Tinu, where is that long discussion thread to be found?

Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur

On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 8:41 AM, CherianTinu Abraham

> Thanks Anirudh.
> Essentially we wanted a more balanced article this time, collating both
> sides of view. Oral citations is still much to be debated and discussed in
> the current form.
> Regards
> Tinu Cherian
> On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 8:34 AM, Anirudh Bhati <anirudh...@gmail.com>wrote:
>> This is a well-rounded article.  Thanks for posting, Tinu.
>> Yours sincerely,
>> Anirudh Bhati
>> +855 975 529 803
>> Skype: anirudhsbh
>> On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 9:55 AM, CherianTinu Abraham <
>> tinucher...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> *The Economic Times : "Oral citations to be part of wikipedia entries"*
>>> http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/oral-citations-to-be-part-of-wikipedia-entries/articleshow/9728638.cms
>>> *When you set out to make the entire global knowledge base freely
>>> accessible , can you leave out subjects that find very little mention in
>>> print? The question posed by Bangalore based researcher Achal Prabhala,
>>> has kicked off a debate among Wikipedia editors, the volunteers behind
>>> world's largest encyclopedia . The collaborative online encyclopedia ,
>>> supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, has over 19 million
>>> articles written by about 90,000 editors across the world. Achal began
>>> working on the problem in January 2011 and carried out a project called the
>>> Oral Citations to find ways to increase local language entries into
>>> Wikipedia . At the crux of the problem is the lack of printed material in
>>> local languages and for topics related to indigenous culture. Editors find
>>> it difficult to add articles because of the lack of citable material. *
>>> *
>>> *
>>> *Right now, the online encyclopedia relies heavily on published material
>>> like newspapers , journals and magazines for citations . However, when it
>>> comes to vernaculars , there is very little published material available and
>>> editors often find a huge amount of knowledge being left out defeating the
>>> entire objective of Wikipedia. Take for instance, Dabba Kali, a traditional
>>> game played in North Kerala is finds very little or almost no reference in
>>> citable sources. "But that's also an important part of culture," says Achal.
>>> "The sum of human knowledge is far greater than the sum of printed knowledge
>>> ," he argues. Of late, the Wikimedia foundation has been trying to make its
>>> projects more global. While this is relatively easy in developed countries
>>> with better infrastructure which generate a lot of citable material, the
>>> problem in developing and underdeveloped countries are acute. *
>>> *
>>> *
>>> *" Germany, whose entire population is a fraction of India's online
>>> population has a massive footprint on Wikipedia. While a country like India
>>> is behind. Why is that?" asks Achal. "Because there is a lot more published
>>> material which can be used for citations out there... maybe, because the
>>> people who made the project largely were from the Anglo European or Japanese
>>> world, there has been a conflation of the sum of human knowledge and sum of
>>> printed knowledge," says Achal who mainly works on intellectual property
>>> issues related to medicine. With Shiju Alex, a Malayalam Wikipedian ,
>>> Mayur, one of the top 20 global contributors to the encyclopedia and Mohau
>>> Monaledi, a software developer from South Africa, Achal set out to find
>>> how easy it is to create original articles that discuss things that have not
>>> been discussed before and are particular to a linguistic culture. "We found
>>> that the citation rules are a huge problem. What do you do when the largest
>>> university library in South Africa has only 80 books in Sepedi, a South
>>> African language spoken by five million people ? Of that, most are bibles
>>> and dictionaries and fiction and poetry which is not good for citations," he
>>> says. The situation is no different for Malayalam or Hindi. *
>>> *
>>> *
>>> *In Kannur, the number of Malayalam books in the varsity library is not
>>> more than 3,000. "A lot of that is also translation which don't contain
>>> original Malayalam knowledge which don't deal with topics intrinsic to
>>> Kerala," he said. He also points out a relatively newer problem: the rules
>>> for citations were made a few years ago when social media was not big and
>>> the Internet was different. While the Internet culture has changed, to
>>> become a significant part of people's lives, the idea is to broaden the base
>>> of citation "to reflect peoples lives more realistically ." So will this
>>> change the way Wikipedia works? "This is a discussion within a community and
>>> the desire is to take it to its logical conclusion. Now we want to know what
>>> we can do around citations as a whole and depending on the inputs make it
>>> more concrete," he said. The project, however, has not been without its
>>> share of critics within the volunteer community. One of the longest running
>>> thread, in the recent history of the foundations public mailing list,
>>> debates the project with scathing criticism, supporting arguments and
>>> balanced suggestions . *
>>> *
>>> *
>>> *For instance, Ziko van Dijk, a Wikimedian from Netherlands, writes:
>>> "So, when someone believes that those "accessible printed sources" are
>>> "biased" , he comes up with the video of his grand uncle telling the truth?
>>> I don't think that it fits into the scope of Wikimedia. It certainly does
>>> not fit into the scope of Wikipedia." Achal counters: "First, this is an
>>> experiment - an experiment which those of us working on it, and others
>>> around us, thought might lead to interesting result ... the project is not
>>> on "oral history" - it's on using oral sources as citations." Indian
>>> Wikipedians have not been sparing either. For the new generation which is
>>> growing up on the internet, the whole world of referencing and authority is
>>> online instead of through print and very little of that is allowed on
>>> Wikipedia, they counter. Criticsim of the project comes from local
>>> Wikipedians too. A Wikipedia editor told ET: "I'm a bit sceptical about the
>>> project. One of our core principles is we don't do original research. But
>>> with oral citations, we will begin to do original citations. Wikipedia is a
>>> tertiary source and not a primary source. This will be a breach. Also, oral
>>> citations are more unreliable than printed sources." He, however, concedes
>>> that the area of oral citations is relatively unexplored and has potential
>>> for study. "Perhaps it is time to have a conversation around how you can
>>> include these sources ?" says Achal. The debate still goes on.*
>>> Regards
>>> Tinu Cherian
>>> http://wiki.wikimedia.in/In_the_news#Aug_2011
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