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In a prior blog called “WikiGardener WannaBe” I talked about wiki moderation gaps. Though my intent was to get new wiki moderators on board, that probably did not come across clearly enough, as the commentary focused on other issues.

In the two weeks or so since that blog, I noted a problem on a wiki space with material suddenly appearing in final, very polished form.  I suspected plagiarism, easily verified by googling phrases from the page. The ensuing email chain with me, SCN administrators, product managers and others influenced me to make public statements on the issue.

Cheating is intolerable.

With that out of the way, it’s important for wiki contributors (and readers as much so) to understand what constitutes plagiarism in a wiki.  There is apparently a history of this controversy with forum and blog posts, but I’m not aware of such with the SAP SCN wikis.  Copying content from another source that you did not create is plagiarism.  Building an index to someone else’s content probably isn’t, but what fair use means here is a little fuzzy to me.

I don’t see the need to search SAP notes, copy the title and URLs, and build a wiki page from that, since I’d go right to the SAP notes search the next time I needed something.  Others might benefit from pre-fab searches, though, and lists of useful notes can be handy.  The danger, of course, is that references are obsoleted quickly.

UPDATE:

The preceding paragraph is rather dismissive of SAP notes links.  As Somnath Manna commented, such lists are useful at times.  To accomodate those wiki pages with link lists, I added examples to the wiki links guideline wiki page.  For ease of editing and viewing, I recommend:

  • Keep higher-number notes at the top, to easily show timeliness
  • Keep notes in numerical order, avoiding duplication and for easier scanning
  • Show last-edited date if possible.  The wiki page edit date doesn’t help here as any change will update this

Moderation in all things

Somnath Manna commented that there has been discussion about editorial boards, specialists, etc. for wiki, and Marilyn Pratt and I have also exchanged thoughts on the necessity of gatekeeping.  Whatever the policy turns out to be, and I’m leaning toward a light rather than heavy hand, we need more people to be active Wiki champions, gardeners, gnomes, etc.

To help illustrate what I mean, here’s a screen shot from before  a little wiki editing I did today:image

 

Note:

  • Underlined names mean there is a link to somewhere.  It might be to an SCN site business card, which might have an email address.  Or it might not.
  • If the name is not underlined, it means the name was added, perhaps by that person, or perhaps by someone else, but there is no direct way to find contact information.  If you’re in that category, we need to know how to find you.  It is not up to me to say whether you still want to moderate a wiki page.
  • If the site is pinkish-colored, it means that link doesn’t work.  If you’re the moderator, you should fix that.  I’ve fixed a few that are obvious typos.
  • If your name is missing, why not add it?

 

image

 

I added 3 wiki spaces to the wiki moderator page indicating no moderator is listed yet.  You may be moderating, and did not know about the list, or you might know who is moderating and can give them a push.

What else?

Go ahead and tag other wikis with no listed moderators, the ones with blank right-hand columns in the table from my prior blog.

Is Welcome to the New SCN Wiki Homepage Beta Version old yet?

Man in black hat

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3 Comments

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  1. Somnath Manna
    Jim,
    Could not help but posting. In SCM Wiki space there are module spcific pages with list of good (relevant consulting) SAP Notes that I have put up. I agree we can search in SMP but my experience has been it takes time to hunt down the specific note I am looking for. These are consulting, FAQ or documentation notes not bug fixes. So instead of downloading and keep a local set of Notes I found Wiki to be a better option. The plus being others also contribute to the list from which I can also gain.
    BR,
    Somnath
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    1. Jim Spath Post author
      Somnath – you are right that SAP Notes links are handy. As I didn’t mean to imply they should be purged, I updated the blog with pointers to examples of how to manage such lists.  A friend who is an Oracle consultant sends a list of useful SAP notes on a regular basis.  It benefits us, as we don’t always look for “hot news”, and it benefits him because it’s a reminder of his service.  I would not post this on SCN, even though it is not explicitly copyrighted, nor even marked as non-forwardable, as this is his work, not mine.  Jim
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