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Editing Wikipedia Helps Professor Attain Tenure

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the an-internet-encyclopedia-will-never-work dept.

Wikipedia 139

Hugh Pickens writes "Lianna Davis writes in Watching the Watchers that Michel Aaij has won tenure in the Department of English and Philosophy at Auburn University Montgomery in Alabama in part because of the more than 60,000 edits ... he's written for Wikipedia. ... Aaij felt that his contributions to Wikipedia merited mention in his tenure portfolio and a few weeks before the portfolio was due two of his colleagues suggested, after they had heard him talk once or twice about the peer-review process for a Good Article, that he should include it under 'research' as well as 'service.'"

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139 comments

TERRORISTS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35755712)

That's all tenure gets them !!

Over 60,000? (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 3 years ago | (#35755716)

Maybe this guy needs to list Editing Wikipedia as his primary job and Professor at Auburn University as his 2nd job?

Re:Over 60,000? (2, Insightful)

Petrushka (815171) | about 3 years ago | (#35755888)

Maybe this guy needs to list Editing Wikipedia as his primary job and Professor at Auburn University as his 2nd job?

Perhaps, but I suspect this story says more about Auburn University Montgomery than it says about his research profile.

I had never heard of Auburn University Montgomery before today; given the nature of this story, I don't expect ever to hear of it in any serious context again.

Re:Over 60,000? (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 3 years ago | (#35756204)

at least he's probably doing better than most professors in terms of being useful to humanity in general.
If his edits are even half decent then more people will read them and actually learn something than ever will from many entire departments.

Most of them never write anything of worth which isn't behind a paywall.

an expert contributing his time to an open and free store of knowledge should be lauded.

It really is amusing though how threatened some professors feel about the whole idea of wikipedia-like systems.
I had one a while back who was so bitter that he spent time just about every class ranting about how awful it was. "AND YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO WRITES THESE THINGS!!" meanwhile one of his more gifted masters students is mugging away behind him and mouthing "me".

On the other hand I had another professor who pointed the class towards a particular wiki entry(and a specific revision) which he'd read and considered to be extremely well written and without error which explained the subject material extremely clearly.

Re:Over 60,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756256)

at least he's probably doing better than most professors in terms of being useful to humanity in general. If his edits are even half decent then more people will read them and actually learn something than ever will from many entire departments.

That's assuming one of the "higher ups" doesn't revert his changes for the hell of it.

Re:Over 60,000? (2)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 3 years ago | (#35756334)

if he's written 60K then chances are at least some of them haven't been reverted.

Re:Over 60,000? (-1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#35756394)

If he's "written 60,000 edits" it's more likely he's one of the no-lifed neckbeards sitting around pushing buttons, automating everything via automated tools [wikipedia.org] and has never read more than 100 or so edits in his entire Wikipedia time.

His name should likely be "Professor Revert-Monkey."

Re:Over 60,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757608)

Aw, someone sounds jealous.

HungryHobo = a /. "ne'er-do-well" STUDENT NOOB! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756780)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2071668&cid=35756728 [slashdot.org]

(LMAO - That shows everyone here reading just how much of a lying, libelling, & trolling stalker + UTTER STUDENT NOOB "ne'er-do-well" that YOU REALLY ARE, HungryHobo!)

APK

Re:HungryHobo = a /. "ne'er-do-well" STUDENT NOOB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757828)

You don't really think any sensible person will take the time to follow your "documentation," do you? What with all the random bolding and capitalization it looks like a ransom note.

HungryHobo, replying as AC now? LMAO! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35758716)

You don't really think any sensible person will be fooled by your replying as 'Anonymous Coward' now, do you, HungryHobo?

"You don't really think any sensible person will take the time to follow your "documentation," do you? What with all the random bolding and capitalization it looks like a ransom note." - by Anonymous Coward ALIAS HungryHobo replying as AC instead of his "registered LUSER" account on SLASHDOT on Friday April 08, @11:10AM (#35757828)

What with all the lies & libel you directed MY WAY here today:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2074342&cid=35756780 [slashdot.org]

(Totally unjustly, &, AFTER You had trolled me before, off-topic as is your usual, & that same way too & on the SAME b.s., lies, & libel you directed my way here before today's latest from you doing the same: http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1945994&cid=34862876 [slashdot.org] )

Between the 2 of those 2 posts in reply to your stupidity?

Well, I just simply UTTERLY BLEW YOU AWAY in them both, & with proofs of my words no less!

APK

P.S.=> HungryHobo, please: You're going to have to get up earlier in the a.m. than that, to "get the better of me" you MERE STUDENT-NOOB "ne'er-do-well", because this was truly "just too, Too, TOO EASY - just '2EZ'" for me to do, to blow you away yet again, & on the same crap you tried before no less!

The "infamous they" & iirc, Albert Einstein once said:

"Repeating the same mistake over & over, expecting different results, IS INSANITY..."

Well - Then, so is your trolling me, and its results, much to YOUR dismay, as is per your usual, vs. myself... because, let's face it: You don't have the SKILL, the EXPERIENCE, or the KNOW-HOW to ever get the best of myself! apk

Re:Over 60,000? (1)

skids (119237) | about 3 years ago | (#35756904)

Plainly, you should not argue with these people. If what they are upset about is that their stuff on Wikipedia gets deleted, then probably they are some of the full-of-crap ideologues that come in with an agenda trying to insert bullcrap, and then get all huffed up when someone denies them.

Eventually more academics will wake up to the calling Wikipedia represents. It is already extremely useful, of course, and will only get more so.

Re:Over 60,000? (1)

microbox (704317) | about 3 years ago | (#35756972)

at least he's probably doing better than most professors in terms of being useful to humanity in general.

I agree with that. The future of wikipedia, or sites like it, could serve to be a summary of a particular issue, and a portal into the most relevant peer-reviewed articles. This is an excellent example, [wikipedia.org] and does a much better job of summaries the debate than any of the peer reviewed "scientific" articles in the field.

Oh, Good."Gifted Masters Student." We're Saved! (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 3 years ago | (#35757042)

Unfortunately, for every "gifted Masters student" writing in Wikipedia there are three angry fourteen-year-olds focused like lasers on advancing some social agenda or another.

Re:Oh, Good."Gifted Masters Student." We're Saved! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35759554)

It's OK, the fourteen year olds are only busy arguing over the wording of the Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon articles.

Re:Oh, Good."Gifted Masters Student." We're Saved! (2)

plcurechax (247883) | about 3 years ago | (#35759690)

Unfortunately, for every "gifted Masters student" writing in Wikipedia there are three angry fourteen-year-olds focused like lasers on advancing some social agenda or another.

Oops, ths software most of drop a word in your comment, let me fix that for you...

... there are three thousand angry fourteen-year-olds ...

Re:Oh, Good."Gifted Masters Student." We're Saved! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35760020)

I don't believe there is much overlap in subject matter between what a "gifted masters student" would contribute vs. what is relevant to a fourteen-year-olds social agenda.
 
I'd be more worried about the social agendas of the forty-year-olds.

Re:Over 60,000? (1)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#35756208)

Indeed. From what I've looked up of AUM's college rankings, "Secondary High School" would be a better description of it than "University."

Re:Over 60,000? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756742)

As an Auburn University graduate (Auburn), I can assure you that Auburn University (Montgomery) is basically the 13th grade. Auburn is a fine public institution with a good Engineering school... I'm not sure what AUM is good at.

Re:Over 60,000? (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | about 3 years ago | (#35756296)

Maybe this guy gets points at good ole' AUM (I saw the moniker on Wikipedia) for spreading the name of such an obscure school (even to Alabamians). I mean, look at these "notable" people:

John_Veres [wikipedia.org]

Re:Over 60,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756460)

Oh look another moron who does not understand that their is a hierarchy in the quality of sources one can use when conducting research.

Re:Over 60,000? (3, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 3 years ago | (#35756158)

Ah... so most professors should list "Writing Books" and "Publishing Articles" and "Applying for Grants" as their primary job and "Professor" as their secondary jobs then.

Somewhere below that they can put "actually teaching students instead of letting my grad students do it".

Re:Over 60,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35759798)

I'm skeptical. The article didn't list the username, but a quick Google search points to Dr Aaij [wikipedia.org] . According to this tool [toolserver.org] , his edit count is only 1,475.

OH just GREAT! (2)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | about 3 years ago | (#35755726)

He makes a reference to wikipedia and gets tenure, but my lecturers threaten with the guillotine if I do the same!

*humbug*

Re:OH just GREAT! (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 3 years ago | (#35755772)

"Department of English and Philosophy"

That's the reason. You don't need to be an expert to make up your own interpretation of some literary works.

Re:OH just GREAT! (2)

WhirlwindMonk (1975382) | about 3 years ago | (#35755786)

Obligatory: http://xkcd.com/451/ [xkcd.com]

Re:OH just GREAT! (2)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#35756220)

Obligatory:

The second response is: the collaborative nature of the apparatus means that the right data tends to emerge, ultimately, even if there is turmoil temporarily as dichotomous viewpoints violently intersect. To which I reply: that does not inspire confidence. In fact, it makes the whole effort even more ridiculous. What you've proposed is a kind of quantum encyclopedia, where genuine data both exists and doesn't exist depending on the precise moment I rely upon your discordant fucking mob for my information. - credit: Tycho Brahe, Penny Arcade.

Re:OH just GREAT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756500)

It turns out there's a difference between contributing to Wikipedia and citing it in academic research. If he wrote a high school textbook, you wouldn't cite that in a graduate-level assignment either.

While that might happen at University Campuses... (-1, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | about 3 years ago | (#35755746)

...over at the various district school boards in the mighty USA, a teaching professional only has to breathe for a few years before being granted tenure!

That is, even if the professional produces results next to garbage!

Think about it. My take: "Disgusting."

Re:While that might happen at University Campuses. (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | about 3 years ago | (#35755806)

Actually...can that really be called tenure at all? I mean...isnt it more like a job contract for an extended period?
Seeing that the point of tenure is so you can juggle research and teaching?

I keep hearing that..."unless he/she touches a child" and some anectode about how lusy their teachers were, but why did they get such protection in the first place?

A theory of mine is that US high school might have put up some standards upon teacher that Universities use....and the teacher required some tit for tat...but...i dont know...

Re:While that might happen at University Campuses. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756024)

but why did they get such protection in the first place?

Two words, Teacher's Union.

Re:While that might happen at University Campuses. (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | about 3 years ago | (#35756096)

Another word.... "Duh"

I asked for the argument for the practice the that the evil union overlord made.

Re:While that might happen at University Campuses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756196)

I asked for the argument for the practice the that the evil union overlord made.

Give us more money; it's not yours, anyways.

Re:While that might happen at University Campuses. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 3 years ago | (#35756762)

but why did they get such protection in the first place?

Because of unions.
And perhaps it is indeed more like a "job contract for an extended period". "extended" meaning "until retirement".

Re:While that might happen at University Campuses. (1)

Yaur (1069446) | about 3 years ago | (#35757282)

Without it experienced teachers will be constantly replaced by cheap recent graduates and teaching becomes not a career, but something that you do for a few years after college. The good ones will most likely be able to find work in private schools so the lack of experienced teachers will only effect the poor and middle class who can't afford private schools.

This in turn leads to less social mobility and increased stratification of society, both of which are bad IMO.

Re:While that might happen at University Campuses. (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 3 years ago | (#35755974)

The tenure process is supposed to identify good teachers and alleviate job security issues so they can focus on their teaching and provide continuaity to any reaserch they may be working on.Now that does not mean everyone who has received tenure deserves it. It can be a subjective and often political process when deciding to grant tenure. If this guy cared enough about making sure the information on Wikipedia was valid I would include that effort when deciding whether or not to grant tenure.

Re:While that might happen at University Campuses. (1)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#35756236)

It IS a subjective and ALWAYS political process when deciding to grant tenure.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:While that might happen at University Campuses. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756640)

go on idiot slash dot keep believing that.

Deleted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35755756)

tl;dr... Does it say how many articles he deleted in order to gain tenure?

And rightly so... (4, Insightful)

Nick Fel (1320709) | about 3 years ago | (#35755794)

If he's editing articles in his field, which will be a lot of people's first port of call when learning about it, then he's providing a valuable service to his discipline. If academics want Wikipedia to be a better and more accurate resource, they know what they can do about it...

Re:And wrongly so... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35755822)

Of course it doesn't actually matter, since any edit by anyone who isn't a 60000+ contributor will automatically be reverted. This is a one-off, with no long-term significance. Wikipedia is phenomenally hostile to anyone who isn't already an established part of the wikiscape.

To boot, this appointment is almost certainly crooked, but that's a separate matter and has nothing to do with WP directly.

Re:And wrongly so... (1)

bunratty (545641) | about 3 years ago | (#35755978)

An edit by anyone who doesn't follow the policies and guidelines [wikipedia.org] or makes an edit that makes an article worse will be reverted.

FTFY

WP:OWN (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#35756080)

It appears that a lot of the reverters attempt to exert undue control over an article's text [wikipedia.org] and give Wikipedia a bad name.

Re:WP:OWN (1)

bunratty (545641) | about 3 years ago | (#35756310)

I haven't seen where this as occurred. People have tried to point me to articles where this happens, but all I see is people trying to keep an article good by reverting bad edits. I'm sure it does happen, but I haven't seen it. What I have seen is people who edit an article for years, participate in many discussions, hone and refine the article, and then when someone comes along and makes an edit that makes the article worse or reverses a decision that was made they revert the bad edit.

Re:WP:OWN (1)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#35756344)

You nailed it.

Here's how wikipedia really works [livejournal.com] . I've found this to be an incredibly helpful resource in understanding the mentality of the behavior of people on Wikipedia.

Remember: Wikipedia is about keeping people away to most wikipedians. They see their site as always "under attack." If consensus is changing on an article, they want to STOP that - so they need to get the newcomers to either leave on their own, or ban them. If 10 new editors show on the article over time and all stay, that could cause consensus to change. Run them off or ban them one by one as they arrive, and you can completely control the article.

since any edit by anyone who isn't a 60000+ contributor will automatically be reverted.

This one [livejournal.com] just about sums it up. Make an edit that looks "too experienced"? Be booted out as a "suspected sockpuppet" of whatever the abusive admin of the day's pet target is. Make an edit otherwise? A thousand and one neckbeards wanking off thinking they are "editing" will compete to see who's faster on the button with the automated fucking tools [wikipedia.org] that make it so they don't even have to bother reading and assessing an edit before they zap it.

Re:WP:OWN (1)

bunratty (545641) | about 3 years ago | (#35756554)

Wikipedia edits are not based on consensus. They are based on providing a citation to a reliable source that verifies the information [wikipedia.org] . If you make such an edit that follows those guidelines and it gets reverted, there are policies in place to resolve the dispute. I have used these, and the disputes do get resolved. More often than not, however, the dispute is resolved by the person who is not following the rules slinking away and complaining about how unfair Wikipedia is. For example, when an article doesn't contain citations as it should, the article is deleted according to Wikipedia's policies (because there is no way to verify the information in the article), and people come to Slashdot an complain about "deletionists".

Re:WP:OWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756646)

I have had information removed from Wikipedia because it was "too technical", despite citing the manufacturer's technical brochures.

The articles on Shorts 330 and 360 airliners used to contain much information about their structure and systems. Now the articles are no better than you'd find in "My First Big Book of Aeroplanes".

What a pathetic state.

Re:WP:OWN (1)

bunratty (545641) | about 3 years ago | (#35756748)

I have had information removed from Wikipedia because the person was waging some sort of religious war between competing products. I've also had information removed because someone who thought he knew better put in misinformation. I've also had information removed because someone simply kept vandalizing the article. In all cases, I followed the guidelines and policies and got the information back in. If you give up, you have no one to blame but yourself. Some people who edit Wikipedia are dicks. Don't let them win if they're in the wrong.

Re:WP:OWN (1)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#35756840)

The problem is: the admins, the people running the show, are all dicks. And even the non-admin dicks have admin buddies to call in.

Get into one argument with them and it doesn't matter about "letting them win." They have the block buttons. They have the control. You can't drag these lying dicks into "dispute resolution" because long before you get there, you will be accused of being a "sockpuppet", you will be blocked repeatedly by their friends on spurious reasons, you will be insulted and lied about, and then when you finally get into the nitty-gritty they'll stand up and say "well on the one hand I'm an admin with 1000000000 edits proving I have no life but wikipedia, and on the other hand you have this guy who has been blocked repeatedly and is guilty of the crime of harassing an admin. I say we ban him. All admins who agree?"

And of course, ALL the admins will agree, because if they don't, then they run the risk of others not agreeing with them later when they pull the same stunt.

Re:WP:OWN (1)

bunratty (545641) | about 3 years ago | (#35756906)

Perhaps you could point to an example of this occurring. That would convince me far more than hundreds of Slashdotters claiming it happens without providing any evidence.

Re:WP:OWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757128)

Screw that. Fuck the Police -- I mean, the Wikipedia admins!

Re:WP:OWN (1, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#35757230)

Well, here's a great case study [livejournal.com] from the former wikipedia admin I referred you to earlier.

Most interesting is the old "Enviroknot" case, where an editor whose edit contribution list was nothing but positive got lumped in with two trolls via "secret evidence" and banned... mostly because he crossed an editor named "Yuber", who was a protectionate of the abusive bitch SlimVirgin at the time. They had fun for the next two years accusing dozens of editors of being "Enviroknot" and banning them without any evidence or proof. [wikipedia.org] At one point, an editor named "Dreamguy" who has major [[WP:OWN]] issues concerning fantasy creature subjects (vampires, werewolves, etc) started accusing all his opposition of being "enviroknot"... simply to gain an advantage. As you can see looking at the history of some of the bans (Devilbat, Pukachu, CountPointercount) shows no editing pattern to corroborate, but simply a pattern of abusive users and admins using the accusation as a tool because it was an easy way to get that hair-trigger douchebag David Gerard, one of the worst "editors" ever to disgrace the encyclopedia, to issue a ban.

Cite the secondary sources (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#35756812)

If you want to get information into an article, try citing scholarly or mainstream media which in turn cite the first-party "manufacturer's technical brochures". Wikipedia is not about the world; that'd be original research. It's about the reaction of the scholarly and mainstream media to the world.

Re:WP:OWN (0)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#35756738)

Bullcrap.

Wikipedia edits are not based on consensus. They are based on providing a citation to a reliable source that verifies the information [wikipedia.org]. If you make such an edit that follows those guidelines and it gets reverted, there are policies in place to resolve the dispute.

Just try to actually follow them as a "new editor" (e.g. less than thousands on thousands of edits proving you have no fucking life outside of Wikipedia). What you'll find in practice is that you are immediately accused of being a "sockpuppet", or will immediately be assaulted as the person removing it calls their buddies in. They'll be completely rude to you, perhaps call you all kinds of names, perhaps worse, then if you respond in kind their pet admin will block you for "incivility."

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I have used these, and the disputes do get resolved. More often than not, however, the dispute is resolved by the person who is not following the rules slinking away and complaining about how unfair Wikipedia is.

But most often, disputes are resolved by someone having their pet admin ban the opposition as a "sockpuppet" or come up with some other excuse for an indefinite block. The merit of the edit never enters into it: the goal is to get rid of the newcomer.

For example, when an article doesn't contain citations as it should, the article is deleted according to Wikipedia's policies (because there is no way to verify the information in the article), and people come to Slashdot an complain about "deletionists".

No, the reason people complain about "deletionists" is because they run around screaming to remove things rather than to try to improve them. There are numerous articles which have been deleted despite having citations - either because the webpages providing the citations died, or because the sourcing was necessarily on a subject that did NOT have a lot of web citations.

Back in the day, I tried to contribute to Wikipedia. I provided several citations on an article (now deleted alas) that went to an older book on the subject. In my citation, I included page number and ISBN number.

My citations were not deemed good enough because there was, and I quote the fucking neckbeard who waged a war against the article, "no way for other editors to easily verify the content of the quote and citation because book is out of print and not available on web."

So yeah. That is how Wikipedia really works. It's a tool of the lazy fucking neckbeard who can't even be arsed to go to the local public library to look up a source. According to Wikipedia, if it isn't on the web, it doesn't exist.

Re:WP:OWN (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757208)

Based on your civility and impartiality on Slashdot [in previous articles as well] I am supremely glad you are not editing Wikipedia. In fact, I would probably favor you being banned from Wikipedia.

Re:WP:OWN (-1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#35757262)

On the other hand, I'm certain you only posted that anonymous because you play the game of anonymous insults to protect your own karma, troll.

Re:WP:OWN (1)

cforciea (1926392) | about 3 years ago | (#35756846)

If you make such an edit that follows those guidelines and it gets reverted, there are policies in place to resolve the dispute.

Except that there will be a discussion to come to consensus where you will argue with the same Wikipedia clique, have your replies marked with an indicator that states you have few or no edits on Wikipedia and therefore anything you say can be ignored, and then "consensus" will be arbitrated by another douchebag from the same pool that reverted your edits in the first place.

In reality, most of us realize that this does not happen in a majority of cases. But if you even hit a few percentage points, by the time a newcomer has hit a couple of dozen edits, there is a significant chance that at least one has been stomped over with little to no explanation and they are treated like idiots when they ask questions about it, given 23 citations of WP:Notability, WP:NPOV, and WP:llamas rather than a concise description of what they need to do to make their otherwise worthwhile edit stick, and sent on their way. Some people edit long enough to get the experience required to correctly navigate wikipedia editing guidelines without running into this problem, but a significant portion get nailed by the wikipedia posse before they ever make it that far and get left with such a bad taste in their mouths about how they are treated that they never contribute again.

Re:WP:OWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35757324)

If you feel that downtrodden about Wikipedia then the politics and labors of the actual academic world would truly intimidate you.

Perhaps Wikipedia editing is just not for you. That is not something to be ashamed of.

Re:WP:OWN (0)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#35757868)

Wikipedia is its own Catch-22.

If you are a new editor and you take the time to read the various policies, procedures, manuals of style, etc and then start editing, you will immediately be accused of being a "sockpuppet of someone" because your "edits betray a familiarity with wikipedia."

Then, the witch hunt will begin. Eventually they'll decide whose "sockpuppet" they want to call you, ban you without benefit of any way to clear your name or argue against their behavior, and that's that.

On the other hand, if you DON'T read the various policies, procedures, manuals of style, etc and then start trying to edit or learn as you go, you'll see the scenario put up above, get trodden on by the neckbeards who have nothing to do but jack off all day while clicking the automated leveling tools [wikipedia.org] in their great big MMORPG to raise their experience level (aka edit count), and quickly realize that 99% of the dicks who are currently editing wikipedia are the sort of people that nobody wants to be around.

Re:And wrongly so... (2)

AJH16 (940784) | about 3 years ago | (#35756068)

Hostile much? I have under 4000 edits, almost all of them vandalism removal related and any time I make a content update, it sticks. Even when I was much lower in edits they stuck and I was actively encouraged to edit more with constructive edits than simple removal of obvious vandalism. Did you source your edits? Non-grammatical edits without source from users with low edit counts that haven't been mentioned on the discussion page do tend to be reverted as the volume of edits makes trying to discover information sources very difficult. My guess is not that the community was somehow biased against you, but that you may have been doing something outside of community guidelines (even if unintentionally). Wikipedia editors have a hard job when it comes to sorting out useful submissions from harmful ones and will tend to err on the side of caution.

Re:And wrongly so... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 3 years ago | (#35756182)

I have less than a dozen edits. Several are still intact. A few were replaced by more detailed edits. One I disagree with but life goes on.

"providing a valuable service" (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 3 years ago | (#35755962)

In a way, this should fall under public outreach, so yes, I could see this falling under helping tenure. (assuming that he's maintaining pages in his field, and not just his favorite TV shows ... unless his field is pop culture, of course)

The 'peer review' aspect requires it to have been judged by his peers, and I don't know that other wikipedia editors would be considered academic peers, even if there's a review process.

Now, there is a need for tenure to be granted on more than just writing journal articles; we (of the data informatics community) have been arguing for years that a scientist who dedicates their career to collecting really good observational data, or processing and curating it for the use of others, if given less credit than the person who writes a bad paper written using that same data.

And besides:

Michel expects his academic C.V. was strong enough to support his tenure without his Wikipedia contributions

It's also good exercise and could improve academia (0)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 3 years ago | (#35756010)

It's also excellent writing practice.

Writing is a good exercise for organising your thoughts, and having to explain some of your edits (and sometimes fight over them), makes you analyse exactly what you are trying to express and makes you check your sources.

Wikipedia is also ahead of academia in some aspects. On writing source, Wikipedia is usually way more precise. While academia requires that a fact be referenced with "Benkton, J. 2004", which means nothing to most people and not precise at all, Wikipedia requires (or at least encourages) authors to give the authors name, the name of the article/book, and optionally a quote, page number, and other info - and Wikipedia provides ways for readers to question the relevance of sources or ask for more precision.

Wikipedia will be on my CV, next time I have to write one.

Re:It's also good exercise and could improve acade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756222)

While academia requires that a fact be referenced with "Benkton, J. 2004", which means nothing to most people and not precise at all, Wikipedia requires (or at least encourages) authors to give the authors name, the name of the article/book, and optionally a quote, page number, and other info

You really should try to read a scientific paper from start to finish, just once in your life. At the end, you will find a section called 'references'. Surprisingly, this contains the author's name, the name of the article/book, page number, and even other info.

Don't bother sending your CV just yet.

Re:It's also good exercise and could improve acade (1)

plcurechax (247883) | about 3 years ago | (#35759724)

What? I keep asking the librarian how to find the book [1] and keep getting told off..

Any bets... (5, Funny)

DataDiddler (1994180) | about 3 years ago | (#35755804)

... on what percentage of the edits were to pages on old Star Trek episodes and anime? The over/under is 75%.

Re:Any bets... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756440)

Don't forget the sterling work on documenting each and every pokemon.

Watching the Waters (1)

yincrash (854885) | about 3 years ago | (#35755814)

I'm not sure what Watching the Waters is, but this article is an exact copy of what's in the wikimedia blog. [wikimedia.org]

Re:Watching the Waters (1, Informative)

no known priors (1948918) | about 3 years ago | (#35755984)

I don't know either (the site is "Watching the Watchers"), but considering the licence, they have every right as far as I can tell to republish the article in the way they did. The link you provide is linked to from the bottom of the article.
The licence is Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) [creativecommons.org] . I cannot see anywhere on the Wikimedia blog how attribution should be given. My understanding is that in such cases how the WtW site referenced the original is sufficient. The relevant section of the licence is 4.b

If You Distribute, or Publicly Perform the Work or any Adaptations or Collections, You must, unless a request has been made pursuant to Section 4(a), keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and provide, reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing: (i) the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied, and/or if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g., a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution ("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's copyright notice, terms of service or by other reasonable means, the name of such party or parties; (ii) the title of the Work if supplied; (iii) to the extent reasonably practicable, the URI, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated with the Work, unless such URI does not refer to the copyright notice or licensing information for the Work; and (iv) , consistent with Section 3(b), in the case of an Adaptation, a credit identifying the use of the Work in the Adaptation (e.g., "French translation of the Work by Original Author," or "Screenplay based on original Work by Original Author"). The credit required by this Section 4 (b) may be implemented in any reasonable manner; provided, however, that in the case of a Adaptation or Collection, at a minimum such credit will appear, if a credit for all ...

---

And for the delitionists out there,

“I’ve written articles in many areas, and in many cases I could show my colleagues what I had done in their field,” Michel says. “I’d like to think that by now most of them have a favorable opinion of Wikipedia. Let’s face it: Guillaume de Dole [wikipedia.org] , now a Good Article, there’s no database entry or encyclopedic article anywhere that compares to the Wikipedia article on that poem (and I realize that that says as much about Wikipedia as about the anywhere else).”

Re:Watching the Waters (1)

yincrash (854885) | about 3 years ago | (#35756874)

Oops. Misread the website name. I did miss the attribution at the bottom of the article. However, I would say that at least, the slashdot summary should relink or not specify that Liana Davis wrote in Watching the Watchers, and at the very most, they didn't accurately follow the attribution clause if Hugh Pickens easily mistook Liana Davis as a writer for that blog.

You may not implicitly or explicitly assert or imply any connection with, sponsorship or endorsement by the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties, as appropriate, of You or Your use of the Work, without the separate, express prior written permission of the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties.

Wikipedia irrelevant for Physics positions (3, Insightful)

StupendousMan (69768) | about 3 years ago | (#35755886)

We're in a job search right now for two tenure-track professors in a Physics Department. None of the five candidates interviewed so far has mentioned Wikipedia. I'm pretty sure that if one did, he wouldn't gain any credit by doing so.

Our department made recommendations for a tenure decision earlier this year. No mention of Wikipedia in the supporting materials for that candidate, nor have I ever seen such a mention. I am pretty sure that neither my colleagues nor the administrators involved in granting tenure would give any credit for editing Wikpedia.

Re:Wikipedia irrelevant for Physics positions (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 3 years ago | (#35756322)

no one expects that. RIT is a serious institution and physics is a hard science. we're talking relatively obscure institution and the study of english and philosophy

Re:Wikipedia irrelevant for Physics positions (2)

radl33t (900691) | about 3 years ago | (#35756346)

That's a shame. Any educator who substantially improves the portal to information about their discipline should be proud. Granted, it shouldn't carry the same weight as research metrics (for a research position anyway), but given two equal candidates I would strongly favor one with 60,000 contributions to publicly accessible physics knowledge, possibly above many other qualities. IMO declaring it irrelevant is simply a sign of the dangerously contagious pointy hat syndrome that we academics develop to guard our section of the ivory tower.

Re:Wikipedia irrelevant for Physics positions (1)

Some Pig! (103985) | about 3 years ago | (#35757116)

I prefer Scholarpedia over Wikipedia for physics articles. I wouldn't apply the phrase "guard our section of the ivory tower" to it, either.

And in other news... (0)

tverbeek (457094) | about 3 years ago | (#35755910)

And in other news, a group of gamblers has won tens of millions of dollars in a lottery, a woman has had her 115th birthday, a park ranger has been struck by lightning seven times, and a couple who met on Slashdot are celebrating their 10th anniversary.

Good scholar, good citizen, good "netizen", too (5, Insightful)

j_f_chamblee (253315) | about 3 years ago | (#35755950)

A search [aum.edu] of the Auburn Montgomery website, produces several "News & Events" hits which show Dr. Aaij giving public lectures and supporting student scholars. A Google Scholar Search [google.com] on Michel Aaij shows a regular publication record in peer reviewed journals dating back to the late 1990s, at least. This guy is a good scholar and, from the article, strikes me as a good colleague, even without the Wiki contributions. He deserves tenure. The fact that he found the time for this other form of service/scholarship on top of his other work is very commendable and I'm glad to see it included in his portfolio. The fact that this did make it into his portfolio is better for Wikipedia than it is for Dr. Aaij, who I think wouldn't have gotten tenure no matter what. In any case, I say "Congratulations, Dr. Aaij!"

Supporting Public Institution Vision (2)

digitalloving (1540905) | about 3 years ago | (#35755958)

Well, since he is working for a public university that is subsidized by tax dollars, it is nice to see him giving back to the community at large. I, for example, work at Ohio State and our purpose statement is "To advance the well-being of the people of Ohio and the global community through the creation and dissemination of knowledge." In my humble opinion, I find it hard to see how updating Wikipedia doesn't support that vision.

Likely had nothing to do with his wiki edits (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35755964)

Nothing in the article suggests to me that his wiki editing helped him get tenure. In fact, it even says: "Michel expects his academic C.V. was strong enough to support his tenure without his Wikipedia contributions". There's no connection between the two. This is like saying that, since his name was also on his C.V., being named Michel helped him get tenure.

Re:Likely had nothing to do with his wiki edits (1)

im3w1l (2009474) | about 3 years ago | (#35756464)

It'sn't impossible that it did help. Since names contain information about gender, class and race it could definitely influence this kind of decision.

Re:Likely had nothing to do with his wiki edits (1)

plcurechax (247883) | about 3 years ago | (#35759754)

This is like saying that, since his name was also on his C.V., being named Michel helped him get tenure.

Thanks, I was going to change my name to Michel Aaij to see if it helped me...

Auburn, too bad, not a model program (1, Interesting)

supercrisp (936036) | about 3 years ago | (#35755986)

It's too bad that this happened at Auburn, as it's often otherwise a negative example. It is, after all, the school where a prof. recently bowdlerized Huck Finn by editing out the word "nigger," a moved decried by people a sensitive to race issues as Ishmael Reed. Now that's "scholarship" you don't want to imitate. I could offer further reasons that no program wants to imitate Auburn, but saying too much would cause problems for friends.

Re:Auburn, too bad, not a model program (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | about 3 years ago | (#35756228)

Yea, but this is Auburn Montgomery. Sounds like a community college...the Wikipedia article, edited by this professor no doubt, says it isn't even a branch of Auburn (just the board of trustees). So, not even University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) in Huntsville level of dignity.

Re:Auburn, too bad, not a model program (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756284)

Auburn Montgomery, not Auburn. Aside from sharing a common structure at the very top, I doubt the two have anything to do with one another.

any evidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35756070)

Is there any evidence whatsoever that his inclusion of Wikipedia-editing made any difference in whether he tenure or not? It's entirely possible that he would've received it had he not included the mention. This is a perfect case for the 'correlation is not causation' crowd that always pops up around here, yet nobody seems to have brought it up yet.

That's what SHE said (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | about 3 years ago | (#35756218)

Of course, he just wrote a script that adds "That's what SHE said" to the end of every article. That's still better than the average Wikipedia edit...

why I no longer edit (1)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | about 3 years ago | (#35756486)

I am a PhD molecular biologists with expertise in areas like gel electrophoresis, PCR, etc
I no longer contribute to wiki for two reasons:
1) because of the license, people can take my work and resell it for a profit; I don't mind people reusing it, but the thought of some biz marketing type making (probably a right wing free market wierdo) making money off of my work seems just wrong



2) I am tired of morons editing my work, and making it worse; for instance, the article "dna sequencing" has gotten worse over the last year or so - things I put in, that were correct, and (immodestly) not to bad, were changed to things that were incorrect and poorly written, wit serious spelling and grammar errors (not like this email which i am dashing off quickly)

Re:why I no longer edit (1)

bunratty (545641) | about 3 years ago | (#35756702)

Of course, if you tried to fix the bad edits, people would accuse you of owning the article and not letting anyone else contribute. I think that's better than letting the article get bad, but then you also get people coming to Slashdot and claiming that Wikipedia is broken because it's so "hostile" to newcomers.

Re:why I no longer edit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35759638)

I seldom refer to Wikipedia at all. I got tired of finding articles that reported urban myths as truth, that mangled facts and cherry picked information for an idealogical slant. It was a great idea, but human nature corrupted it and it's become worse than useless to me.

You've hit a plagiarist (1)

David Gerard (12369) | about 3 years ago | (#35756658)

She did not write that for Watching The Watchers - she wrote it for the Wikimedia Blog [wikimedia.org] and they just took it. Please correct this and link to the original source.

Changing Academia (1)

Chuckles08 (1277062) | about 3 years ago | (#35757280)

This is good to hear. At the Encyclopedia of Life (eol.org), a website that is aggregating scientific information for all 1.9 million named species, curators are encouraged to edit Wikipedia content where it is appearing on a species page. One challenge, of course, is getting academics to devote valuable time to this type of service work. Institutional recognition for these contributions seems to be on the increase as alternative forms of academic contributions become more widespread. The education group for EOL (education.eol.org) is also encouraging instructors of biology related courses to use the EOL LifeDesk tool as a way for their students to make contributions to science through the writing of species accounts. The species accounts can be published to EOL. This exercise is both motivating and rewarding for students who have a chance to make a real contribution rather than writing a more typical term paper that will likely be thrown out when the course is complete.
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