OpenWetWare talk:Username policy

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Revision as of 14:33, 3 May 2007 by Austin J. Che (talk | contribs) (Cons of the Period)

Name Format: 'Foo Q. Bar, Jr.' versus 'Foo Q Bar Jr'

Pros Of the Period

  • more similar to a journal citation
  • easier to read?
  • Reshma 13:34, 3 May 2007 (EDT): Nature uses periods.
  • Reshma 13:37, 3 May 2007 (EDT): Science uses periods.
  • according to wikipedia, the period is used iff when the letter is an abbreviation. So there's a semantic difference between Foo Q Bar and Foo Q. Bar. In the first case, the person's middle name is Q and in the second, the person's middle name begins with Q.
  • The APA style says yes to period
  • Wikipedia says use period
  • The Library of Congress uses period

Cons of the Period

  • the url would look like with the period, and without. I think the latter URL is much simpler - people are not used to periods outside of the domain names in url's
    • Austin Che 13:23, 3 May 2007 (EDT): It doesn't seem likely people will be manually entering in URLs and that we should decide based on this. Also, what about things like Jr. and Sr.? Note that there seems to be often comma separating name from Jr. which is another uncommon character in urls
      • Jgritton 17:10, 3 May 2007 (EDT): This is not necessarily true, a username needs to be manually entered when linking to another users page.
      • Austin Che 17:33, 3 May 2007 (EDT): On the wiki is a different issue (I think). You would be using wiki syntax (e.g. [[User:Foo Q. Bar]]) and there's no reason why the period is special (what about [[E. coli]]?)
  • the period offers nothing extra - middle initials are already separated by a space
    • Austin Che 13:23, 3 May 2007 (EDT): One could make the argument the space adds nothing extra (separated by case), however I think it helps readability. I'm not sure if period helps with readability.
  • Reshma 13:34, 3 May 2007 (EDT): Looks like Pubmed doesn't use periods.
  • Reshma 13:34, 3 May 2007 (EDT): Looks like Nature MSB doesn't use periods.
  • all else being equal, shorter is simpler and easier to type

Renaming users

Users to be renamed

  • Lucks -> Julius B Lucks
  • Jasonk -> Jason R Kelly

Already Renamed

  • Jennyn -> Jenny T Nguyen (are we going for the period after middle initial?)


  • Jgritton 15:57, 3 May 2007 (EDT): Unfortunately, I wasn't able to call in to the steering committee mtg so I apologize if my comments have already been hashed over. Online communities have a tradition of anonymity. I realize that OWW is somewhat different in that it mostly parallels a real world community so it's nice to know that user X recently published research on Y or that the person you meet at a conference contributes to some part of OWW. But I think there is still a place for anonymous users. As a perhaps far-fetched example suppose an employee of a publishing company want to get involved in OWW's open publishing work but fears that it will adversely affect her current job. I would support encouraging real names for users but I'm not sure it should be a requirement. In any case I think a statement of the reasoning behind this rule needs to be posted online and opened for comment.
  • Reshma 16:25, 3 May 2007 (EDT): The thought of the steering committee is that contributing to OpenWetWare should be something akin to giving a poster, a talk or publishing a paper. You use your real, full name. We want to encourage people to both take responsibility and get credit for their work. Also, using a person's real name helps to alleviate the problem of remembering your login (which some people have trouble with). Right now we are just proposing this policy and trying it out on a volunteer basis. We may then roll it out to new users and more extensively to past users if people agree and it makes sense. You do bring up a good point about the tradition of anonymity in online communities (and this point was raised by Ilya as well I believe). I guess the question is, do we see OpenWetWare more as a research community or an online community? I'd vote for the former which is why I favor the full name policy.