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Submissions/How I Wrote an Article for Another Encyclopedia, and How It Compares to Wikipedia

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 6004
Title of the submission
How I Wrote an Article for Another Encyclopedia, and How It Compares to Wikipedia
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Amir E. Aharoni
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (I am also a volunteer in Wikimedia Israel and an international staff member in WMF)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

I started editing Wikipedia in 2004. I created and edited hundreds of articles in four languages. In 2009 I completed my B.A. studies in Linguistics and Hebrew language and started M.A., and some time after that a lecturer asked me to write an article for the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, which was being prepared by Brill Publishers. I gladly accepted the task and started working on it. This work was very different from writing for Wikipedia in many non-obvious ways:

  • In what language do I write it? (Only one! And it's enforced.)
  • How do I understand the scope of my task? (Send a lot of emails, and sneak into conferences to catch professors who can answer this!)
  • How to communicate with the General Editor and with other article editors? (It's pretty much impossible. And what's a General Editor??)
  • How do I get the article reviewed? (This is actually quite similar, except that the reviewers have credentials.)
  • Can I use original research? (Yes! And it's not original research any more!)
  • How is copyright handled? What can I do with the article that I wrote? (This part is quite scary.)
  • How do I insert illustrations? (This part is quite amusing.)
  • How are the authors compensated? (This part is very amusing.)
  • How is the article updated after initial publishing? (Most likely it isn't. This part is both amusing and sad.)
  • How is the copyediting handled after initial submission? (Send a lot more emails.)
  • When is the article actually published? (This part is a mystery with a happy ending.)
  • How does this compare to other encyclopedias? (Mostly in the pricing strategy.)

This may sound like negative criticism of traditional academic publishing, but it isn't. This is a fine work done by fine people, and the Wikipedia world can learn a lot from it. The most important thing I want to show in this presentation is that every contact between Wikipedia and the traditional academia should be taken as an opportunity to improve both worlds.

  • Open Scholarship
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

The talk

Interested attendees

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  1. Johnbod (talk) 17:09, 13 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Geraldshields11 (talk) 22:47, 26 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. This sounds super interesting! Gnom (talk) 19:03, 20 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Slashme (talk) 09:02, 22 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Jane023 (talk) 10:44, 23 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. --MF-Warburg (talk) 21:35, 29 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Arunbandana (talk) 16:09, 31 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  8. MLWatts (talk) 19:41, 27 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Daniel Case (talk) 01:25, 30 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  10. JSahleen (WMF) (talk) 23:01, 6 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]