[Foundation-l] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Peer_review_and_the_Wikipedia_process

simonpedia simon at cols.com.au
Wed Feb 6 20:56:40 UTC 2008

Gerard Meijssen HYPERLINK
ly-To=6hfqa5%242p5r5r%40smtp05.syd.iprimus.net.au"gerard.meijssen at

on Tue Feb 5 18:21:23 UTC 2008
When you buy into a model, the model determines your answer. With this model
in mind Wikipedia would not have happened. For me it means that this model
is nice but it is broken because it does not consider Wikipedia, a project
that is wildly successful to the extend that many peer reviewed of whatever
level can only be envious.
When you have a model that allows for something like Wikipedia, you have my
>>>Thanks Gerard,
I’m not sure what you mean by “Wikipedia, a project that is wildly
successful to the extend that many peer reviewed of whatever level can only
be envious”.
Every wiki article, we both agree, is peer reviewed to some degree through
editing. And some knowledgeable reader who comes along at some point in time
will want to add or edit something. Five years (say) of editing pages has
produced a library of articles which are seen by a global majority of
viewers to be as good as something produced by “professionals”. And yes,
paid professionals have reason to be envious (if this is what you mean). 
The point now, using en.Wikipedia as the most mature library, is that many
researchers will want to use it as “their library”, in the same way as they
do with their professional journals. At least, I think, as a starting point,
where they might offer references to their more in-depth publications. In
this regards, the model offers a global framework for learning. It’s not
like say, the Open Courseware (OCW) initiative, where individual unis offer
“their” me too content on “their” domain, and the duplications are as many
as the domains. Theirs is a model based around the institution, not the
All I’m saying here, is that if we take the wiki model and apply it to
communications in the same way that it’s been applied to building a global
library, then you might be led to the idea that the global groups, who you
can identify by clicking on a history tab, are not always going to be around
(in fact rarely are at the same time). So as a mature page becomes
‘hardened’ then we need to encourage less editing and more understanding of
the discussions which went into making its ‘quality’. Logically, this means
that when a search tool offers a WMF sponsored page to a searcher, then we
should help newbies by offering them a place where they can read through a
synopsis of the FAQ’s which reflect the page’s learning, and perhaps points
to times when they can attend a(n online) conference, ask questions and
tutor one another. 
>>When you have a model that allows for something like Wikipedia, you have
my attention.
I hope this clarifies that I’m not trying to introduce a new model here;
just trying to understand its evolution. I agree with you, “the model
determines the answers”. I’m just a little concerned about the HYPERLINK
This group from the UNU is a OCW partner. They’re not used to using the same
model as WMF communities do, so if you read their cut and paste “About the
Wikimedia Foundation” = The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit
charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and
distribution of free, multilingual content = you might be led to believe
that the Foundation’s aim is about just building libraries. And aims are
only half the story.
Its mission = Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely
share in the sum of all knowledge = implies that people can find a way to
understand why content exists, and explain why (sometimes) its not quite
right. Understanding, as you know, is the last 10% of any learning. It just
happens to be the most important part. Is that OK?


No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition. 
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.20/1260 - Release Date: 5/02/2008
9:44 AM

More information about the foundation-l mailing list