Wikiversity talk:Scope of research/En

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The Wikiversity community needs to decide on policies and guidelines that will define the types of research activities allowed within Wikiversity. Should Wikiversity allow all types of research or only some types of research?

Wikiversity Policies
Research

Research Guidelines
Scope of Research
Review Board

This box: view  talk  edit

Types of research[edit]

  1. research projects that focus on a review of the literature and produce no new knowledge, data, or theories. Such projects would function according to the conventional Wikimedia Foundation NPOV and NOR rules.
  2. research projects that focus on a review of the literature and produce new knowledge (not previously published by a reliable sources). Such projects would be excluded from the conventional Wikimedia Foundation NPOV and NOR rules.
  3. research projects that use research methods in addition to literature review and which produce results that have not been previously published by a reliable source. For example, a research project of this type might involve design of a questionnaire and the collection of data from wiki participants (another example).
  4. collaborative research projects involving researchers at scholarly institutions outside of Wikiversity. A research project of this type might involve data collected by an observatory and analysis of the data by Wikiversity participants (example).

Discussion Summaries[edit]

See: Wikiversity:Scope of research/En

1 first English summary[edit]

Slightly shortened version of the first section of this page.

2 German[edit]

  • Suggested that literature reviews are not really research.
  • Suggested that each research effort in each language-specific Wikiversity needs to select its own research methods rather than have a policy for all of Wikiversity.

3 English[edit]

  • Pointed to Wikiversity:Research/En for instructions from the Board of Trustees about how the entire Wikiversity community needs to develop a unified research policy.
  • Stressed the distinction between forms of literature review as practiced at Wikipedia under the policy of No Original Research and other forms of research that would not be possible if Wikiversity also adopted the No Original Research policy.

4 German[edit]

  • Discussion at IRC #wikiversity-en came to the conclusion that there are two research categories: "comparative research" and (single-focus?)/"active research"
    • I suggest the term advanced research, d'apres Institute for Advanced Study. The word advanced invites the connection advancing.--Hillgentleman 11:20, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

5 German[edit]

  • The distinction "original research"/"secondary research" is covered by the German terms: "empirische Forschung"/"Literaturstudium und Dokumentation" (i.e. "empirical Research"/"Literature study and Documentation").
    • The term empirical does not quite include such things as logical deductions.--Hillgentleman 11:21, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Suggestion that if Wikiversity policy were to adopt the Wikipedia rule "No original research", then we should rename the project to "Wiki-College".
  • I think, one should let both forms appear and indicate by some kind of diacritical mark, whether the particular project is referring to a primary scientific or secondary scientific source. It occurs to me that we might do something similar to the "this is a Stub"reference in the English Wikipedia. Perhaps some kind of similar hypertext can be furnished so as to give a description of the project next to the actual project text, and that way the project can be described in detail (similarly to the way the User pages work). Joergel 11:35, 14 September 2006 (UTC)


  • Ask

a) Is it possible or not to operate in the context of the Wikiversity original research rubric? b) In the meantime there is speculation from different sides, as to how the actual goal and function of the Wikiversity should be thought out. Wouldn't it be possible to set up a single space for this [discussion] with Frank Schulenberg as moderator (since he's the person who brought wikiversity to life in the first place)?

6[edit]

If we adopt the German suggestion (see #2 German) that each Wikiversity research project be allowed to adopt its own optimal research methods then all types of original research methods would be allowed at Wikiversity. We would then need to define Wikiversity policies that will protect Wikiversity from all of the potential problems that would arise from allowing original research in a Wikimedia Foundation project. In particular, how do we prevent cranks from adding bogus research to Wikiversity and, in general, how does the Wikiversity community assure high-quality research? Does Wikiversity need a formal peer review system for original research? --JWSchmidt 11:49, 7 September 2006 (UTC)


But what is bogus research? Who decides? Also, Germany has different classifications in the kinds of research - things like "Grundlagenforschung", basic research that doesn't have to pay for itself and "angewandte Forschung", applied research which often is just a name for research done for a company that is paying handsomely for a professor to say what they want.

Literature surveys can very well be research, as can putting together thoughts on any particular subject. For example, next year I am co-chairing a conference on computing and soceity. We want to have people put position papers in a wiki, change them if necessary before the conference, take notes during the conference, just in general produce a pile of interlinked text, then define a selection of pages and an order on the pages and automatically produce a book and a pdf to be offered for sale and for free online. That would be the production of knowledge, i.e. collecting ideas on topic X in one place. We are installing our own version of MediaWiki because I am a bit leery of using the Wikiversity for this, but I do believe that this would be a great place to do this kind of research. --WiseWoman 20:52, 9 September 2006 (UTC)


in 2 -- german, I'm not clear on what is meant by literature "reviews." There's a tremendous amount of work done in what used to be callled Literaturwissenschaft in the German-speaking countries, and so I can't imagine that this discussion is saying that literary scholarship isn't scholarship... can this be clarified? --70.32.180.118 01:02, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Is "Literature science" a good translation of "Literaturwissenschaft"? What do you think about moving ahead with an attempt to figure out new policy for how Wikiversity could be open to essentially all types of research activities? I do not see that anyone has yet suggested that Wikiversity should prevent any particular type of research. --JWSchmidt 03:15, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

"But what is bogus research? Who decides?" <-- A traditional method to decide on the quality of research is to make use of a peer review system. Every wiki automatically employs an informal type of peer review. However, the informal Wikimedia peer review process relies on citation of published sources. This traditional Wikimedia peer review process does not work for original research. I think peer review of research should involve a "formal" peer review system because the informal method that is typical of wiki-based peer review is not adequate for dealing with original research. In my opinion, devising a system for formal peer review of original research is what we need to do if we expect the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees to ever allow original research at Wikiversity. Also, I think we do need to think carefully about different types of research. The use of some research methods is simply not possible for Wikiversity participants. We should identify the types of research activities that make sense for Wikiversity. --JWSchmidt 21:20, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Research versus Publishing[edit]

"大膽假設, 小心求證" (Daring in formulating hypothesis, careful in seeking proof). Research and publishing are two different processes. Research is acquiring knowledge in any way one can find. Publishing is communicating the new knowledge to the public. I discuss them seperately.

  • Research -- I do not see much harm in total freedom, apart from wasting computer memory. Even if a completely bogus group writes up some bogus material, they still need to pass the test of publishing.
    • University is a place for free speech. The only boundary is the law. On many university campi there are strange people who say strange things. Sometimes they are misguided. Sometimes they are clever. Some folks are attracted to them; others learn to avoid them. It is everybody's freedom. It does not mean that the university endorse them, unless they do so formally as faculty members. A group which produces a study which may look dubious is not different. They contribute to the diversity.--Hillgentleman 15:37, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Publishing -- In the beginning, scholars in the wikiversity should publish their results in established scholarly journals. That establishes the credibility of wikiversity. After a long time - probably years - the scholars in wikiversity can have enough credibility to establish their own journals or pre-print archives or any publishing device.
    • If some established scholars join the wikiversity and become active, they can accelerate the above process.

--Hillgentleman 19:10, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Compare to #8. Academic journal entries?, below. --JWSchmidt 21:49, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Even stronger, the added value of Wikiversity is much larger for the research itself than for publishing. For publishing, the established channels work fairly well (in terms of review processes, publication and citation databases). For the research itself, however, there is a major source of inefficiency: lack of collaboration. People tend to work in very small groups with very small results as the outcome. Collaboration within a single institute and between small groups of institutes is currently already better than some 20 years ago, thanks to electronic communication: e-mail, mailing lists, newsgroups, internal wikis. However, the current (electronic) collaboration schemes still lack very much in openness: you have to explicitly join the group in order to participate, often even in order to access the information. It is exactly there that Wikiversity can make the difference: anybody can contribute. Currently, it is already possible to set up a wiki to support collaboration on a particular project, but chances that somebody new will join that project are virtually zero. Wikiversity, on the other hand, attracts a lot of visitors and steers them to the place where they can make a difference. --User:Arnout Vandecappelle 12 June 2007

Talk page?[edit]

Um, is this the talk page or an article?--Rayc 13:48, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

This "talk page" is part of a multlingual discussion. We do the English language discussion on this page and we are supposed to post summaries of the discussions from this page on the main English page. We can create additional pages to facilitate our discussions if needed. --JWSchmidt 16:55, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Ok, it just looked like this had been pasted over with a non-talk page, since none of the stuff is signed.--Rayc 05:16, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
"pasted over with a non-talk page" <-- yes, that was the origin of this page. --JWSchmidt 19:01, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

8. Academic journal entries?[edit]

Hello. A while back I founded a wikia for the purpose of writing academic journals (http://academia.wikia.com). My impression is that merging that project with this one would benefit both by expanding the scope of the Wikiversity project and generating significantly more attention to the wiki-based academic journals. It would also help to ensure that original research developed on Wikiversity would undergo a thorough peer-review process before being validated. I'm interested in people's opinions regarding such a proposal. Owen 19:18, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Compare to #Research versus Publishing, above. --JWSchmidt 21:51, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
It's an obvious idea - but I'm very happy you've suggested it! I'd wholeheartedly endorse such a merge. Cormaggio 19:38, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Closer co-operation between the two wikia is important. But I am not sure about merging. It may be better to have an independent reviewer on the works of wikiversity. At the moment, not all academic journals are published by universities. Scholars cannot just publish their results on their school bulletins.---Hillgentleman-User talk 00:44, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

9. Thoughts[edit]

(originally posted on project page)

I appreciate the comments and discussion above. Basically, we need to outline a scope for research in Wikiversity which will be applicable to all projects - perhaps with 'editable' options for different projects, as usual - for the main reason that the setting of a research framework for Wikiversity as a whole is what we have been asked to do, by the m:Special projects committee. The reason for this is mainly that we are defining the scope of Wikiversity itself - does it involve "learning materials, communities AND research", or simply "learning materials and communities"?

I agree with the German participants that defining research is problematic - and depends on the particular discipline. However, "a methodical search for knowledge" is a decent working definition. Research, whether it involves generating new data, revisting old data, and/or a reading of the literature, will hopefully, inevitably generate new knowledge.

If the research generates new conclusions, even if it is a review of the literature, it could still constitute "original research" as defined on Wikipedia. Therefore, this type of research could be problematic for the Wikimedia community (something we need to be aware of throughout this discussion), unless we take some measures to manage this. Such measures could include a system of peer review - eg. that research would be authorised as "published", only when it had been through a defined process of review (before which it is unpublished, and hence unfit for addition to an article on Wikipedia). This process still needs to be defined - and the basic question is: Can we define such a system as applicable to future smaller Wikiversities, that may not be able to gather the resources needed to manage such a process? Do we give each Wikiversity the option of either rejecting research entirely (if they feel that they would not be able to cope with it), or stating that once a team of, say, four reviewers were in place, then people could start submitting research? Are these people self-nominated? Who reviews the reviewers?

The other large set of questions are around allowing the doing of research within Wikiversity. In my opinion, this could be a central and driving force within Wikiversity - but it brings with it a number of issues. These include the central questions around "human-subject research", ie: How do we ensure that people doing research conform to ethical guidelines for doing research, and how do we avoid getting sued if they don't? Is this also to be monitored and/or approved by a team of reviewers? Universities have written guidelines around research, have an institutional review board, and often have a system of mandatory police-checking for people doing, for example, research on children. Is this something that Wikiversity can manage? My feeling about police-checking is "no" - otherwise I feel we should do our best to facilitate and monitor research to be done within Wikiversity.

Apologies for this long-winded and possibly difficult-to-translate post. Essentially, I think we need to define what particular dangers there are in allowing research to become a part of Wikiversity, and drawing up a framework for accepting and dealing with the various aspects of research - as I believe we should do. Thanks. Cormaggio 19:08, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

human-subject research. It might be possible to make a distinction between different types of human-subject research. Human-subject research that would normally be monitored by an Institutional Review Board has inherent privacy and other legal issues associated with it. I do not see how Wikiversity participants should become involved with such research unless it was through some kind of collaboration with a bricks-and-mortar institution that had an IRB. Some social science research that could be conducted within the restrictions of the Wikimedia Foundation privacy policy should be possible for Wikiversity participants. "Who reviews the reviewers" <-- In the absence of credentials, all we have is the public record of editing by Wikiversity participants. Under those conditions, a research result cannot have much credibility if it exists in isolation from an active research community. Research activities are validated by a network of peers who develop and test methods and ideas over an extended period of time. And even if a particular research community can establish its credibility, each research result should ideally be confirmed by independent investigators. Ultimately, an open content research community should be able to attain high levels of credibility. If every step of the research process takes place in the open and is guided by strict ethical guidelines, methodological problems and other deficiencies should eventually be revealed and corrected. --JWSchmidt 02:55, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Review process: There can be no short cut - either you find an expert in the field, whose judgement is trusted by the general public, or you don't publish. Researchers in smaller wikiversities can try to find their own reviewers or post a notice on some larger wikiversities, or on beta. In its formation years, Wikiversity may very well ask her researchers to publish in established journals. ---Hillgentleman-User talk 11:08, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I think we need to make a clear distinction between "conventional publishing" and "wiki publishing". Until about six years ago you could have made the dogmatic statement that before you could publish an encyclopedia you had to hire experts to write and review encyclopedia articles. With the use of wiki technology comes a new approach to publishing: publish first and then review what has been published. For the publication of original research, it is possible to develop a publishing model in which "preliminary drafts" are released for peer review. The question then becomes, can you build a community of collaborators who can carry out formal peer reviews and establish the wiki publishing effort as a legitimate source of published research results. --JWSchmidt 16:00, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Pre-prints are widely used in science. They are circulated but not considered published. On the theoretical physics and mathematics arXiv, there is an endorsement procedure (old and trusted authors endorsing new authours) and some informal reviewings. Many people consider an article on arXiv as semi-published. Wikiversity may learn from this model.--Hillgentleman-User talk 22:12, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
In general, pre-prints are important because more research is done than can ever be reviewed. Scholars use their reputations to guarentee the unreviewed works. This situation is likely to appear in wikiversity.--Hillgentleman-User talk 00:34, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Wiki-publishing---- What is the difference between wiki-published and unpublished? An article is either finished or it is still being developed. Something is either true, untrue or uncertain. I do not consider a disputed article on Wikipedia as published. I may still use its information, but only with care.--Hillgentleman-User talk 15:29, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
We need a definition for wiki-publishing.---Hillgentleman|User talk 10:33, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Two key aspects of wiki publishing are an emphasis on distributed, collaborative authoring and the fact that documents can be easily altered and revised. Before electronic publishing, certain habits and cultures developed in publishing because of the expense of printing and the fact that once documents are printed it is very hard to adjust/correct/modify them. I expect that along with electronic publishing in general, wiki publishing will see the creation of a new type of publishing culture: less emphasis on up-front peer review prior to publishing and more emphasis on people's reactions to what is published and the modification of what was previously published. --JWSchmidt 18:02, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
  • easier collaborative writing -- I can understand, even when the authorship is restricted to a small group.
  • less emphasis on up-front peer review prior to publishing -- I cannot see how this is possible. When one publishes a paper, he vouches for the truth of it. We do not publish anything for which we are uncertain. It is because an academic paper is similar to an Act of the Parliament (thus the name of the journal w:sv:Acta Mathematica): an academic paper is a historical record. It forms the basis for subsequent works. It lasts for centuries. What Euclid and Achimedes wrote we now still read. In short, one does not publish until one is absolutely certain, and the peer review is a guarentee for the correctness and accuracy of the results. ---Hillgentleman|User talk 20:07, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
You mentioned a need to define Wiki-publishing, but you seem unwilling to accept any difference between traditional print publishing and Wiki-publishing. You could take the position that Wiki-publishing must follow the same as traditional print publishing, but that would be like trying to make a rule that trucks, trains and planes cannot travel faster than a horse. It would be an interesting exercise to go back into the scientific literature of 50 years ago and see how many published articles were "correct". Peer review is not a guarantee of correctness. The way to be sure that a published research result is correct is for people to look at it, test it and obtain similar results, hopefully using additional methods not used in the original report. Publishing should not be a big deal. It is more important if others can constructively build upon what has been published. --JWSchmidt 01:30, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

10. Back to the Scope[edit]

Wikiversity should write policies for: Possible Original research areas: Arts, physical sciences, computer sciences, history, humanities, languages, social sciences, all researches that can be done with pencil and paper; but excluding Doubful areas: some branches of life sciences, medicine, researches that require a lot of money(?), researches that require a lot of beauraucracy ---Hillgentleman-User talk 11:19, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

We could create a list of types of research activity and rank the types according to how easy it would be to carry out that type of research within Wikiversity. There are some types of research that seem very easy to incorporate in to the wiki format, such as literature reviews, analysis of the contents of public data bases and research into the dynamics of online communities. --JWSchmidt 15:25, 21 November 2006 (UTC)


11. What about external research?[edit]

In the spanish wikibooks there are two open discussions about this ([1], [2]), and I have been redirected here to look for some inspiration. What do we do with original research (including thesis works) that was done externally, and afterwards licensed under the GFDL? Does it belong in wikisource? In wikibooks? In wikiversity? Nowhere in wikimedia? As the popularity of non-wikipedia projects keeps growing, I'm sure this kind of offers will increase in number. -- 4lex 13:36, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikisource will accept a "thesis or dissertation approved by a recognized academic institution". One thing that Wikiversity can explore is systems for publication of research using a formal peer review system. Textbooks should go into Wikibooks.
The original Wikiversity project proposal said: "The purpose of the Wikiversity project, which will ultimately reside at www.wikiversity.org, is to build an electronic institution of learning that will be used to test the limits of the wiki model both for developing electronic learning resources as well as for teaching and for conducting research and publishing results (within a policy framework developed by the community)."
Some ideas about how it might be possible to do formal peer review of research in a wiki environment is discussed at Wikiversity:Review board. If such a system were established, it could involve contributors from "external" sources. --JWSchmidt 03:59, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
My gut feeling on where research belongs would be more in Wikiversity than Wikisource - even though, as John says, Wikisource does accept approved dissertations. However, since we are allowing for a wider range/scope of research than any other project, it seems logical to centralise this as much as possible in Wikiversity - developing systems of peer review as we go along. Cormaggio 02:32, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

NOTICE. IRC meeting] about how open source publishing relates to WikiMedia Foundation projects. (log)--JWSchmidt 17:14, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

12. Reinventing the wheel?[edit]

I don't see the point of any of this 'wiki-research' stuff. If the research is on par with other scientific research, then you should have no problem getting it published with pre-existing peer-reviewed scientific journals (including the openacccess ones). Failing that, you could at least have the research become notable via popularity, then it would still be includable.

What purpose does it serve to overthrow a time tested process of peer review to create a half-assed, ad hoc, incomplete wiki research method? Where's the benefit? IF you want to use a wiki to collaborate on in-progress research, that's fine, but there are already wikis for that. What's being suggested here is that you can take something you created on your own, get it reviewed by some experts (Whose "expert criteria" is unspecified") and just stick it on here. The only reason for doing this is by having wikimedia people who aren't true experts review things to get them more easily approved.

So far it seems like people think it's a good idea because the proposals are so vague. So far, original research is the only difference between this and wikibooks. Could someone please outline to me, speicficially, how research would go from start to finish and how it would be better than publishing in an openaccess journal with a side wiki for colloboration (which already exist)?

Let's get down to something more fundamental. It would be hard to argue that there is one thing that all univerisities have--professors who teach students (INTERACTIVELY). This wouldn't exist. It would just be textbooks. It would be a nice idea to have a model organized with volunteer professors, but it would a) require a more cumbersome non-wiki model to screen professors and b) would require violating NPOV.

Njyoder 04:51, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

  • First of all, there's no inherent intention here of overthrowing any existing model with any other model - "half-assed" or not. The point of allowing research to be conducted and/or published within Wikiversity would be to allow people to learn about the process of doing research, and to get some practical experience of this. It would also allow people to add a paper that they were not yet comfortable with submitting to a separate peer-reviewed journal. I think there is tremendous learning value in that as it is. However, this is not to say that Wikiversity would be a "poor relation" of any other research space - with a research community of sufficient rigour and energy, it could become a desirable space for researchers, and reach (or possibly even surpass) the standard of other publications. The only reason that this is not the case is that the community for it to happen has not yet explicitly formed.
  • Wikiversity is not simply "Wikibooks plus original research". There is a lot more to education than textbooks. For example, Wikiversity intends to form and facilitate learning communities around themes/interests/levels etc - this will be the "interactive" learning that you refer to (and that happens in most learning environments these days). I'm not sure if I understand you correctly that you think this will not be the case on Wikiversity? There are already educators of many backgrounds - including professors - who are donating their time to Wikiversity.
  • What "vague" research proposals are you referring to? Are you referring to research projects/proposals on the English Wikiversity? As for giving a start to finish outline of a research project, this is almost impossible to generalise upon. Each research project would be a specific one, with specific questions, participants, methods, theoretical underpinnings, intended outcomes, etc. Specifying a single methodology would be impossible due to the divergence of perspectives and paradigms around doing research.
  • On NPOV - if you haven't already, see en:Wikiversity's pages on Disclosures and Scholarly ethics.
  • Overall though, I agree that there's not much at present to prove that we can do research well here on Wikiversity - however, with good guidelines and an active community, there's no real reason, I believe, that it can't be. Cormaggio 17:46, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Would people be interested in studyning the IPCC reports on climatic changes?---129.49.88.64 08:14, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

13. Wikiversity as reference for Wikipedia?[edit]

  • Will Wikipedians be allowed to cite Wikiversity (or just Wikiversity publications) as references?--Hillgentleman| 01:48, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
If the Wikiversity community ever has a high quality formal peer review process, it should become possible for some research published at Wikiversity to be cited as a source for Wikipedia. --68.109.175.242 21:59, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

14. No money research[edit]

I was thinking about this the other day. Alot of research (even in the public sector) is money driven. There is a lot of research and scholarly works that have no finacial benifit to the researcher and thus never gets done. Wikiversity doesn't require a need for funding, thus we would be perfect for hosting this type of research. What we need is to identify what areas of research have a large interest yet result in little or no $$ produced. Astronomy, such as the Seti@home project comes to mind. --Rayc 18:48, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

As a wiki, it will be natural for research projects at Wikiversity to reflect the interests of participants, even if those interests are outside of research areas that are well-funded. One potential problem is that some "neglected" research topics are neglected for good reasons. Some such research topics attract a disproportionate number of cranks who refuse to apply valid research methods to their projects. As long as Wikiversity can protect itself from such problems, it should be exciting to provide (non-monetary) support for research in areas that are under-funded. --JWSchmidt 19:47, 12 February 2007 (UTC)


15. Proposed restriction on research[edit]

In 2008 a research project at the English language Wikiversity became a source of conflict and dispute. That project was called the Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia research project. The "Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia" project was described as "action research". Some editors have suggested that this research project resulted in the creation of "attack pages". However, the Wikiversity community, through page deletion proposal and discussion, has not identified any such "attack pages". Some editors have suggested that research involving wiki edits is unethical unless editors whose edits are studied have explicitly given informed consent to have their edits examined by the researchers. Other editors feel that edits made at wikis, particularly Wikimedia wikis where the edit history is public, can be studied without having to obtain informed consent. Discussion of these issues and their implications for Wikiversity research policy has begun (see: the main talk page for research guideline discussions and the page for exploration of the research ethics of research on wiki communities). We need to address this proposal: "One idea that I would like to propose is an explicit ban on "case studies" using real examples of non-notable people, in exchange for hypotheticals". --JWSchmidt 21:04, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Personally, I don't consider Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia a research project at this time. I would put it in the category of "Discussion", because it is a proposed discussion of ethics policy. This would be a similar category to the present discussions of "What Wikiversity is not," and "Blocking policy." I suggest that "research," as should be defined on Wikiversity, is a methodical attempt to collect and/or analyze information in an unbiased fashion to attempt to draw an original conclusion. (We can play with this definition.) As I see it sections of the Ethical Management resource could conceivably become research, e.g. if someone is trying to methodically collect information about how people use Wikimedia in an attempt to study the ramifications of particular policies; however, I don't see this happening on that particular section at present (even though there is some discussion of doing so). --AFriedman 17:33, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
The study of ethical conundrums arising from Wikipedia was fatally disrupted late last summer, when an alien contingent of allied editors from Wikipedia ("IDCab"), whose questionable practices were raised as a case study, arrived en masse to unceremoniously shut down the project. Amongst the contingent of disruptive editors was FeloniousMonk, one of three powerful WP Admins in "IDCab" who were leading negative role models for egregiously unethical and abusive practices. Not long after the research project on Applied Ethics got underway, ArbCom unanimously condemned FeloniousMonk and stripped him of his WP Adminship on grounds of corrupt abuse of power. However, his second lieutenants remained to continue waging IDCab's war against ethical best practices. —Moulton 18:48, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
AFriedman, It was exactly when the discussion was turning into research, when we were collecting information by examining actual cases of the disputes, the kettle started to boil. In retrospect, we could have been more careful in inviting all sides from the beginning, rather than passively (and in the wiki-fashion) wait for the interested to arrive. <Hillgentleman| ~ | > 01:27, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually, WAS 4.250 did notify them when the project got underway in early July. WAS specifically notified a number of individuals on their WP talk pages, including, among others, User:Filll (the adversarial editor from IDCab with whom I had the most interactions) and Jimbo Wales. More importantly, WAS posted a general notice on WP:AN, which included a supporting invitation from SB_Johnny. I think it's fair to say they were adequately notified of the project. What WAS didn't know at the time was that we would include specific case studies. We added those per your express request for real case studies rather than hypothetical "scenarios". —Moulton 02:33, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
"I don't consider Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia a research project at this time" <-- I think that project was a type of action research. I'm not sure if anyone involved with the project was experienced in action research. My own involvement (see) was an attempt to study an identified problem at Wikipedia and use what was learned to find ways to help improve Wikipedia. In my view, the main reason for having research at Wikiversity is to allow "learn by doing" projects that help people learn about how to do research. For me, personally, the ethics research project was a chance to learn about action research. --JWSchmidt 20:43, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
I first learned of the concept of Action Research last July, about the same time that we started the Course on Applied Ethics. After I looked into the definition of Action Research, I concluded that it was very similar to which derives from my own field of Systems Analysis, and applies to Learning Organizations. The main reason I didn't expect IDCab to participate was because they demonstrated less than zero interest in reviewing the ethical issues when I raised them a year and a half ago on Wikipedia. —Moulton 23:21, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

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