Help:Resource attribution

This page is part of the Project boxes project.

Purpose of these project boxes


Relationship between user and resource


One of the big differences which has emerged between Wikipedia and Wikiversity governs the relationship between author and resource. On Wikipedia, an author's involvement with a resource is very much "fire-and-forget", and even when an article is watched, the relationship between author and resource is very depersonalised. On Wikiversity, there is often (but not always) a stronger and more long-term relationship. Resources which achieve completion or near completion usually do so because an individual or a small group has pushed development forward.

This parallels experiences with open educational resources elsewhere on the internet. In general, when educators create complex educational resources, other educators tend to borrow parts, fork productively or enter small corrections, but they tend not to move in and take over development in the way this would occur with a Wikipedia article. Note carefully: this is an empirical observation, not a prescription! It describes the natural, untamed behaviour of people who create open educational resources.

On Wikimedia Foundation projects it is generally the case that anyone can edit a resource. There is (almost) no such thing as reserving pages for the exclusive use of particular users. On the other hand, it would be rather impolite and counter-productive to shake up a completed learning resource of another user, when "productive forking" (i.e. copy-and-paste into a new page with a new name) is allowed. Productive forking is allowed on Wikiversity, but not on Wikipedia. What this means in practice is that on Wikipedia, users compete for the privilege to get their words into "the" article about subject X, whereas on Wikiversity, users can have several articles on subject X, which allows each user to develop a more personal relationship with that resource.

Using resources with real-world classes


If you plan to use a Wikiversity resource with a real-world class, it would be a major problem if the resource underwent a major revision from another user just before your class started. It would be useful and reassuring to teachers to be able to tag a resource as being something they were relying on for a while. While you shouldn't attempt to actively prevent editing by others, people on Wikiversity are normally extremely considerate about resources which others have created, so if they know you're using the page with a class, you can be very sure this will be respected.

When your classes start editing on Wikiversity


A problem which has arisen in the past is this. (1) A teacher brings their class onto Wikiversity (great). (2) The students start editing like crazy (great). (3) The students run into problems and need help and or shepherding around; custodians jump in but have no idea what's going on; nobody knows who to contact to ask about the student group (not great). Past experience tells us that it would be good if pages could be tagged by a teacher in such a way as to inform others who is responsible (in the real world) for the large group of newbie editors.

Available project boxes


Please remember that none of these tags can reserve a page for your exclusive use. However they will promote cooperation and mutually considerate behaviour.

Write Appearance Shortcut Uses Notes
  Attribution: User ~~~~ created this resource and is actively using it. Please coordinate future development with this user if possible.
  Attribution: User her/him created this resource and is actively using it. Please coordinate future development with this user if possible.
{{by}} You can change the pronoun using a parameter.
  Attribution: User ~~~~ has contributed a lot to this resource and would really appreciate involvement in future editing.
  Active users: User ~~~ is actively using this resource with a real world class. Please let me know if you plan any major changes.
  Responsibility: my class is currently using/editing this resource a lot, and you may want to direct any questions to ~~~ (me).
  Coordination: User ~~~~ helps coordinate the development of this resource.
  This resource is currently unmaintained. Please feel welcome to adopt it and then change this tag.
  Attribution: this resource was created by {{{1}}}.
{{op}} For opinion pieces or writing which reflects the views of a particular author or group of authors, such as articles, papers and essays.



Q: Can't you just use the page history to see who's responsible?

A: Experience shows that this is difficult. Page histories tend to get bogged down with long lists of minor edits not marked as such, and it can be remarkably difficult to work out who really has a current interest or responsibility for a piece of editing. Even checking the first edit doesn't help, because users may change names or start something as an IP user.

Q: Should authors be watching their watchlists instead?

A: In theory "yes", but a lot of people don't, or at least not often. A busy teacher will probably appreciate being alerted by a wiki email that their prize project is about to be revamped just before their class project begins. They can't watch their watchlist round the clock.

Q: Unmaintained?!

A: Somebody really wanted to flag a resource this way. Why not?

Q: How about a participants box?

A: Eeek! The experience of participants lists was that these got both long and very, very out-of-date. Participants boxes would be even more clutter-some. Please, noooo!

See also