From Wikimania 2016 • Esino Lario, Italy

The Discussion Room is a space for open and facilitated discussions at Wikimania. Participation of the audience in the session is critical, because there are no speakers, and there is no expert panel!

You can find a full overview of the discussion topics on the Discussion Room main page. Please note: there is limited seating available, and we're not saving any seats! Please be on time, but feel free to join during the midway break between two discussions.

Practical facts

The balance of references and footnotes: How far to go for optimal quality
Date & Time
Friday 24 June, 11:15 - 12:00
Slashme & Galio
Primary School


The Discussion Rooms host discussions with a specific style:

  • Discussions of 40 minutes each;
  • Clearly defined topic for each discussion, related to Wikimedia;
  • Aiming to reach pre-defined goals during the discussion;
  • Discussions take place in English;
  • Discussions are moderated by a facilitator;
  • There is no audience as everybody is expected to participate in discussions, and everybody is audience;
  • Key lessons and points are documented live on etherpad, and may be processed later;
  • Each discussion will come with a single recommendation of maximum 120 characters.

Each discussion targets specifically online Wikimedia projects, it lasts 40 minutes and it starts with a short 2-3 minutes introduction.

To set the tone of our discussions, we have three rules:

  • Focus on YOU. We are interested in discussing and triggering individual action, things people can personally do and change to improve our Wikimedia projects and movement. We trust the discussion can be much more interesting if we do not focus on what others should do ("the others", Wikimedia chapters and Wikimedia Foundation).
  • Be constructive and polite. Disagreements animate discussions and they can allow us to unfold all issues related to a topic. Let's avoid personal attacks, let's consider that we have different backgrounds and let's aim at making everybody comfortable in sharing their legitimate point of view.
  • Be short and on topic. Let's create space for everyone to express his/her opinion.


As the perceived quality of Wikipedia improves, the importance of using high quality sources becomes more clear. But it is not always as easy to persuade editors to add sources - or it is hard to find neutral and reliable sources in the first place. What is a good balance to strike, when it comes to sources?

Some topics that may be discussed in this session:

  • How important are sources currently considered across language projects?
  • What are the approaches and best practices towards articles which are lacking sources?
  • What constitues a good source?
  • How to approach sources for articles in existing articles, and how with newly created articles?
  • What are special categories with regards to referencing facts? Should recent events and living people be treated differently?
  • How does verifiability of information conflict with real-time updating of information in breaking news situations?
  • How to make sure that requesting sources does not discourage editing?

Do you want to read up on the topic? Some suggested reading (not required to participate!):

(This discussion topic is based mostly on these three proposals: 'What is Wikipedia's role in breaking news?', '[sources]' and 'New Wikipedia articles: Controlling the quality and relevance')

Interested attendees

  • ...