Wikipedia talk:WikiProject

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Acceptance of Wikiprojects by community?[change source]

How does a project move from user space into main space. This project page states: Until a WikiProject has been accepted by the community here and moved to the Wikipedia mainspace ... But how does the community decide when the project has been accepted? --Matilda (talk) 21:17, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Request to move a project to mainspace[change source]

I just set up User:Bluerasberry/WikiProject Medicine. Right now, Simple English Wikipedia consensus is that since there are not enough people on Simple English Wikipedia to maintain WikiProjects, WikiProjects should remain in userspace.

I do not expect that anyone would check in often to see what is happening with WikiProject Medicine here, but I still would like to move it to mainspace so that people can find it more easily. One problem with keeping it in userspace is that Wikidata does not allow interwiki links for userspace pages, and I would like to list this Simple English WikiProject with the 37 other WikiProject Medicines at d:Q4099686#sitelinks-wikipedia. If only I could move this out of userspace, then I could list this with the others.

I am not convinced that users of Simple English Wikipedia are more protected when they access WikiProjects which are in userspace as compared to mainspace, even if the WikiProjects are mostly inactive. If inactivity is a concern, then because WikiProject Medicine is one of the most active WikiProjects on English Wikipedia according to en:Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProject watchers, then I think that making this WikiProject live would be a reasonable first test case to see what happens when I well-established WikiProject seeks to create channels for collaborating on Simple English Wikipedia.

Thoughts from others? Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:45, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

I'm quite unsure at the moment. As much as I'd like this to happen, I am simply unsure whether our community is big enough yet to justify this. I'm open to change my mind though :) --George (Talk · Contribs · CentralAuth · Log) 19:31, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Caliburn Can you explain what risks increase when a WikiProject is in mainspace rather than in userspace?
I was motivated to make this page because some people suggested directing a university class studying health communication to Simple English Wikipedia. I would be more comfortable doing that if we collected health communication policies here, and I would be more comfortable asking others to contribute here if there were a path to make this a recognized site-wide WikiProject rather than something in my user space.
Like you, I do not expect there to be a community to regularly support this project or anything on Simple English Wikipedia, but I was wondering what harm could come if WikiProject Medicine as one of the most popular WikiProjects in English Wikipedia were to set up space here to gather resources in Simple English writing check interest from others.
Medicine might be uniquely positioned as one of the rare fields which invests in developing simple English writing guides, including best practices for writing to children, non-native English speakers, and people who otherwise have low English literacy. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:06, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Projects work on English wiki because there is a community of dedicated editors who have relevant expertise, and find they can support each other. Nothing of that kind exists on Simple wiki, which is why we don't have projects. Forgive me, but you yourself have made almost no contribution to medical articles on this wiki. Point out a regular editor who has medical training and expertise, and who regularly writes for us. There isn't one. Those that arrive from English wiki certainly don't understand the difficulty of writing for Simple. In fact some of them have resisted any kind of simplification. Macdonald-ross (talk) 17:21, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I have some knowledge, but I am confused by this. What if user leaves? And true, I never edit topics like this either. --Windell (talk) 18:03, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
The big problem I see is: Currently there is a class of students who has been directed here, and who needs a forum to exchange ideas (etc) what to write about. So we ideally have one project (which ideally has as many editors as this whole wikipedia). In 2-3 months time form now, we have a project in mainspace, where no one contributes any more (because the assignment is over). Not talking about the new joiners, we currently have one (perhaps two) editors writing about a subject. Many subjects will not get coverage, because we simply lack the editors. So suppose we provide a platform for the supposed three months of editing of these users, where can we best put it, so that it is not associated with one user? --Eptalon (talk) 20:32, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm around some days and work on some medicine-related articles. I recommend it to anyone who needs to work on writing in simpler English. If the project fails, you could move it back to Bluerasberry's user page, or (if he is no longer active) to mine. Page moves aren't permanent. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:40, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Class projects usually have a project page as a subpage of Wikipedia:Schools/Projects. The associated talk pages have been used to exchange ideas. --Auntof6 (talk) 10:13, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: Did you try to contact the user who has the Wikiproject Medicine that we already had? Granted, there's almost nothing there and it hasn't been active for a while, but it's bad form to set up a duplicate without trying to contact the current user to ask if he/she would mind you taking it over. We have had cases where such users did want to continue, even after years of inactivity. I certainly would be against formalizing your project without an attempt to contact the other user, at least as a courtesy.
I would have concerns about this project going to mainspace, even aside from the general concerns about any WikiProject going there. For one thing, as I write this, you have made only 25 edits here. Some were on the 15th of this month, and the rest were over a year ago. That does not give me confidence that you know how this Wikipedia works -- we do some things quite differently from English Wikipedia, even aside from using simple language. My other concerns speak to that same issue. One is that the project page you created is not in simple language. (It also says "There is no particular preferred manual of style for health writing here", which is misleading because we use English Wikipedia's guidelines when we don't have our own.) The other is that your personal user and user talk pages refer people to your English Wikipedia pages. That doesn't look like a person who wants to be a part of this community.
Don't get me wrong: I would love to see a WikiProject here be successful and stay active. It has just never happened. Most are active for only a few months, if that, and then peter out. I, for one, would look more favorably on this if the project had already done some work and had a track record. If your goal is to contribute to this Wiki, surely you could show good faith by doing that. If your goal is just to stake territory here, then I don't think that's something we want. --Auntof6 (talk) 11:04, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Auntof6 How did you find that WikiProject Medicine proposal, and how did you know that it was not someone's private draft? It was not listed on this page, and this WikiProject page was the only place I looked. I messaged the user but as they have not responded to inquiries in more than 3 years, and as their investment is this is three small edits, I am not expecting much. I was not expecting a custom of ownership over proejct pages here, and did not anticipate that anyone might suggest that I write to other users before editing the wiki. Are the customs here different from other wikis? I expected that anyone could edit anything here without asking permission of others, so I am not recognizing what I did that was bad form.
Interleaved reply: I found it by looking in Category:WikiProjects. That user may have made only three edits to the WikiProject page, but he/she worked on a lot of medicine-related articles and another editor also made a minor edit to the project page. (I'm not counting my edit that just added the category). I agree that we're unlikely to get a response. However, since we have a precedent of trying to contact editors before deleting inactive WikiProjects, I think it's prudent to do the same when someone wants to usurp one. --Auntof6 (talk) 10:13, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Most probably I will not be joining the Simple English community as a regular editor, and did not intend to suggest that would do so. As you say, I have hardly edited here. I probably will not be learning how things work here anytime soon. I am a stakeholder here in the sense that I need simple English content, and want to promote its creation, and not in the sense that I wish to write it myself. If it interests you to see what I have already done in this space, then check the translation task force on English Wikipedia. The updated parts are difficult to quickly show, but if you check at en:Wikipedia:WikiProject_Medicine/Translation_task_force/RTT_Old, you can see in the table in the forth column that WikiProject Medicine has been managing simple English translation for medicine on English Wikipedia for some years. This has always been because of the difficulty of managing content on multiple sites, but I would like to explore options to create the bridges to share the content being produced on English Wikipedia, simple here, and beyond. I expect that more people have participated in developing simple English translations of health content on English Wikipedia than here, which is a shame, because I wish that people could travel between the projects. I want to be better connected to simple English Wikipedia but that might not mean me editing here. I would like to participate in setting standards and in my work, I have students edit Wikipedia and they often are interested in options for translating to simple English. Right now I do not have a good option for introducing students to reviewers in health here because the community is on English Wikipedia and there are no guidelines here for health translation.
Interleaved reply: I looked at the articles for the common cold and schizophrenia. Is that the level of simplicity you have in mind? I can see that they are not in complicated technical language, but they are also not the kind of simple language we would need here. Keep in mind that our audience is people with poor English skills. I wonder if the project on enwiki is more for people with average but non-technical English skills. --Auntof6 (talk) 10:13, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
My interest here is in creating a place to store resources for the translation of English language health information into simple English in the health sector. I would also like to make a landing page for other people who are interested in these kinds of health issues to review available resources and discuss them here.
Yes, what I have written on this WikiProject page may be incorrect or misleading. Perhaps with it being a wiki someone could improve it. What I meant to say by there not being a manual of style is that I have been unable to identify a widely accepted translation guide for converting technical health content into simple English. I want to continue to collect links to all the guides which exist because I expect that there cannot be many comprehensive ones in existence. Putting them here seems like a natural choice.
I am not imagining a WikiProject here to be a thriving community forum, or even to have any activity at all. I am imagining a WikiProject Medicine here to present all information that can be found about simplifying medical content, and to direct people back to English Wikipedia if they have health-related questions. With that as a success metric the success of the project seems likely to me, because the goal would be establishing the simplification of health content as a goal and to begin collecting the resources necessary to start this. Simple English Wikipedia was started in 2003 and still does not have a WikiProject. Is it not a fair time to try something new? What could go wrong? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:02, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
It sounds like your goal is to create reference material and leave it at that. A WikiProject is supposed to help improve Wikipedia. A WikiProject here is supposed to help improve this Wikipedia. A list of resources wouldn't further that goal if there aren't people actively using them to create and improve articles here. It also wouldn't help this Wikipedia if the resources were about writing the a different level of simple language than we (are supposed to) use here. If what you want to do is inform people about writing simple medical information (as opposed to actually doing such writing), that might be better as an article than a WikiProject.
It is not correct to say that there is no WikiProject here. We have quite a few of them. We just don't manage them the same as other Wikipedias. (There are quite a few other things we do differently.) --Auntof6 (talk) 10:13, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - interesting discussion above. I have in the past tried to find such a project, and there seemed to be nothing, apparently what little there is/was is cloaked. I had hoped to find other wikiprojects, and searched for a medical one because I thought it was the most likely to have been created. There are people like me who are trained in science rather than in medicine who can contribute to articles that deal with the scientific aspects of medicine (rather than the "black art" aspects), so the potential community is larger than some contributors to this discussion have suggested. I think that potential contributors here, even temporary contributors from a training class, are not to be sneezed at (that's a wee medical joke). A large component of the difficulty of editing here is that there are not enough pages already created, and that makes it far more difficult to figure out how to phrase anything using only words that don't require an explanatory link. I heartily support allowing Blue Rasberry to create something here that can be linked with wikidata, rather than leaving Simple English medicine cut off from the rest of the world, ligated, as it were. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 23:28, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Thoughts from another editor: (as requested). Firstly, please visit Blue Rasberry's English Wikipedia user page. He has been an established editor since 2008. He has very impressive credentials and biography and shares his real identity. Whether he intends to take up active editing here on Simple, I beg everyone to assume good faith in his intentions to have this WikiProject here. I apparently have made enough Medical article edits here that my talk page was templated with a request to join a Wikimedia project in January. I do have medical experience of a sort. So, I have been saddened at the quality of our medical articles. In one, an absolute error remained from 2011 until I rewrote the paragraph this year. I have also been frustrated at how many we do not have that are necessary. If allowed to begin as a project and students come and write, I agree we are much better off than with not having new or improved content. I pledge to follow-up when the articles become stale drafts or are passed by instructors. Then I will watchlist every article to guard against bad changes and will add to improve content as I can. I have done this here with articles that were left in the 'stale class assignments' category. I have read what Sminthopsis84 says above. It reminds me that I write best on complex topics by taking the ideas from English Wikipedia and then rewording and explaining to make simpler. It is difficult to "start from scratch" (or 'without a recipe' if that is slang). Please allow this to begin. Be bold. Thanks. Fylbecatulous talk 02:29, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Not convinced by any of this. A project is not needed for editing, rather it stands in the way of editing. If we ever have a project on main pages it should be one where there are plenty of editors, and therefore a forum might have some purpose. This is not such a topic. Macdonald-ross (talk) 14:52, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm completely lost here. Could someone please explain, perhaps with the use of a simple example, how having a wikiproject "stands in the way of editing"? In my other editing work on other wiki projects I find it enormously helpful and *encouraging* to be able to discuss ideas at the wikiproject talk page. Many things that would never have been done have been achieved because people were able to collaborate and find others with the necessary expertise, and that only happened because of the wikiproject discussions. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 18:12, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Understandably, you aren't familiar with a wiki that has only about a dozen editors who regularly add content. On English wiki, many projects have several dozen editors. We have a long history of editors anxious to start projects. Many of these have two or three members, and after a few weeks discussion dies away. Then the project is effectively dead and usually deleted after some years of inactivity. If you think wiki projects here are going to be genuine centres of discussions, you may find out differently. Our compromise is that we do allow editors to run projects as a sandbox page.
In general, what we do on this wiki has to be adjusted to the tiny size of our editing group. The sense of a separate wiki is that its editors take decisions which suit their wiki. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:35, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying that. This is effectively the Nupedia methodology that was replaced by the wikipedia one because so little content was being added that Nupedia seemed destined not to go anywhere. Other wikiprojects work together with one another, and there is a synergy that can be truly exciting (and a bit maddening as well). Here, on the other hand, there is a small group of editors who close the doors to offers from outside. From my own experience I find that the enthusiasm runs out when one is greeted with such negativity; the energy available for working on a solution to a problem just drains away.
I don't think that hiding wikiprojects in user space is a useful compromise, they look like a backup copy of something that was deleted in a way that the owner thought was unreasonable (I don't recall if a year ago I saw some mention of a wikiproject in someone's personal space or not, but I was looking for plants or medicine, and didn't find either, so that was the end of that for me).
I still don't understand how it is a bad thing to have a moribund wikiproject waiting for inspiration to land on it. In other wikipedias I assure you that an intelligent question or suggestion wakes up all the people who have the page on their watch lists, and discussion starts up again, often followed by editing of content pages. Over the past six months I haven't edited here, but I maintained a watch list set to alert me by email to a couple of things that I cared about. There might be quite a few former editors here who are using such settings in the hope that something that interests them will wake up some day. (But perhaps they saw the wikiproject being deleted and gave up all hope for this wiki). Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:58, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
@Macdonald-ross: I think you meant user page, not sandbox. Not everything in userspace is a sandbox. A sandbox is a page for trying things out, whether it's used for editing tests or for working on a draft of an article. That description doesn't fit the WikiProject pages. --Auntof6 (talk) 16:57, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment (second): I just placed my name as a member of BlueRasberry's WikiProject Medicine; whatever happens with this... I have been left sort of speechless by this discussion, but should expect nothing different, I suppose. I was one of those inquiring about having easier access to WikiLove last year. That was just 'happy-clappy' discussion compared to our medical content or lack thereof. Having accuracy and complete content in our medical articles cannot be shrugged off for simplicity's sake, format and having too few editors. I added to Doctor Zhivago, an important historical movie in order to add more categories, because what we had did not reflect the depth of the story. But this is nowhere near as important as the changes I have made to improve Huntington's disease. Do not think that no one except those learning ESL will be reading our content. The medical articles on English Wikipedia are so dense with jargon and technical structure, it is like reading a manual from a doctor's book shelf. Even my sister comes to Simple in order to understand. Perhaps we should just limit ourselves to movies, celebrities, dogs and cats here. Respectfully, Fylbecatulous talk 20:43, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Good idea. I've added my name too. The people who I see trying to use Simple English wikipedia are educators from Bangladesh who would like to link to it, thus magnifying its potential for informing or misinforming. If the wikiproject does get deleted and volunteer medical educators are driven away, as seems to be where the above discussion is heading, then I heartily agree with @Fylbecatulous: that it would be better to delete most of the embryonic material on medical subjects here rather than leave it in a shabby state to mislead readers. I doubt that the two of us can fix it all without help from @Bluerasberry: and the people they hope to bring here. Bad information on medical topics is worse than none, it is potentially dangerous. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:52, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
No one has suggested deleting the project! There's no reason for it not to be active where it is. In fact, having it active and doing good work over time that's in line with our version of simplicity might be the best argument for making it official. --Auntof6 (talk) 16:29, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm suggesting deleting the project. I am not an expert on medicine and I ought not to work in isolation on it, my work needs to be checked by others. I doubt that experts will come to this project in user space, and I believe that the likely outcome is that work done by me will in time be deleted along with the "inactive" wikiproject. It has been stated above that inactive wikiprojects are in time deleted. It is my opinion that bad medical content ought to be deleted. BlueRasberry stated above: "I would be more comfortable asking others to contribute here if there were a path to make this a recognized site-wide WikiProject rather than something in my user space." The impression that I get is that this is not about to happen. Thus we are in a bind: experts can't be properly invited to participate until the wikiproject is official, and there is resistance to making the wikiproject official if there is not a lot of activity already in it. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 19:41, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I too am going to withdraw. This has been met with the usual negativity by the powers here (not by any of us pleading for inclusion). In fact, having it active and doing good work over time that's in line with our version of simplicity might be the best argument for making it official. -- (Auntof6 above) No disrespect, but this will not work. Where will these workers come from; we cannot be found by others because this proposal to integrate ourselves into a larger body of persons with medical credentials cannot happen here on Simple. I do have medical training, acquired knowledge and experience in writing for laypersons. But even I am currently struggling with how to write an article on Pulmonary edema that is equally accurate and in line with our version of simplicy. So, I second the motion of Sminthopsis84 that bad medical content here should be deleted and certainly not invited. Meanwhile, I am just going to continue to write about pink cats and klepto kitties...anything else will not bring me happiness. Thank you, Fylbecatulous talk 23:07, 28 April 2015 (UTC)