Saturday, January 28, 2006


WiktionaryZ aims to allow collaboration with other organizations. Even at this early stage, we have made contact with universities, translation organizations, and lexicographic companies. All of these organizations have seen the value of free information and an expanded, worldwide staff of editors.

On the surface, these collaborations are great news. Many of these organizations can offer a wealth of data along with money and manpower to assist with importing it, hosting it, maintaining it, and making necessary modifications to the architecture.

Collaborations will raise some questions which the Wiki community has not yet had occasion to address. Of course, we will make it clear that organizations must contribute, as anyone, under a free license, and must play by the same rules.

For their contributions, organizations will want attribution. Careful observers may note the "partners" link in the left margin of the prototype database. To prevent it from growing too large, the idea is that this section will display links to a handful of recently active partners, perhaps five, at any one time.

Many of these organizations also have professional data to offer. Without going into detail on what constitutes "professional"*, the idea is first to give credit to organizations that contribute data, often data that would require knowledge beyond that of most volunteers, such as unusual languages and dialects. This would probably take the form of a decal with a logo and a link to the organization.

The question this raises is twofold. A logo and link will smack of commercialism to some contributors in the wiki community, but done cautiously, it could be a simple and appropriate concession to organizations who contribute. The other question is a bit trickier, and may require a change to the architecture. By taking responsibility for a particular version of an entry, an organization would give its "stamp of approval" to a particular version of a piece of information. On the one hand, this lends authority and credence to that information. Critics have raised the question of accuracy in a body of data that anyone can edit, a valid concern. The stamp of an organization or of a trusted contributor could serve as a mechanism for review of content. On the other hand, it could intimidate or alienate volunteers, who may feel that an amateur or enthusiast does not have the authority to correct or improve upon a "professional" entry. The perception will persist, despite the fact that many organizations see the distributed editing of WiktionaryZ as a way to improve and expand volumes of data that have grown too large to maintain in other ways.

In my opinion, a healthy WiktionaryZ would include a volunteer community alongside organizations for mutual benefit and greatest volume and accuracy of data. What do you think?

— Dvortygirl

*In a nutshell, "professional" data may be just as incorrect as any other, and Wikipedia has already demonstrated that volunteer efforts can be as conscientious as traditional publications.


Anonymous Lugusto said...

What is the current stage off development?

4:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Links to external contributors are ok, as long as they're done in a "tasteful" way. No huge logos, blinking banners etc. I think it's useful to see where data comes from.

The problem with the shyness of editors to change professional entries may be temporary. I think editors will become more confident quickly.

It's quite impressive that you already talked to a number of organisations, even though the software isnt't ready yet. I wonder how big Wiktionary will be...

5:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Third International Workshop on Language Resources for
Translation Work, Research & Training at LREC 2006 -

"Strategies for Developing Machine Translation for Minority Languages" -

Italy: International Workshop on Aquiring and representing multilingual, specialized lexicons: the case of biomedicine (at LREC 2006) --

OntoLex 2006: Interfacing Ontologies and Lexical Resources for
Semantic Web Technologies

Italy: The Third International Workshop on Language Resources for Translation Work, Research & Training (at LREC'06) -- CFP

Italy: Quality assurance and quality measurement for languageand speech resources - Workshop at LREC'06 -- CFP

6:42 pm  

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