en.planet.wikimedia

March 31, 2015

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - What to do in a #Datathon II

There is little point to a Datathon when the results have no practical impact. By implication there is little point to Wikidata when it has no practical application. Luckily most of the Indian languages use Magnus's extension to search making any and all advances in Wikidata immediately useful.

The next thing is to decide for a datathon is what it is you want to expose in your language, your script. The result will be biased but the difference is in not sharing this information. That option is even worse.

Having said that, there is one upside to concentrating on a subject domain. Take for instance the "King of Nepal", you will see that it is referred to "List of monarchs of Nepal". All these listed monarchs are now a "king of Nepal". It now takes one person to add a label in Nepalese to make this label visible on all the monarchs of Nepal. It is a subclass of "king" and, it takes one person to add a label in Nepalese for all subclasses of king.

This is the beauty of adding labels in Wikidata. Once it has been added, it is used everywhere. A label for "politician", "lawyer", "date of death" are added once and are in use on hundreds of thousands of items. Adding labels is therefore really satisfactory and effective.
Thanks,
      GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 31, 2015 09:09 AM

March 30, 2015

Wiki Education Foundation

The Roundup: Women in history

"Mary edwards walker" by National Library of Medicine, Images from the History of Medicine, B010947 - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/gallery/photo_325_3.html. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Mary edwards walker” by National Library of Medicine, Images from the History of Medicine, B010947 – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/gallery/photo_325_3.html. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

To wrap up WikiWomen’s history month, we’ve been highlighting articles about women that have been created or improved by student editors. This week, we’ll look at some biographies of notable women across multiple fields.

From Dr. Tobias Higbie’s Working Class Movements class at UCLA, read about Katherine Phillips Edson, a Californian social activist who advocated for fair wages for women in the early 1900’s.

From Dr. Demetria Shabazz’s Race, Gender and the Sitcom course at UMass Amherst, read about Jeannie MacPherson, one of the youngest directors in Hollywood, who moved from a starlet to a co-writer of many Cecil B Demille directed films. Or Marion E. Wong, a Chinese-American film producer, actress, and screenwriter who, in 1916, produced the first all-Chinese film in the US at the age of 21.

From Dr. Karyl Ketchum’s Gender and Technoculture course at California State University, read up on Mary Edwards Walker, a Union surgeon who was the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor in the United States.

by Eryk Salvaggio at March 30, 2015 03:00 PM

Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimedia Research Newsletter, March 2015

Wikimedia Research Newsletter
Wikimedia Research Newsletter Logo.png

Vol: 5 • Issue: 3 • March 2015 [contribute] [archives] Syndicate the Wikimedia Research Newsletter feed

Most important people; respiratory reliability; academic attitudes

With contributions by: Piotr Konieczny, Anwesh Chatterjee and Tilman Bayer.

Most important people of all times, according to four Wikipedias

"George-W-Bush". White house photo by Eric Draper. - This Image was released by the United States Department of Defense with the ID 030114-O-0000D-001_screen. Public Domain "Mao Zedong portrait" attributed to Zhang Zhenshi and a committee of artists (see [1]). - Intermediate source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardfisher/3451116326/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 "IkuhikoHata" by Dr. David McNeill under CC BY-SA 4.0 "Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S33882, Adolf Hitler retouched" by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S33882, under CC BY-SA 3.0 de Most prominent person on the English, Chinese, Japanese, and German Wikipedia, according to the paper’s PageRank method

This social network analysis[1] looks at the entire corpus of Wikipedia biographies (with data from English, Chinese, Japanese and German Wikipedias). The authors created several thousand networks (unfortunately, this short conference paper does not discuss precisely how) and used the PageRank algorithm to identify key individuals.

The authors attempt to answer the question “Who are the most important people of all times?” Their findings clearly show that different Wikipedias give different prominence to different individuals (the most prominent people, for the four Wikipedias, appear to be George W. Bush, Mao Zedong, Ikuhiko Hata and Adolf Hitler, respectively). The Eastern cultures seem to prioritize warriors and politicians; Western ones include more cultural (including religious) figures. Interesting findings concern globalization: “While the English Wikipedia includes 80% non-English leaders among the top 50, just two non-Chinese made it into the top 50 of the Chinese Wikipedia … Japanese Wikipedia is slightly more balanced, with almost 40 percent non-Japanese leaders”. Findings for the German Wikipedia are not presented. Though the authors don’t make that point, it seems that no women appear in the Top 10 lists presented. Overall, this seems like an interesting paper (it also received a writeup in Technology Review), through the brief form (two pages) means that many questions about methodology remain unanswered, and the presentation of findings, and analysis, are very curt. On a side note, one can wonder whether this paper is truly related to anthropology; given that the only time this field is referred to in this work is when the authors mention that they are “replacing anthropological fieldwork with statistical analysis of the treatment given by native speakers of a culture to different subjects in Wikipedia.”

See also our earlier coverage of similar studies:

“Wikipedia a reliable learning resource for medical students? Evaluating respiratory topics”

A paper in Advances in Physiology Education[2] claims to assess the suitability of Wikipedia’s respiratory articles for medical student learning. Forty Wikipedia articles on respiratory topics were sampled on 27 April 2014. These articles were assessed by three researchers with a modified version of the DISCERN tool. Article references were checked for accuracy and typography. Readability was assessed with the Flesch–Kincaid and Coleman–Liau tools.

The paper found a wide range of accuracy scores using the modified DISCERN tool, from 14.67 for “[Nail] clubbing” to 38.33 for “Tuberculosis”. Incorrect, incomplete or inconsistent formatting of references were commonly found, although these were not quantified in the paper. Readability of the articles was typically at a college level. On the basis of these findings, the paper declares Wikipedia’s respiratory articles as unsuitable for medical students.

The researcher apparently uses an arbitrary unvalidated modification of the DISCERN tool to assess the accuracy of articles. The nature of this modification is not specified; nor is it available at the journal’s website as claimed in the paper.

The DISCERN tool does not assess accuracy; rather, it is designed to assess “information about treatment choices specifically for health consumers”. As such, the use of this tool is inappropriate to assess the suitability for medical students.

There is no acknowledgement that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Several of the DISCERN tool’s questions are unsuitable for an encyclopedia. DISCERN questions such as “Does it describe how each treatment works?” and “Does it describe the risks of each treatment?” would be answered on other Wikipedia pages, not on the disease article’s page. The author makes an a priori assumption that the medical textbooks used for comparison are perfect sources. The author does not assess those textbooks with the DISCERN tool.

The paper states: “[t]he number of citations from peer-reviewed journals published in the last 5 yr was only 312 (19%).” However this is far superior to the number of citations in the textbooks listed. The chapter on “Neoplasms of the lung” in Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (18th ed.) contains no citations at all. Seven sources are listed in its “Further readings” section, of which only one is from the last five years.

The claim that the article on “clubbing … had no references or external links” is incorrect. On 27 April 2014, Wikipedia’s article on “Nail clubbing” had ten references.

Several of the articles are at a rudimentary stage, containing limited information and lacking appropriate references. However two articles, “Lung cancer” and “Diffuse panbronchiolitis“, were assessed by Wikipedia’s editors at the highest standard and awarded “Featured article” status. Five more articles, “Asthma“, “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease“, “Pneumonia“, “Pneumothorax” and “Tuberculosis“, reached “Good article” standard. These articles are exceptionally detailed, accurate, and well-referenced. Azer’s paper makes no mention of the high quality of these articles.

The research uses an unvalidated tool for an inappropriate purpose without applying a suitable comparator, and inevitably draws incorrect conclusions.

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It is not a medical textbook; nor is it intended to replace medical textbooks. Rather, it should be used as a starting point by medical students. The quality of an individual article should be quickly assessed by the reader, and information can be confirmed in the references provided. Missing information should be sought from other sources, such as textbooks. Students should be encouraged to use Wikipedia alongside medical textbooks to assist their learning.

Disclosure: I (Axl) am a Wikipedia editor, a pulmonologist, the main author of Wikipedia’s “Lung cancer” article, and a major contributor to other respiratory articles.

Most academics are not concerned about Wikipedia’s quality – but many think their colleagues are

This recent study[3] is a valuable contribution to the small body of work on academics attitudes towards Wikipedia, and is the largest-scale survey in that field so far, with nearly a 1000 valid responses from the faculty at two Spanish universities. The authors find that Wikipedia is generally held in a positive regard (nearly half of the respondents think it is useful for teaching, while less than 20% disagree; similar numbers use it for general information gathering, though the numbers are split at about 35% on whether they use it for research in their own discipline). Almost 10% of the respondents say they use it frequently for teaching purposes. The numbers of those who discourage students from using it and those who encourage student to consult the site are nearly equal, at about a quarter each. Almost half have no strong feelings on this, and fewer than 15% strongly disagree with students’ use of Wikipedia – suggesting that the past few years have witnessed a major shift in universities (less than a decade ago, the stories of professors banning Wikipedia were quite common). Unsurprisingly, the faculty is much less likely to cite Wikipedia, with only about 10% admitting they do so.

Almost 90% of the academics think Wikipedia is easy to use, but only about 15% think editing is easy – with more than 40% disagreeing with that statement. Some 2% of respondents describe themselves as very frequent contributors to the side, and 6% as frequent. More than 40% have no thoughts on Wikipedia’s editing and reviewing system, which leads the authors to suggest that “most faculty do not actually know Wikipedia‘s specific editing system very well nor the way the [site’s] peer-review process works”. Asked about Wikipedia’s quality, those who think its articles are reliable outnumber those who disagree by two to one (40% to 20%), with an even higher ratio (more than three to one) agreeing that Wikipedia articles are up to date. The respondents are equally divided, however, on whether the articles are comprehensive or not. The authors thus conclude that the impression that most academics are concerned about Wikipedia’s quality is not proven by their data. Nonetheless, the artifacts of Wikipedia early poor reception within academia linger: more than half of the respondents think the use of Wikipedia is frowned on by most academics, even though only 14% say they frown on it themselves.

The study goes beyond presenting simple descriptive statistics, giving us a number of interesting findings based on correlations: strongest correlation for teaching use is related to making edits (r=0.59), followed by opinions that it improves student learning (r=0.47), perception of and use by colleagues (r=0.41), Wikipedia’s perceived quality (r=0.4), and its passive use (r=0.3). The researchers find that the use of Wikipedia is higher, and views of the site more favourable, among the STEM fields than in the “soft”, social sciences. This also explains the Wikipedia’s higher popularity among male instructors (which disappears when controlled for discipline and the corresponding much lower population of women teaching in the STEM fields). Interestingly, the influence of age was not found to be significant: “faculty’s decision to use Wikipedia in learning processes does not follow the usual pattern of other Web 2.0 tools where young people tend to be more frequent users.”

Of immediate practical value to the Wikipedia community are the findings on what would help the respondents design educational activities using Wikipedia: 64% would like to see a “catalog presenting best practices”, with similar numbers (~50%) pointing to “getting greater institutional recognition”, “having colleagues explaining their own experiences”, and “receiving specific training”.

Wikipedia assignments at Finnish secondary schools

A conference paper titled “Guiding Students in Collaborative Writing of Wikipedia Articles – How to Get Beyond the Black Box Practice in Information Literacy Instruction”[4] (already briefly mentioned in our October issue) reports on the use of Wikipedia student assignments in a somewhat different environment than the usual American undergraduates: this one instead deals with Finnish secondary school students. The authors use the guided inquiry framework, postulating that “information literacies are best learned by training appropriate information practices in a genuine collaborative process of inquiry”, and asking how collaborative Wikipedia writing assignments fit into this approach. The findings tie in with the previous research on this subject: students are more motivated than in traditional writing assignments, develop skills in and understanding of wikis and Wikipedia (including its reliability) and more broadly encyclopedic writing. However, students are less likely to develop skills such as identifying reliable sources without specific additional instructions. The researchers note that “the limitation of encyclopaedic writing is that it is not intended to generate new knowledge but to synthesize knowledge from existing sources (i.e., a type of literature review)”; hence teachers who aim to develop skills in generating new knowledge might consider alternative assignments. The paper stresses the need to tailor the Wikipedia assignment (or any other) to the specific class.

Briefly

Detecting the location of an editing controversy within a page

Researchers at Google, AT&T, Purdue University and the University of Trento have developed[5] an algorithm that “in contrast to previous works in controversy detection in Wikipedia that studied the problem at the page level […] considers the individual edits and can accurately identify not only the exact controversial content within a page, but also what the controversy is about and where it is located.” As an example, the paper names the article about Chopin where “our method detected not only the known controversy about his origin but also the controversies about his date of birth and his photograph by Louis-Auguste Bisson.”

7.8% of Germans use Wikipedia on any given day

In a survey[6] by the German state media authorities, 26.8% of all Germans who had been seeking information on Internet on the preceding day had used Wikipedia for that purpose. In absolute terms, this means that 7.8% of Germans use Wikipedia on any given day to obtain information, compared to 11.2% for Facebook, 8.1% for YouTube, and 6.3% for Twitter.
A separate study[7] found that 40% of German teenagers use Wikipedia daily or several times per week (compared to 38% in 2013[supp 1]).

Vandals’ lack of spelling discipline hampers automatic detection of vulgar words

A student project[8] at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County trained a vandalism detector on the well-known PAN 2010 vandalism corpus. The author concludes that compared to features based on the metadata of the revision (e.g. the size change, or whether the edit was made by an IP editors), or on quantiative features of the inserted text (e.g. the frequency of upper case character), “Language Features provide the least information gain. It is expected that language features would provide the maximum information gain. But the problem is if anyone wants to vandalize a page, he or she would not care to spell the words correctly and so in most cases vulgar/slang dictionaries fall short identifying the bad words. “

New Wikimedia open access policy

At the recent CSCW conference (see also an overview of Wikimedia-related events and presentations there), the Wikimedia Foundation announced its new Open Access Policy to ensure that all research work produced with support from the Foundation will be openly available to the public and reusable on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites. See also coverage in this week’s Signpost

Other recent publications

A list of other recent publications that could not be covered in time for this issue – contributions are always welcome for reviewing or summarizing newly published research.

  • “Reproduction of male power structures in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia” (in German; original title: “Reproduktion männlicher Machtverhältnisse in der Online-Enzyklopädie Wikipedia”)[9]
  • “Links that speak: The global language network and its association with global fame”[10] From the abstract: “we use the structure of the networks connecting multilingual speakers and translated texts, as expressed in book translations, multiple language editions of Wikipedia, and Twitter, to provide a concept of language importance that goes beyond simple economic or demographic measures.” (See also coverage in the Economist)
  • “Queripidia: Query-specific Wikipedia Construction”[11] (demo)
  • “Using Wikipedia to enhance student learning: A case study in economics”[12] (preprint without paywall:[13])
  • “Automatically Assessing Wikipedia Article Quality by Exploiting Article–Editor Networks”[14]
  • “Quality assessment of Arabic web content: The case of the Arabic Wikipedia”[15]
  • “Wikipedia vs Peer-Reviewed Medical Literature for Information About the 10 Most Costly Medical Conditions”[16] (see also discussion and published rebuttal[17] by medical Wikipedia editors, and media coverage summary)
  • “Do Experts or Collective Intelligence Write with More Bias? Evidence from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia”[18] (cf. Harvard Business Review coverage and our reviews of related papers by the same authors: “Language analysis finds Wikipedia’s political bias moving from left to right“, “Given enough eyeballs, do articles become neutral?“)
  • “Improving Wikipedia-based Place Name Disambiguation in Short Texts Using Structured Data from DBpedia”[19]

References

  1. (2015-02-18) “Cultural Anthropology Through the Lens of Wikipedia – A Comparison of Historical Leadership Networks in the English, Chinese, Japanese and German Wikipedia“. arXiv:1502.05256 [cs]. 
  2. Azer, Samy A. (2015-03-01). “Is Wikipedia a reliable learning resource for medical students? Evaluating respiratory topics“. Advances in Physiology Education 39 (1): 5-14. doi:10.1152/advan.00110.2014. ISSN 1043-4046. PMID 25727464. 
  3. Factors that influence the teaching use of Wikipedia in Higher Education (Article) (2014-12-11).
  4. Sormunen, E. & Alamettälä, T. (2014). Guiding Students in Collaborative Writing of Wikipedia Articles – How to Get Beyond the Black Box Practice in Information Literacy Instruction. In: EdMedia 2014 – World Conference on Educational Media and Technology. Tampere, Finland: June 23-26, 2014
  5. Siarhei Bykau, Flip Korn, Divesh Srivastava,Yannis Velegrakis: Fine-Grained Controversy Detection in Wikipedia. http://disi.unitn.it/~velgias/docs/BykauKSV15.pdf
  6. MedienVielfaltsMonitor Ergebnisse 2. Halbjahr 2014. Die Medienanstalten, Berlin, March 19, 2015 PDF
  7. JIM 2014: Jugend, Information, (Multi-) Media. Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest. Stuttgart, November 2014 PDF (in German, with English summary)
  8. Atul Mirajkar: Predicting Bad Edits to Wikipedia Pages. Master project, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. PDF
  9. Kemper, Andreas; Charlott Schönwetter (2015-01-01). “Reproduktion männlicher Machtverhältnisse in der Online-Enzyklopädie Wikipedia”. In Andreas Heilmann, Gabriele Jähnert, Falko Schnicke, Charlott Schönwetter, Mascha Vollhardt (eds.). Männlichkeit und Reproduktion. Kulturelle Figurationen: Artefakte, Praktiken, Fiktionen. Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden. pp. 271-290. ISBN 978-3-658-03983-7. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-03984-4_15.  Closed access
  10. Ronen, Shahar (2014-12-15). “Links that speak: The global language network and its association with global fame“. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 201410931. doi:10.1073/pnas.1410931111. ISSN 0027-8424. PMID 25512502. 
  11. Laura Dietz, Michael Schuhmacher and Simone Paolo Ponzetto: Queripidia: Query-specific Wikipedia Construction PDF
  12. Freire, Tiago (2014-12-23). “Using Wikipedia to enhance student learning: A case study in economics“. Education and Information Technologies: 1-13. doi:10.1007/s10639-014-9374-0. ISSN 1360-2357.  Closed access
  13. Freire, Tiago; Li, Jingping (2014-02-11). “Using Wikipedia to Enhance Student Learning: A Case Study in Economics”. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2339620. 
  14. Li, Xinyi; Tang, Jintao; Wang, Ting; Luo, Zhunchen; Rijke, Maarten de (2015-03-29). “Automatically Assessing Wikipedia Article Quality by Exploiting Article–Editor Networks”. In Allan Hanbury, Gabriella Kazai, Andreas Rauber, Norbert Fuhr (eds.). Advances in Information Retrieval. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing. pp. 574-580. ISBN 978-3-319-16353-6. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-16354-3_64.  Closed access Author copy: PDF
  15. Yahya, Adnan; Ali Salhi (2014). “Quality assessment of Arabic web content: The case of the Arabic Wikipedia”. 2014 10th International Conference on Innovations in Information Technology (INNOVATIONS). 2014 10th International Conference on Innovations in Information Technology (INNOVATIONS). pp. 36-41. DOI:10.1109/INNOVATIONS.2014.6987558.  Closed access
  16. (2014-05-01) “Wikipedia vs Peer-Reviewed Medical Literature for Information About the 10 Most Costly Medical Conditions“. JAOA: Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 114 (5): 368-373. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2014.035. ISSN 0098-6151. PMID 24778001. 
  17. Anwesh Chatterjee, Robin M.T. Cooke, Ian Furst, James Heilman: Is Wikipedia’s medical content really 90% wrong? Cochrane blog, June 23, 2014
  18. Do Experts or Collective Intelligence Write with More Bias? Evidence from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia (2014-11-07). HBS Working Paper Number: 15-023, October 2014
  19. Yingjie Hu , Krzysztof Janowicz, Sathya Prasad: Improving Wikipedia-based Place Name Disambiguation in Short Texts Using Structured Data from DBpedia. GIR’14, November 04 2014, Dallas, TX, USA. PDF
Supplementary references and notes:
  1. JIM-STUDIE 2013. Jugend, Information, (Multi-) Media. Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest, 2013 PDF (in German, with English summary)

Wikimedia Research Newsletter
Vol: 5 • Issue: 3 • March 2015
This newletter is brought to you by the Wikimedia Research Committee and The Signpost
Subscribe: Syndicate the Wikimedia Research Newsletter feed Email @WikiResearch on Identi.ca WikiResearch on Twitter[archives] [signpost edition] [contribute] [research index]

by wikimediablog at March 30, 2015 06:58 AM

Tech News

Tech News issue #14, 2015 (March 30, 2015)

TriangleArrow-Left.svgprevious 2015, week 14 (Monday 30 March 2015) nextTriangleArrow-Right.svg
Other languages:
čeština • ‎English • ‎español • ‎suomi • ‎français • ‎עברית • ‎italiano • ‎日本語 • ‎русский • ‎සිංහල • ‎українська • ‎Tiếng Việt • ‎中文

March 30, 2015 12:00 AM

March 29, 2015

User:phoebe

GLAM-wiki & what’s next

A week ago I had the pleasure of attending the US GLAM-Wiki consortium advisory board meeting in Washington, DC. The meeting was sponsored by the National Archives and Wikimedia DC, and it was held in the National Archives building (it is pretty neat to work in a conference room a hundred feet away from the constitution!)

The advisory board has met before, but I have not been able to attend the meeting in the past. This meeting was focused around the future and strategy of the consortium, which aims to coordinate and support partnerships in the U.S. between cultural organizations — archives, libraries, museums and more — and Wikimedia projects. (These partnerships might include hosting Wikipedians in Residence, hosting editing events, contributing knowledge and content like image collections, and more). The consortium is officially formed as a Wikimedia user group, but is in practice it operates as a loose affiliation of thought leaders in these issues. The advisory board is made up of people from institutions and Wikimedians who are experienced in doing this work. 

During the weekend we got quite a bit of work done, which will be publicly documented just as soon as I/we finish the formal minutes (we also all got assigned tasks) but I wanted to reflect on one aspect — the collaborative work in the meeting itself.

I showed up with no particular expectations one way or another,  except that we would have some great ideas, but I walked away deeply impressed by the group’s collective focus and productivity. In the course of two 10a-5p days, the group — who had not met for a year — wrote a vision and mission statement for the group, developed strategic 5-year goals and subgoals, developed 1 year goals and practical action items, assigned these items to participants, got a good start on writing a job description for a potential position at Wikimedia DC that could interact with the consortium, and also discussed topics as diverse as: strategy and future-looking ideas for GLAM projects; the wide variety of educational materials out there; the scope of projects and partnerships; and lessons learned from large-scale editathons. Plus, we brainstormed a few fun projects, including an “edit-a-thon in a box” (you heard it here first!) and threw in a couple of quick tours of the Archives.

What made us so productive? I think a few factors:

  • Every participant (there were ten of us) was experienced at attending both strategic and working meetings,  and was familiar with both high-level strategic brainstorming and getting down into developing and assigning tasks. I will say it was difficult for the group to stay at a strategic level — we loved talking about specific issues from our experience — but everyone was clear about the difference.
  • All participants were domain experts, though with differences in our backgrounds and experience — but although we discussed new projects that not everyone was familiar with, we didn’t have to catch anyone up on the general ideas or terminology.
  • Almost every participant was *also* an experienced Wikimedian, and wasn’t shy about participating in fast group wordsmithing and writing.
  • Everyone did their best to focus on discussions at hand, and if someone was tired and needed to check out for a little while, that was OK; discussion proceeded without forcing or asking participation from everyone on all points.
  • The counterpoint to this was that everyone tried to pay attention as much as possible, was respectful of everyone else’s views, and gave each other floor time; everyone was careful about not dominating the conversation and not interrupting or distracting.
  • We had several people who were experienced agenda builders and group facilitators, and without any special formal tasking they stepped up to run parts of the meeting that needed facilitated discussion (and then handed the next part off to others).
  • There were very few instances where we had to criticize or discuss how the meeting was being run — occasionally side discussions would get out of hand and someone would pull the room back together, but there were almost no process discussions in the full room, beyond some quick agenda-building exercises, short reflections on how we could have prepared better and discussion of what we would do going forward.
  • And lastly we used a very cool piece of collaborative technology, Hackpad, which is like a more-effective and featured etherpad or google doc — built in automatic table of contents, fast and lightweight updating and versioning, text formatting, participant identification. Between the ten of us, over two days, we built an over 50-page (not a typo!) document of notes.

It was one of the more satisfying working experiences I’ve had in a while. Thanks, fellow participants!

by phoebe at March 29, 2015 04:24 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - What to do in a #Datathon

I was asked for pointers for a "datathon". It is adding data to Wikidata for a specific purpose. The most obvious thing is to be clear what it is you want to achieve.

What to add to Wikidata:
  • adding labels to items in a language
  • adding statements for existing items
  • adding items and statements based on a Wiki project
  • adding missing items to create links among items
Realistically, it is always a bit of all of that. The people attending are not all the same either, they differ in interest and they differ in skills. One goal for a "datathon" may be the transfer of skills. When this is the case, start with the basics of Wikidata. How to add labels, how to add statements. how to add items. 

Another goal is to add information for a specific domain. This may be based on information known to a Wiki project but that is optional. When information for a specific domain is to be worked on, Working together and use as many tools as available makes a real difference.

As a blogpost should not be too long, more later..
Thanks,
      GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 29, 2015 03:55 PM

March 28, 2015

Semantic MediaWiki

Semantic MediaWiki 2.1.2 released

Semantic MediaWiki 2.1.2 released

March 28 2015. Semantic MediaWiki 2.1.2, is a bugfix release and has now been released. This new version is a minor release and provides bugfixes for the current 2.1 branch of Semantic MediaWiki. See the page Installation for details on how to install, upgrade or update.


This page in other languages: de

Semantic MediaWiki 2.1.2 released en

by Kghbln at March 28, 2015 12:36 PM

March 27, 2015

Wikimedia Foundation

Discovering a community through cryptology: Elonka Dunin

Video game developer Elonka Dunin is a multilingual Wikipedia editor with a knack for cryptology. Photo by Suzy Gorman, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5

Video game developer Elonka Dunin is a multilingual Wikipedia editor with a knack for cryptology. Photo by Suzy Gorman, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5.

Elonka Dunin is an American video game developer and creator of cryptography websites about some of the world’s most famous unsolved codes.

Her cryptology work was cited on Wikipedia as early in 2005, leading her to contribute extensively on that topic. Since then, Dunin has written or substantially expanded over 500 articles. She has earned 24 barnstars for her contributions.

Dunin was born and raised in Los Angeles. Since she was a child, she was always interested in games, as her father was an avid gamer. According to Dunin, “he would program these large room-sized computers to play games with me, the little girl playing at the teletype machine, and he would also have gaming groups that would come by the house and this was of course before computer games.”

Dunin started her video game career at Simutronics in St. Louis in 1990, and worked there until 2014. Then she moved to Tennessee to co-found a new games studio, Black Gate Games. Attending gaming conventions led Dunin to a new passion: cryptology.

At one of the Dragon Con conventions in Atlanta, she was intrigued by a challenge to solve a cryptology code for a contest organized by PhreakNIC. “They’re handing out flyers with the code, and they’re saying that there’s a prize for the first solver,” she said. “I saw that code, and I just got obsessed with it.” Over the course of ten days, Dunin solved the puzzle and won a trip to a hacker convention.

Over the years, her cryptology skills developed so much that some conventions have banned her from competition. When an Atlanta hacker conference released a code challenge a few years ago, the instructions included this note: ‘Note: Past code crackers are ineligible for prizes associated with solving the @LANta.con2 puzzle; give someone else a chance, Elonka’’!

Kryptos is an encrypted sculpture at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Photo by Jim Sanborn, free licensed under  CC BY-SA 3.0.
Kryptos is an encrypted sculpture at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Photo by Jim Sanborn, free licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

During a visit to Washington DC, Dunin came across Kryptos, an encrypted sculpture by American artist Jim Sanborn, located on the grounds of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia. She was so inspired by her experience that she created a website about this unusual sculpture. Kryptos features four separate, enigmatic messages — only three of which have been solved.

The website changed her life, as she received many questions about Kryptos and its codes — and responded to as many as she could, on her own and other sites.

Around 2005, Dunin noticed that her sites were getting links from something called Wikipedia. She followed the links back to learn about the growing encyclopedia, which intrigued her — and she began making her own edits. One of her first experiences was controversial, as one editor advised her to edit her own biography, other editors said she shouldn’t, and this led to a rapid education in community policies and attitudes towards conflicts of interest. Despite this initial setback, Dunin has become an active and respected editor, contributing to a wide range of articles on Wikipedia over the years.

One of Dunin’s projects has been to try to piece together the bits and pieces of her family genealogy and heritage. Her father, Stanley Dunin, was a war orphan: both of his parents were killed in Poland in September 1939 during the German invasion, while other family members were arrested and sent to Auschwitz. “Wikipedia has been a good source for my research,” she said, “as I have been learning about some of my more famous relatives, especially from the Polish szlachta (noble/gentility) classes.”

Dunin has found Wikipedia to be a diverse and engaging community. Her experience editing and creating articles has been both inspiring and motivating.

“I have gained new skills by working on Wikipedia. I have grown as a person by working on Wikipedia. I have helped other people by working on Wikipedia. I have been a part of an amazing global phenomenon.”

Profile by Andrew Sherman, Digital Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation
Interview by Matthew Roth, former Communications Manager, Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at March 27, 2015 10:49 PM

Wikimedia Foundation welcomes Kourosh Karimkhany as VP of Strategic Partnerships

A longtime media executive, Kourosh Karimkhany has worked with leading companies such as Yahoo and Conde Nast -- where he spearheaded the acquisition of Wired.com, Ars Technica and Reddit. Photo by Myleen Hollero, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0
A longtime media executive, Kourosh Karimkhany has worked with leading companies such as Yahoo and Conde Nast — where he spearheaded the acquisition of Wired.com, Ars Technica and Reddit. Photo by Myleen Hollero, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-4.0.

The Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to welcome Kourosh Karimkhany as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships on March 30, 2015. In this newly created role, Kourosh will initiate, maintain, and grow strategic relationships and partnerships that advance the Wikimedia mission, support the community, and increase access to knowledge globally.

Today, Wikipedia attracts nearly half a billion visitors and more than 20 billion page views each month. At the same time, hundreds of millions of people interact with data and content from the Wikimedia projects on third party platforms and properties. Our mission is to make the sum of all human knowledge freely available to the world, and content distribution and sharing play a key role in that process.

The Wikimedia Foundation has created this new strategic role to identify and manage these opportunities, and convert some of them into sharing and distribution partnerships in order to advance our mission. Kourosh joins us in this senior leadership role to craft a partnership strategy and create long-term value for Wikimedia projects through partnerships, projects, and relationships.

“Our aim is to empower people around the world with knowledge,” said Lila Tretikov, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “To fulfill that goal, we need to think creatively about opportunities to work with like-minded organizations. Kourosh will help us focus on our continued service to our community and users, and progress toward our mission.”

As Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Kourosh will oversee the Wikimedia Foundation’s partnership strategy, including Wikipedia Zero, a partnership-based project. Wikipedia Zero is designed to increase access to knowledge for people around the world. Applying additional focus to that work and orienting it within a larger partnerships strategy will help us work more effectively to achieve our mission.

The many fruitful and creative partnerships the Wikimedia community has already built to support knowledge creation and sharing around the world will be better supported as a result of this change. The partnerships group will help us identify the strategic initiatives we must take on at the WMF and increase our ability to support the movement and mission.

Kourosh is an experienced digital media executive. He started his career as a technology journalist covering Silicon Valley for Bloomberg, Reuters and Wired. He switched to the business side of media when he joined Yahoo as senior producer of Yahoo News. Later, he was the head of corporate development at Conde Nast where he spearheaded the acquisition of Wired.com, Ars Technica and Reddit. He also cofounded Food Republic in 2009, which was acquired in 2013. He is an active angel investor and startup advisor.

Kourosh will report to me under the newly created Advancement Department. To learn more about these changes, please see our FAQ.

Lisa Gruwell, Chief Advancement Officer, Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at March 27, 2015 08:17 PM

March 26, 2015

Pete Forsyth, Wiki Strategies

Wikipedia and education: How to get started?

I am moderating a panel for the Hewlett Foundation’s Open Educational Resources grantees meeting (2015): The Power of Reuse: Wikipedia in Action

Three panelists will join me as we explore the connections between Wikipedia and education:

  • Jeannette Lee, a high school teacher who has her students engage with Wikipedia
  • Dr. Amin Azzam, a medical school instructor whose students write high quality Wikipedia articles
  • Dan Cook, a journalist with expertise in the editorial processes of both journalism and Wikipedia

This blog post will collect points raised in the session; please visit again for updates, or add to the comments below.

Here are links to a guide to getting started with Wikipedia (available under the CC BY 4.0 license; attribution, Wiki Strategies):

 

by Pete Forsyth at March 26, 2015 02:30 PM

Wikimedia UK

ROH Students Editathon: Improving Wikipedia’s articles on dance

The photo shows the front of the Royal Opera House at night, illuminated from below

The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

This post was written by Rachel Beaumont of the Royal Opera House and was originally published here. Re-used with kind permission.

Try to describe Wikipedia to someone who’s never heard of it and they won’t believe you. A free encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute, which is actually useful? But you’ve never likely to have that conversation anyway; with more than 6 billion page views a month, Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website – and an amazing resource for the sharing of knowledge on a global scale.

Wikipedia is a work in progress, and dance is one of the areas that needs improvement. At the Royal Opera House we’re passionate about sharing our love of ballet and opera with the world – and Wikipedia is one of the best ways to do that. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Wikimedia UK to host a number of ‘editathons’ – focussed sessions to improve particular articles. In our previous editathons – on Ashton and MacMillan – we opened the invitation to everyone. But this time we turned our attention to the ROH Student Ambassadors.

The ROH Student Ambassadors are selected from the ROH Students scheme to be passionate advocates for the work of the Royal Opera House within their respective universities. They’re passionate, creative and confident, and share our love for opera and ballet. We invited them to an evening performance of Swan Lake, and in the afternoon set them to work on editing Wikipedia on a subject of their choice. Joining us were experienced Wikipedians Tim Riley and Jonathan Cardy, who provided invaluable insight into the ins and outs of editing.

The Ambassadors made tremendous improvements to a wide range of articles. Some chose to focus on Swan Lake, and worked on the pages of original choreographer Lev Ivanov, producer of The Royal Ballet’s production Anthony Dowell, and dancers Jonathan Cope and Derek Rencher, who created roles in the premiere of Dowell’s 1987 production.

Others began work on the huge task of improving John Cranko’s status on Wikipedia, whose minimal presence in the encyclopedia does not reflect his significance in 20th-century ballet. They improved his article, and created an article for Onegin, one of Cranko’s most popular ballets.

The others looked to figures and works from across the history of ballet: Ivan Vsevolozhsky, director of the Imperial Theatres and a crucial figure in the creation of The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker; Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations; Royal Ballet dancer Melissa Hamilton and Birmingham Royal Ballet dancer Jenna Roberts; and choreographer Hofesh Shechter, whose first work for The Royal Ballet has its premiere this month.

Alicia Horsted, Student Ambassador for the Open University, said: ‘As a Wikipedia user I really appreciate the articles that are available, so to be able to add or create something to help other people who would like an insight into a potential interest, or further the knowledge of die-hard fans, is absolutely brilliant. I found the experience addictive and it really captured my attention (which is hard for someone who is fidgety and easily distracted!). I can’t wait to continue the work I began in the editathon’.

Steven Cuell from Oxford University ‘spent the day researching the life and work of Lev Ivanov, whose work (and Wikipedia page!) is often forgotten under the shadow of Marius Petipa. It was exciting and rewarding to spend a day sharing knowledge that will, in its own little way, make information more accurate and accessible for ballet lovers everywhere’.

Kathleen Greene from the London College of Music said: ‘Wikipedia is such a helpful resource to many that being part of the editathon made me feel like I was contributing to something hugely important. And as a bonus, it was all to do with the arts! A great experience definitely worth trying’.

Jonathan from Wikimedia UK summarized: ‘It was lovely to be able to work with such a lovely bright bunch of people!’

Is there anything you’ve noticed isn’t on Wikipedia and should be? Then get cracking! Find out more about how to edit Wikipedia.

by Stevie Benton at March 26, 2015 01:19 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata is ready for #Wikipedia on its own terms

Yet again a Wikipedian raises the old question about the quality of Wikidata. Yet again the same questions are raised. Yet again the same answers are given. The same questions are raised but with a "different" angle; "our policies have it that"... It is really old wine in new caskets.

Wikidata is immature, it does not include enough data. This is also true for Wikipedia as well; both do not include the sum of all knowledge. Arguably, Wikidata is more inclusive.

Several Wikipedias have a policy requiring sources for facts. What Wikidata does is compare its data with other sources and flag differences. This process is immature but it exists. It is probably as reliable or better than the Wikipedia way of relying on one source at a time.

When someone enters incorrect data at three sources, he will be asked not to do it again or else... Just like in any Wikipedia.

As Wikidata matures, such questions will be increasingly desperate because who will care in the end?
Thanks,
     GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 26, 2015 11:41 AM

#Wikipedia - Suzette Jordan 1974-2015


Additional attention for important women is always welcome. Mrs Jordan was known as the victim of the Park Street Rape Case. What makes Mrs Jordan so special is that she spoke out. This was a novelty and not really welcomed by the status quo. It was suggested by senior politicians that it was a a misunderstanding between a lady and her client.

Thanks to women like Mrs Jordan, the silence around rape is changing in indignation.

Thank you Mrs Jordan,
       GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 26, 2015 06:25 AM

Wikimedia Foundation

The Editatona: Helping women edit Wikipedia in Mexico

File:Editatona.webm

Editatonas are edit-a-thons for women, hosted by Wikimedia Mexico to increase gender diversity on the Spanish Wikipedia. To learn more, watch this video from the second Editatona at Biblioteca Vasconcelos in Mexico City. The video can also be viewed YouTube. Video by Ivan Martínez, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Wikimedia Mexico has started a new program called the Editatona (our feminine word for ‘Editathon’ in Spanish): this editing marathon for women aims to increase gender diversity on the Spanish Wikipedia. We have already hosted two Editatonas this year — and plan two more in 2015, with a focus on Latin America and Spanish-speaking Wikimedia organizations.

Our first Editatona took place on January 31, 2015, bringing together 36 women participants who came in-person — and five more who joined online; this Editatona was held in the Instituto de Liderazgo Simone de Beauvoir, an institution devoted to women, gender gap investigations and empowerment workshops. The second Editatona took place on March 14, 2015, gathering 25 women in-person and three more online participants; it was held in Mexico City’s Biblioteca Vasconcelos, the venue for Wikimania 2015 this summer.

After observing the low participation of women on Wikipedia and the types of content generated on this topic, we concluded that it would be important to cover three areas: Mexican Women, Feminism and Femicide in Mexico — and then add one additional focus on International Women. We also joined the international Iberocoop contest about Women in Wikipedia, which is now organized by several countries with Wikimedia organizations.

The first Editatona focused on Feminism, the history of that movement, as well as other related movements. The second Editatona focused on International Women, and was related to this Iberoamerican Wikipedia contest: “The woman you’ve never met.”

Two more Editatonas will be hosted in 2015:
• September: “Mexican women”
• November: “Femicide in Mexico”

Partners

Since October 2014, one of our goals has been to increase the participation of women in Spanish Wikipedia, through events we organize throughout Mexico. To that end, we decided to collaborate with nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to working with women.

We found support from a range of partners: Ímpetu A.C., Luchadoras TV, Mujeres Construyendo, La Sandía Digital and SocialTIC, groups which also work with technology and host gender gap activities.

Group photo of the first Editatona. Photo by Lulu.barrera, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Group photo of the first Editatona in Mexico City’s the Instituto de Liderazgo Simone de Beauvoir. Photo by Lulu.barrera, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Outcomes

The two Editatonas engaged 61 women in person and 7 online — from different countries, such as Argentina, India and Mexico. As some attendants pointed out, having a safe space to learn about Wikipedia was a very important factor to encourage more participation by women in Wikipedia.

Here are just some of the new articles that were created worldwide during our edit-a-thons: Feminismo comunitario, History of feminism in Mexico, Lesbian feminism, Porn feminism, Petra Herrera, Lourdes Benería, Elizabeth Jelin, Francesca Gargallo, Harriet Taylor Mill, Carmen Álvarez Alonso, Sara Lovera, Ximena Escalante, Las Patronas, among others.

Highlights

Here are some observations from both events we hosted so far.

Ambience
The atmosphere during both Editatonas was always cordial and fun. Throughout the events, we could hear frequent murmurs of women talking, giving each other feedback, laughing and cheering. For the first event, organizers offered coffee and cookies, but most of the participants brought food and drinks to share: fruits, pastries, sweets, etc; since we didn’t have a scheduled time for meals, women would go to eat on their own time in the venue’s kitchen. For the second event, we had fabulous stickers made by User:Christian Cariño.

Online Collaboration
People who couldn’t attend in person where encouraged to join online: workshops were streamed and several people attended to learn how to edit. There was even a group of 5 women who met in an Argentinian coffee shop to join the first event together. For the second Editatona, we had online participants from the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Activities
We also hosted special activities to complement the editing workshops. During the first event, we had a session about gender-neutral language; participants were divided in two groups: one group attended the talk and the other kept editing Wikipedia. For the second event, we organized activities two days earlier, including: a Wikipedia edition workshop, a workshop on Digital Women Security and another on Info-activism (these last two workshops were organized by SocialTIC). We also hosted a talk on Human Rights for Women: the right to information by Mexico City’s Human Rights Commission (CDHDF).

Media
The Editatona was well documented. Luchadoras TV made a video of the event and hosted an earlier program on Rompeviento’s internet TV channel. The Wikipedia edition workshop was streamed, recorded and aired in Fractal, a program on ForoTV, on broadcast TV. As a result of our social media campaign, we had a lot of interactions over social networks, with the hashtag #Editatona.

Lessons learned

Here are some of the lessons we learned from the Editatona program.

Social media helped draw a lot of participants
We never thought that a social media campaign (Facebook and Twitter) would generate so much attendance — far exceeding our quota for enrollment in the first Editatona. The first venue we selected can only hold about 30 people — and within hours from our first announcement, we had surpassed that number. So, we decided on a 50 person quota, but continued receiving more requests: we had 87 by the end — compared to an average of 30-40 people for other Wikimedia Mexico events. These numbers are very encouraging. In the second Editatona, we registered fewer participants, since we had changed the venue to accommodate more people, but we still engaged 25 women in person.

Men or not?
One of the questions we had to solve was whether or not to accept men for these events. At first, we didn’t have a problem with men attending; but when we reviewed our first registrations, we saw that more women wanted to join the Editatona. We decided to give women preference over men, so they could participate: we can’t deny access to women for a women’s event. Wikimedia Mexico’s community and a lot of followers on Facebook and Twitter accused us of being exclusive; we responded by citing the importance of ‘positive discrimination’, to favor members of a disadvantaged group who suffer from discrimination within a culture. In the second Editatona, we decided to continue registration for women only; the key difference is that we hosted previous activities that could assist men and women prior to the main event.

Editatona
Choosing a name for this program was hard. We proposed Editatona, our feminine word for the traditional ‘Editathon’ name in Spanish, which immediately raised eyebrows: ‘Editathon’ is derived from ‘hackathon’ and has its origins in the hacker culture. After discussing this with the Wikimedia Mexico community, we decided to call it Editatona because we intended for the content to be created by women with a feminist perspective. We wanted to make it clear that this is an initiative to engage and attract more women to Wikipedia.

Editing
Unfortunately we had low results in terms of edits made and articles created. This occurred for several reasons. One was technology: we experienced bad connectivity, not all the participants had their own equipment and some of them wanted to edit the same article. Also, a number of women spent a lot of time discussing the format and content of a single article, so the creation process was very slow.

Engagement
Participants seemed engaged by this program and expressed appreciation for these events. One woman told us: “The Editona was incredible for me. It think it’s a great opportunity to record women’s history on Wikipedia. In addition, it has helped us build a community between us.” And another participant chimed in: “It has always seemed important to me that the participation of women become more visible.”

Overall, the Editatonas were a beautiful and hopeful experience for many participants, who enjoyed this opportunity to come together and edit Wikipedia articles with and about other women.

Carmen Alcázar, Wikimedia México
Translated by Iván Martínez, Wikimedia México

by fflorin2015 at March 26, 2015 12:25 AM

March 25, 2015

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikimedia - Guy Kawasaki

With the title "The art of the start" Mr Kawasaki proves himself an author who is known for looking at things with a fresh eye. I have read the book and found it inspiring.

It is therefore that I am ever so happy to hear that Mr Kawasaki is the latest member of the board of the Wikimedia Foundation.

It will be interesting to see what a philosophy of looking fresh at issues and with an eye to create results will do for our movement.

I welcome Mr Kawasaki to our movement and I am ever so happy that in the quote used Wikimedia and not Wikipedia is mentioned. It inspires hope for more inclusive policies.
Thanks,
       GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 25, 2015 05:42 PM

Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing)

Public Keys in ORCID Profiles

My friend Terence Eden is knowledgeable (and blogs wittily and accessibly) about IT security issues. He’s also a vociferous advocate of PGP, a computer program for the encryption and decryption of data and communications. At my suggestion, he just registered for an ORCID iD (it’s 0000-0002-9265-9069), and the first thing he did was to include a link to his PGP Public key in his ORCID profile.

ORCID Profile for Terence Eden

That’s the first time I’ve seen this done.

Perhaps more people should include links to public keys in their ORCID profiles? Maybe ORCID could consider a separate parameter for this (or is the “websites” section of the profile adequate)? What do you think?

But whatever you do, when you link to your PGP public key from your ORCID profile, don’t use Bit.ly!

Note: I’m Wikipedian in Residence at ORCID. An ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) identifier is a nonproprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors and content contributors — like an ISBN, but for people.

by Andy Mabbett at March 25, 2015 02:56 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - #Chiefs and #Nigerians

Mr Willie Obiano is the current Governor of Anambra State. At this time, there is no article for one of the more influential men from Nigeria.

It is easy to add information about him to Wikidata as abundant information about him is available on the Internet. When you read about Mr Obiano, he is referred to as Chief Willie Obiano. It follows that in addition to being a governor he is influential for being a chief.

You may also find that Chiefs in Nigeria are organised and as such Mr Obiano is a "chief of chiefs". How to recognise Mr Obiano as a chief is not clear to me. He was elected a chief and he was elected to be the chief of chiefs..

I would love when people step up the plate and add this information that is important to understand Nigeria.
Thanks,
     GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 25, 2015 07:30 AM

Joseph Reagle

Factoids for Wikipedia

As I wrote in the post "Not notable: Dead to Wikipedia," I was disappointed with the quality of my biography on Wikipedia, but (aside from creating an infobox) I abstained from editing it myself; in 2015 it was deleted for lack of notability. In thinking about this, I realized this was related to something I've helped others' with. Years ago, it was not uncommon when speaking about Wikipedia for people to tell me their biography was wrong or lacking and to ask me what could they do? They didn't want to get in trouble. I replied they did have to be careful as this could be seen as a Conflict of Interest. Typically, I'd offer to fix it if they could provide a source for me to cite, even if this meant them creating an ad hoc webpage. Today, I see dealing with articles about yourself is relatively well thought through:

Very obvious errors can be fixed quickly, including by yourself. But beyond that, post suggestions on the article talk page, or place {{adminhelp}} on your user talk page. You may also post an explanation of your concern on the biographies of living persons noticeboard and request that uninvolved editors evaluate the article to make sure it is fairly written and properly sourced. Please bear in mind that Wikipedia is almost entirely operated by volunteers, and impolite behavior, even if entirely understandable, will often be less effective.

My bibliographic tool Thunderdell supports the Wikipedia {{sfn}} format, so it's a trivial thing to export my CV for easy Wikipedia use. On my user page Bio-factoids I've listed facts and sources that could be of use in a biography should it ever be reconstructed.

by Joseph Reagle at March 25, 2015 04:00 AM

March 24, 2015

User:The wub

10 years

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svgHot on the heels of Saturday’s 10 year college reunion, today marks 10 years since I registered a Wikipedia account and made my first edit with it (there were a few anonymous edits before that, but they’ve been lost to the mists of time). Ironically given recent events, that first edit was defending Jeremy Clarkson!

It was impossible to imagine what that start would lead to. Since 2005, I’ve racked up around 75,000 more edits on the English Wikipedia (not counting the forays into other Wikimedia sites). Far more than that: I’ve learnt a huge amount, travelled to exciting places, and best of all met so many fascinating and fantastic people. Now I’m even fortunate enough to have a job supporting the project I love.

Here’s to another 10 years!

by the_wub at March 24, 2015 08:48 PM

Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimedia Foundation welcomes Guy Kawasaki as board member

Guy Kawasaki is a noted author, entrepreneur and internet evangelist. He will bring a wealth of experience on the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees. Photo by Nohemi Kawasaki, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0

Guy Kawasaki is a noted author, entrepreneur and internet evangelist. He will bring a wealth of experience on the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Photo by Nohemi Kawasaki, under CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Please join me in welcoming the newest member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Guy Kawasaki. Guy is a noted entrepreneur, writer, and speaker, chief evangelist of Canva, an online, graphic-design service, and as an executive fellow of Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley.

“There are few projects in the history of the world that can have the long-term impact of Wikimedia.” said Guy. “The democratization of knowledge that Wikimedia stands for has been a long time in the coming, and I relish applying my passion and experience to this amazing mission.”

Prior to joining Canva, Guy served as special advisor to the CEO of the Motorola business unit of Google. He is perhaps most widely known for his time at Apple, where he developed and popularized the concept of “secular evangelism” for Apple’s brand, culture, and products as the firm’s chief evangelist.  Guy will continue in his full-time role as chief evangelist of Canva while serving on the Wikimedia board.

Guy is a New York Times bestselling author of books such as The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and ten other books about change, innovation, marketing, and disruption. He is passionate about writing and speaking about topics in which he believes, and sharing this passion with others. He gives dozens of speeches a year, and is a frequent public commentator on subjects such as innovation, enchantment, social media, evangelism, and entrepreneurship.

“Guy grasps what really moves people,” said Lila Tretikov, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director. “His passion for extraordinary experiences is a perfect fit for Wikipedia’s remarkable mission. I am confident this will be an incredible collaboration.”

Guy joins the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees at an exciting time. Around the world, we are accessing knowledge in new and different ways, and people are coming online and discovering Wikipedia for the first time. Our mission is more vital than it has ever been. We have great opportunities ahead, and Guy brings a wealth of experience and perspective as we look to that future.

Please see the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees for a complete biography of Guy Kawasaki.

Jan-Bart de Vreede
Chair, Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation

by fflorin2015 at March 24, 2015 04:23 PM

Wiki Education Foundation

Watch our “Teaching with Wikipedia” webinar

<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" frameborder="0" height="382" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/s42HIt_PmC4?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" type="text/html" width="625"></iframe>

If you’re excited by the possibilities of working with Wikipedia in your classroom, you can also peruse our materials for instructors and see many more examples of great student work

Whether you’d like more information or feel ready to start, reach out to us at contact@wikiedu.org. We can help you come up with ideas that match your course goals and find article topics that align with your interests.

You can see the examples cited in this video, and links to others, at our webinar page.

by Eryk Salvaggio at March 24, 2015 03:00 PM

Wikimedia UK

Wikimedia Foundation adopts Open Access Policy to support free knowledge

The black and white photo shows someone turning the pages of a research textbook

Open access scholarship is central to Wikimedia’s mission to empower people around the world to participate in knowledge creation. This image was used by the London School of Economics in its 1973 appeal for funds for its library. Photo by London School of Economics and Political Science’s Library, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

This post was originally published on the Wikimedia Foundation blog by Dario Tarborelli and Yana Welinder. Re-published under CC-BY 3.0 unported

The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to making knowledge of all forms freely available to the world. Beginning today, our new Open Access Policy will ensure that all research work produced with support from the Wikimedia Foundation will be openly available to the public and reusable on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites. We are pleased to announce this new policy at the 18th ACM conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2015).

“Wikimedia is committed to nurturing open knowledge for all, unrestrained by cost barriers,” said Lila Tretikov, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “The Wikimedia movement has a longstanding commitment to open access practices. Today, we are excited to formalize that commitment with this policy.”

Over the past decade Wikipedia has been the subject of hundreds of academic studies on topics such as flu forecasting, the influence of major global languages, and Wikipedia’s own geographic imbalances. The Wikimedia Foundation has made this research possible through a commitment to making Wikipedia’s data open and accessible.

Open access scholarship is central to Wikimedia’s mission to empower people around the world to participate in knowledge creation. Access to these open sources is critical to ensuring that articles on Wikipedia are reliable, accurate, and reflect our ever-evolving understanding of the world. Paywalls and copyright restrictions too often prevent the use of academic research in this effort.

Our new Open Access Policy builds on previous efforts led by the Research Committee, members of WikiProject Open Access, and the Foundation’s grantmaking team. It will ensure that all research the Wikimedia Foundation supports through grants, equipment, or research collaboration is made widely accessible and reusable. Research, data, and code developed through these collaborations will be made available in Open Access venues and under a free license, in keeping with the Wikimedia Foundation’s mission to support free knowledge. The policy sets guiding principles that govern future collaborations between researchers and the Foundation, we wrote a set of frequently asked questions to provide guidance and best practices on the applicability of the policy.

Heather Joseph, the executive director of SPARC, an international open access coalition of research libraries, commented on the policy launch: “The Wikimedia Foundation continues to lead by example in its efforts to democratize access to knowledge. By adopting an Open Access policy to make all outputs of the research that it supports freely accessible and fully useable to the public, the Foundation will help speed the pace of discovery and innovation around the globe.”

The Wikimedia Foundation is proud to join the growing ranks of leading institutions with open access policies.

Dario Taraborelli, Senior Research Scientist, Wikimedia Foundation
Yana Welinder, Senior Legal Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation

by Stevie Benton at March 24, 2015 11:40 AM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - Kian dehumanising disambiguation pages

Logic has it that a disambiguation page like the one for Hristo Nikolov is not a human. There are at least two of them. There are more of them but this disambiguation page does not know about the others..

Hristo Nikolov is the first item of a recent list produced by Kian. All of them include Wikipedia disambiguation pages that have been recognised as a human. It takes attention to fix the issues involved. It includes linking Wikidata items to the correct article and, it means removing and adding statements.

Once all items of this list are done, quality has improved. We can turn over a page and go into "maintenance mode". When this report is run weekly or monthly, there will be only a few new cases. They can be fixed quickly and we can be more confident about the Wikidata quality.
Thanks,
      GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 24, 2015 08:29 AM

March 23, 2015

Wiki Education Foundation

Monthly report for February 2015

Highlights

  • Wiki Ed signed partnership agreements with the National Women’s Studies Association, Association for Psychological Science, and Communication across the Curriculum at Louisiana State University. These partnerships help us target our outreach to course topics related to Wikipedia’s content gaps.
  • During a planning sprint in Seattle, Sage and LiAnna laid the foundation for digital infrastructure improvements. Supported by an additional $300K grant provided by the Stanton Foundation, Wiki Ed will transform its Assignment Design Wizard and Dashboard into a fully functional course management system. This will be independent of the EducationProgram MediaWiki extension that we’ve used for course pages until now, and will let us move past current limitations of Wikipedia’s course pages.
  • Our student groups project kicked off with staff visits to the University of California Berkeley and the University of Arizona. Students at both schools have already created and expanded articles related to water and geology.

Programs

Educational Partnerships

Wiki Education Foundation has formalized agreements with the following educational partners:

  • National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA): Executive Director Allison Kimmich and other staff have launched a Wikipedia initiative to encourage NWSA members to join our Classroom Program. NWSA promotes the production and dissemination of knowledge about women and gender. Improving missing or misrepresented information on Wikipedia helps reach this goal.
  • Association for Psychological Science (APS): APS has had a Wikipedia Initiative for several years, and will collaborate with us to increase the quality of students’ contributions, identify missing articles, and support students through the editing process. We’re excited to work with Teaching Fellow Dr. Alexandra Kincannon to continue improving this initiative.
  • Communication across the Curriculum at Louisiana State University (CxC): CxC works with instructors to incorporate Wikipedia editing as a communication-intensive assignment at LSU. CxC faculty help expand our program through outreach, assist instructors in assignment design, and maintain a peer mentorship program to help student editors with writing, research, and communication skills. Associate Director Rebecca Burdette and College of Science Coordinator Dr. Becky Carmichael have been essential for establishing this partnership at CxC. We’re looking forward to growing LSU’s impact on Wikipedia together.

In February, Jami traveled to Cambridge, MA to present at the National Women’s Studies Association Regional Meeting. Attendees included instructors from women’s, gender, and sexuality departments across the Northeast. Jami hosted two workshops about developing Wikipedia assignments to improve gender-related content gaps on Wikipedia. We’re excited about the traction our program is receiving in this field. NWSA shared the following feedback about their initiative:

  • “I didn’t know some of the information about Wikipedia and found it surprisingly helpful. This will be invaluable as I work with students who want to know ‘why not cite Wikipedia as an academic source’ as well as those who are looking for a good project in, say, fem theory class or senior research.”
  • “I found this really engaging, practical and informative. I will certainly give a workshop on it for faculty and implement in my class.”
  • “It was a fantastic workshop. I left with some ideas on how to revise my Research Writing course (which typically has a gender focus), and Jami and I will hopefully be able to work on implementing those changes this fall.”

Classroom Program

Current status of the Classroom Program (spring term 2015) in numbers, as of 28 February 2015:

  • 79 Wiki Ed-supported courses have course pages
  • 42 of the 79 classes (53%) are taught by returning instructors
  • 1248 student editors are enrolled

The spring 2015 semester is well underway, with 79 courses currently supported by Wiki Ed as of February 28. Another 20 are in various stages of preparation and we’re starting to welcome new classes in schools which operate on quarterly schedules. We kept busy onboarding classes and helping instructors to get their classes off to a good start. We’ve also been providing feedback and other forms of support to students and instructors as they develop content in their sandboxes, discuss improvements on talk pages, or in some cases begin to contribute to articles directly.

Students in most classes are still in the early stages of their assignments, but there have been several good contributions to articles and a great deal of promising work in student sandboxes. For example, The Columbus Basin, Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros, The Geology of Southern North Sea, Heinz Warneke, and Tessera (Venus).

Communications

We’ve expanded our training tools this month, starting to develop two additional subject-specific brochures and creating a new online student training.

The new subject-specific brochures will help students edit articles in Ecology and Women’s Studies. The Women’s Studies brochure goes hand-in-hand with our NWSA partnership. We’re currently seeking community feedback on the materials, and look to publish both brochures in March.

We’ve added a translation course option to the Assignment Design Wizard. Now, instructors working on translation courses can create a course page from the Wizard. We’e also created a streamlined online training for students catered specifically to translation assignments. With these tools, Wiki Ed offers support to classes that share more cross-cultural content.

We’ve expanded our website to present clear, accessible information about Wiki Ed’s programmatic activities and impact. It’s also been an ambitious month on the blog. We’ve shared a three-part interview with Char Booth, the Director of Research, Teaching, and Learning Services at the Claremont Colleges Library. There’s a book review, a class profile and a student profile, among other topics. The Times Free Pressinterviewed Eryk for a story on academia’s relationship to Wikipedia.

Blog posts:

News coverage:

Digital Infrastructure

Sage and LiAnna planning the future of wikiedu.org with designer Ivan Cruz.

Sage and LiAnna planning the future of wikiedu.org with designer Ivan Cruz.

Following the successful launch of dashboard.wikiedu.org, we focused on preparing for Wiki Education Foundation’s longer term digital infrastructure work. In the first week of February, Director of Programs LiAnna Davis joined Product Manager Sage Ross in Seattle to conduct a planning sprint with our development partner WINTR. During this sprint, we discussed our roadmap for the next year. Our top priority is transforming our Assignment Design Wizard and Dashboard into a fully functional course-management system, independent of the EducationProgram MediaWiki extension that we’ve used for course pages until now. This new course platform will begin development in early March for launch before the Autumn 2015 term. Once it is launched, we’ll be able to move past the major limitations of our current course pages. While in Seattle, Sage and LiAnna also hosted a meet-up with local editors in the Wikimedia Cascadia user group.

Peaceray, Pine, and LiAnna at a Wiki Ed meet-up with Seattle-area Wikipedians.

Peaceray, Pine, and LiAnna at a Wiki Ed meet-up with Seattle-area Wikipedians.

Sage worked on improvements to the Assignment Design Wizard, fixing several bugs and adding support for a new assignment type: article translation. He also worked on better documentation and more complete testing of the Dashboard codebase, in preparation for the resumption of development in March.

Research and development

Outreach to high-achieving students

In February, Wiki Ed Executive Director Frank Schulenburg and Samantha Erickson traveled to visit two student groups as part of the pilot program. The workshops and accompanying student activities give students Wikipedia training related to their field of study.

The first stop was at the University of California, Berkeley, where Frank and Samantha met with the Berkeley Water Group Idea Lab. The group provides a multidisciplinary platform for students studying political science, engineering, environmental economics and policy, and more, to discuss topics related to water, sanitation, and hygiene. The workshop hosted 10 BWGIL members and resulted in new edits to articles like sulfur water and the Crystal Springs Dam.

Samantha speaking at the Wikipedia workshop at the University of Arizona in late February.

Samantha speaking at the Wikipedia workshop at the University of Arizona in late February.

The second stop was at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, where Frank and Samantha met with the Geo Club, a group of graduate students studying the geological sciences in all its forms: from tectonics and geochemisty, to paleoclimate, mineralogy, and paleontology. Students at the University of Arizona have unique access to mineral research and information, as the university houses 3,000 of the known 4,900 minerals, and oversees the production of RRUFF, the American Mineralist Crystal Structure Database. Student editor Shaunna Morrison has used her access to this information to create the Wikipedia page for Kovdorskite as well as edit pages on Lanthanite, Agardite, and Mixite. The workshop hosted members of the Geo Club as they learned the basics of Wikipedia editing. The next day, 15 members of the Geo Club visited Kartchner Caverns State Park, where we researched cave phenomena and photographed geologic occurrences above ground.

Finance & Administration / Fundraising

Finance & Administration

For the month of February, expenses were $146,011 versus the plan of $221,143. The majority of $75k variance is due to deferred events (fundraising, workshops, and strategic planning).

Year-To-Date expenses are $1,069,707 versus the plan of $1,240,265. Included in the $170k year-to-date variance are the deferred events that accounted for the month’s $75k variance; the ongoing savings from the timing of staff hires ($55k); and deferred travel expense ($35k).

February_2015_Expenses

Wiki Education Foundation monthly expenses for February 2015

Expenses_YTD_2-2015

Wiki Education Foundation Year to Date Expenses, February 2015

Fundraising

In late February, Wiki Ed received an additional $300,000 in funding, and $1,079,000 for year-two funding, from the Stanton Foundation. The $300,000 covers the creation of a new course page system to replace the outdated “Education Program Extension” on Wikipedia. As Sage Ross has finished work on digital infrastructure nearly two quarters ahead of schedule, Wiki Ed can begin working on this project immediately. The new course page system will ensure long-term sustainability for the technical solution that our Classroom Program relies on. It will be built in cooperation with our tech contractors, WINTR, in Seattle. The $1,079,000 for year two is part of a three-year commitment from Stanton to support Wiki Ed’s work through unrestricted grants at a level of 90% in year one, 70% in year two, and 50% in year three.

Office of the ED

  • Current priorities:
    • Preparing the March strategy kick-off event in San Francisco
    • Supporting the outreach to high achieving students pilot
  • In February, Frank prepared the strategy and annual planning process, which will kick off with an in-person meeting on March 23. This included gathering input from staff and senior management, preparing documents with background information about Wiki Ed’s external environment and its current resource base, discussing the process and the expected outcome with board members, and recruiting external advisors.
  • As part of the outreach to high achieving students pilot, Frank supported Samantha’s work with student groups at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Visitors and Guests

  • Liz Williams, Collaboration Zone
  • Tighe Flanagan, Wikimedia Foundation

by Eryk Salvaggio at March 23, 2015 05:46 PM

Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimedia Highlights, February 2015

Here are the highlights from the Wikimedia Blog in February 2015, covering selected activities of the Wikimedia Foundation and other important events for the Wikimedia movement.

Contents

Love on the Wikis

Lead image
3D Love: This mathematically-defined heart shape is one of the many ways that love is represented on Wikimania sites.
Photo By Chiph588, CC0
.

For Valentine’s Day, we asked Wikimedians to share their favorite articles or images about love, from Wikipedia and sister projects. Together, we collected a wide range of insightful articles, images, videos, sounds, quotes and websites on the many different ways this topic is represented in our wikis: from platonic to fraternal, divine or romantic love.

A WikiLove story

Lead image
Avner and Darya fell in love while touring Israel with other Wikipedians. Here they are at Mount Eitan.
Photo by Deror Avi, CC-BY-SA 4.0

Wikipedians Avner and Darya fell in love while volunteering with Wikimedia Israel. They were engaged soon after, thanks to a shared passion for knowledge. Here is their moving love story, which was published on Valentine’s Day.

Who links to Wikipedia?

Lead image

Here are the top external sites that link to Wikipedia, based on overall link volume for all Wikipedia languages and all top-level domains.
Graph by Gianluca Demartini, CC-BY-SA 4.0

To learn more about who links to Wikipedia, the research team at the University of Sheffield analyzed the structure of links that point to Wikipedia pages from external websites, looking specifically at which top-level domains dominate the link volume for each Wikipedia language. Here’s what they found.

What is Wikipedia Zero? (VIDEO)

File:What is Wikipedia Zero?.webm

What is Wikipedia Zero? This short video explains the Wikipedia Zero program, in under two minutes. You can also view it on Vimeo.com here and YouTube.com here.
Video by Victor Grigas (WMF), CC-BY-SA 3.0

Learn how mobile carriers waive data charges for accessing Wikipedia, around the world. Watch this short video, which explains the Wikipedia Zero program, in under two minutes.

Join the Wikimedia strategy consultation

Lead image
The Wikimedia movement works because it brings together many different perspectives to solve complex problems. The Wikimedia Foundation hosted a community consultation to discuss the movement’s strategy.
Group photo of Wikimania 2014 participants by Ralf Roletschek, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0

The Wikimedia Foundation invited community participation in a two-week consultation to discuss the future of Wikimedia. This online discussion was very productive and will help shape the future of Wikimedia.

Black History Month edit-a-thons tackle Wikipedia’s multicultural gaps

Group editing Wikipedia at the Schomburg Center in New York City
For Black History Month, many new Wikipedia articles about black culture were created in edit-a-thons across the United States, such as this at the “BlackLivesMatter” event at the Schomburg Center in New York City.
Photo by Terrence Jennings, CC BY-SA 4.0

Edit-a-thons took place throughout the United States in February 2015, to honor black history and help fill the multicultural gaps in Wikipedia. Many new articles about black culture were created as a result.

Wiki Loves Africa photo contest announces winning pictures

Egyptian food Koshary.jpg
A plate of koshary, the most popular food in Egypt. This picture was taken for “Wiki Loves Africa Cuisine”, a photo contest about african food.
Photo by Dina Said, CC BY-SA 4.0

The “Wiki Loves Africa” photo contest about “Cuisine” resulted in over 6,000 image uploads to Commons. See the jury-selected prize winners and learn more about this project.

Andrew Sherman, Digital Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at March 23, 2015 05:46 PM

Tech News

Tech News issue #13, 2015 (March 23, 2015)

TriangleArrow-Left.svgprevious 2015, week 13 (Monday 23 March 2015) nextTriangleArrow-Right.svg
Other languages:
čeština • ‎English • ‎español • ‎suomi • ‎français • ‎עברית • ‎italiano • ‎日本語 • ‎português • ‎русский • ‎українська • ‎Tiếng Việt • ‎中文 • ‎中文(繁體)‎

March 23, 2015 12:00 AM

March 22, 2015

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - Gaston's war

Gaston's war is a "1997 film" according to the automated description in Reasonator. At the time of  the Wikimedia Foundation Metrics 3.5.2015 there was no description in English. Since then somebody added the description in English Hurray!!... Eh not really.

It is only Hurray, when you only care about English. In contrast the automated description was there already for most other languages. As relevant, when an item is updated with statements it may reflect in automated descriptions in all languages while a fixed description became stale  maybe even wrong.

In the Metrics meeting it was mentioned that images might exist in the article.. Actually, Wikidata often has images where a Wikipedia article has not.

PS there is an API to create the automated description.. Why not use it?
Thanks,
       GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 22, 2015 07:59 AM

March 21, 2015

User:Ziko

Klexikon moving on and coming… to an end?

Klexikon_LogoOur project Klexikon, the wiki encyclopedia for children has now more than 350 articles. This is not much, but the growth is sustainable and the articles are real articles worth reading (even if they are not always long).

The project ‘A report on a free encyclopedia for children’ is approaching its end. Wikimedia Deutschland asked us to write such a report, based also on our experiences with the actual wiki. It should appear at the end of March or a little later. Nevertheless, the Klexikon wiki will go on.


by Ziko van Dijk at March 21, 2015 10:10 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Commons - Picture of the Year


Every year Commons has its Picture of the Year competition. This year's winner shows a butterfly drinking the eye fluid of a tortoise. There is a word for it.. lachryphagy I had never heard of it.

Congratulation to Commons for another successful year :)
Thanks,
     GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 21, 2015 04:52 PM

#Wiidata - the National Thesaurus for Author names

In Wikidata we link to external sources. For authors the NTA Identifier is just one of many. It is associated with the Dutch Royal Library. This identifier is currently associated with 128.701 authors from all over the world.

While the NTA Identifier is used a lot, there is no article about it and, there is no item for it either. As such it is not exceptional.

With a link to the Dutch libraries, it is easy to understand why we could and should cooperate. Libraries are even more into "sharing the sum of all knowledge" than we are; Wikipedia is in the final analysis only an encyclopaedia.

We could do the following:

  • share the information we hold with them
  • ask if they will share the information we hold
  • promote the reading of books and publications
  • link to the Dutch libraries for authors and books to see if a book is available.
Our aim is to share in the sum of all knowledge. The aim of libraries is to share in the sum of all knowledge. We use what they provide as sources in our projects. It is easy and obvious to understand why we should seek for cooperation.
Thanks,
     GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 21, 2015 08:15 AM

Joseph Reagle

Insights on privilege

I appreciate any feedback folks are kind enough to leave on a new draft: Saying it so doesn't make it so: Insights on privilege from geekdom's meritocracy melee

ABSTRACT: Peggy McIntosh famously characterized privilege as an unearned “invisible knapsack” of special provisions. Although this is a powerful metaphor, it is a challenging critique to make, especially for geek feminists. After providing brief cultural histories of geek feminism, meritocracy and privilege, I claim that geek discourse shows that these comparative notions are inherently difficult and this is exacerbated for geeks because of an element of their identity and culture. Just as the debate about “fake geek girls” revealed that geekdom’s boundaries are defined and policed relative to the mainstream, especially the movement of attention, I argue that geek identity is similarly informed by a relative sense of inferiority and superiority, which leads to a naive notion of meritocracy. First, geeks question how they could be privileged given what “they have themselves had to endure in life.” Second, as seen in idiosyncratic presentations (e.g., dress), they presume they are beyond mainstream conventions and biases when in fact such biases are still present. Hence, meritocracy is much like the otherwise commendable values of openness and freedom because a naive understanding impairs those values’ actual enactment. I conclude by noting that meritocracy is often conceived of in a comparative historical sense as well and that this, too, is problematic.

by Joseph Reagle at March 21, 2015 04:00 AM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikipedia - Joseph Reagle


For whatever obscure reason English Wikipedia decided to delete the article on Joseph Reagle. I do not understand it, Mr Reagle is bound to publish more books and conflating him with his book "Good faith collaborations" is a bit silly. It feels like part of the Wikipedia culture where we do not look after our own; do not consider our efforts as notable.

Mr Reagle is certainly notable enough to remain in Wikidata. Not only as the author of the book but also because of the French article. It will be wonderful when additional data is added to the item,
Thanks,
      GerardM


by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 21, 2015 01:19 AM

March 20, 2015

Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimedia Foundation welcomes Terry Gilbey as COO; bids farewell to Gayle Karen Young

Terry Gilbey joins the Wikimedia Foundation as interim Chief Operating Officer. Photo by Myleen Hollero, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Terry Gilbey joins the Wikimedia Foundation as interim Chief Operating Officer.
Photo by Myleen Hollero, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Like wikis themselves, the Wikimedia Foundation changes. Today, we have two announcements of changes in Foundation leadership. We are pleased to announce that Terry Gilbey has joined the Wikimedia Foundation in the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Executive Director Lila Tretikov. The second is that our Chief Talent and Culture Officer, Gayle Karen Young, has decided to move on to her next adventure. We are thankful for her time with us, and wish her well.

Introducing a Chief Operating Officer

At the Wikimedia Foundation, our mission is to empower people around the world to create and share free knowledge. One of our top priorities for the Wikimedia Foundation in 2015 is improving our organizational effectiveness in service of this mission. We created the role of Chief Operating Officer to focus on that goal. As COO, Terry will be responsible for building rigor and discipline around the Foundation’s operational processes, empowering us to adapt and innovate.

Terry is transitioning to the COO role from a consulting role with the Foundation. He has already worked with us on a number of projects around goal-setting, financial planning, and budgeting. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Enterprise Operations at Kaiser Permanente, a nationwide healthcare organization, and served in various management roles at IBM Global Services.

Terry is originally from England and has lived in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Central America. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also spends time in Panama on a rural farm. He enjoys some unusual hobbies, such as bull riding, surfing, riding motorcycles and more recently, refereeing a women’s flat track roller derby. An early adopter of Tor, Terry believes strongly in the right to privacy and the free and open access to knowledge as an equalizer.

With the introduction of the COO role, we are also making some organizational reporting changes. Beginning this week, our Finance, Administration, and Culture and Talent teams will report to Terry. Garfield Byrd will continue to serve as the Chief Financial Officer for the organization, a member of the C-level team, and Treasurer of the Board. Terry and Garfield will manage all financial and business planning activities together.

Saying goodbyes

Gayle Karen Young served as Chief Talent and Culture Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation from 2011 to 2015. Photo by Myleen Hollero, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Gayle Karen Young served as Chief Talent and Culture Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation from 2011 to 2015. Photo by Myleen Hollero, CC-BY-SA-3.0

It is with sadness that we say farewell to Gayle Karen Young, our Chief Talent and Culture Officer. Gayle has been with the Wikimedia Foundation for three and a half years, and has brought us wisdom and warmth on a daily basis. In her time with the Foundation, she created a human resources department that is fundamentally about caring for the people in the organization and offering services that allow people to do their best work.

Gayle let us know some time ago that she was looking to move on to her next challenge. With the introduction of the COO role, she felt this was the right moment in time and the human resources team were in good hands. We thank her for her leadership, celebrate her future adventures, and are grateful she plans to continue as a volunteer in the Wikimedia movement.

Our mission is to help Wikimedians around the world make the sum of all knowledge available to everyone. We believe these changes will help us progress toward this mission, and focus on our continued service to our community and readers.

Lila Tretikov
Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation

by fflorin2015 at March 20, 2015 07:07 PM

Joseph Reagle

Not notable: Dead to Wikipedia

After roughly four years, my Wikipedia biography is no more; it now redirects to a page for my book about Wikipedia. In reflecting upon this, it seems to me that when it comes to notability, the biography and subject are often conflated. According to Wikipedia's Notability criteria, I believe I am notable, even if the Wikipedia article didn't reflect it well. Yet, Wikipedians speak of deleting a biography because "the subject is not notable" instead of saying "the article doesn't show the subject to be notable." Hence, an implicit criteria for notability is if Wikipedians will bother to marshal an effort, which, in a way, is a proxy for notability itself. The other interesting thing is that the deletion was rather swift. A few years back, the biography had been decorated with the "may not be notable" tag for about nine months until a Wikipedian removed it with the comment: "Remove insult-the-subject tag."

In any case, the article had much room for improvement; in fact, for the past couple of years I've asked students to find problems with it, especially with respect to Wikipedia's Verifiability policy. Fortunately, I can still send students to a version of the biography since the edit history for the article survives.

What I am a little disappointed about is that Google no longer shows the cool sidebar with information from the Wikipedia infobox -- adding the infobox was the only time I felt it appropriate to edit my own page. But who knows, maybe one day the article will be resurrected.

by Joseph Reagle at March 20, 2015 04:00 AM

March 19, 2015

Wikimedia Foundation

Art+Feminism Events on International Women’s Day

File:Art + Feminism Edit-a-thon at the Museum of Modern Art March 7, 2015.webm

Over 75 Art+Feminism Edit-a-thons were hosted worldwide on International Women’s Day, to increase gender diversity on Wikipedia. To learn more, watch this video from the main event at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City: it can also be viewed on YouTube, and Vimeo. (Versions with burned-in English captions can also be found on Wikimedia Commons, YouTube, and Vimeo.) Video by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Art+Feminism Campaign organized a global drive to host edit-a-thons on the weekend of International Women’s Day, to improve Wikipedia articles about women in the arts, feminism, and gender — as well as to raise awareness of the Wikipedia gender gap. Over 75 events took place around the world, bringing together about 1,500 participants — ranging from small gatherings of friends to large groups at significant cultural institutions like LACMA, the Walker Art Center, and the Stedelijk Museum. As a result, at least 400 new articles were created, and another 500 articles were significantly improved.

The New York event at the Museum of Modern Art was the central node. This event was organized by Siân Evans and Jacqueline Mabey, Michael Mandiberg, and Dorothy Howard, in collaboration with POWarts and the Museum of Modern Art, and made possible by team of dedicated volunteers. Approximately 200 participants came through MoMA, including librarians, academics, curators, artists, art lovers, feminists, male allies, and experienced Wikipedians. Trainings were held throughout the day, in multiple locations across three floors of the Department of Education. New and experienced editors worked in a variety spaces: the mezzanine level, two classrooms, the Time Warner theatre, multiple lounges, and the library. The day was marked by a spirit of collaboration, with spontaneous volunteering and enthusiastic team editing.

Edit-a-thon in Banff, Canada.
Photo by ABsCatLib, CC BY-SA 4.0

Edit-a-thon in Lima, Peru.
Photo by Arandana17, CC BY-SA 4.0

Edit-a-thon in Madrid, Spain.
Photo by Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA 4.0

Edit-a-thon in Montreal, Canada.
Photo by Micsmeets, CC BY-SA 4.0

Edit-a-thon in Paris, France.
Photo by Benoît Prieur, CC BY-SA 4.0

Edit-a-thon in Toronto, Canada.
Photo by Art Gallery of Ontario, CC BY 4.0

A lot of behind-the-scenes work went into catalyzing and coordinating over 75 events and effectively organizing this community. This work was made possible in part by a Project and Event Grant (PEG) and an Individual Engagement Grant (IEG) from the Wikimedia Foundation to build out infrastructure, including a website, and design training materials.

The project reached out extensively to librarians and scholars — primarily off-wiki and through social media — in order to harness their unique skills and build a network of advocates. As our project grows, we hope to empower the many local organizers to take leadership in hosting Art+Feminism events on their own, leveraging the training materials and other resources we have developed.

Outcomes

The Art + Feminism Edit-a-thons engaged 1,500 participants to collaborate actively in this global effort to increase gender diversity on Wikimedia sites. This gave them a unique opportunity to join forces with other women to take direct action in support of this cause. As one of the participants put it: “Sometimes we think that someone else is going to do it, but if we wait until that person does it, it’s going to be very slow. So we have to sometimes take things in[to] our own hands and just do it.”

Here are just some of the new articles that were created worldwide during our edit-a-thons: Elise Forrest Harleston, Amy Maria Sacker, Janet Payne Bowles, Lisl Steiner, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Kali (fine artist), Betty G. Miller, Camille Henrot, Sarah McEneaney, Kyle DeWoody, Jennie C. Jones, and the Heresies Collective.

Some of the articles that were improved include: Cecily Brown, Elaine de Kooning, Evelyn De Morgan, Carol Shaw (video game designer), Coco Fusco, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Valerie Hegarty, Yael Bartana, and Augusta Savage.

The event garnered significant international press coverage, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Libération, ArtNews, Wired, BBC World News, Radio Canada, and more than 30 other stories.

To learn more about what each site accomplished, visit the the Art+Feminism Outcomes page.

Lessons Learned

We think that our approach of organizing online but off-wiki though personal and professional networks and social media has been one of the keys to our success. It only makes sense; if you want to bring in new editors, you have to seek them out where they are. If you’re concerned about the gender gap, then offering some form of childcare is important. And having refreshments and multiple editing spaces was crucial to creating a spirit of welcoming and enthusiastic collaboration.

As organizers, we have no desire to rest on our laurels, but seek to continually improve. We actively seek feedback from our fellow organizers and going forward, we will submit our materials for a diversity review. It is impossible to be all things to all people, but we want to be accessible to as many as is feasible, the best jumping off point for groups to remix the processes and materials we’ve developed to suit the needs of their community.

Goals

The Art+Feminism project firmly supports a re-evaluation of the notability guidelines on Wikipedia. How do we address the fact that women’s accomplishments generally receive less coverage and may have less notable references to cite? We have an amazing opportunity to reverse that trend on Wikipedia. The Art+Feminism project seeks to ensure we don’t reproduce the same structural biases of past encyclopedic projects.

The Art+Feminism project is also interested in rethinking what makes the ideal Wikipedia; we wish to spark conversations about Wikipedia Editing and Digital Labor, in the context of leisure inequality and gender imbalance in the time people have to contribute to knowledge production and online communities. It’s neither realistic nor sustainable to seek to make every editor a heavy editor, someone whose volunteer labor becomes a part-time or full-time job. Encouraging casual editors can more effectively address content gaps and create a more accurate encyclopedia.

History

The Art+Feminism edit-a-thon series itself was the result of a collaboration between a number of artists, scholars, curators, librarians and Wikipedians. Specifically, it arose out of two separate conversations between the co-organizers. Siân Evans and Jacqueline Mabey had discussed trying to organize an event around art and feminism — similar to the edit-a-thons geared towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) that take place every year on Ada Lovelace Day. Evans’ goal was to engage ARLiS NA’s Women and Art Special Interest group to build public knowledge and address gender disparities in art research. Mabey mentioned this to Michael Mandiberg, a professor at CUNY Staten Island and the Graduate Center, because of his use of Wikipedia in teaching. Mandiberg had actually had a similar conversation earlier that day with curator Laurel Ptak. At the time, Ptak was a fellow at Eyebeam, a center for art and technology, where she was doing work around cyberfeminism, and he had encouraged her to hold an edit-a-thon focused on art, technology, and feminism. Evans, Mabey, Mandiberg, and Ptak’s specific knowledge of and connections within the arts and library communities were instrumental in building out the project.

After an initial meeting in the fall of 2013, we decided to hold an edit-a-thon and started the organizing process by getting a few local Wikipedia ambassadors involved. We initiated our outreach and organization off-wiki, and quickly extablished a network of nodes, which began planning events. Richard Knipel, of Wikimedia NYC connected node events with Wikipedians, and Dorothy Howard, Wikipedian in Residence at METRO conducted the trainings in NYC. At the Art+Feminism edit-a-thons in 2014, we had around 600 participants in 31 locations and created 101 new articles, and improved 90.

Siân Evans, Librarian and Implementation Manager, Artstor, Art Libraries Society of North America’s Women and Art Special Interest Group
Jacqueline Mabey, Independent Curator and Art Worker, failed projects
Michael Mandiberg, Associate Professor, CUNY Graduate Center and College of Staten Island/City University of New York
Dorothy Howard, Wikipedian-in-Residence at the Metropolitan New York Library Council

Related Links

by Andrew Sherman at March 19, 2015 05:24 PM

Wikimedia UK

Scotland’s second Wikimedian in Residence

The photo is a self portrait of Sara. She is wearing a rather fetching hat.

Sara Thomas, Wikimedian in Residence at Museums Galleries Scotland

This post was written by Sara Thomas, Wikimedian in Residence at Museums Galleries Scotland

As I write this, I’m sitting in the library of the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art. There’s a pleasing amount of public wifi, and an excellent cup of tea. This week I’ve also been in Kelvingrove Museum, telling the Curatorial Forum more about what this Residency will involve, and in the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, meeting more people and getting a tantalising peek inside the stores. It’s only week two, but I’m really enjoying this job so far.

This is the second residency in Scotland, with the first in the expert hands of Ally Crockford. Mine is a year-long project with Museums Galleries Scotland, the first four months of which will be spent on secondment to Glasgow Museums. It’s very much a networked residency (not unlike Pat Hadley’s with the Yorkshire Network Project) and will see me working with multiple institutions across Scotland. I am more than excited.

I’ve lived in Glasgow since the late nineties, and so it’s with great pleasure that I get the opportunity to talk open knowledge in some of the institutions in which I’ve spent so much time over the years, particularly Kelvingrove Museum. I’m also delighted to be able to investigate the collections surrounding the Kelvin Hall project, which is currently under development, and see how we might use them to enrich the encyclopedia. Even though it’s only week two, a good many leads have already presented themselves, and I’m hopeful that my residency will be able to kick start a longer term relationship between these institutions and Wikimedia. I’ll let you know how I get on…

by Stevie Benton at March 19, 2015 04:33 PM

March 18, 2015

Pete Forsyth, Wiki Strategies

Wikipedia program for Oregon universities

I left Oregon in 2009 to design a university outreach program for the Wikimedia Foundation. It was my first opportunity to put my knowledge of the inner workings of English language Wikipedia to use on a large scale. A couple years later, the $1.3 million pilot project I designed had introduced more than 800 students in 47 classes to the process of contributing to Wikipedia, and guided them in generating 5,800 pages of content.

LiAnna Davis presenting at WikiConference USA 2014. Photo by Frank Schulenburg, CC-0 (no copyright restrictions)

LiAnna Davis presenting at WikiConference USA 2014. Photo by Frank Schulenburg, CC-0 (no copyright restrictions)

Tomorrow morning, the fruits of that labor will come home to Oregon, when my colleague LiAnna Davis — a native of McMinnville, and now Director of Programs for the Wiki Education Foundation — presents at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University on the benefits of using Wikipedia as a teaching tool. Professors, librarians, and the general public are welcome to attend these presentations, and will learn not only about the general benefits, but about the specific resources and support available to these universities, for free, for projects in the coming year.

The Wikipedia Education Program (established by the Wikimedia Foundation after our pilot project concluded) and the Wiki Edu. Foundation (spun off last year, to focus on university programs in the U.S. and Canada) have intersected with the Oregon academic world in various ways; one of my favorites is a blog post (and related research) by fellow WikiProject Oregon member Reid Parham, in which he made the case for this kind of project long ago in 2007. The pilot project also played a formative role in the development of Wiki Strategies, notably in the Communicate OER project we ran for the University of Mississippi and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

I asked LiAnna, now Director of Programs for Wiki Ed, how they envision Oregon universities benefiting from the Wiki Education Foundation’s programs in 2015:

Oregon has long been one of the strongest local communities of volunteer editors on Wikipedia, so it’s a natural extension to bring more courses from Oregon into our program. I look forward to seeing students at U of O and Oregon State close content gaps on Wikipedia through their coursework.

After spinning off into an independent non-profit organization, Wiki Ed increased capacity for supporting courses. We’re actively looking to support more instructors interested in asking their students to contribute content to Wikipedia as part of their coursework in the spring quarter.

Tomorrow’s events:

General resources for university instructors:

 

by Pete Forsyth at March 18, 2015 07:53 PM

Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimedia Foundation adopts Open Access Policy to support free knowledge

An image from a 1973 London School of Economics appeal for funds for its library. Photo by London School of Economics and Political Sciences Library, free licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 Open access scholarship is central to Wikimedia’s mission to empower people around the world to participate in knowledge creation. This image was used by the London School of Economics in its 1973 appeal for funds for its library. Photo by London School of Economics and Political Science’s Library, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to making knowledge of all forms freely available to the world. Beginning today, our new Open Access Policy will ensure that all research work produced with support from the Wikimedia Foundation will be openly available to the public and reusable on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites. We are pleased to announce this new policy at the 18th ACM conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2015).

“Wikimedia is committed to nurturing open knowledge for all, unrestrained by cost barriers,” said Lila Tretikov, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “The Wikimedia movement has a longstanding commitment to open access practices. Today, we are excited to formalize that commitment with this policy.”

Over the past decade Wikipedia has been the subject of hundreds of academic studies on topics such as flu forecasting, the influence of major global languages, and Wikipedia’s own geographic imbalances. The Wikimedia Foundation has made this research possible through a commitment to making Wikipedia’s data open and accessible.

Open access scholarship is central to Wikimedia’s mission to empower people around the world to participate in knowledge creation. Access to these open sources is critical to ensuring that articles on Wikipedia are reliable, accurate, and reflect our ever-evolving understanding of the world. Paywalls and copyright restrictions too often prevent the use of academic research in this effort.

Our new Open Access Policy builds on previous efforts led by the Research Committee, members of WikiProject Open Access, and the Foundation’s grantmaking team. It will ensure that all research the Wikimedia Foundation supports through grants, equipment, or research collaboration is made widely accessible and reusable.  Research, data, and code developed through these collaborations will be made available in Open Access venues and under a free license, in keeping with the Wikimedia Foundation’s mission to support free knowledge. The policy sets guiding principles that govern future collaborations between researchers and the Foundation, we wrote a set of frequently asked questions to provide guidance and best practices on the applicability of the policy.

Heather Joseph, the executive director of SPARC, an international open access coalition of research libraries, commented on the policy launch: “The Wikimedia Foundation continues to lead by example in its efforts to democratize access to knowledge. By adopting an Open Access policy to make all outputs of the research that it supports freely accessible and fully useable to the public, the Foundation will help speed the pace of discovery and innovation around the globe.”

The Wikimedia Foundation is proud to join the growing ranks of leading institutions with open access policies.

Dario Taraborelli, Senior Research Scientist, Wikimedia Foundation
Yana Welinder, Senior Legal Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation

 

Related Links:
Wikimedia Open Access Policy
Frequently Asked Questions

Acknowledgments:
Many thanks to members of the Legal, Research & Data, and Grantmaking teams, and in particular Manprit Brar and Leila Zia for their work on the policy. We would also like to thank all the researchers and Open Access advocates who provided helpful feedback on an earlier version of the policy, including Daniel Mietchen, Melissa Hagemann, Heather Joseph, and Peter Suber.

by fflorin2015 at March 18, 2015 06:51 PM

What happens when you give a Wikipedia editor a research library?

Wikipedia Library owl.svg

The Wikipedia Library Team (owl included) reflects on its new Visiting Scholars program — and the new content and collaborations it makes possible. Logo by Heather Walls, CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Wikipedia Library‘s core mission is to provide Wikipedians with the best possible access to research, to help them write better Wikipedia content. When we started this project, we quickly realized that universities, with their extensive collections and journal subscriptions, offered one of the best opportunities for Wikipedians to access scholarly materials.

This led to the creation of our Wikipedia Visiting Scholar program: a university gives a top Wikipedia editor free and full access to the university library’s entire online content—and the Wikipedia editor, who is unpaid and not on campus, then creates and improves Wikipedia articles in a subject area of interest to the institution.

Several universities have stepped up to pilot Wikipedians Visiting Scholars: George Mason University, Montana State University, University of California at Riverside, and Rutgers University. This experiment was a great success, with each institution producing at least a dozen well-researched articles, many of which have undergone community review as Featured or Good articles. In this report, we would like to share some of the great content and outcomes created by this Wikipedia Visiting Scholars program and our partner institutions.

Improving quality on Wikipedia

The main goal of the Visiting Scholars program is to equip Wikipedia editors with the highest quality resources, so that they can write the most comprehensive Wikipedia articles alongside the help of expert researchers. Montana State University Visiting Scholar Mike Cline, who focused his writing on the environment and Montana’s natural history, described the impact university library access had on his work:

“First, access to these resources helps me write better content, in many cases content that would otherwise not be included in Wikipedia. The journal resources via JSTOR and other sources are invaluable in fleshing out content in articles. Second, having access to these resources allows me to step into various content debates and issues and help other editors resolve them with better sources and more accurate content. An example of that was on William F. Raynolds, my access to more scholarly works helped resolve sourcing issues within that article during the Featured Article Review process.”


Montana State resources have become part of Mike’s Wikipedia routine, “for every article I work on”.

Babe Ruth in his New York Yankees uniform, in 1920. Visiting Scholar Wehwalt expanded the article with the help of George Mason University Library Resources. Photo by United States Library of Congress. Public Domain

Wehwalt, Wikipedia Visiting Scholar at George Mason University, used his access to develop an impressive 10 Featured Articles in the area of American history. He writes:

“I’m somewhat envious of the massive academic databases college students have at their disposal these days, given how useful having access to that material is. Since I started at the beginning of April, I’ve used GMU materials to get six articles to Featured Article status where I did most of the writing: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, William H. Seward, Babe Ruth, Judah P. Benjamin, John Hay, and Hay’s only novel, w:The Bread-Winners. In addition, there have been collaborations with Designate, John Tyler and Franklin Pierce and others, where works from GMU again came in handy.”


Two other articles that Wehwalt improved, Horace Greeley and Benjamin Tillman, have become featured articles since he first shared his experiences with us! These articles aren’t always ones other editors will write about: “Due to his racist views, Tillman is difficult to write about, and not a fun read. But our readers aren’t coming just to find information on nice people.”

At Rutgers University, we had two visiting scholars, and they saw their work as an opportunity to collaborate with the academic community to help fill diversity gaps on Wikipedia. As Staticshakedown noted, when we asked her about her joint appointment with WeijiBaikeBianji:

“We were both chosen because our goals and interests for the project aligned with the goals of the librarians and graduate students. For this initiative we narrowed the theme into four topics to work on in Wikipedia: Women in Jazz, Newark Jazz history, Asian immigrant experience in New Jersey, and Cultural competence in health care. So far, the collaboration has expanded over twenty-five articles and categories, and created eighteen new articles.”


Library access strengthened the ability for all of our contributors to do what they do best: create content on Wikipedia, content that will become the most-viewed research starting point for hundreds of thousands of readers.

Striking up a conversation

Part of our goal with the Visiting Scholars program is to familiarize Universities Libraries with the practices of Wikipedia and to provide an accessible member of Wikipedia’s community on those campuses. Visiting Scholars Chris Troutman and Wehwalt found themselves in conversations with library staff at UC Riverside and George Mason, helping the library or professors become more familiar with Wikipedia’s research and writing practices. Mike Cline learned at Montana State University that there are plenty of opportunities to interact with faculty letting them begin to understand Wikipedia’s important role in communicating their knowledge:

“I have also had the opportunity to consult with MSU library staff and faculty when they have desired to create or contribute to Wikipedia articles. In most cases, such faculty and staff have little or no practical knowledge of how Wikipedia really works. I have enjoyed bringing my experience on such issues and notability, reliable sourcing and original research to their attention and helping them devise the best approach in making their contributions to Wikipedia. In several cases, I’ve helped them by reviewing their work and making appropriate adjustments to drafts in user spaces and in articles themselves. In all cases, the staff and faculty are appreciative of the availability of such consultative services.”


Working closely with the library staff at Montana State helped Mike Cline create an article about the Library’s unique holding a trout and salmon archive in addition to a wide range of people and topics written about with a top notch regional collection and the guidance of the experts who curate it. “My only wish, personally, is that they would take even greater advantage of my [consulting] services,” Cline said.

The stairs leading up to Rutgers University Art Library, one of the libraries that our Visiting Scholars had access to. Photo by Tom Sulcer, CC0.

Visiting Scholars at Rutgers University also seized further opportunities to participate in the campus environment. Staticshakedown shared:

“This was both Rutgers University’s first collaboration with Wikipedians, as well as our first collaboration of this type with an organization. The initiative from Rutgers’s side was directed by head librarian Grace Agnew, who has been accessible, friendly, and resourceful throughout the whole exchange. As part of this initiative, twelve members from the Rutgers University team have learned more about how to add content to Wikipedia. Aside from teaching librarians and students about Wikipedia, I have also been the student. Graduate students Yingting and Yu-Hung jointly held a video conference with me on how to access the library resources of Rutgers remotely and how to use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to investigate healthcare-related subjects.”

Solving a critical problem

For all of our Visiting Scholars, this has been a great opportunity to fill in major gaps found throughout the encyclopedia and to ensure that the best scholarly materials—not just information that happen to be available on the open web—are leveraged to create public knowledge. This is an important mission, as Wehwalt points out:

“There was a time when Wikipedia was still working to get articles in place on a lot of significant subjects. Well, it has them now, and the number of articles continue to grow. But there’s also a need to improve what we have. Many scholarly articles are hidden behind paywalls for most Wikipedia editors without an academic connection. Visiting Scholar positions are helping us create better content using those sources. Everyone consults Wikipedia, and the need to improve the quality of what we give them through a larger network of experts and scholarly access.”


Wikipedia Visiting Scholars offers an opportunity for the best keepers of knowledge—libraries—and the best sharer of knowledge—Wikipedia—to collaborate in disseminating knowledge to the public. We are proud to be able to facilitate these opportunities and deeply impressed by the contributions of this year’s prolific Visiting Scholars.

Join us

Would your research library like to host a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar? Let us know here.

To learn more about the program, visit the Wikipedia Visiting Scholars information page.

Alex Stinson, Project Manager, The Wikipedia Library
Jake Orlowitz, Project Lead, The Wikipedia Library

The Wikipedia Library is a nonprofit project funded by the Wikimedia Foundation.

by Andrew Sherman at March 18, 2015 12:41 AM

March 17, 2015

Wikimedia Tech Blog

Raspberry Pi in Masekelo: Bringing Wikipedia to a school without electricity

Masekelo pi.jpg
Students in a Tanzanian high school without electricity can now access Wikipedia via Wi-Fi, using a donated Raspberry Pi computer. Photo by Janet Chapman, CC BY-SA 4.0.

The Masekelo secondary school in Tanzania’s Shinyanga region faces many challenges: there’s no electricity or water — each pupil needs to collect over a gallon of water each day and carry it to school. There were insufficient desks and chairs, many had to sit on the dirt floor — until Tanzania Development Trust gave them a grant in November 2014.

A Raspberry Pi serves Wikipedia via Wi-Fi to nearby phones or computers, using RACHEL server software. Photo by Janet Chapman, CC BY-SA 4.0.

The Tanzanian government has decreed that every secondary school must have science laboratories by the end of February. But no money was provided for this: funds are expected to come from parent contributions alone. This can be a challenge when your parents are subsistence farmers.

The school has few text books or resources — and a dire shortage of math and science teachers. The dedication of its headteacher and staff have led to the best results of any government school in the district.

When I visited the school in September 2014, the dynamic headteacher, Steve Mihambo, told me about his dream of a computer room — once they had power.

So I brought them a credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer, powered by an external battery, with a 32GB SD card — and content downloaded from World Possible. This includes the Wikipedia for Schools edition, 2,000 math and science videos from Khan Academy, and 800 classic books and various health resources. A Wi-Fi stick in the Raspberry Pi allows any nearby smartphone, tablet or laptop to access all this content.

I demonstrated this to the teachers and school board on 5 tablets and a couple smart phones I brought as a donation. They were astounded. “It’s like a miracle”, said the board chair. “Now we are in the 21st century”, added a teacher. I’ve stayed in regular contact with the school via WhatsApp, and they tell me the students are very excited to have access to all this new content.

You can follow the progress of this project, and the school in general, on their Facebook Page.

If you would like to know more, or have an tablet or laptop you’d like to donate to a good cause, please email me at j.chapman at tanzdevtrust.org .

Janet Chapman, Communications Manager, Tanzania Development Trust

This blog post is part of a series about Offline Wikipedia. It was originally published on Hiara, a blog about empowering girls. Minor edits were made by WMF staff to clarify a few terms for the Wikimedia blog.

by Andrew Sherman at March 17, 2015 11:54 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Diversity - Therezinha Zerbini, a lawyer from #Brazil II

The Spanish article about Mrs Zerbini has it that she won the prestigious Bertha Lutz award. According to the Portuguese article about the award, there are 74 women who have been celebrated in this way but not Mrs Zerbini.

Because of the extra attention given to women this month, I have added all these women to Wikidata. They are now all known as award winners, they are all women and, I added the date when the award was given.

There were three issues; some articles did not have a Wikidata item. Some were not known to be human and finally some articles did not exist. At this moment these issues have been solved for Wikidata and, I even added Dutch labels for good measure.

What still needs to be done is adding labels in Portuguese and write articles in any language. Finally I would appreciate it if someone could establish if Mrs Zerbini did win the award or not.
Thanks,
      GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 17, 2015 08:50 AM

March 16, 2015

Gerard Meijssen

#Diversity - Therezinha Zerbini, a lawyer from #Brazil

Therzinha Zerbini died. She is the kind of woman that deserves to be better known. There is no article yet in English but from what I understand using Google translate, it is people like her that shaped history.

She is a founder of the Movimento Feminino pela Anistia. It does not even have a Wikipedia article in Portuguese..

This organisation was vocal about the existence of imprisonment, torture and political persecution. At the time when these things happened. As such it was timely, relevant and in the end it won the day.

Mrs Zerbini is the kind of woman we should know more about.
Thanks,
      Gerard

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 16, 2015 06:33 PM

Wikimedia Foundation

Why Italian fashion history should be just a click away: Virginia Gentilini

Virginia Gentilini
Italian fashion history is not well covered on Wikipedia. Librarian Virginia Gentilini is helping turn that around. Photo by Victor Grigas, free licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Italy is a global leader in the fashion industry. Gucci. Dolce & Gabbana. Armani. These are just a few of the many well-known Italian brands that are associated with high quality, luxury and style. However, despite the country’s rich history in fashion, many language versions of Wikipedia (Including Italian Wikipedia) do not cover that topic as well as one might expect from the world’s largest online encyclopedia.

“It’s very strange”, says Virginia Gentilini, an Italian native and librarian, “in Italy, fashion is an important sector — and we have a traditional textile production too”. She thinks the dearth of Italian fashion articles results from a lack of female writers and editors on Wikipedia — as well as the misconception among some users that fashion is strictly a female issue.

To address this issue, Gentilini, who is a member of Wikimedia Italy and a GLAM project coordinator, has contacted a range of museums, universities and other organizations in this field and invited them to work together to increase awareness of Italian fashion history. Last year, she helped organize an edit-a-thon at a shoe museum.

“[If you] think about this history of painting involving art and technique and so on, [the] same thing [goes for] shoes: there is a history behind them,” says Gentilini. “This is a complete field of human knowledge in a way, which is very strict and focused. You can think of it as art or human production.”

As a writer, she has added to articles about fashion, such as the Chanel No.5 article, which offers a rich and interesting history.

Gentilini says it made sense for her to become involved with Wikipedia, since her role as a librarian is to reach people and give them the information they need.

“I am interested in giving non-academic ordinary people information. And ordinary people read Wikipedia, so I had to work on Wikipedia,” Gentilini says. “I think we can fight for ordinary people having … the knowledge to cope with their needs.”

Gentilini believes that the preservation of knowledge goes beyond archiving information on paper — and now needs to be stored digitally, as Wikipedia does.

“I think Wikipedia is the future — because it works, it simply works.”

Interview by Victor Grigas, Storyteller and Video Content Producer, Wikimedia Foundation
Profile by Yoona Ha, Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation

by yoonahawikimedia at March 16, 2015 05:22 PM

Wiki Education Foundation

The Roundup: Women and Writing

This month is Wiki Women’s history month! All month we’re looking at interesting articles on women, created or improved by student editors.

"Theodosia Trollope from a rare book" by unknown - it came via a Boston rare book - Boston Public Library / Rare Books Department - http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oxforddnb.com%2Fimages%2Farticle-imgs%2F27%2F27754_1_200px.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oxforddnb.com%2Fview%2Farticle%2F27754%2F&h=313&w=200&tbnid=CZhB2UAZ5GHtOM%3A&zoom=1&docid=itjCTBK_cYoqoM&itg=1&ei=W5EeVOidDJTUarDcgEA&tbm=isch&ved=0CCEQMygAMAA&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=437&page=1&start=0&ndsp=22. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Theodosia Trollope from a rare book” by unknown – it came via a Boston rare book – Boston Public Library / Rare Books Department – . Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

From California State University Fullerton’s Gender and Technoculture course lead by Dr. Karyl Ketchum, read about Helen Brown, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years.

From University of Maryland College Park’s Women, Art and Culture course, taught by Avery Dame, learn about the Australian writer who works with themes of “subversion and survival.” Or the Jamaican poet and fiction writer who won her first prize at age 7.

One of the first Dutch writers to address the topic of homosexuality hid from the Nazis for 12 years as a child. A gay feminist author is one of the most popular writers in Singapore today.

An English poet with a villa in Florence helped shift opinion on Italian nationalism. A British music teacher’s book was published when a (future) prime minister called it “the imaginative classic of divine art”. Discover the British woman whose anonymous essays argued for the freedom of women to publish.

by Eryk Salvaggio at March 16, 2015 04:21 PM

Wikimedia UK

First Welsh university edit-a-thon creates new articles on medieval women

People sat writing at computers

The Medieval Women Edit-a-thon at Swansea University focused on women’s access to justice in Wales, Britain and Ireland. Photo by Swansea University, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

This post was written by Robin Owain, WMUK’s Wales Manager, and originally published on the Wikimedia Foundation’s blog

On 28 January 2015, Prof. Deborah Youngs and Dr Sparky Booker of Swansea University ran the first edit-a-thon at a university in Wales. The aim was to improve articles on women and reduce the gender gap on Wikipedia – by getting more women involved as editors and increasing coverage of medieval and early modern women on Wikipedia.

This Medieval Women Edit-a-thon was organized as part of “Women Negotiating the Boundaries of Justice”, a four-year research project on the history of women’s access to justice in Britain and Ireland between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries (led by Prof. Youngs and funded by the AHRC).

About 45 people attended and around 30 participated in editing. Participants included undergraduates, postgraduates, academic researchers and librarians from Swansee University — and workers from Paris. Three quarters were women, and only three had previously edited Wikipedia. A few spoke Welsh, and therefore, some of the jargon was in that language (being my mother tongue). We were also joined by researchers from Trinity College, Dublin, who were keen to update material on Irish women. Their focus was on Alice Kyteler and Petronilla de Meath, her servant, who were the first women to be tried for witchcraft in medieval Ireland. This inspired one of the editors in Swansea to write about Gwen daughter of Ellis, the first person to be executed on charges of witchcraft in Wales.

The online connection with Dublin was mainly through emails. Looking back, it would have been helpful to use video conferencing — for a more personal touch, which is so important when training editors. Independent researchers in the US were also interested in participating remotely. This is definitely something to consider for future events, as new technology can enable anyone, anywhere in the world to take part in training and discussions, as well as in the editing itself.

I have strong personal feelings about gender equality on Wikipedia (especially the English Wikipedia), where I think the number of female administrators should be at least half the total. In my opinion, this would help reduce the ‘bullying’ which happens so often. On the Welsh Wikipedia, the discussions hardly ever become over-heated; and three of our longest serving administrators happen to be women.

At my side were Jason Evans, the new Wikipedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales, and Marc Haynes, former Wikipedian in Residence at Coleg Cymraeg (the federal Welsh language university); they helped people with simple wiki code (Wiki markup), in both Welsh and English. After an hour or so of training, it was time to get down to the actual editing.

Our participating editors worked individually and in groups, on a variety of different articles featuring women from Wales and Ireland during c.1000–1600. Some editors worked on subjects of their own personal research and others suggested women we had identified before the edit-a-thon. We thought these women deserved their own new articles — or serious edits to the existing articles they were featured in. Many notable women only appear in the articles of their husbands, fathers, or other male family members; they deserve coverage in their own right.

During this Swansea edit-a-thon I tried something new: getting new editors to create links from their user page to the project page immediately! In the past, the actual wiki-coding was kept back – too long in my opinion. This worked well: they took to it like ducks to water and created other links – to my user page and to each other’s. As soon as they realized how simple it is, inhibitions evaporated!

Woman tagged as a ‘Vietnamese civilian’. Photo by Philip Jones Griffiths, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Bringing people’s attention to weaknesses of Wikipedia is a good thing: drawing their attention to the fact so many notable women do not have articles on Wikipedia encourages a change. It would be interesting to have a room full of men who also wish to close this gap. An edit-a-thon of men who don’t see the injustice could be even better! Why do some men only write about military killing machines, ignoring the death and pain caused by them? For example, if women were to write the article on the 2011 military intervention in Libya, I’m sure it would also contain images of the civilian death and destruction caused by these machines. We need a change in minds and we need to take the ‘romance’ out of war. Maybe the next edit-a-thon shouldn’t focus on writing articles about women, but debunking the male, jingoistic attitude of many mainstream articles.

Jason Evans, Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales, recently announced an edit-a-thon to be held at the Library on April 10th. It will be based on Welsh photographers — including the Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths, whose defining images captured the horrors of the Vietnam War. One of the two images uploaded by Jason (as an example of things to come) depicts a bandaged woman tagged as a ‘Vietnamese civilian’. I certainly hope that those who write about American bombers, tanks and other killing machines will also add such images to these articles.

Outcomes

Participants found the Medieval Women Edit-a-thon successful and enjoyable: in a single day, they created 6 new articles and edited 10 articles about notable Welsh, English and Irish medieval women. More importantly, they became comfortable with editing Wikipedia and plan to keep contributing.

Prof. Deborah Youngs noted that:

“The exercise of writing in this style, and making sure that our articles were written very clearly and simply in as factual a manner as possible, was a very enjoyable and we succeeded (we think!) in keeping our opinions out of it. Of course, even as we got used to encyclopaedic writing style, we also became accustomed to the very liberating thing about the Wikipedia format – that we can change the articles so easily as new information comes to light and as other editors in the community comment on it – and now that we have a core of enthusiastic editors, we know that while this was the first edit-a-thon in Swansea University, it won’t be the last.”

Three other direct outcomes include:

  • 5,000 images of Egyptian artifacts held at Swansea University will be uploaded to Commons on a CC-BY-SA license.
  • The university’s Athena Swan team voiced their interest in holding a similar edit-a-thon later this year, to increase the number of articles on women from all areas of life.
  • Cardiff University has also requested a similar edit-a-thon.

The main aim of the Swansea edit-a-thon was to increase content based on women c.1000–1600; the outcome, however, was more about changing mindsets.

by Richard Nevell at March 16, 2015 11:26 AM

Tech News

Tech News issue #12, 2015 (March 16, 2015)

TriangleArrow-Left.svgprevious 2015, week 12 (Monday 16 March 2015) nextTriangleArrow-Right.svg
Other languages:
العربية • ‎বাংলা • ‎čeština • ‎English • ‎español • ‎suomi • ‎français • ‎עברית • ‎italiano • ‎日本語 • ‎한국어 • ‎português • ‎русский • ‎සිංහල • ‎svenska • ‎українська • ‎Tiếng Việt • ‎中文

March 16, 2015 12:00 AM

March 14, 2015

Joseph Reagle

Motivation Hacking vs. Temptation Bundling

I enjoyed listening to Stepehn Dubner's Freakonomics interview with Katherine Milkman; in it they talk about "temptation bundling," a term that Milkman and her co-authors describe as coupling "wants" with "shoulds":

Temptation bundling involves the coupling of instantly gratifying "want" activities (e.g., watching the next episode of a habit-forming television show, checking Facebook, receiving a pedicure, eating an indulgent meal) with engagement in a "should" behavior that provides long-term benefits but requires the exertion of willpower (e.g., exercising at the gym, completing a paper review, spending time with a difficult relative).

While listening to the show I kept thinking to myself that "temptation bundling" is not the right term... She seems to be talking about a type of motivation hacking. It's not as if one is bundling temptations. I think reward-linking, as Nora suggested, would be better. Indeed, when I first heard of temptation bundling the first thing that came to mind was Louie's "bang-bang." He and his brother decide that in preparation for beginning a diet of kale and going to the gym, they'll eat two complete meals, such as Sushi-Pizza, Barbecue-IHOP, or Indian-diner. That's temptation bundling!

by Joseph Reagle at March 14, 2015 04:00 AM

March 13, 2015

Wikimedia Tech Blog

Growing free knowledge through open data

This Sankey diagram shows how readers reach the English Wikipedia article about London and where they go from there, based on the Wikipedia Clickstream data set. Graph by Ellery Wulczyn and Dario Taraborelli, CC0.

This Sankey diagram shows how readers reach the English Wikipedia article about London and where they go from there, based on the Wikipedia Clickstream data set. Graph by Ellery Wulczyn and Dario Taraborelli, CC0.

Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects are among the most visited repositories of human knowledge. They are also a unique source of data for understanding how we collaborate to create that knowledge, access it and share it with others.

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Research and Data Team has recently published a number of open data sets about Wikimedia projects, making them freely available to everyone – researchers, developers and community members – under a CC0 license.  These aggregate data sets were collected to show general trends about how people use Wikimedia projects and do not include any personal information about users, as required by Wikimedia’s privacy policy.

We invite you to turn this data into useful insights, applications and visualizations, and help our communities and projects thrive. If you have any questions on these releases, feel free to reach out to the Research and Data team via the Analytics mailing list or our #wikimedia-research channel on IRC.

Dario Taraborelli
Senior Research Scientist, Research and Data Team Lead
Wikimedia Foundation

Open Data Sets

Scholarly citations in Wikipedia
A data set of citations to scholarly articles in the English Wikipedia. Includes all citations with DOIs and PubMed identifiers added to Wikipedia articles as of the most recent content dump.
Halfaker, A., Taraborelli, D. (2015). Scholarly article citations in Wikipedia. figshare.
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.1299540

Wikipedia clickstream
This data set shows how people get to a Wikipedia article and what links they click on next. The most recent release captures 22 million pairs (referer, resource), extracted from a total of 3.2 billion requests to the English Wikipedia. We wrote a step-by-step tutorial and IPython notebook to get you started with this data.
Wulczyn, E., Taraborelli, D. (2015). Wikipedia Clickstream. figshare.
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.1305770

Browser choices of Wikimedia users
This data set provides statistics on the top browsers and platforms used by readers and editors on Wikimedia projects, obtained from the Wikimedia HTTP request logs during a 90-day window. You can also explore this data online via this application.
Keyes, O. (2015). Browser Choices of Wikimedia Readers and Editors. figshare.
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.1326739

Where in the world is Wikipedia?
This data set includes the proportion of traffic to Wikimedia projects originating from a specific country, computed from all HTTP requests collected over the course of 2014. You can also explore this data online via this application.
Keyes, O. (2015). Geographic Distribution of Wikimedia Traffic. figshare.
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.1317408

Wikipedia Article Feedback corpus
The Article Feedback experiment invited readers to participate on Wikipedia by leaving comments on articles, to help editors improve them. This data set includes over 1.5 million messages posted to the English, French and German Wikipedia during the pilot.
Florin, F., Mullie, M., Taraborelli, D. (2014). Wikipedia Article Feedback corpus. figshare.
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.1277784

by fflorin2015 at March 13, 2015 05:01 PM

Wikidata (WMDE - English)

Improving data quality on Wikidata – checking what we have

German summary: Ein Team von Studenten des Hasso Plattner Instituts in Potsdam arbeitet aktuell mit Wikimedia Deutschland an Werkzeugen um die Datenqualität auf Wikidata zu verbessern und zu sichern. In diesem Beitrag stellen sie ihre beiden Projekte vor: die Prüfung von Wikidatas Daten auf Konsistenz mit sich selbst sowie die Prüfung von Wikidatas Daten gegen andere Datenbanken.

 

 Hello, we are the Wikidata Quality Team. We are a team of students from Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany. For our bachelor project we are working together with the Wikidata development team to ensure high quality of the data on Wikidata.

Wikidata provides a lot of structured data open to everyone. Quite a lot. Actually, they are providing an enormous amount of data approaching the mark of 13.5 million items, each of which has numerous statements. The data got into the system by diligent people and by bots, and neither people nor bots are known for infallibility. Errors are made and somehow we have to find and correct them. Besides erroneous data, incomplete data is another problem. Imagine you are a resident of Berlin and want to improve the Wikidata item about the city. You go ahead and add its highest point (Müggelberge), its sister cities (Los Angeles, Madrid, Istanbul, Warsaw and 21 others) and its new head of government (Michael Müller). As you do it the correct way, you are using qualifiers and references. Good job, but did you think of adding Berlin as the sister city of 25 cities? Although the data you entered is correct, it is incomplete and you have—both unwilling and unknowingly—introduced an inconsistency. And that’s only, assuming you used the correct items and properties and did not make a typo while entering a statement. And thirdly, things change. Population numbers vary, organizations are dissolved and artists release new albums. Wikidata has the huge advantage that this change only has to be made in one place, but still: Someone has to do it and even more importantly, someone has to become aware of it.

Facing the problems mentioned above, two projects have emerged. People using Wikidata are adding identifiers of external databases like GND, MusicBrainz and many more. So why not make use of them? We are developing a tool that scans an item for those identifiers and then searches in the linked databases for data against which it compares the items statements. This does not only help us verify Wikidata’s content and find mismatches that could indicate errors, but also makes us aware of changes. MusicBrainz is a specialist for artists and composers, GND for data related to people, and these specialists’ data is likely to be up to date. Using their databases to cross-check, we hope to be able to have the latest data of all fields represented in Wikidata.

The second projects focuses on using constraints on properties. Here are some examples to illustrate what this means:

  • Items that have the property “date of death” should also have “date of birth“, and their respective values should not be more than 150 years apart
  • Properties like “sister city“ are symmetric, so items referenced by this statement should also have a statement “sister city“ linking back to the original item
  • Analogously, properties like “has part” and “part of” are inverse and should be used on both items in a lot of cases
  • Identifiers for IMDb, ISBN, GND, MusicBrainz etc. always follow a specific pattern that we can verify
  • And so on…

Checking these constraints and indicating issues when someone visits an items page, helps identify which statements should be treated with caution and encourages editors to fix errors. We are also planning to provide ways to fix issues (semi-)automatically (e.g. by adding the missing sister city when he is sure, that the city really has this sister city). We also want to check these constraints when someone wants to save a new entry. This hopefully prevents errors from getting into the system in the first place.

That’s about it – to keep up with the news visit our project page. We hope you are fond of our project and we appreciate your feedback! Contact information can also be found on the project page.

by Lydia Pintscher at March 13, 2015 03:25 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - #African #American


Harvesting Wikipedia has its perils. It is easy and obvious to make statements about occupation, employer, alma mater. Subjects like nationality, religion, ethnicity are problematic. It is like the image says... you are not African American when you are from the UK but how do you tell the difference?

The problem is very much that stigma is involved. Harvesting such information on the "auto pilot" brings those issues to the front in Wikidata. People from all over the world are involved. The "best" practices of every Wikipedia raises its heads, its questions, its bias.

Not harvesting certain data is "safe" and, it is appropriate for me. It is not that I do not see the issues, it is more that it is not for me to do.
Thanks,
      GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 13, 2015 07:26 AM

March 12, 2015

Wikimedia Foundation

हिन्दी विकि सम्मेलन: विस्तृत समुदाय को एकत्रित करना

Translated versions: English | Hindi

Hindi Wiki Sammelan Meetup Group Photo.JPG

हिन्दी विकिपीडियन्स ने दिल्ली में एक विकिसम्मेलन आयोजित किया। जिसका उद्देश्य देशपर्यन्त बिखरे हुए योगदानकर्त्ताओं को एकत्रित कर उनमें आपसी सद्भाव एवं समन्वय स्थापित करना था।

Photo हिन्दी विकिपीडियन हिन्दुस्तानी लैंग्वेज, अर्थात श्री मुज़म्मिलुद्दीन सय्यद द्वारा CC-BY-SA 4.0 अन्तर्गत्त मुक्त चित्र।

जुलाई २०१२ में, मात्र पाँच हिन्दी विकिपीडियन्स के समूह ने चौपाल पर एक चर्चा आरम्भ की जिसका विषय विकिमेनिया २०१२ एवं मलयालम विकि सम्मेलन के भांति ही हिन्दी विकिपीडिया हेतु, एक सम्मेलन आयोजित करने की संभावनाएं ढूंढना था। इसके पीछे मूल उद्देश्य था विभिन्न नगरों एवं शहरों में फ़ैले हुए हिन्दी विकिपीडियन्स को साथ लाकर हिन्दी विकिपीडिया के विकास के लिये एक समन्वयित प्रयास करना रहा था। पिछले कुछ वर्षों से हिन्दी विकिपीडियन्स में ऐसे किसी सम्मेलन की आवश्यकता कई अवसरों पर महसूस एवं चर्चा की गई थी। मार्च २०१४ में एक सम्मानीय हिन्दी विकिपीडियन श्री सैयद मुज़म्मिल जी द्वारा सेण्टर फ़ॉर इंटरनेट एण्ड सोसाइटी, बंगलुरु में उनके प्रोग्राम अधिकारी के कार्यकाल के समय हिन्दी विकिसम्मेलन आयोजित करने के बारे में चौपाल पर सदस्यों की राय भी ली थी। इस विचार का चर्चा में उपस्थित लगभग सभी सदस्यों ने स्वागत किया एवं अधिकांश सदस्यों का मत इसे पहली बार दिल्ली में आयोजित करने के पक्ष में ही था।

अन्य भारतीय भाषा विकिपीडियाओं की तुलना में विशेषकर हिन्दी विकिपीडिया के योगदानकर्त्ताओं की विशेष बात ये है कि ये देश भर में, एक बड़े भौगोलिक क्षेत्र में फ़ैले हुए हैं, एवं इनमें आपस में आमने-सामने का संचार विकल्प अभी तक कोई नहीं है। हालांकि कुछ हिन्दी कार्यशालाएं आयोजित की भी गई हैं, किन्तु एक बडी समस्या ये भी रही है, कि हिन्दी विकिपीडिया में बहुत ही अल्प संख्या में निष्ठ एवं स्थिर योगदाता हैं, अन्यथा अधिकांश योगदानकर्त्ता आते जाते, बदलते रहते हैं। यहां उल्लेखनीय है कि हिन्दी विकिपीडिया सदस्य संख्या, लेख संख्या एवं सम्पूर्ण सम्पादन संख्या में अन्य भारतीय भाषाओं की अपेक्षा वृद्धि दर्ज हुई है। इसीलिये हिन्दी सम्मेलन के आयोजन पूर्व एक पूर्वायोजन कार्यक्रम के प्रयास की आवश्यकता रही है, जिसमें कुछ समर्पित योगदानकर्त्ता एवं हिन्दी विकिपीडिया के उत्थान हेतु सहायक कुछ लोगों का संगम हो। आसफ़ बार्तोव ने इस विषय पर अपना समर्थन देते हुए हिन्दी विकिसम्मेलन परियोजना पृष्ठ पर कहा है कि: We at the Wikimedia Foundation are eager to provide the resources to make this event possible.

हिन्दी विकि प्रबंधक: आशीष भटनागर एवं अनिरुद्ध कुमार। चित्र हिन्दी विकिपीडियन श्री मुज़म्मिलुद्दीन सय्यद (Hindustanilanguage) द्वारा लिया गया एक CC-BY-SA 4.0 के अन्तर्गत्त मुक्त चित्र।

इन्हीं उद्देश्यों हेतु, नई दिल्ली में १४-१५ फ़रवरी, २०१५ को एक हिन्दी विकि सम्मेलन का आयोजन किया गया था। इस सम्मेलन में तीन हिन्दी विकि. प्रबन्धकगण: आशीष भटनागर, अनिरुद्ध कुमार एवं संजीव कुमार सहित १५ लोग उपस्थित थे। इनके अलावा दो पुनरीक्षक: पीयुष मौर्य एवं मुज़म्मिल सैयद भी थे। इस कार्यक्रम में सेण्टर फ़ॉर इंटरनेट एण्ड सोसाइटी ने सहयोग दिया एवं मुख्य समन्वयकर्त्ता एवं आयोजनकर्त्ता अभिषेक सूर्यवंशी थे।

यहां चर्चा के दौरान हमने तय किया कि एक भारतव्यापी सम्मेलन पूर्व, हमें इसी वर्ष दिल्ली में ही एक और विकि सम्मेलन आयोजित करना चाहिये। अन्य सदस्यों ने विभिन्न्न कॉलिजों एवं विश्वविद्यालयों में आउटरीच कार्यक्रम एवं कार्यशालाएं आयोजित कर हिन्दी विकि को बढ़ावा देने पर जोर भी दिया। इस सम्मेलन के मुख्य सुझावों का सार इस प्रकार से है:

  • हिन्दी विकिपीडिया हेतु एक विशेष प्रचार पत्र बनाया जाए।
  • विभिन्न्न शैक्षणिक एवं शोध-उन्मुख संगठनों एवं संस्थाओं में आउटरीच कार्यक्रमों की संभावनाएं तलाशी जाएं।
  • विभिन्न संगठनों की सहायता से विकिपीडियन-इन-रेज़िडेन्स पोज़ीशन्स का नियोजन कर हिन्दी विकिपीडिया के उत्थान में सहयोग किया जाए।
  • केन्द्र सरकार के संगठनों में यथासंभव हिन्दी पखवड़े जैसे कार्यक्रम के दौरान हिन्दी विकिपीडिया को बढ़ावा देने एवं योगदान करने की भी योजनाएं बनायी जाएं।
  • उत्तर-भारत एवं अन्य हिन्दी भाषी क्षेत्रों के समाचार-पत्रों में हिन्दी विकिपीडिया सम्पादन एवं उपयोग हेतु कोई ट्यूटोरियल स्तंभ दिये जा सकते हैं।
  • रेडियो एवं दूरदर्शन पर हिन्दी विकिपीडिया के प्रचार-प्रसार संबंधी कार्यक्रम के आयोजन की संभावनाएं तलाशी जाएं।
  • सोशल मीडिया की सहायता भी इसके लिये प्रभाई रहेगी।
  • अन्य भारतीय भाषाओं के संग एक बेहतर समाकलन की योजना बनायी जाए, जिसके मुख्य कारण हैं:
  • कई भारतीय भाषाओं जैसे मराठी, कोंकणी, भोजपुरी, नेपाली भाषाएं समान देवनागरी लिपि का ही प्रयोग करती हैं। महाराष्ट्र, बिहार, गोआ, राजस्थान, उत्तर प्रदेश एवं मध्य प्रदेश में आपसी सद्भाव से विकास योजना बनाई जा सकती हैं।
  • अधिकांश भारतीय भाषाओं के व्याकरण समान होते हैं, अतः इनमें अनुवाद अन्य भाशाओं की अपेक्षा अधिक सुलभ होता है।
  • कार्यभार का विभाजन: सम्मेलन के दौरान कई सहभागियों ने अलग-अलग स्थानों पर आउटरीच गतिविधियों में सहयोग का आश्वासन दिया, विशेषकर दिल्ली, लखनऊ एवं पंजाब में।

 

यदि इस प्रारम्भिक सम्मेलन में हिन्दी विकिपीडिया के विकास के हमारे प्रयास सफ़ल होते हैं, तो हमें आशा है कि हमारा प्रस्तावित विकि सम्मेलन (दिल्ली में स्थानीय स्तर एवं राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर भी, तथा मुख्य हिन्दी विकिसम्मेलन) भविष्य में हिन्दी विकिपीडिया के विकास एवं प्रगति में सहायक होगा। इसके साथ ही हमें ये भी आशा है कि ऐसे सम्मेलन भौगोकिक विविधता के कारण बिखरे हुए अन्य विकि समुदायों के बीच भी समन्वय रखने में एक प्रतिरूप सिद्ध होगा।

हिन्दी विकिपीडियन श्री मुज़म्मिलुद्दीन सय्यद के ब्लॉग का हिन्दी अनुवाद। द्वारा: प्रबन्धक हिन्दी विकिपीडिया: आशीष भटनागरAshish BhatnagarPlume pen w.giftalk 05:44, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

by Andrew Sherman at March 12, 2015 06:38 PM

First Welsh university edit-a-thon creates new articles on medieval women

Editathon Editors at work.jpg
The Medieval Women Edit-a-thon at Swansea University focused on women’s access to justice in Wales, Britain and Ireland. Photo by Swansea University, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

On January 28, 2015, Prof. Deborah Youngs and Dr Sparky Booker of Swansea University ran the first edit-a-thon at a university in Wales. The aim was to improve articles on women and reduce the gender gap on Wikipedia – by getting more women involved as editors and increasing coverage of medieval and early modern women on Wikipedia.

This Medieval Women Edit-a-thon was organized as part of “Women Negotiating the Boundaries of Justice”, a four-year research project on the history of women’s access to justice in Britain and Ireland between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries (led by Prof. Youngs and funded by the AHRC).

About 45 people attended and around 30 participated in editing. Participants included undergraduates, postgraduates, academic researchers and librarians from Swansee University — and workers from Paris. Three quarters were women, and only three had previously edited Wikipedia. A few spoke Welsh, and therefore, some of the jargon was in that language (being my mother tongue). We were also joined by researchers from Trinity College, Dublin, who were keen to update material on Irish women. Their focus was on Alice Kyteler and Petronilla de Meath, her servant, who were the first women to be tried for witchcraft in medieval Ireland. This inspired one of the editors in Swansea to write about Gwen daughter of Ellis, the first person to be executed on charges of witchcraft in Wales.

The online connection with Dublin was mainly through emails. Looking back, it would have been helpful to use video conferencing — for a more personal touch, which is so important when training editors. Independent researchers in the US were also interested in participating remotely. This is definitely something to consider for future events, as new technology can enable anyone, anywhere in the world to take part in training and discussions, as well as in the editing itself.

I have strong personal feelings about gender equality on Wikipedia (especially the English Wikipedia), where I think the number of female administrators should be at least half the total. In my opinion, this would help reduce the ‘bullying’ which happens so often. On the Welsh Wikipedia, the discussions hardly ever become over-heated; and three of our longest serving administrators happen to be women.

At my side were Jason Evans, the new Wikipedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales, and Marc Haynes, former Wikipedian in Residence at Coleg Cymraeg (the federal Welsh language university); they helped people with simple wiki code (Wiki markup), in both Welsh and English. After an hour or so of training, it was time to get down to the actual editing.

Our participating editors worked individually and in groups, on a variety of different articles featuring women from Wales and Ireland during c.1000–1600. Some editors worked on subjects of their own personal research and others suggested women we had identified before the edit-a-thon. We thought these women deserved their own new articles — or serious edits to the existing articles they were featured in. Many notable women only appear in the articles of their husbands, fathers, or other male family members; they deserve coverage in their own right.

During this Swansea edit-a-thon I tried something new: getting new editors to create links from their user page to the project page immediately! In the past, the actual wiki-coding was kept back – too long in my opinion. This worked well: they took to it like ducks to water and created other links – to my user page and to each other’s. As soon as they realized how simple it is, inhibitions evaporated!

Woman tagged as a ‘Vietnamese civilian’. Photo By Philip Jones Griffiths, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Bringing people’s attention to weaknesses of Wikipedia is a good thing: drawing their attention to the fact so many notable women do not have articles on Wikipedia encourages a change. It would be interesting to have a room full of men who also wish to close this gap. An edit-a-thon of men who don’t see the injustice could be even better! Why do some men only write about military killing machines, ignoring the death and pain caused by them? For example, if women were to write the article on the 2011 military intervention in Libya, I’m sure it would also contain images of the civilian death and destruction caused by these machines. We need a change in minds and we need to take the ‘romance’ out of war. Maybe the next edit-a-thon shouldn’t focus on writing articles about women, but debunking the male, jingoistic attitude of many mainstream articles.

Jason Evans, Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales, recently announced an edit-a-thon to be held at the Library on April 10th. It will be based on Welsh photographers — including the Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths, whose defining images captured the horrors of the Vietnam War. One of the two images uploaded by Jason (as an example of things to come) depicts a bandaged woman tagged as a ‘Vietnamese civilian’. I certainly hope that those who write about American bombers, tanks and other killing machines will also add such images to these articles.

Outcomes

Participants found the Medieval Women Edit-a-thon successful and enjoyable: in a single day, they created 6 new articles and edited 10 articles about notable Welsh, English and Irish medieval women. More importantly, they became comfortable with editing Wikipedia and plan to keep contributing.

Prof. Deborah Youngs noted that:

“The exercise of writing in this style, and making sure that our articles were written very clearly and simply in as factual a manner as possible, was a very enjoyable and we succeeded (we think!) in keeping our opinions out of it. Of course, even as we got used to encyclopaedic writing style, we also became accustomed to the very liberating thing about the Wikipedia format – that we can change the articles so easily as new information comes to light and as other editors in the community comment on it – and now that we have a core of enthusiastic editors, we know that while this was the first edit-a-thon in Swansea University, it won’t be the last.”

Three other direct outcomes include:

  • 5,000 images of Egyptian artifacts held at Swansea University will be uploaded to Commons on a CC-BY-SA license.
  • The university’s Athena Swan team voiced their interest in holding a similar edit-a-thon later this year, to increase the number of articles on women from all areas of life.
  • Cardiff University has also requested a similar edit-a-thon.

The main aim of the Swansea edit-a-thon was to increase content based on women c.1000–1600; the outcome, however, was more about changing mindsets.

Robin Owain, Manager of Wales, Wikimedia UK

Links

by Andrew Sherman at March 12, 2015 05:15 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - #Diversity and #LGBT

Richard Glatzer died. He died from motor neurone disease. I added this for everyone who died in this way. Mr Glatzer is associated through four categories with LGBT and I will not touch any of these with a bargepole.

I will not touch it because it is so redundant and opaque. When people are associated with LGBT, I do not know they are gay and in what way. What I care for is that sexual orientation is expressed in Wikidata once.

Associating people with LGBT does not mean that people who are gay have been active and known as such. It does not even mean that the people who are championing the cause of LGBT are gay.

From my position, the information about LGBT sucks big time, I can not use it and, I find this regrettable.
Thanks,
     GerardM



by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 12, 2015 09:05 AM

Auto-#translations - let's talk "man and horse"

Niklas wrote in his blog about using a grammatical framework for generating texts. He also mentions Reasonator and indicates that its support for language is limited.

When you look at the code for generated texts, it is indeed a programmers job and not so much something a translator does. What it does is parses existing data and generates strings of text. The generated text for Marilyn Monroe for instance has it that she is an "actor".

"Lets talk man and horse" is a Dutch proverb and it is exactly what we will not have in generated texts. It is indeed grammar that we need to concentrate on. I am sure that many people will be EAGER to work on generated text using a grammatical framework.

Once it is shown to work in Reasonator, the next step is obvious; generating the texts for consumption in Wikipedias that want to share in the sum of available knowledge . This is best done by caching results because of the flexibility it offers. When this is seen as problematic; it is even easier to generate articles using bots.

Niklas, what category of topics tickles your fancy?
Thanks,
       GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 12, 2015 07:18 AM

March 11, 2015

This month in GLAM

This Month in GLAM: February 2015

by Admin at March 11, 2015 11:34 PM

Wikimedia Foundation

Serbian women edit Wikipedia together in new FemWiki project

FemWiki radionica u Udruženju Fenomena, Kraljevo 02.jpg
Women participate in a FemWiki workshop in Kraljevo, to increase gender diversity on the Serbian Wikipedia. These events help them form friendships, share advice and support each other to write more articles about women and gender issues.
Photo by BoyaBoBoya, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

FemWiki is a volunteer project started in May 2014 to help increase the number of women who edit Wikipedia in the Serbian language — as well as the quality and quantity of articles about gender issues, feminist terminology and biographies of women.

The idea behind Wikipedia, the largest online encyclopedia, is to collect the sum of human knowledge, in a collaborative way, and to provide access to it for every person in the world. This makes it possible to represent different viewpoints, while preserving the diversity of editors and their experiences.

Unfortunately, global statistics are showing a different picture: a 2010 survey conducted by the United Nations University found that only 13% of Wikipedia contributors identified as female. In Serbia, we don’t have the exact data, but estimates of how many women edit the Serbian Wikipedia are even smaller: ~3%.

The idea for the FemWiki project came to me while I was attending the international Wikimedia Diversity conference in Berlin, in October 2013. During this event, I met a great number of female Wikipedians from different countries. Most were already engaged in their local communities to address the gender gap issue on Wikipedia. Motivated, inspired and excited, I came back to Belgrade with a lot of ideas and an incentive to start this project.

Is Wikipedia a “male” encyclopedia?

Not long after the conference, I got an invitation from the activists of Women INDOK Centre to give a talk about the visibility of women on Wikipedia for a public discussion series called “Gender and the Left”. To that end, I conducted the first mini research of feminist content on Serbian Wikipedia.

The data I collected was devastating: gender-sensitive speech wasn’t being used, although it is very easy to use in the Serbian language; articles about some of the most important feminist theoreticians didn’t exist; articles about gender didn’t exist; within the article about discrimination, there were no words about discrimination on the basis of sex or gender …

The conclusion was very clear: the content that is posted on Wikipedia is predominantly written by men. Therefore, it’s not surprising that articles are not substantiated with gender-sensitive topics, feminist terminology and biographies of women.

Workshops

FemWiki workshop in in Hacklab Belgrade. Photo by Sanja Pavlovic, CC BY-SA 4.0.

After the “Gender and the Left” discussion, I connected with some other feminist organizations and hosted FemWiki workshops across the country. That’s how we started collaborating with Women Space from Niš, Fenomena from Kraljevo and activists from Kragujevac. Although I was traveling to share my knowledge, every workshop on editing Wikipedia revealed how much unrecognized knowledge women already have. Every workshop brought new experiences and insights about women’s history — which is not valued in a man-dominated culture, and is therefore not visible on Wikipedia. Virtual space seems to be a reflection of the real world.

Wikipedia has become a place where all kinds of knowledge can become more accessible.

After one of the events that we organized in Belgrade, Women from the Internet, we saw a need for more consistent workshops. To that end, I started scheduling FemWiki meetings on Friday afternoons, at Hacklab Belgrade, a local hackerspace; I have actively used this space for the past few years.

On several occasions, we experienced negative attitudes from some male members, who thought these kind of events actually discriminate towards men. However, the Hacklab community, even though it is predominantly composed of men, recognized the need for women to be more motivated when working with technology, computers and Wikipedia. So, our women-only workshop was accepted as a regular part of their schedule.

During that time, the workshops became a lot more than just about editing Wikipedia: we are forming friendships, giving advice, encouraging each other and sharing knowledge. Also, Wikimedia Serbia has now gained five new female members, who are interested in more activities within the organization.

Contest about women’s issues

Wikimedia posters in Hacklab Belgrade. Photo by Sanja Pavlovic, CC BY-SA 4.0.

During October and November 2014, Wikimedia Serbia organized a contest to write Wikipedia articles on women’s issues. As the coordinator of the contest, I asked three women to be members of the jury, which had never happened before — causing discriminatory and sexist comments on the talk page.

By the end of the contest, we had collectively written 246 new articles! Two out of three participants rewarded in the contest were women — and one of them decided to mark all her articles with the FemWiki template, as her way of contributing.

During the contest, I received emails from ten women who had never edited Wikipedia, but who were attracted by the contest. While some of them gave up, others successfully wrote Wikipedia articles — and several of them expressed interest in joining the FemWiki project.

All of this confirmed that women have the interest and motivation to edit Wikipedia, when they don’t feel alone.

Dictionary of Gender Equality

This year, we reached out to the authors of the Dictionary of Gender Equality (2010), Vesna Jaric and Nadezda Radovic. They gave us permission to put all the contents of their dictionary on Wikipedia, which will increase the number of articles by 102! (Although some of these articles were already written, they will also be edited and supplemented with content from the dictionary).

This is one of the big steps we made during 2014, not only because of the free content, but also because we have succeed in expanding the FemWiki project beyond the workshops. The battle for better visibility of women topics on Wikipedia is now being fought on several fronts.

Statistics

In 2014 we started, edited or fixed 80 articles (~30 of them were written during the contest, and now have a FemWiki template).

We also participated in two public events, where we presented the topic of women on Wikipedia: the Gender and the Left discussions; and BeFem, a festival on feminist culture and activism. And the FemWiki project was presented at Women Rock IT, a regional conference held in Sarajevo in December 2014.

In our Belgrade hackerspace, we have held regular Friday afternoon meetings since September, which is used for women-only gatherings and talks about Wikipedia, open knowledge and women’s topics. On the last Friday of 2014, we hosted the first mixed workshop (men and women), during which we wrote four articles together. Also, in the same space, we organized the Women and Technology event, where we presented biographies of women from Wikipedia who made important contributions in the STEM field.

Besides meetings in Belgrade, we have hosted workshops in Niš, Kraljevo and Kragujevac — and we got in touch with more organizations to cooperate with in the future. We also visited Tirana and participated in the Wikipedia weekend event, where we presented the FemWiki project and talked about the gender gap on Wikipedia and the importance of women-only events. In October, we attended Ada Camp in Berlin, where we had the opportunity to seek advice and inspiration from other women who are engaged in the topic of women, Wikipedia and open culture and technology.

Methodology

As mentioned before, the FemWiki project was launched in May 2014. Before that, the project wasn’t part of annual plans or expected projects of Wikimedia Serbia (WMRS). It started spontaneously when a mix of different things happened, creating a fruitful ground for the project to start.

For the whole year, our expectations were focused on educating feminist activists within countries where Wikipedia is fighting against the gender gap. We didn’t expect a lot of new contributors to stay on Wikipedia, but we wanted to spread the word about the gender gap, about the importance of activities surrounding it, and, within the feminist community in Serbia, about Wikipedia itself.

Today, we can say that this goal was reached: FemWiki is now widely recognized among feminists as the project which deals with the issue of women on the Serbian Wikipedia. Our FemWiki page on Facebook now has 293 likes, and our recent blog post about activities in 2014 was shared more than 10 times (from my personal profile and from the project’s page). The majority of shares were done by feminist organizations which support our efforts. After familiarizing feminists with Wikipedia and educating them, our new focus for 2015 will be organizing edit-a-thons and doing workshops with high school students. In that way we will be more oriented towards editor retention and increasing the quantity of written articles.

What we’ve learned during the workshops is that it is important to announce the theme of every gathering in advance (e.g.: Women and Science, Women and Art, etc.) — and to motivate women to prepare documentation for their chosen articles before the workshop begins. In that way, we are not spending our meeting time researching a topic online or just translating English Wikipedia. And the content that our participants have prepared is evaluated more carefully, with discussions of why it is good or bad and Wikipedia editing guidelines (e.g. licenses, neutral point of view, etc).

FemWiki 2015

In 2015, FemWiki will expand to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender topics ( LGBT). With this expansion, we want to make Wikipedia more relevant and more accessible to all discriminated groups in society. We are fighting for the recognition of all communities that are not already visible or valued enough in the public space and on Wikipedia.

Besides the usual FemWiki workshops, we will be organizing a few thematic edit-a-thons (International Women’s Day, Women in Art, Women in Science and Technology, LGBTQ edit-a-thon during Pride Week, etc.). We will also organize workshops for high-school girls on editing Wikipedia.

At the start of the spring, we will organize the first regional WikiWomen Camp, together with female Wikipedians from the regions of Albania and Kosovo! More details about that will be coming soon.

Sanja Pavlovic
FemWiki project leader
Former board member, Wikimedia Serbia

by Andrew Sherman at March 11, 2015 05:54 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Kian does #Kannada #Wikipedia

Mr A. Surya Prakash is an author and journalist.There is an article about him on the Kannada Wikipedia. The item on Wikidata exists thanks to Kian. It is one of 48 articles created based on articles. These 48 items are identified as human.

Using Google Translate it is easy to find the English name. Finding additional information about Mr Prakash was easy as well. Several awards he received are not known in English. I added one in Wikidata. Many of the things I did I could have left for Kian to do in a later run. It is however so cool to be able to do share in this knowledge. One thing I did was to merge the Kannada category for journalist.

I asked Amir to have Kian run for all the languages from India. It finished with 500 new humans for Hindi, my latest news is that it is running for Tamil. What we know from the Kian run on the German Wikipedia is that most items have been already been identified for what they are. I found that for only 11 people I could add that they were a journalist.
Thanks,
       GerardM

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at March 11, 2015 08:50 AM

Joseph Reagle

When nerds collide?

I enjoyed reading Meredith Patterson's recent essay "When Nerds Collide: My Intersectionality Will Have Weirdoes Or It Will Be Bullshit." While reading it I appreciated the insights and the flow. However, after having read all of those words I was a bit puzzled as to what the argument was? (This is why I spend a lot of time on my abstracts, this is one feature of the academic genre I really appreciate when it is done well.) Figuring out the gist was important to me because my annotations would need a gloss and I had a sense that I disagreed with some of what was written. I think Patterson's essay is a defense of "weird nerds" and that their defensiveness in the face of outsider brogrammer and geek feminists is understandable. This is because the values of nerds are important and worth preserving. These values include constructivism (nerds prefer objective measures and "proofs"), bravery (in championing liberty and resisting censorship), and merit (they'll still use the excellent file system of wife-murderer Hans Reiser—or perhaps the instructive lectures of a sexual harasser?).

I don't have the time to respond extensively, but a couple brief notes follow.

  1. Weird nerds are great, but must this mean the community should harbor the minority that alienate or harass others? Weird != Asshole.
  2. I don't see geek feminists as a non-geeky encroachment. I argue geek feminism is the intersection of geekiness and feminism, and in that way the two spheres are complementary.
  3. I also argue that the otherwise commendable geek values like openness, geekiness, and freedom can be problematic. We need to be careful of naivete, see freeze peach. (I'm working on a similar argument about merit and meritocracy now.)
  4. Some geek policing is needlessly gendered and alienating.

by Joseph Reagle at March 11, 2015 04:00 AM

March 10, 2015

Wiki Education Foundation

Teaching with Wikipedia workshop, Friday at UC Davis

You already know students are reading Wikipedia — why not have them write Wikipedia?

Wikipedia assignments connect your course to the world outside of the classroom. They transform a traditional writing assignment into one that engages students with an authentic writing experience, while boosting digital and information literacy, critical thinking skills, and knowledge of research methods.

By writing for Wikipedia, students practice fact-based writing, research, collaboration, and critical thinking. All the while, they’ll be making a meaningful contribution to a free knowledge resource used by millions of people around the world.

Wiki Ed’s LiAnna Davis and Jami Mathewson will be at UC Davis this Friday, March 13, from 2-3 p.m. They’ll explain the benefits of using Wikipedia as a teaching tool, and how to get started.

  • What: Teaching with Wikipedia workshop
  • When: Friday March 13, 2-3pm
  • Where: 165 Shields Library (Shields Library Instruction Lab) [Map]

Questions? Please contact Phoebe Ayers, psayers@ucdavis.edu, 752-9948

by Eryk Salvaggio at March 10, 2015 08:13 PM