[Foundation-l] Another look a bot creation of articles

Birgitte SB birgitte_sb at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 15 17:11:43 UTC 2008

--- On Mon, 7/14/08, Lars Aronsson <lars at aronsson.se> wrote:

> From: Lars Aronsson <lars at aronsson.se>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Another look a bot creation of articles
> To: birgitte_sb at yahoo.com, "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> Date: Monday, July 14, 2008, 4:53 PM
> Birgitte SB wrote:
> > I think there was recently a thread about the press
> about the 
> > paper A Gene Wiki for Community Annotation of Gene
> Function [1].  
> > I was reading it today and found it interesting in
> respect to 
> > views generally expressed on this mailing list against
> bot 
> > created articles. Personally I can't see why this
> sort of work 
> > described here should be required to be done by hand
> (as is the 
> > case where some wikipedias don't allow this sort
> of bot 
> > creation).  Especially when analysis found that after
> the bot 
> > created stubs for all genes in the authorative
> database that 
> > were missing from Wikipedia, "approximately 50%
> of all edits to 
> > gene pages were made on the newly created pages."
> PLoS Biology is a recognized journal for biology research,
> but not 
> for wiki research.  Their statements about the usefulness
> in wikis 
> of bot-generated stubs are not backed up by verifiable
> evidence. 
> For example, they don't define what a "stub"
> is, and how the 
> usefulness varies with that definition.  The stub shown as
> example 
> in the article (fig. 1) is far longer and more well-written
> than 
> what one usually has to confront when criticizing stub
> articles in 
> Wikipedia.
> Their statistic that 50% of edits landed in new articles
> doesn't 
> indicate quality or usefulness.  It only says that carpet
> bombing 
> might sometimes hit a target.
> Their work is interesting biology.  But for wiki research,
> this 
> paper is merely of anecdotal interest.  Maybe they are
> writing a 
> separate article focused on wikis? Are the authors coming
> to 
> Wikimania?

I saw the paper more as part of the effort to attract more subject experts to expand on the stubs than as the final evaluation of the project.  Which really plays on what I hoped was a different angle towards the discussion of bot creation.  The difference between if someone uses a bot to create stubs from an easily accessible database that they have no longterm interest in, or if an organized group uses a bot to create stubs as part of long-term project that includes contiuned involvement in the articles.   Maybe you see no difference there, I don't know since you didn't respond to the conclusion of my email.  I think various Wikipedias might be better served regulating the use of bot creation to well planned projects rather than outlawing bot creation.  I think this example is a good "best practice" as far as bot creation goes.  But most of all I think that every Wikipedia should make their own decision as to what to allow without giving much credit
 opinions that use hostile terms like "carpet-bombing" or otherwise frame the discussion as battleground between different Wikipedia communities (see previous threads on the subject).

Birgitte SB


More information about the foundation-l mailing list