On 2/8/07, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111(a)hotmail.com> wrote:
I think that the idea of this professor wanting to
maintain creative control
over her book is a difficult one to reconcile with Wikibooks, and one that I
don't think a compromise is going to be found on. the primary goal of
wikibooks is the collaborative authoring of textbooks, not simply a
compilation of existing textbooks.
Well, it seems to me that the purpose of Wikibooks is to be "the
open-content textbooks collection", not "the open-content textbooks
collection that anyone can edit". But perhaps this is a matter that
the Foundation should be consulted on. I know that Jimbo has stepped
in to reorient the site in the past, with the game guides and so on.
This point is true, but wikibooks is not supposed to
be an advertising
platform or a personal webhost.
No, but it is supposed to get quality textbooks to as many readers as
possible. That goal is better served, leaving aside for the moment
how fundamental wiki is to Wikibooks, by accepting a quality textbook
than by refusing one. In that regard, it benefits everyone more to
allow a good textbook to piggyback on Wikibooks' and Wikipedia's
success. The issue of wiki or not does remain, of course.
On 2/8/07, Robert Scott Horning <robert_horning(a)netzero.net> wrote:
Honestly, another "alternative" to this
perhaps might be Wikiversity.
The policies are not quite as firm there, but I would have to say that
the definition of a textbook on Wikiversity would be much stronger than
perhaps what you would find on Wikibooks, where more general purpose
"How-to" books are allowed. If this could be integrated into a
Wikiversity "course", there might even be some very real interest in
having this hosted on Wikiversity. Certainly this is something to bring
up on the Wikiversity "Collequium" (the Wikiversity village pump).
That's possible, of course, but I think that the issue of wiki (which
is the point of contention here) would be just as much of an issue
there as here. And while of course there's some overlap between
Wikiversity and Wikibooks, I think it makes substantially more sense
for Wikibooks to take a textbook than Wikiversity.
try to find out why she is insisting on maintaining
control over the word of the book and not opening it up for collaboration.
Well, as I see it, the openness of wiki and the openness of
traditional academia are similar in some ways but not the same. In
academia, it's common to allow others extensive use of your work for
free (after distribution costs, which are now close to zero with the
advent of the Internet), but to claim credit for the work. That is,
she wrote this book, and so it goes on her CV. If it's widely used,
that probably also goes on her CV, along with the publisher and so
forth. But "Wrote a textbook that other people modified and that is
now used" isn't the sort of thing that's customary among academics, I
don't think. Coauthorship, yes, but then you coauthored it with a few
defined experts. The wiki idea of not really claiming credit for the
work doesn't sit well with her, I don't think.
Now, she's perfectly happy for other people to modify it. She would
be fine if there were two copies, each linking to the other, one
written by her and one editable by anyone. In her words:
I'd also be happy to have a version of it
available for people to revise, so long as that one is clearly marked
as an open mss and, this is the key point, so long as the one I wrote
(perhaps revised as per some of the suggestions, as I have with the
comments of 150 CCNY students and various art historians) remains
posted, clearly marked as the work I wrote.
Perhaps this would be acceptable? Possibly the unmodifiable one need
not even be hosted by Wikibooks, just linked to by it, which would
neatly solve all the problems. I assume that Wikibooks would be happy
to put a prominent link to the original at the top of every module, if
it's available online somewhere.
Another very real possibility, and something I'm
just trying to dig up
right now, is the Academia Wikia, which you can find at:
Again, the basic idea here is to get the textbook to a broad
readership, which tying into the WMF sites would do admirably. If
it's not put at the WMF or some other prominent place, it may as well
go on a personal or college website.