Question: (Closed) Should We Accept The Terms For The Migration To Stackexchange 2.0
24
gravatar for Istvan Albert
5.9 years ago by
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 73k
University Park, USA
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 73k wrote:

A followup to the question: Should BioStar be switched over to the StackExchange network?

Below are the terms for the migration to the SE platform

--- content below is from a StackExchange representative ---

We feel that the BioStar Q&A and its core audience aligns perfectly with our ideals of a great Stack Exchange subject. For that reason, we would like to work with BioStar to make the the BioStar community one of the strongest sites in the network. The goal is to transition the BioStar Stack Exchange site directly into the Stack Exchange Network (a.k.a. Stack Exchange 2.0). We would import all the posts, comments, voting, activity, and user credentials into the new software. The transition should be relatively seamless to the existing user base. Upon completion, the site would have its own dedicated meta site, chat room, and all the other features of the Stack Exchange Network.

After the site is launched, we plan to close down the Bioinformatics proposal in Area 51 and notify the followers that a site has been launched to support their subject.

In the transition, the following issues should be considered:

  • BioStar would have to cede all ownership of the site and its data. We do not allow for private ownership of sites nor do we provide for special access, private labeling, or any sort of revenue-sharing agreements.
  • All user-contributed content would continue to be licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, as required by all of our sites. Any content (logos, designs, etc.) NOT contributed by users is copyright Stack Exchange Inc.
  • The site would launch as a public beta site with the public beta design. We will forgo the private beta so not to lock out the existing users during that period. The site will go through the normal public beta/graduation cycle applied to other sites in the Network.
  • It would be unprecedented to shut down a site that is this far along due to lack of activity, but to cover that eventuality, we would agree to provide a means of transferring the data and credentials back to BioStar to continue the site, it they so choose. We already provide regular data dumps of Stack Exchange content, so this would not very different from the spirit of that feature.
  • The name of the site would likely become Bioinformatics, with a URL of bioinformatics.stackexchange.com (or whatever names is chosen by the community). We will redirect the current BioStar URL to the new site so the user experience and legacy links will continue to work seamlessly. The domain name and domain hosting will have to be transferred to Stack Exchange Inc.
  • A typical Stack Exchange site starts with three provisional moderators (pro tem) and permanent moderators are elected shortly after graduation (There is no concept of an "admin" (double diamond) in Stack Exchange). BioStar currently has ~27 moderators. We will be happy to appoint your top moderators through the pro tem program, but we would like to keep it down to three (considering your size, perhaps as many as five can be accommodated). When the site graduates, ALL moderators will have to run in the general election. We cannot guarantee lifetime appointments of moderators.
  • The reputation awards and access levels vary in some ways from when SE 1.0 was designed. When the users are imported, their reputation will be recalculated to align with the newer design. The fluctuation should be minimal, but there may be a small segment of users who find themselves with different access due to differences between the systems. This has never posed a problem where we have imported other sites.
  • We try to remain as "hands-off" as possible when it comes to the governance of the individual sites. Users are expected to own their own community and take responsibility for its continued success. But there are a few core philosophies and network policies that sites are expected to adhere to. I looked through the discussions, conduct, and ideals of the BioStar community and our vision of what these sites should be seem to align wonderfully. I don't expect any significant issues of "culture shock" in this transition. The BioStar personnel and top users are, of course, welcome to participate however they see fit, but it is our hope that they will continue their involvement and remain the leaders and top contributors they were for BioStar.
meta biostar • 2.7k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 5.9 years ago by Daniel3.5k • written 5.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 73k
6

I am not good at understanding "terms of agreements", but from what I can comprehend so far, I do not see major problems with migrating BioStar to SE2.0. As to the name, "bioinformatics" sounds good to me.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by lh330k
6

On SE2, users with enough reputation get access to the moderator tools: http://stackoverflow.com/privileges/moderator-tools (on StackOverflow, you need 10000 points). I agree that more users should have mod privileges to keep spam at bay, so perhaps the reputation needed for access to moderator tools can be lowered?

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Michael Kuhn4.9k
3

The main issues that I have some concerns about are the low number of moderators and the election process - any competent person should be allowed to be a moderator and no election should be necessary - getting sufficient reputation should be enough.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 73k
1

Agree w/ Michael. It's not the mod title we need more of, just the mod tools. If the threshold could be lowered to, say, 5k, that would give a pretty good number of people.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Chris Miller18k
1

I closed this question, because BioStar's move to a self-hosted platform has put an end to the discussion.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.4 years ago by Michael Kuhn4.9k

I am not good at understanding "terms of agreements", but from what I can comprehend so far, I do not see major problems with migrating BioStar to SE2.0.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by lh330k

the moderators number is something I could live with, although I agree that 3-5 moderators could be not enough. if these terms are negotiable then we could go for it, but if not I wouldn't raise this issue as a major drawback for the migration. BTW, is nobody going to tell Istvan that BioStar allows only questions to be addressed, so "should we accept SE 2.0 migration terms?" would be a more appropriate title? ;)

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Jorge Amigo9.8k

is nobody going to tell Istvan that BioStar allows only questions to be addressed, so "should we accept SE 2.0 migration terms?" would be a more appropriate title to reflect a doubt than a statement? maybe in the migration process that user could be lost looking like an accident... ;)

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Jorge Amigo9.8k

@Jorge I debated with myself whether I should post it as a question or not - it felt awkward to force it to be a question - perhaps I was wrong. Either way this is a unique situation.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 73k

@Jorge - changed title (also I am making a killing in reputation on these "questions" ... ;-) )

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 73k

I'm not worried about the modding... I am worried about the data ownership. See below.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Egon Willighagen5.1k
15
gravatar for Casey Bergman
5.9 years ago by
Casey Bergman17k
Manchester, UK
Casey Bergman17k wrote:

The really worrisome condition is that we can't walk away unless SE abandons bioinformatics and terminates the site, so this decision is a one-way street. We don't have the option of migrating content in the future if SE changes terms, etc.

I'm OK with the name change, biostar is not a specific as bioinformatics and thus the switch may be a step in the right direction towards greater input from a wider base of users.

I agree that the number of suggested moderators is too low. Perhaps this is a point that could be negotiated with the SE providers, since it is aribitrary and flexible. Why? Among other things...

  • Biostar is a world-wide site and with only 3 moderators we would just barely cover Americas, Europe/Africa and Asia time zone activities. If we choose more than one from one of the zones, then we'd have black-out periods where the site is open to spamming, etc. What about when one of these people goes on holiday? ...more spam without doubt.
  • Bioinformatics is a very wide-ranging subject area and thus require high-level expertise across a wide range of topics that really can only be met by a relatively large pool of experts. Who will moderate material that is outside of the zone of expertise for the few moderators?
  • A restricted number of moderators places an increased burden on a few people. This is a voluntary activity and having only a few point people might lead to burn-out from too many emails asking for edits? A key to the success of our relatively large moderator pool thus far is because it is a relatively light workload for all.

Nevertheless, I would still rather see the SE2 migration happen at the expense of a smaller moderator pool and the risk associated with ceding ownership of the data. However, now is the time to negotiate any changes that can be made, so speak now or forever hold your peace.

ADD COMMENTlink written 5.9 years ago by Casey Bergman17k
5

@Andra - I'm opposed to that because it separates people from accountability. If someone takes controversial action from a shared mod account, it's much more difficult to track down the culprit.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Chris Miller18k

Casey +1

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Pierre Lindenbaum98k

Could there be such a thing as virtual shared moderator account?

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Andra Waagmeester3.2k
9
gravatar for Simon Cockell
5.9 years ago by
Simon Cockell7.2k
Newcastle
Simon Cockell7.2k wrote:

With regards to the number of mods, I don't see why BioStar needs to be treated differently to any of the other Stack Exchange sites, there are around 70 of them, many of a similar size to us, and clearly they don't find they need lots of mods to keep things clean (Have a look at Webapps, around 11,000 users, and 4 mods). It does need to be considered that all high rep users are essentially mods anyway, and SE2.0 has a number of mechanisms for flagging, deleting and editing stuff that doesn't necessarily need a moderators attention.

If you consider the size of the entire Stack Exchange network, it is remarkably spam-free.

I've never been a fan of the 'moderator elections', and don't see why it is necessary, above and beyond the reputation system. If more moderators are needed, why not just the top x reputation users who are willing? I guess the answer would be that it increases community engagement, or some such nonsense, but I'm not a fan of the popularity contest element. Seems it comes with the territory though, and it isn't a deal breaker for me.

ADD COMMENTlink written 5.9 years ago by Simon Cockell7.2k
7
gravatar for Egon Willighagen
5.9 years ago by
Maastricht
Egon Willighagen5.1k wrote:

I see a practical issue with these terms, and in particular this one "BioStar would have to cede all ownership of the site and its data".

First of all, there is no reason for SE to take ownership of the data; the data is already available under the license they like it to be.

Second, the data is currently owned by the contributors, so each one of them will have to personally reassign ownership to SE to comply to these terms. This is a bit practical hurdle that must be taken. Does SE have the means to ask all contributors?

One of the big wins of Open Access publishing (the proper one), is that you do not have to reassign copyright. I am not sure why we would want to give up that freedom here.

ADD COMMENTlink written 5.9 years ago by Egon Willighagen5.1k
3

From the current FAQ: "Submitting your answer or question here, you agree to release it under a Creative Commons, Share Alike, Attribution (CC-SA-BY) license." Am I missing something? – Chris Miller♦ 0 secs ago

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Chris Miller18k
2

All content on SE sites are licensed under Creative Commons, which means its open, available and free for all, everywhere (the same as here). Site data on SE sites are also freely available through regular data dumps.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Seth Rogers20
1

Good point Egon. What if (a few) BioStar contributors refuse as a point of principle to give SE ownership of their posts (given we currently own them)? – Peter 0 secs ago

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Peter5.5k
1

Chris, Seth: that's exactly what the FAQ says: the data ownership is not reassigned to BioStar and is therefore with the contributors!

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Egon Willighagen5.1k

Good point Egon. As a point of principle what if (a few) BioStar contributors refuse as a point of principle to give SE ownership of their posts (given we currently own them)?

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Peter5.5k

From the FAQ: "Submitting your answer or question here, you agree to release it under a Creative Commons, Share Alike, Attribution (CC-SA-BY) license." Am I missing something?

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Chris Miller18k

Perhaps by "data", they mean the activity logs and any other data used to calculate reputation.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Qdjm1.9k
6
gravatar for Daniel
5.9 years ago by
Daniel3.5k
Cardiff University
Daniel3.5k wrote:

Personally I would dispute the change of name portion (in addition to the other points people have risen above).

The Biostar name has a bit of weight to it and I would fear that through becoming bioinformatics.stackexchange.com and being the bioinformatics page of SE, 'biostar' would become 'just another bioinformatics Q&A'.

Having a unique brand name (for lack of a better term) makes the community distinct and whilst integrating it into SE seems good in all other respects I dont see why we cant still be biostar.stackexchange.com and have the biostar branding.

My 2 cents.

ADD COMMENTlink written 5.9 years ago by Daniel3.5k
6

I agree to some extent. I have no problem being bioinformatics.stackexchange.com, but that doesn't mean we have to give up the the brand BioStar. You've got the stats site stats.stackexchange.com) which uses the clever name "Cross Validated". Perhaps there is benefit in using both. Being known as "SE Bioinformatics" will give better search results, attract new users, etc, while still using the brand "BioStar" will maintain the reputation we have gained as a community.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Daniel Standage3.7k
3

I agree with you both, Mabeuf and Daniel. Plus, we recently published a paper on Biostar in PLoS Computational Biology, so we should not renounce to the brand now.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio25k

Hadn't seen the paper before. looks good!

ADD REPLYlink written 5.9 years ago by Daniel3.5k
3
gravatar for Jorge Amigo
5.9 years ago by
Jorge Amigo9.8k
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Jorge Amigo9.8k wrote:

the number of moderators is something I could live with, although I agree that 3-5 moderators seem too little. if these terms are negotiable then we could try asking them to allow a few more (maybe 10-15 would do), but if not I wouldn't raise this issue as a major drawback for the migration. the ownership, the licensing, the possibility of returning back to BioStar, ... I see only pros. even the change on the site name could help to raise its position on search providers.

ADD COMMENTlink written 5.9 years ago by Jorge Amigo9.8k
Please log in to add an answer.
The thread is closed. No new answers may be added.

Help
Access

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.
Powered by Biostar version 2.3.0
Traffic: 746 users visited in the last hour