Wiki Research Ideas/Research Hub

Developing further from this Wiki-research-l list contribution and this one, both of 8 Nov 2012, and this one of 9 Nov 2012

Note that a Google Search for "Wiki Research Hub" currently brings up Research:About... we should maybe consider "rebranding" this discussion?

Research Hub Edit

(News about what may be evolving elsewhere) Edit

(Maths to start with...) Tim Gowers: "a platform is to be created that will make it very easy to set up arXiv overlay journals." (2013-01-16)

Aims Edit

Should we allow partial results (such as an incomplete math proof with a gap)? Definitely somewhere this should be allowed (because sometimes researchers need this kind of correspondence with each other). But we need to formulate explicitly which sites (or which sections of sites) should allow this and which should forbid. VictorPorton (talk) 20:27, 24 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is some discussion below about whether we intend to build a wiki that would offer a home to all different kinds of research, or whether we would only build a "hub" that would offer some ancillary support to researchers who are doing their own projects on whatever topic elsewhere.

I think we could do both, but it seems best to build the "hub" first. Thus, the Wiki Research Hub would initially be a place to share experiments and techniques, and point people to places where they can get involved in other research projects that use wikis. As time goes by, we could incorporate more of these research artifacts into the central wiki (if that makes sense to do). Such incorporation may be done via syndication or Linked Data techniques, rather than insisting that everyone use "our platform". (thinks Arided)

More specifically, we envision the following agenda for development:


  • build support for research practices in general by providing an open wiki platform for collaborative brainstorming, writing, linking, remixing, experimenting, and reviewing (primarily focusing on research about or using wikis, but open to other research)

Medium term:

  • Link to other places and platforms where people are using wikis or wiki-like techniques to do research in any field. Review these, do research about them, exchange content via syndication, host meetings with the principals to develop better practices for "the sector". Provide a point of integration for all modern research techniques (and support the associated development practices).

Long term:

  • Change the culture of research to be more wiki-like with respect to funding (see this Open Letter) and otherwise.

Methods Edit

These are proposals for debate & refinement since we are working in a Wiki.

  • Create a new wiki, the Research Hub, that explicitly encourages original research (unlike Wikipedia)
may I suggest that this may be part of an existing wiki -- C.Koltzenburg (talk)
I believe the wiki needs to keep certain information at an elite level for temporary establishment. As there are sharks in the water and they also are looking to fulfill the exact same goals to establish sustainability. I am just joining this conversation now. sorry for the latency. dYlan
Sure, I meant the comment above as a proposal for debate. There are bound to be advantages and disadvantages of making something new versus reusing something old. In any case, we would almost certainly want to work with a bunch of existing wikis and communities. Maybe a real way to get started would be to make a wiki page listing the potential users and communities who might want to have something to do with the Research Hub once it comes into existence. For now, I'll just start a new section below on this page! Arided (talk) 14:30, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I dont see the reason for this. Thats in scope of Wikiversity. I cite from page Wikiversity: Its primary priorities and goals are to:…Host learning and research projects and communities…. So the Research Hub may be created within the Wikiversity itself.--Juandev (talk) 12:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here I'll speak only about the English Wikiversity, which is the only one I looked at. It seem to me that, so far, the best research projects on (English) Wikiversity are student-level research, like surveys, book reports -- in short, things that could end up in Wikipedia articles. There is some other research there, but not a lot, and it is not particularly well-curated. So, while "scholarly research" may be in-scope for Wikiversity, it would take a lot of work to actually make Wikiversity an active home for scholarly research. In the end, it may be better for there to be many different research communities (e.g. I can mention PlanetMath) -- but the point of the Research Hub would be for them to be able to come together when that is mutually valuable. The point is not necessarily "to have a place to do research", because, after all, we can in theory do that on any wiki. Rather, the Wiki Research Hub would be a place to come together and share experiences, develop new practices, do some research of a high caliber, and look for ways to support other researchers using current and future communication tools. Again, that might be in scope for Wikiversity's remit, but it doesn't seem like Wikiversity is actually doing this currently, so I think we should likely look for another "home". Arided (talk) 13:10, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not pushing you to do it within wv, but you can start to do things via the new way there.--Juandev (talk) 17:57, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • the Research Hub team is intending to enforce quality standards in a different way (from Wikipedia's "No Original Research")
we'll see what "different" may mean, so this needs further debate in which voices from many fields of research are needed. -- C.Koltzenburg (talk) See Wiki Research Ideas/Review_model
Dont see the way to enforce quality standards in such environment.--Juandev (talk) 12:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Juan: en:Peer review. Arided (talk) 13:12, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well Ive been peer reviewing at cs.wp for years and I am affraid still about this issue. There was a preasure on peer reviewers to step back in some cases. Also the understanding of PR priciples was not always good.--Juandev (talk) 17:57, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good point, thanks, Juandev. So what would be your suggestions for this new endeavour? Maybe you can point us to any best practice examples that you think we might start to consider - or anyone else, for that matter? I guess we need a mix from various disciplines here. -- C.Koltzenburg (talk) 11:05, 21 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Rather than creating a new wiki, why not use or "rebrand" Wikiversity to do this?
good idea. There might be alternatives, preferably interdisciplinary ones, let's explore this further. -- C.Koltzenburg (talk)
For now, Wikiversity seems to focus on education and specifically-educational research, and it's not clear where the "leadership" would come from to make a switch to a more general view. Wikiversity sometimes feels just a bit too quiet. But maybe that's a good reason to pour some new energy into it. Not sure! However, I will note that there could be funding ramifications, since funders almost always like to pour money into something really new, rather than into re-building and improving something old. I don't personally agree with that emphasis, but it seems to be the way it is. Arided (talk) 14:30, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with the idea of re-branding. The fashion of past VC investment has been start-up rich but fund very very few and create a first to market illusion that captures an audience. The new rules of economics in Canada and abroad are establishing a more Social Enterprise and Collaborative Economics that will offer different tax benefits to those who wish to volunteer or build equity while establishing themselves as groups or individuals following their own LIFEPATH.
Well, it depends where. E.g. Czech Wikiversity has more of the primary research, than education actually. Thats the heterogeneity within Wikiversities. E.g. Wikipedias, Wiktionaries etc. are pretty same at the basic content (i.e. articles, enquiries). In Wikiversity, you can find out a lot of objects and it is not the same within different language versions. It depends what kind of research to you want to support. English Wikiversity has e.g. its v:en:Bloom Clock, which is a research project. So all research of research of Wikimedia?--Juandev (talk) 12:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
After looking a bit more at what's currently there on the English Wikiversity, I really doubt whether it would be suitable, at least not witohut a lot of work. I put my review here: [1]. Arided (talk) 12:45, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I tend to agree with Arided : we would be more at ease with a specific wiki or a wiki that's used only as a mailbox… The project we are planning to launch is definite enough to avoid confusion with another project. Alexander Doria (talk) 12:50, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Note that we may want to use or incorporate other non-wiki techniques, e.g. Q&A.
See this post and discussion on G+ for some further thoughts.
could this be made available on any openly accessible page? -- C.Koltzenburg (talk)
It is viewable to the public, feel free to follow up w/ comments here if you have them! Arided (talk) 14:08, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well this is not a problem for Wikiversity. Its community is quite open to new techniques. E.g. I would not call Q&A technique to be "non-wiki". As long as its not breaking some Wikiversity principles it can go there. The problem might be with software needed, in that case it would be better to have different wiki and maybe different support group (=not actually Wikimedia developers).--Juandev (talk) 12:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Create a community that focuses on developing, sharing, and reviewing experiments with wikis
whatever the definition of "experiment" would be -- C.Koltzenburg (talk)).
example: the journal "Experimental Mathematics"
can anyone provide a link to their Wiki? thanks -- C.Koltzenburg (talk)
I didn't mean that it was an example of a wiki: rather, it's an example of a mindset that values experimentation. Their Wikipedia page is here: en:Experimental_Mathematics_(journal) Arided (talk) 14:14, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am quite lost. I thought they want to have such hub to do more research within Wikimedia, so Mathematics are out of scope.--Juandev (talk) 12:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If we were building a general-purpose Wiki Research Hub, then mathematics would be as much in-scope as any other topic. If we were building a Hub for Research about Wikis, then, yes, the scope would be much, much narrower. But in any case, the only reason I mentioned the "Experimental Mathematics" journal was just as an analogy. That journal publishes "mathematical experiments". I was suggesting that any future Hub for Research about Wikis should also publish wiki experiments. The real point of confusion is whether we're talking about building a general purpose Research Hub, or just the research-in-progress "version" of a Wiki Studies journal. I think if we stick with the spirit of SJ's points on Wiki Research Ideas, then we really are talking about a general-purpose research hub (in which all research topics are in scope), not just a project for doing research about wikis. But in that case, the research-about-wikis stuff should be included as well! (Others may have something different in mind, but I hope I have explained the Experimental Mathematics analogy now: it was a way of bringing up a very specific idea, experiments-with-wikis.) Arided (talk) 12:56, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, sorry - that was my missunderstanding as I jumped into this issue quite recently.--Juandev (talk) 17:57, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Right now we have a small group of interested parties is this enough of an initial group to get started with?
why not try -- C.Koltzenburg (talk))
or do we need more people for a critical mass? Should we invite some other people who do research on wikis to join as contributors?
sure :-) since this is an open Wiki-based project, anyone may feel invited, I guess -- C.Koltzenburg (talk)
I think it is enough. What is important to create multigenerational group. It means en entity which will not die, when the first founders will dissapper.--Juandev (talk) 12:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, it's easier to begin with small albeit determined group of people. Alexander Doria (talk) 12:46, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
well, whoever is in favour of a closed group, keep going and make a suggestion as to how you wish to define this closedness (e.g., any quotas? - see, e.g., Juandev's argument above). After proponents of a closed group have outlined their method I suggest that we discuss this idea of a closed group again. I am against running an initial phase as a closed group so let me wait for your suggestions on this point. Thanks. -- C.Koltzenburg (talk) 08:41, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Keep it open may get more point of views and more help, but you need still somenoe to push it forward to get into a conclusion on the end.--Juandev (talk) 17:57, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree. So we need to figure out for the existing group whom we want to be the person who keeps an eye on timelines and chooses a good point in time for decisions. It may be an issue of funding for a task that bears more responsibility that thinking aloud occasionally on a wiki page. -- C.Koltzenburg (talk) 11:05, 21 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Funding is definitely key to better contributions and more defined interests for individuals and groups of contributors.
  • Build overlay journals on top of the Research Hub - or start with just one brand?
(e.g. "Wiki Journal of Journalism and Media Studies", "Wiki Journal of Information and Computer Science", etc.)
agree, this is important for outreach to all fields of research -- C.Koltzenburg (talk)
Definitely one Journal. One Journal means less work not just for contributors, sideback team, but also less chaos for redears and better marketing.--Juandev (talk) 12:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Juan: Brian Keegan makes a compelling point that throwing all the research into one journal would be confusing, see his post here: [2]. Arided (talk) 12:48, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
let's study how PLoSOne organizes multidisciplinarity and then see what we can learn for our much smaller project. C.Koltzenburg (talk) 08:34, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have given this matter some thought during this past few days. For the most of it, Wiki studies concern three disciplines : computer science, sociology and media studies. The latters share to some point similar approaches (double blind reviews, stress on journal-publishing rather than conferences and lectures) and concepts (as a media researcher I frequently refer to sociological studies). The former requires rather specific and less formal procedures. We could therefore have the journal of wiki techniques along with the journal of wiki studies. Alexander Doria (talk) 10:43, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like this division for a start. Arided (talk) 15:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Arided, can you give one or more reasons for this, maybe? Why would this choice of fields convince you? Thanks -- C.Koltzenburg (talk) 11:05, 21 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But I think on the beggining there will be very few research articles so many Journals will be abandoned, thats why it might be good to have just one Journal. Like Nature its mostly about all biological science and it is not chaos.--Juandev (talk) 17:57, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with this point, so in the headline for this section I added "- or start with just one brand?" -- C.Koltzenburg (talk) 11:05, 21 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Branding is of special interest as I believe there is need for competitive analysis to the creation of wiki-enterprise that combines efforts of Wiki Studies. Contributing to the LIFEPATH of individual creations.
  • Once we deploy overlay journals, the design and any prototyping work by people who have been making a "Wiki Studies" journal could be useful
see Wiki Research Ideas/Design
why do you think so? (give us a checklist, maybe, that is designed for an interdisciplinary Hub rather than an overlay Journal?) -- C.Koltzenburg (talk) 11:05, 21 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Will the Journal(s) allow translations to other languages (like GLAM Newsletter), or there will be more separate language versions or it will be published just in English with open option to create other languages (like English Wikipedia singpost)? --Juandev (talk) 12:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The last option might easily be the best. For the time being, setting up the initial english version remains the main purpose. In a longer outlook, I may attempt creating the French version, whenever we get enough French submissions. Alexander Doria (talk) 12:27, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • If there are to many candidates, the editorial committee selects the members of the scientific committee, according to several criteria (interest in wiki, motivation, past activities and so forth…) Alexander Doria (talk) 16:35, 15 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would like to suggest here that in committee building processes we also look for quota-sensible factors like number of languages spoken, gender, age, skin colour, geographical background, field of expertise, and any other likely social barriers to access - debate, please :-) -- C.Koltzenburg (talk) 11:05, 21 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Potential contributors/users, user groups, and communities Edit

  •, Ltd (
    a long-running wiki-like community for Mathematics, there would quite likely be places to contribute/exchange via syndication between this site and the Research Hub. (PlanetMath will increasingly have an emphasis on work in progress.) Contact: Joe Corneli
  • The Free Technology Guild (
    a startup (in the planning phase) for supporting free/libre/open collaboration on software and other technologies. The FTG would be interested in collaborating in any project that develops good practices for sharing, building, and learning about technology. If there is coding work to be done as part of this project, the FTG would likely be especially interested in that part! Contact: Joe Corneli
  • The Peeragogy Project (
    A loose collaboration of people building a collection of vetted peer-to-peer educational practices. There is a research portion of this project and the persons involved may want to contribute some things. Contact: Joe Corneli
  • Collective Intelligence and Wisdom (
    A Google+ community discussing related ideas. 373 members as of 8 February 2013. Contact: John Graves Jg1141 (talk) 01:06, 8 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Bill Tomlinson (
    Lead author of "Massively Distributed Authorship of Academic Papers" (, possibly interested in lending a helping hand here. Other contributors to that paper might be interested as well.
  • Scientists without Borders (
  • (http2://
    Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation was established by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. The Kauffman Foundation's vision is to foster "a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities." In service of this vision, and in keeping with our founder's wishes, we focus our grant making and operations on two areas: advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education of children and youth.
  • The National Business Incubation Association (
  • The school of communication of Paris-Sorbonne (CELSA) (
    I'll attend the next meeting of the research unit by the end of the week and give some quick information on what we are planning to do. Alexander Doria (talk) 12:31, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The Norwegian university of Tromsø (
    Its Vice-president seems interested. Alexander Doria (talk) 12:39, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The Unesco (
    The organization is currently supporting several OA projects. I have discussed a bit what we were planning to do with one of its representatives, Bhanu Neupane. He seemed receiptive. Alexander Doria (talk) 13:02, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How gain support for this idea from those who want to use it? Edit

  • Outline a series of "experiments" that could be interesting to run.
  • With a good initial list recruit people to help run them.
  • Write a more detailed "timeline" for the project.

Planning the outreach for the starting phase Edit

  • Many researchers will have reasons for participating in cutting edge, multiauthor, and/or highly cross-disciplinary work ON a wiki. We should get in touch with some of those who have already been doing work "in this space" and invite them to join the project.
agree, and one of them is here already. C.Koltzenburg (talk)
At least one! Arided (talk) 14:34, 10 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
who else?

which wikis/forums to send a news clip to Edit

can anyone opt for following the discussion there, occasionally point to this Wiki page or simply add useful arguments from the list debate here?

Media feedback Edit

Implementation Edit

Here are some sketches about how we might implement something like this.

  • Incubation phase: we can keep growing the idea here on Meta for a while, using other public wikis if needs be
  • Basic software to use when we get started properly
    • MediaWiki is a natural choice, because many people know it, but we should potentially look at some other tools...
    • EasyChair (for reviewing papers)
    • Smallest Federated Wiki (Ward Cunningham's new project, perhaps he can say more)
    • Planetary (the new software being developed for PlanetMath, based on Drupal 7, relatively easy to extend; it has a peer review model built in)
  • Add-ons
    • Etherpad and/or SyncJS for realtime collaboration
    • Git for version control (note, this is native to the Smallest Federated Wiki)
    • Mailing list(s) which should be integrated with the main software (Alexander Doria: "we would be more at ease with a specific wiki or a wiki that's used only as a mailbox")