Agenda 1Mar11/Secretary's Report

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dotAstronomy

Have been given a speaking slot at dotAstronomy, on "Wikipedia and Astronomy". Abstract:

Wikipedia has a huge number of Astronomy-related encyclopaedia articles, written in up to 250 different languages, that can be freely reused for any purpose. More generally, The Wikimedia projects also contains a lot of other useful information - e.g. lots of pictures of astronomical objects, all organised into hierarchical categories depending on the type of object; translations of the names of objects or astronomical concepts; and much more.

I will explain the different ways that you can access this information in machine-readable formats, such that you can make use of it in your projects, and also cover how you can help educate an audience in the millions by adding information to Wikipedia.

Registration cost (inc. accommodation) is £260; travel will be ~£50 (petrol for car). Would WMUK be willing to cover this? Dialog ballons icon.svg Discuss

Travel expenses

(To be discussed after Tom's report)

We currently have the approach of paying a constant rate of 40p/mile when traveling by car, no matter how far the distance (as per Meetings/2008-11-04#Expenses_claims_forms). For long distances, this quickly becomes much more expensive than catching a train (in some cases, even during peak times), or paying for hiring a car and putting petrol into it (e.g. from Manchester to London and back within 24 hours, ~£50 for car rental + £50 for petrol = £100, compared with [2x200*0.4=]£160)

HMRC guidance suggests 40p/mile for the first 10k miles, then 25p/mile afterwards (anything more becomes taxable) This is obviously intended for full-time employees that drive a lot of miles for their work. The University of Manchester (my employer) takes the approach of 40p/mile for the first 150 miles of any journey, then 25p/mile afterwards to cover petrol costs. I suggest that we adopt this approach. (Hence above example would become [150*0.4+250*0.25=]£122.50 - still more expensive than renting, but more reasonable than before.)

We also need to have a clearer guideline on the use of taxis. Suggest that they are permitted when time constraints rule out public transport, or when the number of people makes the use of a taxi cheaper than public transport.

Chapters Conference

Have contacted WMDE + Bence with the offer of support for the chapters conference; waiting to hear back. Have also requested that they send us the report for last year's expenditure (am I correct in thinking that this is required for our audit?)

Outstanding actions
  • MP to respond to Simple English Wikipedia research proposal asking for further information. Symbol wait.svg Doing...
  • MP to bring forward a concrete proposal on corporate membership Go-next-red.svg Carried forward
  • AT and MP to formally sign the accounts. Go-next-red.svg Carried forward (waiting for the accounts to sign)
  • MP to publicise the list of BLW winners, and sort out distributing the prizes. Go-next-red.svg Carried forward
Tasks to do
  • GLAM-WIKI section for newsletter X mark.svg Cancelled?
  • Set up OTRS on the wikimedia.org.uk site/server X mark.svg Cancelled - we need to get our own dedicated server first; this should be something that we set up before moving information onto the server. (Technical details: the installation of OTRS conflicts with the current Virtual Private Server setup, such that the two cannot easily coexist - and persuading them to coexist is beyond my technical skills and time available to investigate.) Dialog ballons icon.svg Discuss
  • Upgrade CiviCRM Go-next-red.svg Carried forward (When is the best time to do this?)
  • Work through email backlog... Symbol wait.svg Doing... (240 to go...)
  • Help with Accounts information Yes check.svg Done
  • Set up a Press room Yes check.svg Done, with the help of User:Rock_drum
  • Help with Trustees Report 2011 Symbol wait.svg Doing...