[Taxacom] Google, Wikipedia, and Fungi

dipteryx at freeler.nl dipteryx at freeler.nl
Wed Sep 2 15:37:45 CDT 2009

Van: csparr at gmail.com namens Cynthia Parr
Verzonden: wo 2-9-2009 15:36
>Paul and others,

>It is true that the CC licensing EOL is using puts off some
>contributors. Because this is the same licensing that Wikipedia is
>using, those same contributors won't share their knowledge there,

- EOL uses CC-BY (Attribution),
  (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), with 
  CC-BY-SA, CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-SA allowed?
- Wikipedia uses CC-BY-SA 
  (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ )
I am not quite sure of the nuances but these are not the exact same 
licenses (with CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-SA not allowed in Wikipedia).
* * *

>That means less impact for this knowledge, and unfortunate
>gaps in the megaprojects (GBIF faces the same problem).

>Personally, I'd be delighted if folks share their knowledge on
>Wikipedia. EOL and anybody else can and will re-use it, and add
>value to it. 

There are a lot of assumptions here, about the value of knowledge
and the degree to which it will be safe in the public domain, 
especially in the long run.
* * *

>As it happens, we've been working on the strategy for Wikipedia
>content and would be happy for feedback. Those of you who have
>registered as EOL curators have already seen this.

>The idea is that we'll bring Wikipedia content onto EOL pages in two
>ways, to the extent possible. First, we'll bring the whole thing
>(including references) into a single EOL section. Second, we'll
>automatically break up the sections and put them into the appropriate
>EOL chapters and subchapters. We'll only be able to do that if our
>parser can do it sensibly, so we won't try if the structure of the
>page isn't standard.

>The Wikipedia content will be immediately publicly displayed on EOL
>with a yellow background -- clearly unvetted -- until an EOL curator
>reviews it and decides to trust it. Then that content remains the same
>on EOL until a curator provides a new URL pointing to the specific
>version of the WIkipedia page that they want to replace it.

>This curator step is crucial -- it is how the scientific community
>indicates to the world that a particular Wikipedia page version passes
>the review test. What do you think? Would you be more willing to 
>contribute to Wikipedia under these circumstances? Is it too much work 
>for EOL curators? Is it a hybrid that is ungainly or has vigor?

I have no idea how well this will work. Obviously it is very important 
what the quality of the Wikipedia-page is to begin with, and this will 
vary from pretty decent to something that a 10-year old created by 
copying-and-pasting from an online source or that somebody having a 
100-year old book put together. Much will depend on the curator.
* * *

>Just FYI -- Wikipedia is in the process of establishing its own
>quality control mechanism. In certain parts of the project, a trusted
>editor must review content before it shows up on the site. My
>understanding is that to be a trusted editor you have to have a
>certain number of edits on Wikipedia. Even if that's only typos.

Well, Wikipedia has alway been "in the process of establishing its
own quality control mechanism.", with varying ideas coming to the 
fore, none of them necessarily working noticeably. A "trusted editor" 
also can mean anything, ranging from a educated, well-read and polite
person to somebody with apparently marginal reading skills and an 
unwillingness to do more than skim an on-line abstract or the one 
textbook that (s)he has (with the educated person likely to 'burn out' 

It all reminds me of the issue of photographs on Wikipedia; it is
a well-known weakness that even in the most popular area (celebrities)
it is deficient on pictures. The basic attitude at Wikipedia is that 
said celebrities are morally obliged to turn in pictures of themselves 
(made by professional photographers). These photographers are caught in 
the dilemma that if they do turn over a picture this will become 
THE PHOTOGRAPH ON THE WWW and their chances to sell any other photograph
are diminished proportionally (there already is a free photograph, 
so why pay?). So, they don't and a lot of Wikipedia entries on celebrities
either have no pictures or have pictures of celebrities taken by amateurs 
(often quite bad, thus adding to the emotional blackmail exerted on the 
celebrities). It tends to be a lose-lose-lose situation all-round.


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