News and notes
Studying German flagged revisions, French library agreement, German court case
Research group to evaluate impact of flagged revisions on German Wikipedia
The impact of the flagged revisions software feature on the German Wikipedia since its introduction in May 2008 is to be evaluated in an academic research project. As announced last week, Wikimedia Deutschland has commissioned a quantitative analysis by the Libresoft research group located at the Rey Juan Carlos University near Madrid, Spain. An excerpt of the contract's specifications reads as follows:
- Evolution of the total number of anonymous edits before and after the "sighting" feature was activated.
- Evolution of the number of reverts of anonymous edits.
- Development of the number of IP blocks (and user blocks).
- Evolution of the number of page (semi-)protection.
- Evolution of the number of "sighted" (approved) anonymous edits.
- Detailed study of the time to accept or reject a certain anonymous revision [...].
- Study of the number of new users [...]
The research team will be headed by Felipe Ortega, who last year presented the results of his dissertation ("Wikipedia: A Quantitative Analysis"), which prompted media coverage and community discussions about the sustainability of Wikipedia communities (see earlier Signpost coverage: 23 November 2009, 7 December 2009, and 30 November 2009)
French National Library to cooperate with Wikisource
Wikimedia France has signed an agreement with the Bibliothèque nationale de France which will provide the French Wikisource with 1400 public domain texts that had been prepared for the library's Gallica web resource. As explained in the 7 April announcement, the automatic OCR process used to digitize the material is prone to frequent errors in such old texts, and the quality of the transcriptions is expected to benefit from human proofreading by the Wikisource volunteers.
Wikimedia Deutschland wins court case
The German Wikimedia chapter has announced that on 26 March it had prevailed in a lawsuit before a Hamburg court.
According to an article by Heise News and a redacted copy of the court's decision published on the blog of Thorsten Feldmann, Wikimedia Deutschland's lawyer, the plaintiff was a member of the Hamburg state parliament until 2008, but objected to being described as a former politician in the article about him. He also complained about the article summarizing rumors that had appeared about him in the press, these remain deleted, although the article itself still exists in a short version.
Earlier plaintiffs from Germany (see Signpost coverage: 2008, 2006) had unsuccessfully used the chapter's ownership of the domain wikipedia.de to hold it accountable for content on de.wikipedia.org. In the recent case, the plaintiff also argued that Wikimedia Deutschland was influencing content by organizing "Wikipedia Academy" outreach seminars in cooperation with the Foundation (which he also tried to hold legally accountable), and by recruiting active users which prevented modification by external persons. All these arguments were rejected by the court.
- In his post Full history dump for English Wikipedia is back, the Foundation's data analyst Erik Zachte notes the availability of a new dump of the English Wikipedia, remarking: "This particular dump has had a long history of ill fortune: for 4.5 years no new full archive dump for the English Wikipedia has been consistently available " - a fact that has been lamented by Zachte and other Wikipedia researchers for a long time. Zachte looked back on the difficulties of preparing the dump due to its large size ("Memorably, when on one run the job signaled there was still a year to go before completion, it was manually aborted"), and announced the return of the full editing statistics of the English Wikipedia.
- US company Common Craft has created an introductory Wikipedia video for the Wikimedia Foundation. It explains the Verifiability and Neutral point of view policies for the Wikimedia Foundation. (See also last week's Signpost coverage of other recently published introductory videos)
- On the blog of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the two founders of the WikiProject Wikipedia Saves Public Art (RichardMcCoy and Jgmikulay) described how their Wikiproject had raised awareness of public art in that city, citing rising readership numbers on Wikipedia as evidence. The post was published in the run-up to a Wikimedia workshop at the "Museums and the Web 2010" conference, with several attendees nominated by the Wikimedia Foundation.
- The total number of edits in all Wikimedia projects, as measured by the Wikimedia counter, reached 1 billion on 16 April. See Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Wikimedia counter.
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