Wikiversity:Types of user accounts

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Contributors can be almost anyone, and they can have a number of different roles

In a sense, on Wikiversity all users are equal: all people contributing to the project are expected to stick to the same rules, and when it comes time to discuss how to manage issues, all contributors have an equal voice. That said, there is a difference in what different contributors can do.

IP editors edit

Anyone editing without first creating an account is identified by their IP address. An IP address is a series of numbers which effectively identify the network location of your computer. As such, IP editors loose a certain degree of privacy, as depending on the circumstances that IP address can be used to identify the country, city and potentially the location from which the contributor is accessing Wikiversity. Along with the reduction in privacy, IP addresses often change, and as a result it is difficult for someone editing without an account to build a reputation as a valued contributor.

In terms of editing, IP editors can edit any unprotected page. However, they are unable to create new pages or upload files, and their edits tend to be given special attention by those looking at recent changes.

Registered users edit

New users are able to make changes to unprotected resources (which is the default status for the vast majority of pages), but are not able to edit protected resources or to upload files. By having an account, they are no longer identified by their IP address, which provides a greater degree of privacy. The single account name also makes it easier for contributors to build a positive reputation and relationships with other contributors.

The unified login (SUL) process permits users with an account to have a common username across all the Wikimedia Foundation projects. Thus the same username and password could be used to log into Wikiversity, Wikipedia, Wikibooks and Wikimedia Commons, to name but four of the projects.

See also: Why create an account

Autoconfirmed editors edit

After four days, any user with a user account is automatically autoconfirmed, irrespective of the number of edits that they have made. This provides them with the ability to upload files and perform page moves.

Established users edit

There is no formal definition of an "established user", and they do not necessarily have any more rights than an autoconfirmed user. In practice, though, an established user is someone who has been around long enough, and who has done enough, to build up a reputation as a valued contributor. Candidates for probationary custodianship (see below) are typically accepted from the pool of established users.

On some other wikis, (for example Wikipedia), established users can request additional tools, such as rollback. On Wikiversity these are generally reserved for custodians.

Custodians edit

Custodians on Wikiversity are the equivalent to Administrators on Wikipedia: they are responsible for administrative actions, such as blocking and unblocking accounts, deleting and restoring pages and files, and protecting and unprotecting content. As these tasks are both essential and open to misuse, custodians are carefully selected by the Wikiversity community. Custodians need to be trusted contributors who have demonstrated that they understand Wikiversity's policies and are able to interpret consensus accurately and consistently. Those interested in volunteering for the task go through a probationary period (see below), at the end of which they may be nominated for full custodianship. Once nominated, the Wikiversity community is invited to take part in a discussion and show their support (or otherwise) for the nominee, and a decision is reached as to whether or not the contributor should take on this role.

It is important to note that custodians may have extra tools that they can employ, but in terms of finding consensus they are no more able to direct debate than any other contributor. The custodian role is an administrative one – an important administrative role, but determining policy, selecting custodians and engaging in debate are things that all contributors are encouraged to take part in as equal members of the community.

Probationary custodians edit

Wikiversity is unusual in having a process whereby those interested in serving as custodians are given a short probationary period. Probationary custodians have the same abilities as regular custodians. However, they are supervised by an experienced custodian as their mentor, and at the end of the probationary period discussion is opened up for the community as to whether or not they should continue as full custodians.

Contributors interested in undertaking the role nominate (or are nominated) at Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship.

CheckUsers edit

CheckUsers have the ability to compare user accounts and IP addresses to determine if they are the same people. Abusing accounts, in particular to get around a block or ban, or to lend the appearance of additional support in a debate, is not permitted on Wikiversity, and the CheckUsers have access to the tools required to investigate where such abuse is suspected. However, doing so requires that CheckUsers have access to potentially private information, such as the IP address from which a registered account is being used. Thus they are limited to highly trusted members of the community, must be over 18 years of age, are required to provide identification to the Wikimedia Foundation, and must work within the privacy policy.

Currently, there are no CheckUsers on Wikiversity. CheckUser requests are handled by the global Stewards, who have permissions to run CheckUser on multiple Wikimedia Foundation wikis.

Bureaucrats edit

Bureaucrats are primarily responsible for two jobs: they determine consensus and decide whether or not to promote someone to custodian or bureaucrat and can permit bots to operate. There are currently 3 bureaucrats on Wikiversity, and new bureaucrats are elected through the Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship page. As with custodians, bureaucrats are expected to have a deep understanding of Wikiversity's processes, and are highly trusted members of the community.

Further reading edit