Wikipedia talk:The Wikipedia Library

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Transparency[edit]

Why don't we disclose the list of editors, who have access to a particular resource? ~ Winged BladesGodric 14:35, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Why would we? --Xover (talk) 15:39, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Why won't we? We needlessly shield this information from public eyes and this goes against our values of transparency.
A few weeks back, I sought for a L'Harmattan article over en-wiki RX. Now, L'Harmattan is a TWL partner whose subscriptions gets processed from fr.wiki. I did not intend to consume one account for accessing a single resource (it seemed unethical to me) and per a conversation with Nikkimaria, sought for folks over fr.wiki, who have access to it. But, I failed to reach a single user, who had a subscription to Harmattan. One had his user-box, despite expiration of the subscription whilst one did not choose to reply. Another, (who was twice-pinged by the former), did not choose to reply either. Per subscription-counts, it was clear that ample people had access to it, but I had no scope of knowing whom to contact other than those, who self-disclosed.
Such a list will aid in collaboration among users.WBGconverse 16:00, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree that we should make it as easy and convenient as possible to discover and contact those editors willing to service reference lookup and research requests (cf. eg. WP:RX, the userboxes; both of which I've gratefully availed myself of for much the same reasons you describe). But simply publishing the list of users with access to the various resources is too coarse an approach. Transparency is served (piecemeal) by things like the log on the front page of the Library Card Platform (the access ain't secret), but what you're requesting goes beyond transparency. --Xover (talk) 16:34, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
If you have problems disclosing what resources you can access over TWL, you have no business of being a claimant to them, at the first place. You are feeding on a community-resource. WBGconverse 16:41, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
@Xover: Those accounts are community resources, distributed by community approval. Chris Troutman (talk) 16:12, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, but I am not a "community resource". Whether I am willing to appear in a directory and service research and lookup requests is, like everything on Wikipedia, strictly voluntary. Now as it happens I'm perfectly willing to do so—happy to, even!—but we cannot presume that every volunteer is similarly inclined, nor would it be reasonable to make it a prerequisite of access. --Xover (talk) 16:34, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
The primary issue with creating such a list is that we at TWL don't always know who actually has access at any particular moment in time. Under the current method of distributing accounts, for most publishers we send information over to them for account setup, a process which is usually opaque to us. In some cases, the editor never completes required setup steps and so in fact never receives access - but we don't know that, all we know is that we approved & sent their application over. Additionally, accounts last for varying amounts of time; for some publishers accounts all expire on a specific date, for others accounts last for one year, and for others they never expire. This isn't information we store a complete picture on in the tool, so this muddies the data further. While we might have an approved & sent application for someone, we don't know if they ever completed setup, and we don't always know if their access is still active, at least in terms of data stored within the platform. As for whether, conceptually, we should share the information if we had it, I'd certainly be interested to hear the community's opinion - we've erred on the side of privacy until now, but if there was a feeling that this information should be accessible, then we could look into changing that. Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 13:54, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Samwalton9 (WMF),
The first issue is problematic, indeed. May-be necessitate that once an editor gets his/her access, he/she needs to confirm that over the public list? Unless he/she confirms, we send periodic (monthly/bimonthly?) reminders to the users? Obviously, an user can play around that because we have to take his/her words at face value but that would be peak-ABF-esque.
The second issue is IMO, a non-issue. An account lasts for a specific time, which's unique to the resource across all applicants. The coordinators often knows this span, too and send mails, a month or two before our access is to end, inquiring about whether we still need access or our account can be locked and re-allotted to someone else. The list obviously needs to be updated in a timely manner, corresponding to these communications.
The broader scope of discussion (other than technicalities) is out for debate over VPP, as requested. WBGconverse 16:24, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

List of publishers[edit]

In December, 2017 Nikkimaria created a partner-page for Springer-Nature, which indicates that the house was in an agreement with TWL to donate access by that time. About 18 months after that, on 7 May 2019, some user managed todiscover the dusty page and was surprised to not apply for the resource. Sam replied that TWL was waiting on some technical improvements....

Over Wikipedia:The_Wikipedia_Library/Databases/Requests#ProQuest, I pinged Sam after about 2 years to let him update us of the developments, if any. He replied:- Our partnership with ProQuest, along with a few others, is waiting on proxy implementation in the Library Card platform. Whilst I asked him about a list of the few others, he chose to not reply any further.

Also, despite requested over his t/p to update us of the developments (if any) across the hordes of threads that span Wikipedia:The_Wikipedia_Library/Databases/Requests, Sam is yet to take such an initiative.

I am thus re-asking Sam to (1) list those publishers who have agreed to enter into an agreement with TWL , (2) update us of the progress in striking a deal with the various publishers enlisted over the above-linked page and (2) give a specific timeline, as to the implementation of the technical improvements. It seems that those technical improvements have been in a state of perpetual continuity, for about a year and half.....WBGconverse 13:30, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

@Winged Blades of Godric: Thanks for your interest in these agreements and technical progress of the platform. I'd like to first request that you take a slightly less hostile tone when making enquiries - we're a small team and some good faith in both directions will go a long way. SpringerNature and ProQuest are indeed publishers we've signed agreements with to provide access via TWL. Both indicated that they would prefer to wait until authentication-based access was an option before going ahead with this - the manual account setup process we have now is often a lot of work for publishers to maintain - so we agreed that we would continue the setup process when that was available. In the case of SpringerNature we optimistically created an on-wiki signup page in advance. We don't make a full list of publishers who have agreements with us available because a) we don't always sign a memorandum of understanding with publishers, they're sometimes happy to go ahead without one, and b) we'd rather wait until the access was immediately available and then announce it. As is evident here, delays can happen after signing an agreement for a number of reasons, so making that information known in advance can lead to confusion.
As to the requests page, there isn't much to provide an update on. Over the last 1-2 years we've really been focused on improving our current account distribution workflow, including numerous improvements to the Library Card platform, and expected to be moving to an authentication-based system sooner. We haven't been as focused on active publisher outreach, at least here at TWL. We have been supporting some community members to create new partnerships, such as those with Economic & Political Weekly and Kinige. As for the timeline on the authentication system, we unfortunately had very long delays relating to legal contracts. I'm happy to say that those issues were recently resolved and we're finally in the process of technical implementation. Tentatively, we're looking at being ready within the next few months, but I don't have a hard timeline for you. I hope that helps clarify things, and again I appreciate your enthusiasm in learning about this. Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 14:09, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Any considerable progress, to be delighted about? WBGconverse 16:25, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
We're currently aiming for September :) Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 10:18, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
Hmm. WBGconverse 03:07, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Big ones[edit]

Can we reorder the list of partners in accord with their size? -ApexUnderground (talk) 21:29, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

@ApexUnderground: What metric are you using for size? In general I think subject or alphabetical listing is more useful, but perhaps a flag of some kind could be added for "big ones". Nikkimaria (talk) 03:33, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
One could use prominence as a metric and sort out any attempts at excess promotion. Size meaning access to number of volumes seems simple. -ApexUnderground (talk) 05:10, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Disclose the editors who are enrolled over Wikipedia Library[edit]

No.WBGconverse 15:14, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

A few months back, I sought for a L'Harmattan article over en-wiki RX. Now, L'Harmattan is a TWL partner whose subscriptions gets processed from fr.wiki. I (till date) have not come across any need to access any of their resources and thus, did not intend to consume one account for accessing a single resource (it seemed unethical to me) and per a conversation with Nikkimaria, sought for folks over fr.wiki, who have access to it. But, I failed to reach a single user, who had a subscription to Harmattan. One had his user-box, despite expiration of the subscription whilst one did not choose to reply. Another, (who was pinged by the one with expired-access), did not choose to reply either. Per subscription-counts, it was clear that ample people had access to it, but I had no scope of knowing whom to contact other than those, who self-disclosed. RX did not help me either and at last, Sam asked me to proceed towards consuming one account for the sole purpose of accessing about two pages, which is a highly inefficient and non-optimal way of doing things.

I (thus) propose that there be

a public list of all editors who are granted access to any resource from TWL

so that they can help out fellow editors within rational limits. All applicants (including myself) are feeding on a scarce community-resource and I am unable to see any reasons for not being radically transparent, in this regard.

FWIW, I'm not seeking for any retroactive change which might infringe on already signed legal agreements and all that. I'm arguing for the implementation of this proposal for all new requests and renewals.

Thoughts and opinions on the proposal (esp. about reasons (if any) to maintain the current privacy) are welcome:-) WBGconverse 15:58, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Transcluded to Wikipedia talk:The Wikipedia Library. * Pppery * it has begun... 16:13, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Personally, I have always just asked at WP:RX, how many cases are there that could not be helped by that venue but could be helped by directly contacting the editors with TWL access? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:15, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Most of the rare-resource-stuff. L'Harmattan, EPW, Miramar are a few names, I can recall very now. WBGconverse 16:27, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I like this idea. I think it helps with the transparency of TWL and allows more member-to-member resource sharing that doesn't have to bottleneck through the very busy TWL folks. Jessamyn (talk) 16:37, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
    • I'm not 100% sure about this. Shouldn't it be an opt-in list like WP:RX? On the RX, me and others have listed what resources they have access to, whether or not affliated by the wikipedia library. The only reason why I'm hesitant because what if some editors do not want to be on this list? What if they prefer not to be bombarded with emails asking for help for a resource they have access to? If it's opt-in, sure. Then it'd be a list of who has access to what and who don't mind helping others out :) --MrLinkinPark333 (talk) 18:04, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
      When you are accessing a community-resource, you shall be prepared for receiving such requests of assistance. Whether to process them is obviously at your discretion but as far as I have seen, most of the people are nice and collaborative enough to help out others:-) I also disagree about your assessment of probable bombardment, in light of the volumes of request at RX (which I've been patrolling for long). WBGconverse 18:26, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
      Well, this is before this idea comes up. I'm just listing a possibility of what could happen. Whether it does or not, we'll see. --MrLinkinPark333 (talk) 19:14, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Hmm, the issue with that is that it's a retroactive change in the written out expectations. So I'm happy to be on such a list (I hadn't realised there was also the shared resources list, so I've added myself there). Whether it's fair to require that for all, despite being community licenses...I'm not sure. I'd certainly be in favour for such for any future granted accesses. I have a 2nd concern - people are going to always go for those on the top or bottom of any such list, which means certain editors are going to face way more requests. Is there a way to randomly shuffle them around periodically? Nosebagbear (talk) 18:33, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
    Regarding Nosebagbear's second concern, randomizing the list might help; Mr. Stradivarius' Module:Random as employed on this page for example could be used for this. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 18:44, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
    Nosebagbear, I'm not seeking a retroactive change. I'm arguing for the implementation of this for all new requests and renewals. Probably worth clarifying in the main post? WBGconverse 18:56, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
    @Winged Blades of Godric and Jo-Jo Eumerus: - ah, that looks fine then, and a great potential solution Jo-Jo. I'd certainly support such a change unless someone comes up with another major issue. Probably worth clarifying in the proposal, though i imagine most current holders would be happy enough to sign-up as well. Nosebagbear (talk) 19:07, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
    :-) Agree that current access-holders can jump onto the list per their individual discretion. WBGconverse 19:10, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • One additional question, perhaps it sounds a little silly: When one enrolls in TWL, is it OK under their contractual agreements to access sources on someone else's behalf? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 18:38, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
    Jo-Jo Eumerus, the relevant portion of the ToS (of WMF-Library-platform) states:-

    Please note that in order to access an individual publisher’s resources, you agree to that publisher’s terms of use and privacy policy. Additionally, your access to publisher resources through the Wikipedia Library is accompanied by the following terms.

    Your access allows you to search, view, retrieve and display partner content (that is, content that requires an account to access) from publishers; to electronically save partner content; and to print out single copies of partner content.

    You must agree not to share your usernames and passwords for access to publisher resources with others.

    Your access to publisher resources does not allow you to mass scrape or mass download restricted content from publishers; to systematically make printed or electronic copies of multiple extracts of restricted content available for any purpose; to data mine metadata without permission, in order to use metadata for auto-created stub articles, for example; or to use the access you receive through the Wikipedia Library for profit by selling access to your account or resources to which you have through it.

    I have checked the ToU of ample publishers (who are in the platform) and none disallows accessing sources on someone's behalf. They mostly regurgitate the above stuff in slightly different forms. WBGconverse 19:01, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I actually never really looked into WP:TWL before WBG posted on my talk page to inquire about my thoughts. I just applied to get access to JSTORE now. This seems a bit different in nature than WP:RX because it's a paid service to Wikipedians. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask them to potentially share the economic benefits with users. If it is deemed neccesary, the list can be opt-in, but do remember that these individuals (like potentially me in the future) aren't paying for these benefits rather than the library is on their behalf to create a better encyclopedia. We're a collaborative project, and I think it all the better for TWL to simply reflect that in some way. –MJLTalk 20:43, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I thought this was already publicly made known - http://wikipedialibrary.wmflabs.org/activity/ - the applicants and the successful ones appear to be marked on the TWL page - so it should only be a matter of putting that data together but keeping track of expiry and maintaining the list is probably not a fun job. Maybe a software feature request for the Library Card Platform website would work. Shyamal (talk) 07:21, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
    Shyamal, that is an opt-in list and only tracks the last 50 events over the platform, pending which they are (probably) removed.
    Account coordinators regularly email the users whose accounts are nearing expiry to inquire about whether they still need the resource, in which case they are renewed or else, the account locked and allotted to someone else. So, they are already tracking expiry and relevant stuff. WBGconverse 07:30, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
  • The plans for a Wikipedia_Library_Bundle would seem to address the inefficiency of consuming an account for a brief specific need, though I don't know which or how many providers are ready to sign up for that? AllyD (talk) 08:34, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
    AllyD, those are plans (that have been already in the pipeline for over 2 years) and per safe estimates, will take another few years to be implemented. Whilst that would eventually address some of the root problems, do you have any objection to the current proposal? WBGconverse 09:03, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Something I saw earlier this week indicates to me that some degree of broad rather than user account-specific access rights may be introduced soon, but I know no more than that. To the extent that access remains account-specific, the pre-Library Platform request method did involve public on-wiki record (e.g. [1]]) which, though not capturing the final steps of publisher registration and activation, was implicitly available to help another user seeking someone who could obtain a particular resource. I wouldn't think it too onerous a build to extend the Library Platform with a query on publisher to select contact details of one random user (to spread the load); though, trends in privacy legislation may mean this would have to be opt-in, despite it being a community resource which previously had on-wiki request lists. AllyD (talk) 08:51, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
    AllyD, I saw the phab-ticket but given how TWL has technically matured over the years, am not optimistic at all. WBGconverse 16:01, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Cond Support with the retroactive clarification agreed and hopefully some method of randomising to avoid a few poor souls. Nosebagbear (talk) 13:58, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
  • We already do have an opt-in to this sort of listing, Category:Wikipedians by access to a digital library - perhaps it may be enough to encourage further use of this? Perhaps even change it to opt-out (e.g. you get access given, you get put in the categories). — xaosflux Talk 14:28, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
    Will like that but then, opt-out shall be granted on an individual basis and pursuant to exceptional grounds rather than any garden-variety stuff like People might bother me with requests for sources. I am inclined to think of the resources as a rough-equivalent of WMF grants - limited in number and near-always publicly dealt with. WBGconverse 14:59, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
    @Winged Blades of Godric: we wouldn't normally force someone to be in a category, so that would be for a more "flexible" opt-out (If you are granted this you will be added to the user category by the coordinator) - for a less flexible opt out, then just having a list/table of users maintained by the coordinators would be doable as well. I tend to recommend "softer" options if they will solve the problem though. — xaosflux Talk 15:15, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
    @Xaosflux and Winged Blades of Godric: I'd take issue with being in a category as well. I assumed this would be a list page in project space or a special page. If it was the former, we could do simply have an opt-out subpage (like Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits/Anonymous) that is just admin protected. –MJLTalk 20:43, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Who would be providing this list? I know as an account coordinator our confidentiality agreement with the WMF would prohibit disclosure. --Cameron11598 (Talk) 22:24, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
    @Cameron11598: Obviously, that agreement will be altered (shall there be a consensus) and this discussion seeks to do that. WBGconverse 04:17, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
  • It took about 30 seconds and three clicks from here to find this page. Ok some may not be active any more, but I'm not really seeing the problem. Johnbod (talk) 02:43, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Hi all, I work on The Wikipedia Library program at the WMF. I just wanted to clarify the situation from our end, explain why this isn’t a feature we implemented, and provide an update on our plans.
As a first point, displaying a list of users approved for access via the platform is technically feasible to implement on the Library Card platform, in any number of different ways: randomly ordered, opt-in, opt-out, you name it. There are a few reasons we haven’t shared such a list for each publisher in the past, however. The first is that for many publishers we simply don’t have an accurate list of users who actually have access - while we know who we’ve approved for access, account setup has historically been a multi-step process in which users might not finish setting up their accounts. We also haven’t been able to record a clear picture of how long any individual’s account lasts, some require renewing yearly, others are indefinite, others end on a set date, depending on the publisher - it’s not as straightforward as it might seem. This unclear picture of who has access meant that showing a list of users with access was difficult, so it wasn’t work we pursued.
We also prioritised privacy concerns on this tool, in the Terms of Use (approved by WMF Legal) and the NDAs signed by coordinators, and in allowing users to apply via email where necessary to preserve their privacy. Additionally, facilitating the sharing of individual resources is something I wouldn’t feel entirely comfortable with given how concerned many publishers are with sharing this access freely in the first place - importantly, we don't pay for publisher content, it's all provided by donation. The reason we have account caps for most publishers is that they’re understandably hesitant to give access to their resources out for free. Additionally, the specific terms of use for some publishers do place restrictions on sharing of content. Finally, due to their local context, some users may not be comfortable receiving requests for full-text content - see the final bullet under ‘Copyright tips’ at WP:RX.
I appreciate, though, that a limited number of accounts per-publisher introduces issues when we’ve either filled the list or you only want one or two resources. I’m happy to say that the more comprehensive solution to this problem (as alluded to above by WBG and AllyD) is finally right around the corner! While the development on authentication-based access and the Library Bundle was unfortunately delayed for quite some time due to legal discussions, we’re now moving ahead with technical implementation and are currently scheduled to be up and running before the end of the year. Under this system more than half of our content will be immediately accessible to everyone who meets TWL’s activity criteria (500 edits, 6+ months editing, 10+ edits in the past month) without manual approval or a fixed cap on the number of accounts. This, along with a more streamlined proxy-based process for many other publishers, should mean that access is more plentiful and you should rarely feel worried about only needing a small number of resources.
In the meantime, as Xaosflux points out above, we do have userboxes/categories for most publishers which users can place on their user page to add them to the relevant tracking category and opt into marking themselves as being available for queries. There’s also WP:RX if you’re requesting individual resources. I hope that helps, please feel free to ping me if you have any questions. Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 18:19, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
Samwalton9 (WMF),
The first issue of multi-layered-approval is problematic, indeed. May-be necessitate that once an editor gets his/her access, he/she needs to confirm that over through email? Unless he/she confirms, we send periodic (monthly/bimonthly?) reminders to the users? Obviously, an user can play around that because we have to take his/her words at face value but that would be peak-ABF-esque.
Now, an account lasts for a specific time, which's unique to a part. resource across all applicants. The coordinators often knows this span, too and send mails, a month or two before our access is to end, inquiring about whether we still need access or our account can be locked and re-allotted to someone else. Do you enter into agreements w/o specifying all these details? How does the process of enrolling a partner plays our internally?
Additionally, the specific terms of use for some publishers do place restrictions on sharing of content. - Evidence, please.
Some users may not be comfortable receiving requests for full-text content - see the final bullet under ‘Copyright tips’ at WP:RX - One can take himself out of the list and, as I said, nobody can compel anyone to provide resources.
We also prioritised privacy concerns is not a reasoning tool - I'm asking for the reasons behind the prioritization, over here. WBGconverse 19:37, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose The Wikipedia Library (TWL) doesn't know whether an editor has access to a resource through TWL. TWL knows when they offer an editor access, but, depending on the partner, may not know if the editor followed through and activated an account with the partner. TWL doesn't know if the editor has retained any special url required to access the partner, or remembers or can recover their password. TWL doesn't know if the access has been terminated. In several cases TWL has contacted me to advise me that my access will lapse if I don't respond, when in fact the partner expired my access years earlier.
TWL access is widely available for the asking. Most subscription expire after a year (Miramar after just a few days), after which I beleive the subcriptions return to the pool. The 15% or so of partners who are routinely waitlisted (AAAS, Cambridge, Science Direct, Sage, ...) are mostly readily available through reasearch university libraries, and thus through Resource Request (RX). If an editor is so public-spirited that they hesitate to consume a plentiful resource by signing up for a subscription, then they should sign up for the account anyway, self-disclose that they have it, and offer at RX to use it on behalf of anyone else who needs it, rather than imposing that condition on all subscribers. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I volunteer at RX, where I can choose what requests to read and respond to. I would not sign up for TWL resources if WP:CREEP caused TWL to place me on a public list of people to contact about that resource. I have no interest in searching databases for someone who doesn't qualify for access through TWL, or is too lazy to apply for access through TWL, or is on a fishing expedition for something that I don't believe would improve the encyclopedia. Using a community resource to improve Wikipedia should continue being sufficient reason to grant access to that resource, without the editor having to be on the receiving end of unwanted requests for help. Transparency should be balanced against an editor's right to privacy. --Worldbruce (talk) 19:06, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Basically Worldbruce and Samwalton9 have covered everything I would have said. There might be room to improve the layout (simplification, clarification, etc.) of the TWL application pages especially to increase crosslinks between WP:TWL and WP:RX to advertise WP:RX for those in a situation like Winged Blades of Godric (WBG) where research assistance is required but ethical concerns prevent the researcher from signing up with TWL, but in my experience the coordinators are very good at directing requests for scarce sources to RX where assistance is generally available. The privacy issues raised above are likely to be common with some library-oriented folks (e.g. at TWL) for historical reasons. -Thibbs (talk) 14:25, 3 August 2019 (UTC) (Disclosure: I am a former TWL coordinator. -Thibbs (talk) 14:25, 3 August 2019 (UTC))
    Thibbs, I fucking know where the RX is. Have provided ample content to users, from there and received some. In the described case, nobody at RX managed to access the resource. I contacted Nikkimaria (the coordinator for the resource) who merely pointed me to fr.wiki user-cat and said that she can't help more. Also, the linked case is too hyperbolic to be relevant. WBGconverse 16:46, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
    OK, calm down. I understood your proposal of a public list to be a general proposal intended to help all editors here at Wikipedia including those who don't know where RX is. I understand that you have specific needs for specific sources in the case you described, but as your proposal was phrased as a general request I didn't think you were asking specifically for yourself. In your specific case I would recommend the following: (1) sign up for an account despite the ethical concerns, (2) carry out whatever research you need, and then (3) restore the ethical neutral point by alerting the coordinator that you wish to relinquish control over your account. Is it inefficient, sub-optimal, and generally clunky? Sure. But at least it protects the privacy of the other users who might wish to avoid unpleasant demands from others. -Thibbs (talk) 17:34, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
    My core point is that if you are concerned over privacy to such an extent (the proposal allows for optional opt-outs but with a public entry), you have no business to claiming community resources.
    As far as I have seen, once people access RX, they know about TWL and vice-versa.
    I have since got that resource (via guest inst. access and using stuff, completely outside of wikimedia) but that's not much relevant and it intends to serve as an example case. WBGconverse 18:03, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
    Worst case scenario: the accounts expire within a certain time period and the account gets cycled back into the community. I understand your perspective, but I don't think it's accurate to characterize the resources as a non-community resource. -Thibbs (talk) 19:52, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I'm afraid I have to oppose this resolution. As someone who uses TWL as a resource, I'm not comfortable being put on a presumably-public list for dissemination, simply because I use TWL. Moreover, it's a rather simple process to apply; it just takes some patience for one's submission to be processed. Thibbs, Worldbruce, and Samwalton9 more or less encapsulate my other thoughts on this matter. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 15:04, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
    Not much sure as to why you have the access, either. WBGconverse 16:46, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't think WBG's initial concern is unreasonable, but find the arguments by Samwalton, etc. persuasive. I also don't actually see that there's a problem that needs fixing at this point. There is no case here where someone wants access to something and can't have it. WBG can have access to the resource in question (at least as far as I understand), but would prefer not to take an account for such a limited purpose. I'd be more sympathetic if we had a situation where someone wanted access, all the accounts were taken, and the people who have opted into using the user category were unresponsive. Especially if someone is themselves active at RX, I see no problem with them requesting whatever accounts they want. I wouldn't be opposed to making the user category opt-out rather than opt-in, though, since I suspect the majority of people who have access wouldn't mind being listed. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 18:15, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Agreed that it doesn't make much sense to require you to consume an account only to access two pages, but unless TWL indicates having the bandwidth to implement the extra reporting steps, I view this as scope creep or, most charitably, a nice-to-have. Last I recall, TWL was in need of more volunteers, not more to put on their plates. Additionally, it's really exciting to hear about recent progress towards proxy-based access (haste the day!) which would obviate the need for manual transparency. If the dev time is zero sum, that definitely seems like the area with greatest impact. czar 19:16, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't have an opinion either way: but if you are going to do this, just make sure you have an 'accurate' list of currently enrolled people, for example I no longer have any access from TWL provided resources. — regards, Revi 07:19, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • The TWL could theoretically grant shorter-term access like a month-long access if scarcity of the resource really became the problem. Most editors applied for the access because they want to write an article which may have relevant material in respective database/library, that does not mean they're suddenly ready to became a librarian. The proxy model used by most libraries could also work, just that I don't think the partners would agree to that. SFPL worked out a license model with NYTimes that grant three day access to their patrons and can reapply after, which could also be of reference to what TWL might work in the future. viz 01:55, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  • As a WPL account coordinator, I've had two or three users apply for accounts but express discontent over having to release any of their personal details to WPL volunteers. While a list like this wouldn't necessarily expose such details, a list like this would likely discourage such users from signing up. This may or may not be a reason to oppose this proposal, but I wanted to add my evidence that privacy concerns are important to people with WPL access. I personally do not wish to make a !vote. Smmurphy(Talk) 14:10, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't think anyone should be required to disclosed anything, but it would be good to have voluntary disclosure of those things. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:16, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I agree with User:Headbomb and others above. Users with access should be encouraged to disclose, but it should not be enforced. --Hecato (talk) 14:45, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd be opposed to requiring disclosure. For some users in repressive countries, strictly regulated social groups, etc, just accessing certain information sources may be illegal, dangerous, or embarrassing. On the other hand, providing an easy way for users to find people with access to these databases seems like a good thing and promotes the goals of wikipedia, so I'm all for it, on a voluntary basis. I'd even make it easy to opt-in, like a "please list me in the directory" checkbox when you sign up (but which defaults to not). I've got JSTOR, Newspapers.com, and Rock's Backpages access. The later, of course, being a highly subversive organization. -- RoySmith (talk) 14:47, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per several of the previous oppose votes. While the TWL partner accounts are a community resource, my volunteer time is not: whether I choose to make myself available to handle such requests must be, like all other contributions on these projects, entirely up to me. And, frankly, the sheer entitled attitude exhibited in some previous posts make me question whether I would want to subject myself to that hassle.
    That being said, until the mentioned Library Card Platform changes address the root problem, I think we both could and should do much to encourage more editors to volunteer to make themselves available for such requests and to make it easier to contact them with a request. My gripe above aside, I have always been happy to help anyone who asks—using both the TWL partner services I have access to, my personal library, and any physical library or other resource I can access—but I haven't been conscientious about adding the relevant user boxes or watchlisting WP:RX.
    I think we should use either mass-message or targeted email based on TWL account info to send out instructions for and encouragement to add userboxes for all resources an editor can access. The idea mentioned above about using Module:Random and a template to easily get a list of, say, five random editors with access to a given resource willing to handle requests. Maybe we could even get a bot to maintain a frequently updated list of "currently active editors with access to resource X" (ping Xaosflux) so one wouldn't have to waste time placing requests with editors who aren't currently editing, or who are on Wikibreak but haven't removed the userboxes. The Library Card Platform user interface and coordinator acceptance emails could surface instructions for adding the relevant userboxes on acceptance to a given resource, and explain why it is important to do so (the nominator's quandry isn't unique, but it's not something most people will automatically think of unless prompted).
    I also think more explicit guidance on what are permissible uses of partner resources would make more people comfortable volunteering to handle such requests. On the one hand we could clear away the nonsensical concern that partners might be pissed if you access their service on someone else's behalf (they won't be, and wouldn't have a leg to stand on if they did: this is knowledge not anything copyrightable we're talking about). But on the flip side I imagine a lot of them (but not necessarily all!) would react badly if you send someone a PDF copy of an entire journal article (just because academics at a university do that all the time does not mean we can or should get away with it). And if you can't just send someone the whole article, that means most requests will be some level of research, which is complicated and time-consuming (relative to just grabbing a PDF) and may not be in a field or area that you are familiar with. Clear and explicit guidelines on this will help steer the expectations of both requester and those trying to help, and will make borderline requests less uncomfortable for those receiving them.
    And just to note… I've never had any problem getting help accessing a resource in a TWL partner service. In my experience almost all editors on the project are happy to help in any way they can, and will bend over backwards to do so if it all possible. And that includes outright "Can you research this for me?" type requests! Wikipedia editors on the whole are straight awsome people. --Xover (talk) 09:57, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes; yes you are. ——SerialNumber54129 11:01, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
Now why would you bring sexual orientation into this? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 15:09, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Departing the WMF, the Future of The Wikipedia Library, and What's Next?[edit]

Dear Wiki-Friends,

September 6th marks the end of my time at the Wikimedia Foundation.

At my center has been the belief that I serve the movement above all else. This was what motivated the creation of a research service for editors in the first place. Today, it leaves me to look outside the Foundation to how I can best influence and impact change for the open knowledge community, and our broadly fractured society.

When I founded The Wikipedia Library in 2011, the course of my life changed. I became a grantee with an Individual Engagement Grant, guided by Siko Bouterse and Anasuya Sengupta, to expand TWL. It was a dream fulfilled to be asked to join the Wikimedia Foundation full-time in 2014 to establish the program worldwide.

With much mentorship and help, we grew TWL from a one-man, English-only publisher signup project into an international, multilingual outreach effort with a global campaign, national convenings, and a functioning digital library stocked with 100,000 free-to-read scholarly journals. Those sources can be used to verify information, write new articles, close content gaps, and remedy systemic bias.

Now, librarians are as likely to be supporters and contributors as they used to be critics. The movement is full of 'wikibrarians', from the 200-member Wikimedia and Libraries User Group to the 2000 person Wikimedia + Libraries Facebook Group. Conferences around the world have strong advocates for the intersection and alliance of Wikipedia and Libraries.

Along the way I had the true privilege of building a team that gave me confidence and extremely good company. It's my conviction that good work is calm, full of humor, and has care for people at its core. I found that generous spirit heartily alive in my team at The Wikipedia Library. I cannot thank them enough.

The work is not yet finished and yet it is in good hands. With Sam Walton in charge of managing The Wikipedia Library, Felix Nartey and Aaron Vasanth running global outreach, Jason Sherman developing the Library Card Platform, and a whole crew of coordinated volunteers handling reference services…much more is still to come.

You can reach out to TWL any time at wikipedialibrary@wikimedia.org.

As I look ahead to new vistas, I leave with questions and hope to hear your thoughts. What needs to be done next? Who could use the most support? Which organizations are ripe for change? What capacity still needs to be created? Where can I best advocate and help grow? How can we collaborate?

Email me at jorlowitz@gmail.com and share what's on your mind, or just say hello.

It's been a true pleasure to serve our beautiful, messy movement: I couldn't be more excited to join its ranks again.

Thanks and cheers, Jake Orlowitz Ocaasi t | c 17:32, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for all of your hard work on this project! TWL has grown and evolved to become a significant and valuable resource for the community, and you have cause to be very proud. All the best for whatever adventure comes next, Jake! — Rhododendrites talk \\ 17:52, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, thanks for your support in getting TWL up to its present state. The hosts of editors that you have helped by establishing access to high-quality sources leaves us greatly in your debt! Best of luck going forward! -Thibbs (talk) 01:39, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, Ocaasi, for bringing paywalled resources into the reach of thousands of editors who may otherwise not be able to access them. The Wikipedia Library has allowed me to find valuable sources for expanding articles, replacing unreliable sources in articles, and rescuing articles in deletion discussions. I hope you find an exciting and fulfilling project for your next venture. — Newslinger talk 05:01, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Financial Times unpaywalled[edit]

For the next ~24 hours the Financial Times has dropped its paywall. A great opportunity for Wikimedians needing to check sources (or submit them to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine)! Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:36, 17 September 2019 (UTC)