[Foundation-l] Research assistance

David Goodman dggenwp at gmail.com
Mon Jan 23 04:18:30 UTC 2012

Experimentation that relies on the availability of Pending changes
would be better carried out of those language Wikipedias that have
adopted the system, such as the German Wikipedia.

The English WP decide not to use Pending Changes; I cannot for certain
predict what would happen if the request to revive it on a basis such
as you propose were to go to the English WP community, but I think
most of the interested people there would be extremely reluctant to
revisit the issue, after having debated in so extensively for so long.
This would I think apply even to experimental use: the initial
implementation was proposed as an experiment, and was continued
without authorization for a while even after the experiment was
supposed to end, before community protest put an end to it.  I don't
think the editors in any one subject area would consider themselves to
have the authority to reverse this overall decision for their area,
and I doubt the community as a whole would be prepared to grant such

There is no evidence that the medical sections of Wikipedia have a
particularly high incidence of problems; indeed, recent reviews from
various sources found the precise opposite.  Another audit of the
editing would certainly be useful, of course and, as Fred points out,
the interface is designed to facilitate such audits.

On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 9:28 AM, Fred Bauder <fredbaud at fairpoint.net> wrote:
>> I am applying for a summer student to do a Wikipedia Medicine research
>> project through my department at UBC. One potentially project I am
>> looking
>> it is having them review all the edits made to Wikiproject Medicine
>> articles. The student will go through each edit and a) determine if the
>> edit is okay and revert it/fix it if it is not b) determine which edits
>> are
>> made from IP/new users verses long term edits c) calculate the percentage
>> of positive/negative edits from each group d) they will be going over
>> edits
>> from more than one day old thus we will be able to determine how good
>> Wikipedia is at repairing itself. I am thinking of collecting a weeks
>> worth
>> of edits.
>> While we have a list here
>> http://toolserver.org/~tim1357/cgi-bin/wikiproject_watchlist.py?template=WikiProject%20Medicine&order=desc&limit=200&t=0&m=1&b=0&user=&off=0&cat=0&hip=0&q=1
>> if multiple edits
>> are made to the same page in a single day it only shows the last one. Is
>> it
>> possible to get a list of all edits? If should be possible to work with
>> this list if another is not available.
> For the first topic on that list click on "hist" and you'll get the
> editing history for the article:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Psychopathy&action=history
> You can take that back, usually, to the first edit which created the
> article.
> This is a wonderful project. There is a study that 50% of doctors
> sometimes consult Wikipedia and that 5% edit, probably the largest
> percentage of any professional group; and you can't say they're not busy.
> I suspect that ips in this area are more often responsible editors than
> is usual, simply doctors who do not have an account.
> Fred
>> If I am able to get approval and funding from UBC I am hoping to run a
>> second round collecting the same data but with "pending changes" turned
>> on
>> for a week on all medical articles. This students would be required to
>> handing all pending changes to all medical articles and will be
>> collecting
>> the same data as before. This will allow us to determine 1) if pending
>> changes affects the numbers of IPs editing 2) if and to what degree
>> pending
>> changes reduces the visibility of poor quality content. The proposed
>> student will be either between first and second year or second and third
>> year medicine and will be working 40 hours per week for 6-8 weeks during
>> the summer. If of course the last part of the project does not get
>> approval
>> I will still try to go ahead with the first part and will have the
>> student
>> join me on the "Medical Translation Project" as discussed here
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:MED/Translation_project
>> --
>> James Heilman
>> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
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David Goodman

DGG at the enWP

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