The IWA Water Wiki - comparison with Wikipedia - now being decommissioned (June 2016)

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The IWA Water Wiki - comparison with Wikipedia - now being decommissioned (June 2016)

Note by moderator: This post was originally here but has now been split off into its own thread.

A related thread about Wikipedia is here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/54-wg-...together-with-others

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Dear All,

Can I suggest a collaboration on an existing open-access information site? ;)

The IWA WaterWiki currently hosts over 1,200 articles, case studies and poster presentations on all aspects of water and sanitation, including contributions from organisations such as UN Water and the World Bank.

I would be very happy to host any materials arising from this discussion onto the site.

For now, you may find these pages interesting:

www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Arti...ishingFreetoDownload

www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Arti...ergencytoDevelopment
www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Arti...tiesSanitationStatus


Please do let me know if you would like to get involved with contributing to the site!

Best,

Chloe.
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Re: WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source!

Dear Chloe,
Great to see you on the forum. I will also try to visit "your" forum (IWA Water Wiki) more in return. ;)

For the benefit of the others, I copy here a little exchange we had by e-mail:

Overall, there are two things that I wonder about with the Water Wiki:
  1. Why have a Water Wiki rather than getting everyone to include their content in Wikipedia directly? I use Wikipedia all the time.
  2. How reliably are topics found by Google searches? In the past, when I search something on Google I sometimes end up on the SuSanA discussion forum pages; but rarely or never does a Google search direct me to a Water Wiki entry (perhaps this is due to the search terms I have tried).

Your answer was:

++++++++++++++++++
The WaterWiki is an information source which is exclusively tailored to the water sector. Unlike Wikipedia, it is a resource which caters specifically to a water audience and provides networking opportunities for water professionals to share materials as a community. As the WaterWiki is not exclusively a collection of articles but also a virtual meeting place and archive of conference materials, it provides functions which are unavailable on Wikipedia.

As WaterWiki articles tend to be very specific, it is often difficult to find them on Google using general search terms. Imagine trying to find a particular journal article, for example, searching only on a few key words. However, some of our most popular articles, for example “Coagulation and Flocculation in Water and Wastewater Treatment”, are easily found via Google because they cover niche subject matter which is of exclusive interest to particular disciplines within the water sector.

+++++++++++++

I still see a weakness in a specific "Water Wiki" when it comes to the topic of sanitation. Firstly, "sanitation" is not represented in your title of a "Water Wiki". Secondly we want to also get people interested in sanitation who don't know yet about the importance of sanitation. They might look for any other topic on Wikipedia and then end up on a sanitation-related page on Wikipedia if there are enough of them, and in the right places (links).

Or are your Water Wiki articles sometimes linked from a Wikipedia page (could be in the "further references" section of a Wikipedia article?

I just think if I had the time to write about, say, composting toilets or even small-bore sewer systems - then I would probably rather write an article on Wikipedia than for the Water Wiki simply because I would assume that I would have more readers on Wikipedia.

The other functions of your Water Wiki I understand. It is great if it's a place where conference presentations (and papers?) are made available after conferences. Is that standard practice now and would it be only accessible for IWA members (which I could understand because you also have to attract new paying members, and giving such an exclusive service could of course be an attraction).

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

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Re: WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source!

Hi Elizabeth,

While I agree that Wikipedia attracts more traffic than the WaterWiki, the chances of those users being interested in your article on composting toilets is much higher when they come from a community site consisting exclusively of those with an academic/professional/practical interest in the water sector than it is if you article were to become a needle in the haystack of Wikipedia!

All WaterWiki article content is categorised according to subject area. It is possible to pull a list of content the exclusively related to sanitation, which makes up over 10% of the total WaterWiki content. For example:

www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Main...ewTag&tag=Sanitation .

In terms of using Wikipedia, as a popular platform, to reach out to those who are not yet interested in sanitation: We host articles on the WaterWiki which have been adapted from Wikipedia, for example: www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Articles/Sanitation .

As both sites are open-access there would be no reason to not use both to target both an informed and a more general audience.

You cannot, however, post full research articles on Wikipedia. You can reference or link to extended articles but the articles themselves have to be hosted elsewhere. A platform is still required to host the content and the WaterWiki could be that platform!

As for archived conference materials, these are all open-access. This is not an exclusive benefit for IWA members but rather is a completely accessible resource for all site users.

The only areas of the WaterWiki which are restricted are private group discussion spaces. All reference material is open to all.

I hope this has answered some of your questions!

I look forward to discussing this further with you.

Best wishes,

Chloe.
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Re: WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source!

Dear Chloe,
Thanks for this information. I will mull over it!

One question of clarification, what exactly do you mean by this:

As for archived conference materials, these are all open-access. This is not an exclusive benefit for IWA members but rather is a completely accessible resource for all site users.


Let's take the example of the recent IWA Conference in Nairobi:
Are you saying that all conference presentations and the papers (if the authors agree) will be available on your website (if yes, which link?). Or only some? Maybe only those from IWA staff?
If all of them, that would be truly awesome.

We are currently collating the sanitation ones from said conference also for the SuSanA library here (process ongoing):
susana.org/lang-en/library/library?view=...eitem&type=2&id=1861

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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(see: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
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Re: WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source!

Hi Elizabeth,

All poster presentations, YWP presentations and PowerPoint presentations from the conference in Nairobi will be published on the WaterWiki in the coming weeks on an opt-out basis for authors - ie all presentations will be published unless the author states that they do not wish for their work to be uploaded.

The YWP materials are all available here: www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Work...ress+YWP+Hub/WebHome

Posters can be found here:http://www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/EventsExtra/WebHome

PowerPoints and more posters will be added as they become available.

Papers from the conference will be submitted to IWA Journals for publication. Obviously this then means that they cannot be published open-access on the wiki. However, any authors who wish to publish their work on the wiki instead of submitting it for publication will be welcome to do so and their work will be freely available.

I hope this helps!

Chloe.
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Re: WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source!

Dear Chloe,
That sounds promising! Is this a new development or have the presentations from all the previous IWA conferences in this year been made available in the same way? If yes, I am surprised that I hadn't heard about it before.

I tried out the 2 links that you sent.
However, the first link that you provided asks for a login before I can view anything - is that on purpose?

The second link led me to your Events Extra page. Here I am wondering: how can I filter the entries by event (currently they are ordered by "last upload date")? I clicked on "Event" but the filter function did not work properly?

Also as you used some sort of database (which has many merits), I think the titles of the posters/papers/presentations are not found by Google searches, is that correct?
I also could not see a way of doing a keyword search on your Events Extra page.

(the keyword searches and things being found by Google are super-important in my opinion)

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

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Re: WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source!

You should be able to access the first link. I have referred this to our wiki support team who are working on the issue. This is very strange because it has been working throughout the conference! You should be able to access the space within the next few minutes.

If you click in the box and type the event title then the Events Extra will filter by event. You can also use the wiki search function to pull posters from particular conferences.

This is not a database but a livetable. The table simply pulls through the titles of the posters - which of course are contained in the URLS for each page and the pages themselves and therefore completely searchable by Google.

You can type keywords into either the Events Extra livetable or the wiki search function to search for documents according to keywords.

Chloe.
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Re: WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source!

Dear Chloe,

Thanks for this. The first link works fine now, thanks. Maybe some people don't know that YWP stands for Young Water Professionals (up to 35 years or so?? I am now an OWP...)

Regarding the search and filtering function, now I get it. I didn't realise that one could type into that white space below title and below event etc. Thanks. (maybe add a hint on the page in case others also don't see the white boxes at first)

One question you have not yet answered:

Is this a new development or have the presentations from all the previous IWA conferences in this year been made available in the same way?


I did some test searches and e.g. a keyword search for "struvite" only brougt up 3 items (surely there was more than 3 posters, papers or ppts on struvite at IWA conferences in recent years). A search for "sanitation" brought up only 18 itmes. Thus, I wonder if in the past the number of uploaded items has been small per conference because it was up to authors, i.e. you were not trying to get a complete archive, because you used an "opt-in" system; now in future you are changing to an "opt-out" system, is that correct?

Another question in an attempt to understand your system better: If I put in "struvite" as a search term, I get for example this item - which is however empty without a pdf attached. Is that because the authors did not upload it properly? :
www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Even...romurineonbenchscale

I am really glad that these pages will be found by Google searches, that's excellent.

Let me also invite others who have or who have not used the Water Wiki in the past: what do you see as its strengths and weaknesses and can we somehow harness any synergies between the IWA Water Wiki and the SuSanA library and forum?

Regards,
Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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(see: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
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Re: WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source!

Dear Chloe,

Thanks for giving us access to iwa's waterwiki!!! May we link us more up.

I am having a problem again and again with uploading from waterwiki a pdf after a search, e.g.: www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bin/download/...hoBaeEunyoungLee.pdf

My Firefox browser collapsed several times.

Is your waterwiki-system save "enough" against external manipulation and hidden malware uploads by external wiki-"contributions"?

Kindly advice.

Best Regards,
Detlef

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Re: WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source!

Hi Elisabeth,

Your theory about conference posters is exactly correct: as the site is a user-generated resource, for most conferences we invite authors to upload their conference materials (opt-in). For some events, we are lucky enough to receive the entire batch of poster files and then we can provide an opt-out service where the posters are uploaded unless the author does not want them to be published.

We approach all IWA conference delegates to upload their posters, as well as promoting the service to non-IWA conferences as this is not an IWA-exclusive resource.

The link you mention has been incorrectly uploaded: this is a pitfall of a user-generated resource! However, I have access to the file so the poster is now available ;) .

Chloe.
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Re: WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source!

Hi Detlef,

Please could you tell me more about the issue you've been having? It sounds like this may be a browser problem - some firewalls and security settings block downloads from open-source sites. I have tested this particular link and it appears to be functioning normally.

If you would like more information about the site itself and the security credentials of the software, you might like to visit the Xwiki website: www.xwiki.com/lang/en/Home/WebHome

Users have to be registered to upload content to the site and even then their access is strictly controlled. Spam accounts are automatically cleared from the site directory and I receive an email alert every time any sort of alteration is made.

I hope this has answered your questions!

Chloe.
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Re: The IWA WaterWiki is looking for a Sanitation and Development Editor!

Since its creation in 2009, the IWA WaterWiki has gone from strength to strength. Currently hosting over 2,000 open-access articles, case studies, the site is THE online resource for the water community, attracting around 20,000 monthly visitors.

The review process is absolutely essential for ensuring and maintaining the quality of WaterWiki content.

By reviewing newly-added content you will have your name featured extensively on the WaterWiki and the opportunity to promote your own work via our Editorial Group page, which remains among the top 3 most popular pages on the site.

Please note that this is a voluntary activity and no financial remuneration will be given, however, all reviewers will be entitled to exclusive discount on IWAP books based on their level of contribution, awarded on a 6-monthly basis.

We ask all editors to set up weekly email alerts to be notified of new content and to select relevant content to review as and when it appears. We anticipate that each editor will have to review 2-3 articles in their subject area per month and that probably only 1 of these will require editorial intervention.

We require that all WaterWiki Editors:
  • Hold a teaching or research position at a university or academic institution.
  • Be fluent in academic and professional English.
  • Be pro-active in reviewing all content within their subject area as it appears on the site.
  • Submit a summary of their activities every 6 months along with confirmation of whether they wish to continue in the role

The Editorial positions we are currently recruiting for are:
  1. Spanish-language Editor
  2. Water Law/Policy/Governance Editor
  3. Sludge Management Editor
  4. Drinking Water Quality Editor
  5. Water Supply and Distribution Editor
  6. Sanitation and Development Editor
  7. Water, Energy and Climate Change Editor
  8. Water Resources Editor
  9. Water Treatment Editor
  10. Health-Related Microbiology Editor
  11. Water Reuse Editor
  12. Wastewater Treatment Editor

More positions may be added at a later point.

We will require that all potential Editors demonstrate a deep knowledge of the subject area as well as a basic knowledge of how to use the site.

If you would like to be considered for a position in the WaterWiki Editorial Group, please email Chloe Parker for further information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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