multilingual). Merge? More formalized plan for coordination with Encyclopedia of Life (many of whose contributors edit wikispecies too).
    • Claiming the domain: how important is this?
  • Translations: Meta, translatewiki, interlanguage links... all are used in some way by translators. How should this work?

Data issues:

  • Which of the above questions has an answer that may be modified once wikidata is fully functional?
  • Is in scope for this group?
    • Working with reusers, from researchers to dbpedia and metaweb. do they need special affordances?

Functional issues:

  • A prioritized bug list for each sister project? (e.g. oldwikisource:WS:BUGS) Large-scale questions? Ex: the 100MB file size limit on Commons (unchanged in 5 yrs!), the lack of a public image dump for Commons, proofreading extensions for wikisource, custom dual-category lists for wikinews.
  • Summarizing expectations each project has of the WMF
  • Summarizing expectations projects have of one another [esp. when they rely on eachother], and that WMF and readers have of projects
  • Defining the spectrum of support options for projects by Wikimedia: from minor traffic generation/grants for Movement Partners, to vanilla hosting on the Labs/toolserver of a protoproject, to inclusion as WMF Project (with SUL, suffrage in global votes, adherence to shared principles).

Project plans:

  • Projects that pass initial milestones for being added as a sister project should have some sort of roadmap or project plan, before final adoption. See for instance Commons:Project_plan.