[Foundation-l] Wikipedia as "pro bono" work for academics

P. Birken pbirken at gmail.com
Tue May 8 16:47:33 UTC 2007

2007/5/8, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com>:
> http://www.mazar.ca/2007/05/07/wikipedia-as-community-service/
> Much as lawyers have a certain pro bono obligation, so academics could as well.
> How to sell this one to academia?

To me, term pro bono in combination with academics doesn't fit.
Academics are doing pro bono work every day. Every day they lose
money, because they have decided to become academics instead of, for
example, lawyers (to be precise, in germany a fresh high school
teacher earns much more than a Postdoc and even slightly more than a
fresh professor). Every day they are providing community service in
doing education and research for the benifit of society. So, this
cannot be sold to academics.

Nevertheless, we could do more to attract academics. Mainly, we could
credit authorship more prominently. The argument that wikipedia
article obtain huge readership is not so tough when the readers don't
know who the author is. Or, we could approach academics and ask them
for reviews. This is something they know, which is a regular part of
their work and which they can fit in their tight time tables. But
again, there is the problem of how to reward this.



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