April 17, 2015

Pete Forsyth, Wiki Strategies

Writing your first Wikipedia article

Back in 2008, I wrote up instructions on the WikiProject Oregon blog:

Writing your first Wikipedia article

I just looked it over and — amazingly — I see very little that I’d change in 2015. The only things I can think of:

  • Consider using the Visual Editor (which you can enable in your user preferences) for starting a new article; this will make many technical tasks easier (such as linking other articles, formatting citations, or illustrating the article)
  • To create a draft in your user space (as suggested in the original), there is now a much easier shortcut to create the page — simply click the “Sandbox” link at the top of the screen.
  • If you take that approach, DO NOT submit the article by means of the big blue “Submit your draft for review!” button. Seriously! If you have created a decent article, you will only hurt your chances if you go down that path. Instead, just find the “Move page” link when you think it’s ready to publish, and give it a new title.

Experienced Wikipedians: any other updates on how to create your first article — in 2015? The process is still a pain in the neck, but — at least it’s pretty consistent!

by Pete Forsyth at April 17, 2015 11:14 PM

Joseph Reagle

IPR and Taylor Swift

A quick recap on United States intellectual property for my students.

Copyrights and patents are monopolies granted in law to creators so as to encourage the creation of ideas and expression. Trademarks protect a "sign" (e.g., a logo or terms) associated with products or services. You can assign, transfer, or license all of these rights to others.


Patents protects ideas/inventions and limits others' abilities to make, use, and sell things that depend on those inventions. You have to register a patent and it lasts twenty years, after which everyone can use it.

I don't think Taylor Swift has any patents -- unless she's invented something!


Copyright protects expression (or "work") and limits others' abilities to make copies, create derivatives, and perform or publicly display works. It originally lasted 14 years, renewable to a total of 28 years, and then would revert to the public domain for everyone's benefit. Over the years, it's been extended and now is life of the author plus 70 years. Some rightfully ask how does such a long term encourage creation? It doesn't, but companies like Disney don't want to give their copyrights up. You have a copyright in a work of expression as soon as you make it and you can register it so you have a stronger case in court. Free culture (like Wikipedia) and Creative Commons licenses make it easy again to create things that other people can use relatively freely.

Because Taylor Swift writes (or co-writes) most of her songs, she has has the copyright in the music and lyrics; Swift also has the copyright in her actual performances (e.g., recordings or videos of a concert).


A trademark is a recognizable sign associated with a product or service -- you can think of the "brand." You can make a "common law" claim (TM) or register it (R); a registered mark makes a stronger case in court. These can last indefinitely, but marks can become "generic" should they not be strictly limited to products and services from the claimant.

Swift, like a number of other big artists, has filed for trademarks on fragments from her songs. This would limit others' ability to use those lyrics in association with a product or service. Hence, no one but Swift could sell "this sick beat" brand t-shirts or hats. But she doesn't have a copyright on that expression (too small; not sufficiently original) so you could still use that phrase in speech or writing. Of course, just because she filed for the marks, doesn't mean they'll be approved; and even if they are, it doesn't mean they'd stand up in court. Trademarks based on her name would be much stronger than any of these phrases.

by Joseph Reagle at April 17, 2015 04:00 AM

April 16, 2015

Wikimedia Foundation

The first Wikipedia TV spots and awareness campaign in Cameroon (VIDEO)

File:Video Wikipedia CKoi Dance.webm

Watch this fun TV spot: “Wikipedia? Isn’t that a new dance?” You can also view this video on YouTube.com here. Video by Michael Epaka, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The first-ever television spots for Wikipedia aired in mid-2014 in Cameroon, as part of a campaign designed to raise awareness of Wikipedia in this western African country — where the use and awareness of Wikipedia has been historically low.

File:Video Wikipedia CKoi Maladie - Sickeness.webm

“I’m sorry, but your daughter has a case of Wikipedia.” Video also available on Youtube.com here. Video by Michael Epaka, free licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Iolanda Pensa, researcher at SUPSI and former scientific director for WikiAfrica, produced this awareness campaign along with Mike Epacka and others at doual’art, a non profit cultural organization based in Douala, Cameroon.

“The starting point of any kind of possible participation [in Wikipedia] is that you need to know that it exists, you need to find it useful and relevant, and you need to know that something is missing,” says Pensa. “This is the typical way people start contributing because people think there are better ways to improve it.”

A production still from the campaign. Photo by Michael Epacka, CC BY-SA 3.0.

The idea of producing a video came about in 2010 when Pensa sat down with Epacka, who works as a creative professional in Cameroon, to talk about the challenges faced by Wikipedia in this region.

In September 2013, Pensa applied on behalf of the team for an individual engagement grant from the Wikimedia Foundation; she received approval for a grant in January 2014. The concept, script and all of the production took place locally in Cameroon. Pensa got to work right away, along with Epaka, videographer Regis Talla, artists Bibi Benzo — and members of doual’art including Didier Schaub, Marilyn Douala Bell and Victor Njehoya. Their first challenge was to approach the Cameroonian audience in such a way that Wikipedia would not be “[…] sold as something that will save the world – we didn’t want that.”

The premise for the spots was simple:

  1. Someone is asked to define Wikipedia.
  2. The person responds with an inaccurate guess.
  3. The person is corrected.

Pensa told us that the team aimed for the script to be easy to imitate, so that the same idea could be adapted in other countries that also have low Wikipedia participation.

“We were doing three things at once: we were producing for the people of Cameroon, we were talking to an international audience and we were producing something that is easily reproducible.” says Pensa.

In addition to the two television spots, the campaign included a series of comics that were placed in the major national newspaper of Cameroon.

Soon after the videos were produced, they were shown at WikiIdaba and at Wikimania 2014 in London, where they were received favorably.

The airtime for the television campaign was funded by Orange Cameroon (with whom the Wikimedia Foundation has a Wikipedia Zero partnership).

The campaign and grant report was finalized in October 2014.

The full impact of the campaign is not yet known. Overall desktop and mobile traffic for Wikipedia in Cameroon has increased since the campaign began, though the data has not yet been analyzed (see image here).

Pensa views this project as a success and hopes that African chapters of Wikimedia will submit their own individual engagement grant applications to make their own videos in the same way. “It would be great to have new communication projects and videos in Tunisia and South Africa” says Pensa.

She is optimistic about the future of participation in Wikipedia in Cameroon, “People like to edit because they also have fun: we don’t do it because we have the mission of writing an encyclopedia, we do it because it’s fun.”

Blog post by Victor Grigas, Storyteller, Wikimedia FoundationInterview by Yoona Ha, Communications intern, Wikimedia Foundation

Wikipedia BD: A french comic that was placed in newspapers in Cameroon. More here. Comic strip by Biba Jacques Claver, CC BY-SA 3.0.
Wikipedia BD: A french comic that was placed in newspapers in Cameroon. More here. Comic strip by Biba Jacques Claver, CC BY-SA 3.0.

by Andrew Sherman at April 16, 2015 05:41 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata & #Amnesty - Raif Badawi

Mr Badawi is a blogger who is in jail in Saudi Arabia. Like so many people he got the attention of Amnesty International because he spoke out. Read the article on Wikipedia or read the information about Mr Badawi on the Amnesty website.

It is easy and obvious how to get attention for Mr Badawi on Wikidata. It is all about making statements. You will find that he was awarded many times. Those awards did not exist on Wikidata, consequently other people who were awarded the prize were not recognised either.

By adding newly these created awards to Mr Badawi, you raise his profile. By including statements on the organisations who conferred these awards you add weight. By adding the other people or organisations that were celebrated with an award, all of them get added gravitas.

It is not hard to give Mr Badawi additional visibility, Transliterate his name in the languages of India and you can find him, the awards, the other awardees searching in the Wikipedias.

The Wikimedia Foundation is all about education, about a neutral point of view. By making these statements about people like Mr Badawi it is more obvious that he will not be easily forgotten while he lingers in his cell.

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 16, 2015 06:28 AM

#Wikidata - #Amnesty International; a case in point

When people are persecuted for supporting one of the rights that are considered universal, it is import for them to know that organisations like Amnesty International will support them. When Amnesty supports people, it calls on volunteers to protest their innocence. Their innocence because universal human rights are not to be denied.

Arguably, people become notable when Amnesty recognises them for expressing their human rights and being persecuted for it.

We Wikimedians are fortunate because we do express ourselves freely. We pride ourselves on our "neutral point of view" and we are quite happy to block the powers that be when they impose their point of view. Then again, it is the English Wikipedia where the whole world is looking closely

My opinion is that by bringing information with a neutral point of view, we inform whoever is interested to be informed. Given that as a rule we inform about everything, we should inform about the people, the organisations that defend our universal human rights. We should inform about the struggle, the awards, the set backs.

I am sure that all the organisations involved want to ensure that all the organisations, all the people involved are covered. In Wikidata all we need to do is cover every language and by implication every country, every organisation. This Amnesty International award is German, at this time it does not have a label in most languages including English. It is just a case in point.

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 16, 2015 06:11 AM

April 15, 2015

Wikimedia Tech Blog

New features on Wikipedia iOS app help readers access, explore, and share knowledge

File:Share-a-Fact on the Official Wikipedia iPhone app.webm

The updated Wikipedia app offers many new features for iOS devices. For example, you can share a fact from Wikipedia with friends on social networks, as shown here. Watch this video for a quick preview. You can also watch it on YouTube or Vimeo. Video by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0.

Each month, nearly half a billion people turn to Wikipedia for everything from preserving cultural heritage, to improving cancer detection, to researching homework. Today, the Wikimedia Foundation is excited to release an update to the official Wikipedia mobile app for iOS.

It includes big, beautiful images at the top of every article, the ability to share quick facts and images with your social networks, improved search, and suggestions for further discovery. The updated app is available for iOS users today.

Quick look-up and deep learning

With more than 34 million articles in 288 languages, Wikipedia has an endless amount of knowledge to explore. The new Wikipedia app for iOS is designed to help readers easily navigate Wikipedia and find exactly what they need, while giving them the tools to explore topics in depth.

The updated app includes a number of features that help readers look-up and understand information quickly from an iPhone or iPad.

  • A clean design with a short descriptor of the topic helps readers get the answer they seek within seconds of opening an article.
  • A prominently displayed image at the top of each article provides additional context and supports different styles of learning.
  • Improved search functionality includes a list of recent searches and a more defined, higher contrast search bar.

When readers want to explore a topic more deeply, new engagement features create a more immersive reading experience.

  • A read more section at the end of each article encourages people to read further about a particular topic.
  • An enhanced image viewer helps visual learners easily swipe through all of the images of an article.

These updates were recently released on Android, and we are pleased to bring them to iOS users in this release. Other features currently available on the iOS Wikipedia app include nearby articles that suggest content related to your location, and the ability to save articles for reading offline.

Share a fact with friends

We believe knowledge is contagious. That’s why we’ve built a feature that allows readers to easily and quickly create customized images overlaid with text from an article that can be shared with anyone via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), email, or text message. This feature was also recently released on Android.

The new iOS app lets you share fact cards like this one with friends on social media. Galaxy image by NASA, Public Domain
The new iOS app lets you share fact cards like this one with friends on social media. Galaxy image by NASA, Public Domain

To use this feature, simply choose an article, select the text you’re interested in, and then click the “share as image” option. The same information can also be shared in a text-only format. To learn more, check out this quick guide.

Download it and share your feedback

You can download the new iOS app here on the Apple Store.

Once you’ve tried the new app, please let us know what you think of these new features. You can either leave a comment here — or share your own Wikipedia fact cards with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Dan Garry
Product Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
Translated to Spanish by Walter Alejandro Gomez

by Andrew Sherman at April 15, 2015 04:15 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikimedia - Erik Möller

Erik Möller or Erik Moeller for those who have a problem writing a foreign name is a longtime friend. I worked with him often particularly in those days when wearing a ponytail was en vogue among geeks.

The one thing I savour in this blog post is that I am not writing because of Erik passing away; it is only that his days at the Wikimedia Foundation are numbered. It has a bitter sweet ring to it because I know how much the WMF means to him.

We worked together on Wikiprotein and OmegaWiki. Sadly at the time the Wikimedia Foundation did not want to adopt OmegaWiki because it was too expensive at the time. In the mean time OmegaWiki still has an edge in several areas over Wikidata but in the one area that matters it does not. There is even a publication with our name on it and Jimmy's..

Erik I expect that you will have fun.

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 15, 2015 05:25 AM

Pete Forsyth, Wiki Strategies

Philip Roth’s lingering stain on Wikipedia’s reputation

Novelist Philip Roth in 1973

Philip Roth was feeling irked.

Wikipedia’s writeup (as of 2012) of his bestselling novel, The Human Stain, was (he contended) inaccurate; and despite Roth’s efforts to correct it through private correspondence, Wikipedia’s cadre of volunteer editors wouldn’t budge. At issue: over the years, writers for the Journal of Higher Education, the New York Times, The Nation, and several other publications had speculated that the book’s main character, Coleman Silk, was based on a man named Anatole Broyard. But according to Roth, that was completely untrue. In his open letter to Wikipedia, Roth went so far as to describe an “alleged allegation” — suggesting, preposterously and incorrectly, that nobody had even alleged that Silk and Broyard were connected.

So yes — Roth had a problem.

But despite his protestations to the contrary — which have proven surprisingly tenacious in the news media’s ongoing effort to make sense of Wikipedia — his problem was not a Wikipedia problem. Roth was indeed irked, and he chose Wikipedia as the target of his irk. But take a close look at Wikipedia’s irksome text, as of August 2012:

Kakutani and other critics were struck by the parallels to the life of Anatole Broyard, …[4][5][6]

Roth said that he had not learned about Broyard’s ancestry until after starting to write this novel.[7]

What, exactly, did Roth want Wikipedia to say? Perhaps adding a sentence like the following would have satisfied him:

In private correspondence with a Wikipedia editor – noted here, in an unprecedented violation of Wikipedia policy, and in a way that no reader can verify independently — Roth further elaborated that the character was in fact based on his friend Melvin Tumin.[citation needed]

Is that the kind of thing you want to read in an encyclopedia? I would hope not.

Roth’s problem was not, in fact, a problem with Wikipedia. It was a problem with the totality of the critical speculation, up to that date, on the origin of the Silk character. Wikipedia was doing exactly what an encyclopedia should do; it was accurately presenting what had been published on the topic. Wikipedia neither endorsed nor disputed the critics’ speculations. Wikipedia merely stated that the speculation existed; it even went a step further, noting that Roth had rebutted the point, even though that rebuttal had been a mere passing comment in a 2008 interview.

Upon the New Yorker’s publication of Roth’s letter in 2012, of course, the Wikipedia entry was promptly updated. Roth, it would appear, had prevailed, with the rhetorical flourish his readers have come to expect.

Had Roth finally, after several tries in private, articulated his position with sufficient rhetorical force to persuade Wikipedia’s editors? No. Well, perhaps by going to a public venue, he had finally exposed an ill-advised decision by a Wikipedia editor to a sufficiently broad audience, and finally earned a closer look at his case? Again: no.

By writing a letter and then publishing it for the world to see, Roth had finally taken a step that actually merited a change to the article. As of today, the expanded section of the Human Stain’s Wikipedia entry includes this sentence:

On September 7, 2012, Roth wrote an open letter to Wikipedia in The New Yorker in which he dismissed critics’ earlier suggestions that his novel was inspired by Anatole Broyard.[4]

It then goes on to detail some of Roth’s points. Take careful note of the footnote above: now, because there is a worthwhile reference to cite, the reader can properly hear from Roth about the origin of the Silk character. But prior to the open letter, there was no justification for Wikipedia to detail Roth’s position, because that position had never been articulated in public.

Roth’s case has captured the public’s imagination, though, not as a story of the strength of Wikipedia’s editorial process, but as an example of the site’s shortcomings. I am frequently asked about this case in private discussion; and it continues to be cited in the broader discourse about Wikipedia.

Sharyl Attkisson's misleading characterization of Roth's case begins at 3:57.

Sharyl Attkisson’s misleading characterization of Roth’s case begins at 3:57.

In February 2015, for instance, noted journalist Sharyl Attkisson presented Roth’s case as an example of Wikipedia’s dysfunction. Amazingly, she did so in the context of a talk intended to enlighten her audience about the dynamics behind the media we consume; but in presenting Roth’s case at face value, she ended up not debunking a myth, but perpetuating one.

Wikipedia and its processes are far from perfect. Critics have rightly called attention to numerous issues with Wikipedia, such as the heavily skewed demographics of its contributors, the (related) bias reflected in the kind of content it does and does not present, the widespread anonymity in its editorial community, and the gamable nature of its policies. Such concerns are real, and deserve careful consideration.

But in this instance, Wikipedia’s editors nailed it. They held the line against the wishes of a popular author, who had requested special treatment, and whose request was wholly without merit.

Perhaps Roth wanted his story to be told, without having to go to the trouble of telling it himself. Instead of addressing his irk to the community of literary critics, with whom he actually had a substantive disagreement, he chose to shake his fist at the mirror — Wikipedia — that was accurately and dispassionately presenting those critics’ (apparently flawed) analysis of his work.

The world doesn’t work like that. Wikipedia does not, and should not, exist to offer a shortcut to frustrated novelists. Wikipedians held the line; and when Roth reacted (with an extra dose of exasperation), everyone with an interest in the novel benefited from a clearer exposition.

To revisit his chief complaint about Wikipedia: Why is Philip Roth not an acceptable source for a Wikipedia article on Philip Roth?

It’s because what people say and think evolves from day to day, week to week, year to year. Memory fails us, opinions change, and sometimes we recall things not as they happened, but as we wish they had happened. Authors — like politicians, sports stars, artists, and pretty much everybody else on the planet — are not always the most reliable source regarding their own lives, or about anything else. Wikipedia’s policies (specifically, those concerning original research and verifiability) are designed to guide us toward reporting verifiable facts (like “Roth said this, on this date”) rather than ephemeral, speculative reflections (like “this character arose out of this exact cognitive process”).

When Roth’s letter appeared in the New Yorker, it established a fact that will not change. It became a record of what one man said on one day in history. Regardless of what Roth or anybody else might say in the future, that fact is now established — and worthy of recording in a global encyclopedia.

And if not for a Wikipedia volunteer with the presence of mind to say “no, Mr. Roth, we will not make that exception, not even for you,” we would not have that fact to report.

by Pete Forsyth at April 15, 2015 01:58 AM

April 14, 2015

Wikimedia Tech Blog

Single-User Login provides access to all wikis

Collaboration logo V2.svg
Later this month, everyone will be able to use the same user name on every wiki, thanks to Single-User Login. As a result, cross-wiki collaboration and communication is expected to improve. Collaboration logo by Berdea, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

On March 16, 2001, two months after Wikipedia’s creation, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales announced and launched the first Wikipedia projects to be written in languages other than English, starting with the German and Catalan Wikipedias. The Wikimedia Foundation now hosts over 900 wikis in hundreds of languages, covering ten subject areas; this includes Meta-Wiki, the global community site, and MediaWiki.org, the website for development and documentation of the software that runs the Wikimedia wikis.


The rapid growth of the projects presented a problem early on — one that is finally being solved this month with Single-User Login: accounts created on one wiki used to only work on that wiki. If you wanted to edit a different wiki, you had to register a new account. Sometimes, and with growing frequency over the years, your account name was already registered by someone else on that different wiki. Lack of single-user login required you to register a different account name, splitting your identity across the wikis. This caused problems in software development, making it hard to develop global notifications or global watchlists, for example. The lack of persistent identity across the wikis also caused problems with users being mistaken for other users: users blocked on one wiki were sometimes assumed to be the same person on another, for instance. As of last month, there were 2.8 million accounts with conflicting, identical usernames, out of over 90 million local accounts.


As early as May 2004, while proposing Wikimedia Commons as a free media repository, Erik Moeller (User:Eloquence) put forward the idea of using Commons as a place to unify all usernames. In June of 2005 the first specifics were proposed to establish and use “global accounts.” The Wikimedia Foundation committed software architect and engineer Brion Vibber to work on that project. Due to various complications, the resulting global log-in system, CentralAuth, was not ready for general use until 2008 — and only in 2009 were new account name requests checked against those that registered their global name. Following a community request in 2012 to complete single-user login and make all accounts global, the Wikimedia Foundation provided more resources for that task. In the spring of 2013, James Forrester was tasked with unifying and globalizing all accounts, and early planning began. Dan Garry took over the project at the end of 2013, and throughout the summer of 2014 he led the engineering work to complete the task. I, Keegan Peterzell, took over the project once most engineering challenges had been met, at the end of October 2014.


The move to all-global accounts has been taking place in stages over the past eight months. In August 2014, we started migrating all local accounts that did not conflict with another local account or a global account, making them global across all wikis. In September 2014, the ability to rename accounts moved from local requests to a global group, to prevent local renames that would separate an account from its global owner. In November and December 2014, we tested new global rename processing tools. In January 2015, GlobalRenameRequest was deployed on all wikis, with the special queue where requests are sent for processing. This special page allows users to request a new name from the wiki on which they are logged in, using localized, translated text. The form is short and allows global renamers to smoothly process requests from all wikis. In February 2015, we focused on preventing the ability to create an account that conflicted with a global account by anyone, as well as contacting over 80,000 accounts with unconfirmed email addresses to request confirmation. In March 2015, a script was run over all the remaining clashing accounts, based on a rename selection scheme to determine the final global accounts and which other accounts needed to be renamed.

Final stages

On March 17, 2015, we started contacting the 2.8 million accounts being renamed. Since being contacted, over 1.34 million accounts have been connected to their global accounts and will no longer need to be renamed; and over 10,000 accounts have been renamed to a new global account name of their choosing. This week, we will begin the process of renaming the remaining 1.46 million accounts – those which have not responded to all attempts at outreach. That process is expected to take approximately one to two weeks. Once renamed, account owners will still be able to log in using their old credentials and will be shown information about the renaming. At any point after being renamed, all affected accounts are free to request a new name of their choice, using GlobalRenameRequest. To learn more, visit this help page.

Once finalization is complete, every account on Wikimedia projects will be unique in all projects. Any confusion about user identities will be addressed by setting up a global user page for your account in the unified world; and software developers will be able to start projects that had been put on hold for over a decade due to this ongoing issue.

As a result of Single-User Login, cross-wiki collaboration and communication should improve, which should help the health of the overall Wikimedia movement. I look forward to sharing this new, unified wiki experience with the rest of you. The wait and the work should all be well worth it.

Keegan Peterzell
Community Liaison
Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at April 14, 2015 05:18 PM

April 13, 2015

Wikimedia Foundation

Wiki Learning holds massive edit-a-thon at Tec de Monterrey in Mexico City

Group Photo
Students and teachers participate in the a massive three-day edit-a-thon at Tec de Monterrey, Campus Ciudad de Mèxico. Photo by Thelmadatter, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Tec de Monterrey‘s Education Program (Wiki Learning) held a massive three-day edit-a-thon on three campuses, from March 4 to 6, 2015. Called Experiencias Retadoras (in English: challenging experiences), this edit-a-thon was part of a larger event called Espacios de Innovación (in English: Innovation Spaces): this is a one-week period each semester, when classes are suspended so that students and staff can work on technology-focused educational projects, called retos (in English: challenges), with a focus on challenges with social impact.

Students upload photos on Day 2 of the edit-a-thon at Tec de Monterrey, Campus Ciudad de Mèxico. Photo by Thelmadatter, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Working with Wikipedia was one of the options selected for this first semester’s Espacios de Innovación at three of Tec de Monterrey’s 31 campuses: Campus Ciudad de México, Campus Santa Fe and Campus Estado de México, all in the Mexico City metropolitan area. Wikipedia was chosen because of its global reach and openness to new participants — as well as for the challenge of creating content that is published, reviewed, and read worldwide. The main aim of this semester was to explore working with Wikipedia with as many students and staff as possible, focusing on “simpler” tasks and navigating not only the technology but also community norms and practices. Each campus developed their own activities, with support from Wiki Learning coordinators, Leigh Thelmadatter, Lourdes Epstein and Paola Ricaurte. Beginning in January, teacher training workshops were offered as well as editing workshops for students of the Ciudad de México campus, all of whom who were encouraged to translate short articles (mostly from English into Spanish, but there were also translations into French and even one into Finnish) as part of their classwork so that as many students as possible had some practice with editing Wikipedia before the event.

There were a variety of activities for participants in the edit-a-thon, including writing articles, translating articles, reviewing articles, uploading media, and captioning media. In addition to developing and translating new articles, students were also reviewing and correcting them for each other. Other students were taking and uploading new photographs, uploading videos and animations, improving and translating descriptions of existing media files on Commons, uploading and documenting 27 radio episodes from the series “Shot Informativo,” a joint project between the Tec de Monterrey’s campus radio (Concepto Radial) and Radio Netherlands, which were donated to Commons by the campus radio station. Two other innovative activities involved a local WikiExpedition where a group of foreign students from Campus Ciudad de Mexico documented a historical site and a photography project at Campus Estado de Mexico created images related to social issues in Mexico. One photo from this activity was picked up within three days of being uploaded to Commons and was published in Science Times magazine here. More information about these projects is available in the Education Newsletter here.

The flags of Tec de Monterrey. Student photo by Niwadare, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Some of the articles that were created and improved were those related to the Festival Internacional Cervantino, in collaboration with Mexico’s National Council for Culture and Arts (Conaculta), which sent two representatives to the event, Georgina Hughes Montaño and Talía Guraieb Carrillo. Also in attendance at the edit-a-thon was Wikipedia Education Program Manager Anna Koval. Anna gave motivational talks at all of the campuses, gave an interview on campus radio, assisted students and staff with editing and demonstrated VisualEditor, and delivered the opening remarks (see photos here). Anna said, “According to stats.wikimedia.org, Spanish is the 10th largest Wikipedia by article count. And Mexico has the largest number of readers of Spanish Wikipedia. There are more than 400 million Spanish speakers worldwide. And more than 20 million of them live in Mexico City. That means there is tremendous potential for impact from this country, this city, and this education program. And that is why an event like this is so monumental and why this school is so special.”

WikiMetrics shows impressive impacts from this event: 311 students and teachers worked hard during the event (see the event page for additional statistics). 97 articles were translated, 79 articles were revised and corrected (including the number of articles written or translated by edit-a-thon participants), 45 articles were created or expanded with new information, 27 radio broadcasts were uploaded, and 2 animations were contributed. Naomi Iwadare Akachi, a digital animation major, created a hamstring animation and a quadricep animation in her Servicio Social class and released the gifs under a free license during the editathon; these files can now be used to illustrate medical articles on Wikipedia in any language. Students also worked on summaries of and later transcripts for those files, along with 307 photos and 6 videos, including those from the first academic WikiExpedition to Tepoztlan and a series of files related to social issues. In total, 1,315,324 bytes were added to the article namespace on Spanish Wikipedia.

Day 1 of the edit-a-thon in the library at Tec de Monterrey, Campus Ciudad de México. Photo by Thelmadatter, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Several students commented on the impact of this event for them personally. María José Felgueres Planells, is a biotechnology major enrolled in the Servicio Social class at Campus Ciudad de Mexico. She noted that writing Wikipedia articles for community service is not easier than other participation options available to students completing their mandatory 480 hours of service, and, in fact, it is much harder because they must “read and translate terms and understand and learn.” However, she added, “It helps me grow my knowledge and spread knowledge. It is also very attractive to rehearse my English and improve my grammar and spelling in both English and Spanish.” Pamela Varillas Urquiza, also a Servicio Social student, stated her reason for completing her service by writing articles on Wikipedia: “If you are really interested in something, you can find more information about it English than in Spanish. That’s why it feels like I’m giving back to my community.”

This edit-a-thon was not the end of the story, as students continue editing and creating new articles at campus Ciudad de México. They are now editing articles related to the Festival Cervantino in Spanish and English, as well as reviewing translated articles by Spanish language writing classes. Valuable lessons were learned from this experience, such as the need to organize projects geared towards smaller groups, with thematic focus, and the need for additional support from instructors and others with significant experience in Wikipedia to both plan the activities and help students execute them. One other lesson learned was the need to plan wiki activities farther in advance, and that is happening now. Preparations for the September 2015 Experiencias Retadoras are already underway. All in all, this event was a challenge, nevertheless, it was an important educational opportunity for students and staff alike as well as an innovation in the global Education Program. This pilot project was one of the largest educational edit-a-thons to date. Learn more about the education program at Tec de Monterrey on Outreach wiki. Have a look at the results on Spanish Wikipedia and see the photos on Wikimedia Commons.

Leigh Thelmadatter, Tec de Monterrey Wiki Learning coordinator
Anna Koval, Wikipedia Education Program, Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at April 13, 2015 09:40 PM

Wiki Education Foundation

The Roundup: Theater History

"Noh-Hayashi" by Toto-tarou - Image created by Toto-tarou.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Noh-Hayashi” by Toto-tarou – Image created by Toto-tarou.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Each week we pick up on a course that has contributed interesting content to Wikipedia. This week, we’re looking at Dr. Amy Hughes’ “Theater History to 1642″ course at CUNY Brooklyn.

Student editors created a historical outline on the use of theater in academia.

The oldest theatrical art form still performed today is based in Japan: Now you Noh.

Learn about the plot device that’s sure to make Antiphanes and Aristotle hate your play.

Are the heroes of our stories flawed, or do they merely make mistakes? There’s a debate.

When was Spain’s golden age of theater?

And read about an opera that debuted earlier than expected, thanks to a belated bride.

Thanks to these students for their fascinating contributions to Wikipedia!

by Eryk Salvaggio at April 13, 2015 03:30 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikipedia - not a stamp collection

Anne Bannister

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anne Bannister (11 May 1936 – 26 March 2015) was a British child psychotherapist, a pioneer in using stories, toys and puppets to work with victims of child abuse.[1]

The article about Mrs Bannister is not more than this. As a stub it does not inform us that she was important in the British Psychodrama Association, it does not mention that she published about her speciality; helping children who were sexually abused. You can find papers of her in Google Books. These will inform you that she worked for the NSPCC and the university of Huddersfield.

Mrs Bannister is now well represented at Wikidata. Even though many of the egregious cases of child abuse get all the attention, it is important to offset this with attention for everything that is good even when it is at the end of a relevant life.

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 13, 2015 08:37 AM

Tech News

Tech News issue #16, 2015 (April 13, 2015)

TriangleArrow-Left.svgprevious 2015, week 16 (Monday 13 April 2015) nextTriangleArrow-Right.svg
Other languages:
čeština • ‎English • ‎español • ‎français • ‎עברית • ‎italiano • ‎日本語 • ‎Ripoarisch • ‎नेपाली • ‎português • ‎русский • ‎svenska • ‎українська • ‎Tiếng Việt • ‎中文

April 13, 2015 12:00 AM

April 12, 2015

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - David Laventhol; a great #journalist who supported journalism

David Laventhol was an important journalist. His career was stellar and his positive on American journalism was huge. Mr Laventhol died recently and his legacy is even more relevant than the work he did professionally.

Many journalists including Mr Laventhol realised that journalists are persecuted in many countries for doing their work. Mr Laventhol was involved in organisations like the committee to protect journalists and the International Press Institute.

When someone like Mr Laventhol dies, it is a great moment to remember the work he was involved in. It is a moment to add statements for the journalists who are celebrated for their efforts to bring news to us.

In this way we celebrate our human rights. It starts with adding the statements, more statements may follow, labels can be added in all our languages and as a result we may learn that a free press comes at a cost.

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 12, 2015 12:54 PM

April 11, 2015

Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimedia Highlights, March 2015

Editatonas by Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA 4.0. Raspberry Pi by Janet Chapman, CC BY-SA 4.0. Terry by Myleen Hollero, CC BY-SA 3.0. Open Data by LSE Library, CC BY-SA 3.0. Kourosh by Jerry Kim, CC BY SA 4.0.

A lot happened on the Wikimedia Blog last month. Photo montage by Andrew Sherman. Editatonas photo by Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA 4.0. Raspberry Pi photo by Janet Chapman, CC BY-SA 4.0. Terry Gilbey photo by Myleen Hollero, CC BY-SA 3.0. Open Data graph by LSE Library, CC BY-SA 3.0. Kourosh photo by Jerry Kim, CC BY SA 4.0.

Here are some of the highlights from the Wikimedia blog in March 2015. We covered a wide range of stories this month:

Wikimedia v. NSA: Wikimedia Foundation files suit against NSA
Women and gender diversity on Wikimedia
Growing free knowledge through open data
Raspberry Pi in Masekelo: Bringing Wikipedia to a school without electricity
Wikimedia Foundation adopts Open Access Policy
Wikimedia Foundation welcomes new executives

Wikimedia v. NSA: Wikimedia Foundation files suit against NSA to challenge upstream mass surveillance

Fountain of Justice
Photo by Roland Meinecke, GFDL 1.2.
This March, the Wikimedia Foundation filed a suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the United States. The lawsuit challenges the NSA’s mass surveillance program. Learn more.

Women and gender diversity on Wikimedia

Photo by Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Last month, we featured a special collection of stories on women and gender diversity in the Wikimedia movement, to celebrate International Women’s Day and WikiWomen’s History Month. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

• Meet some of the women who contribute to Wikipedia
• Art+Feminism Events on International Women’s Day
15 women who made a difference
Gender as a text field: What Wikipedia can learn from Facebook
Inspire Campaign to fund new gender diversity initiatives
Why Italian fashion history should be just a click away: Virginia Gentilini
The Editatona: Helping women edit Wikipedia in Mexico (VIDEO)

Growing free knowledge through open data

London Clickstream
Graph by Ellery Wulczyn and Dario Taraborelli, CC0 1.0.
Open data can help us understand how people find and share knowledge online. The Wikimedia Foundation’s Research and Data Team published 5 open data sets about Wikimedia projects.

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

Photo by Janet Chapman, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Students in a Tanzanian high school without electricity can now access Wikipedia via Wi-Fi, using a donated Raspberry Pi computer. Find out how a generous donation is bringing this school into the 21st century.

Wikimedia Foundation adopts Open Access Policy to support free knowledge

Library Book
Photo by LSE Library, CC BY-SA 3.0.
The Wikimedia Foundation announces a new policy to make all research it directly supports freely available to the public under open licenses.

Wikimedia Foundation welcomes new executives


Guy Kawasaki, Board of Trustees
The Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce that Guy Kawasaki has joined our Board of Trustees. Mr. Kawasaki is a noted author, entrepreneur and internet evangelist, who will bring a wealth of experience and perspective to our movement.
Photo by Nohemi Kawasaki, CC BY-SA 4.0.


Terry Gilbey, Chief Operating Officer
This month, we also welcomed Terry Gilbey as interim Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Executive Director Lila Tretikov. Previously, Terry was Executive Director of Enterprise Operations at Kaiser Permanente, and served in various management roles at IBM Global Services.
Photo by Myleen Hollero, CC BY-SA 3.0.


Kourosh Karimkhany, VP Strategic Partnerships
And Kourosh Karimkhany joined the WMF as VP of Strategic Partnerships, reporting to Lisa Gruwell. A longtime media executive, Kourosh 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 Jerry Kim, CC BY SA 4.0.

Andrew Sherman, Digital Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation
Fabrice Florin, Movement Communications Manager, Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at April 11, 2015 01:24 AM

April 10, 2015

Wiki Education Foundation

Be boulder: Geology club edits Wikipedia

University_of_Arizona_Geo_Club_06Students at the University of Arizona GeoClub made their first edits to Wikipedia as part of Wiki Ed’s program for high-achieving student clubs. The GeoClub is a graduate student group focused on geological sciences, studying subject areas such as tectonics, geochemisty, paleoclimate, mineralogy, and paleontology.

Students at the University of Arizona have unique access to mineral research and information. Through the university’s RRUFF Project, more than 3,000 of the known 4,985 minerals are stored on campus. RRUFF oversees the International Mineralogical Association’s official mineral list and the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database. Student editor Shaunna Morrison has used her access to this information to create the Wikipedia page for Kovdorskite, and to edit pages on Lanthanite, Agardite, and Mixite.

“I’ve found that editing Wikipedia takes very little time out of my schedule and is much easier than I expected,” Shaunna said. “An added bonus: it’s really fun!” In just two weeks, 7,000 people have seen pages expanded by the GeoClub.

A group of students also visited Kartchner Caverns State Park, where they took photos of the geological occurrences and toured the underground cave.

The GeoClub is one of the first student groups to participate in the high-achieving student clubs program, and they’ve been an enthusiastic group interested in seeing the impact they are making on Wikipedia. Other groups participating this spring include Oregon State’s Pi Alpha Xi Horticulture Club and the UC Davis BioTech Club.

If you are part of a student program or honor society interested in expanding your philanthropy, digital literacy, research skills, and more, contact samantha@wikiedu.org. We still have slots available for the spring term and would love to hear from you!

by Samantha Erickson at April 10, 2015 03:30 PM

Wikimedia UK

Wiki Club: using Wikipedia as platform to shout about Scotland’s Heritage

This article was first published in Archaeology Scotland’s membership magazine and is reproduced with kind permission. Written by Doug Rocks-Macqueen, Cara Jones, Jeff Sanders and Leigh Stork.

We all use (and love!) Wikipedia, but we are sometimes frustrated by the quality of the content on the Scottish Archaeology pages. We decided to do something about it and in Spring 2014, the Edinburgh Archaeology Wiki Club was born! Our aim is to meet up once a month and gradually improve the content of Wikipedia pages on Scottish archaeology. As archaeologists, we are regularly required with our work to go and visit archaeological sites in Scotland and are able to take lots of photographs that we are then able to upload. We are also familiar with a lot of the sites, are used to dealing with archaeological information, and have access to good data. We felt that we couldn’t complain about the quality of Wikipedia if we didn’t do something about it ourselves!

However, let’s go back to our first meeting. We were fortunate that Wikipedia provided two Wikipedians-in-residences (Pat Hadley and Ally Crockford) for our initial meet up. They were able to supply us with instructions, do’s and don’ts, and guide us through our initial steps of editing. Both have become a point of contact and support for our group, helping us to tighten up our wiki-editing skills. It is worth noting that (at the time of writing) there are currently two Wikipedians-in-residences in Scotland, and they are here to help you! One great aspect of Wikipedia is how supportive it is as an organisation. One of us (Doug) was funded by Wikipedia to go to the 2014 Wikimania in London and was able to bring back new skills and knowledge to share with the group. Wikipedia takes its contributors seriously and helps support them when they can.

So why do we do this? Well, for one, we are fairly like-minded people who believe passionately that knowledge should be accessible to all, and one way to help disseminate this knowledge is by using an established digital platform (Wikipedia) that is utilised by so many. Wikipedia is one of the top ten visited websites in the world – think about how you use Wikipedia in your daily life – for example to plan your holiday (“ahh I can see that there is an Neolithic Chambered Cairn near us”) or to find out more about your favourite TV programme (“hmmm how accurate really is 10,000BC?”).  Go a step further and think about how you could possibly use Wikipedia to encourage visitors to actually visit your local heritage, sometimes by simply adding a photograph (“my goodness – those ramparts look amazing, I must go see that site”).

How easy is it to edit Wikipedia? There are strict rules involved with editing or creating Wikipedia pages – you have to declare any potential conflict of interests on your biographical page, and (when adding text) you must also reference reputable source material. That said, it is actually an easy thing to do and if you get stuck there is a whole army of online advisors out there who are more than happy to help. It is also a fun thing to do once a month – whether you are a group of friends or perhaps a community heritage group.

What is next for our group? Well, we are still learning, but as a group (and some of us are better than others!) we are learning together (i.e. Cara takes a lot of photographs on her travels…Doug helps upload them!). We have two fringe events scheduled at national conferences this year where we hope to help other archaeologists engage with Wikipedia and we have also had enquiries through social media from other archaeologists keen to create a Wiki Club in their area. Watch this space…or rather, Wikipedia page.

Go further

Check out one of our earlier Wikipedia entries on Leckie Broch – can you help improve it?

You can learn more about the Wikipedian-in-residence project at http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence

See Doug Rocks-Macqueen blog (www.dougsarchaeology.wordpress.com) for several articles on Archaeology and Wikipedia.

If you would like to learn more about what we do or if you would to set up a Wiki Club in your area, please get in touch with Cara on twitter @carajones82

by Richard Nevell at April 10, 2015 01:40 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikipedia Zero - I am all for it II

Wikipedia Zero is a tool. Its purpose is to enable more people reading Wikipedia. The problem it solves is that many people have a limit how much data they can use on the subscription they have for their mobile phone. It does it by having the ISP's provide Wikipedia for free.

There are other tools like Kiwix, it provides Wikipedia off line. Typically it is used in more formal settings like schools.

They are different tools they are both splendid and they both deserve praise and support.

Some say Wikipedia Zero is used largely by those who are already relatively wealthy and educated. The argument used is: "They use Wikipedia in English". This is a wonderful argument; it exposes the bias of Wikipedia for English and at most it is a perverse result.

Having people use Wikipedia in English does not mean that they do not benefit from Wikipedia Zero. If you want to know if Wikipedia Zero fulfils its goal of enabling people to read Wikipedia, check out the increased use of Wikipedia for those countries. The tool does what it is designed to do; enable access.

When the argument that more people should be able to access Wikipedia in their mother tongue, it means that the current bias for English is to be offset by investing in content in these other languages. <grin> These high horse arguments against Wikipedia Zero can be countered by un-orthodox approaches like paid editing and automated content </grin> Let the heated arguments commence !

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 10, 2015 06:40 AM

April 09, 2015

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikipedia Zero - I am all for it

A wonderful piece about Wikipedia Zero was written by Mike Godwin. It is well worth it, it is relevant and it provides great arguments why Wikipedia Zero is so important.

Please read.


by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 09, 2015 04:03 PM

Timo Tijhof

QUnit anti-patterns

I'd like to challenge the ok and not* assertions. I think they're a bad practice.


Using ok() indicates one of two problems:

  • The software (or testing strategy) is unreliable. (Unsure what value to expect.)
  • The author is lazy and uses it as shortcut for a proper comparison.

The former necessitates improvement in the code being tested. The latter comes with two additional caveats:

  1. Less debug information. (No actual/expected diff). Without an expected value provided, one can't determine what's wrong with the value.
  2. Masking regressions. Even if the API being tested returns a proper boolean and ok is just a shortcut, the day the API breaks (e.g. returns a number, string, array, function, Promise or other object) the test will not catch it.

Common examples:

  // Meh
assert.ok( bool );
assert.ok( fn );

// Better?
assert.strictEqual( bool, true );
assert.equal( typeof fn, 'function' );


Using not*() indicates one of three problems:

  • The software is unreliable. (Unsure what value to expect.)
  • The test uses an unreliable environment. (E.g. variable input data, insufficient isolation or mocking.)
  • The author is lazy and uses it as shortcut for a proper comparison.

Common example:

  var index = list.indexOf( item );
// Meh
assert.notEqual( index, -1 );
// Better?
assert.equal( index, 2 );

I've yet to see the first use of ok or not* that wouldn't be improved by writing it a different way. Though I appreciate there are scenarios where notEqual can't be avoided in the short term (e.g. when the intent is to detect a change between two return values).

by Timo Tijhof at April 09, 2015 03:09 PM

PhantomJS anno 2015



In January 2003 Apple announced Safari, their new web browser for Mac. [1] The Safari team had just spent 2002 building Safari atop KHTML and KJS, [2][3] the KDE layout and javascript engines developed for Konqueror. The Safari team kept the codebase quite modular. This allowed Apple-branding and other propietary features to stay separate whilst also having a sustainable open-source project (WebKit) that is standalone and compilable into a fully functional GUI application. The Mac OS version of WebKit is composed of WebCore and JavaScriptCore – the frameworks that encapsulate the OSX ports of KHTML and KJS respectively. (Apple was already using KJS in Sherlock. [3])


In 2008 Google introduced Chrome and started the open-source project Chromium. Chromium was composed of WebKit's WebCore and the V8 javascript engine (instead of JavaScriptCore). Google later forked WebCore into Blink in 2013, thus abandoning any upstream connection with WebKit.

While Chromium is a single code-base with bindings for multiple platforms, WebKit is not. Instead, WebKit is based around the concept of ports.

These ports are manually kept in sync. Some maintained by third parties (e.g. not by "webkit.org"). Some ports are better than others. "WebKit", as such, is closer to an abstract API than an actual framework.


A few popular ports:

  • Safari for Mac
  • Mobile Safari for iOS
  • Safari for Windows (abandoned)
  • QtWebKit (by Nokia; due to it being implemented atop Qt, it works on Mac/Linux/Windows)
  • Android browser (abandoned, uses Chromium now)
  • Chromium (abandoned, uses Blink now)
  • WebKitGTK+

WebKit itself doesn't do much when it comes to network, GPU, javascript, text rendering. Those are not "WebKit". Each port binds those to something present in the OS – or another application layer. E.g. QtWebKit defers to Qt, which in turn binds to the platform.


PhantomJS is a headless browser using the QtWebKit engine at its core.

The current release cycle of PhantomJS (1.9.x) is based on Qt 4.8.5, which bundles QtWebKit 2.2.4, which was branched off of upstream WebKit in May 2011. Due to the many layers in between, it will take a long time for PhantomJS to get anywhere near the feature-set of current Safari 8. PhantomJS by design is nothing like Safari but, if anything, it is probably like an alpha version (branched from svn trunk) of Safari 4. Which is why, contrary to Safari 5, PhantomJS has only partial support for ES5.

Chromium has its abstraction layer at a higher level (platform independent). When run headless, it is exactly like an actual instance of Chrome on the same platform. When used in a virtual machine on a remote server, one doesn't even need to be "headless". We can use regular Chromium (under Xvfb). In theory the visual rendering through Xvfb and VM hypervisor could be different, however.

See also

Further reading

by Timo Tijhof at April 09, 2015 02:54 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata items without a statement

Most problematic in Wikidata are the items without a statement. They may be connected to articles in many projects but the main issue is that it is hard to add statements with confidence when you do not know what they are about.,

I blogged about datathons and one result is a new tool by Magnus that can be of an enormous help; It shows items without statements for a language and they are sorted by the number of sitelinks they hold. There is a link to the Reasonator and it is really useful because it shows some text when you hover over a sitelink.

It is yet another tool that is worthy of attention in Mangus's tour of the Wikidata ecosystem. The example you see above is for Dutch, this one is for Nepali.

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 09, 2015 12:56 PM


Taxonomy is annoying

Most of us are aware that all known species have a scientific name. Homo sapiens for man Bufo bufo for the common toad. We may recall from school the various levels of classification. Usually from various mnemonics involving King Phillip.

Wikipedia species articles usually have a nice box with a list of these down the right hand side and as a reader that is all fine. You’ll get the odd oddity like Dendrogramma or HeLA but for the most part they can be ignored as a worthy but not that interesting part of the article. Every now and then someone new discovers that the human article displays our conservation status and finds it funny but thats all well and good.

Behind the scenes the boxes are called taxoboxes. They are built and maintained by smart committed people. That isn’t the problem.

The first problem you encounter is that as soon as you get away from the big obvious mammals the common names tend to refer to more than one species. Usually they can all be lumped into the same genus or family but figuring out where to draw the lines can get messy.

The problem the causes me the most headaches is how unstable this all is. Again from distantly remembered school lessons these taxonomic rankings seem pretty settled. If you dip your toe into the area while sticking to mammals that seems to be pretty much the case. A few arguments over subspecies, a few question marks over the correct term for sperm whales due to a mistake in the 18th century. Nothing critical. Anywhere else though biologists apparently feel free to publish papers that completely rewrite these taxonomic relationships. Thought your genus was settled? Ha. No we are going to shift it to a completely different superfamily. Something being sitting their quite happily for the best part of a century? Err 3 papers in a year turn up showing its wrong but they can’t agree on what is correct. Want to keep track of all this? Just be sure to read everything published in the field much of which is behind pay walls. Yes maybe there is someone with a Phd and enough time to keep track of all this but for anyone else? Good luck with that.

If you do somehow manage to keep track of this (how?) you’ve then along comes phylogenetic nomenclature with a completely different take on how things should be done.

Look I’m not blaming biologists here. From what I can tell the rise of DNA sequencing and computer databases has heavily revitalised the field and due to the fairly limited number of people working in it it may be some decades before everything settles down a bit. In the meantime we may need to add a warning tag to taxoboxes that this is only an approximation of what is going on.

What brought this on? Cone snails. A fairly harmless paper which looked at extinct snail shells under ultra violet light to observe patterning. They describe cone snails as being one of four genera Profundiconus, Californiconus, and Conasprella, and Conus. So okey I go off to create the disambiguation page (which aparently should have been a set index article). Turns out that there are two competing family names that cover the common name cone snail. Conidae and Coninae. Fine hopefully biologists will come to an agreement at some point. There’s also the superfamily Conoidea but there seem to be a bunch of arguments over its membership. Finally there is the Genus Telescopium which may or may not be known as cone snails (the internet seems to think so though) but aren’t related to the others below the level of the class Gastropoda (they are all snails).

So yeah annoying. And much as I’d like to we can’t just pretend this stuff doesn’t exist for 20-30 years until the apparent revolution in taxonomy has sorted itself out.

by geniice at April 09, 2015 12:42 PM

This month in GLAM

This Month in GLAM: March 2015

by Admin at April 09, 2015 06:33 AM

Wikimedia Foundation

Fighting corruption with Wikipedia: Johnson Oludeinde

Photo by Victor Grigas, free licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
Johnson Oludeinde says he is using Wikipedia to expose corruption in Nigeria.
Photo by Victor Grigas, free licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Why is it important that “every single human being freely share in the sum of all knowledge”, as stated in Wikipedia’s vision? Johnson Oludeinde Oluata, a Wikipedian from Nigeria, has a simple answer:

“This world will be better if we all have knowledge, if you know your rights, if there is equality, if there’s justice, then we will have peace,” says Oluata. “So I think it’s better not to hoard your knowledge.”

Oluata, known to his fellow editors as Joluata, thinks Wikipedia is a starting point for helping others improve their lives through shared knowledge. And readily available information on important topics, like corruption in Nigeria, can become a learning opportunity.

Among the many topics on Wikipedia, Oluata believes that corruption in Nigeria is a topic in desperate need of more public scrutiny and volunteer participation.

“Corruption is a global disease. If you want to fight corruption in Nigeria, it’s not only Nigeria that needs to fight. Other countries must join,” he says. “Because other countries provide the cover, the warehouse … They provide warehouses for corruption.”

In other words, other countries must recognize that if they are not joining forces to fight this practice, they are ultimately aiding the growth of corruption in Nigeria. So how can people from around the world participate?

By writing and editing corruption topics in Wikipedia, Oluata says. Through the work of many editors, people have already taken a stance in addressing Nigerian corruption by creating extensive articles that provide insights into the global dialogue on Nigerian corruption.

“All professionals should work together to kill corruption, not to commit it,” he says. “I’m always putting the problem of people in my head: there’s no money, they’re trying to have a better society. I don’t know how to go about it, but I try.”

Growing up in Kwara, Oluata had a mentor named Donald Moore who taught him how to type, which eventually developed into an interest in computers. Throughout his professional career in accounting, he has given back by inspiring others, and exposing them to interests they would never expect to pursue.

As a part of the LEAH Charity Foundation, Oluata mentors women worldwide on business practices through Google Hangouts. Over time, he has become an avid advocate of “giving knowledge to people.” Currently, he is exploring ways to integrate Wikipedia into his mentoring work, but for now, his activities as an editor include writing on diverse topics related to Nigeria, as well as to business and accounting practices.

“Wikipedia is a source of knowledge … on a global scale, for everybody, for all professions, for all backgrounds,” says Oluata. “I mentor students who are doing their graduate and undergraduate studies, [and who need] a robust platform. That’s why I am interested in using Wikipedia to train people.”

Interview by Victor Grigas, Storyteller, Wikimedia Foundation
Profile by Yoona Ha, Assistant Storyteller, Wikimedia Foundation
Joe Sutherland, Wikimedia Foundation Communications volunteer

by Andrew Sherman at April 09, 2015 12:42 AM

April 08, 2015

Wikimedia Tech Blog

The new Content Translation tool is now used on 22 Wikipedias

The Content Translation tool makes it easier to create new Wikipedia articles from other languages. You can now start translations from your Contributions link, where you can find articles missing in your language. Screenshot by Runa Bhattacharjee, freely licensed under CC0 1.0
The Content Translation tool makes it easier to create new Wikipedia articles from other languages. You can now start translations from your Contributions link, where you can find articles missing in your language. Screenshot by Runa Bhattacharjee, licensed under CC0 1.0

Since it was first introduced three months ago, the Content Translation tool has been used to write more than 850 new articles on 22 Wikipedias. This tool was developed by Wikimedia Foundation’s Language Engineering team to help multilingual users quickly create new Wikipedia articles by translating them from other languages. It includes an editing interface and translation tools that make it easy to adapt wiki-specific syntax, links, references, and categories. For a few languages, machine translation support via Apertium is also available.

Content Translation (aka CX) was first announced on January 20, 2015, as a beta feature on 8 Wikipedias: Catalan, Danish, Esperanto, Indonesian, Malay, Norwegian (Bokmal), Portuguese, and Spanish. Since then, Content Translation has been added gradually to more Wikipedias – mostly at the request of their communities. As a result, the tool is now available as a beta feature on 22 Wikipedias. Logged-in users can enable the tool as a preference on those sites, where they can translate articles from any of the available source languages (including English) into these 22 languages.

Here is what we have learned by observing how Content Translation was used by over 260 editors in the last three months.


Number of users who enabled this beta feature over time on Catalan Wikipedia. Graph by Runa Bhattacharjee, CC0 1.0

To date, nearly 1,000 users have manually enabled the Content Translation tool — and more than 260 have used it to translate a new article. Most translators are from the Catalan and Spanish Wikipedias, where the tool was first released as a beta feature.


Articles published using Content Translation. Graph by Runa Bhattacharjee, CC0 1.0

Articles created with the Content Translation tool cover a wide range of topics, such as fashion designers, Field Medal scholars, lunar seas and Asturian beaches. Translations can be in two states: published or in-progress. Published articles appear on Wikipedia like any other new article and are improved collaboratively; these articles also include a tag that indicates that they were created using Content Translation. In-progress translations are unpublished and appear on the individual dashboard of the translator who is working on it. Translations are saved automatically and users can continue working on them anytime. In cases where multiple users attempt to translate or publish the same article in the same language, they receive a warning. To avoid any accidental overwrites, the other translators can publish their translations under their user page — and make separate improvements on the main article. More than 875 new articles have been created since Content Translation has been made available — 500 of which were created on the Catalan Wikipedia alone.


When we first planned to release Content Translation, we decided to monitor how well the tool was being adopted — and whether it was indeed useful to complement the workflow used by editors to create a new article. The development team also agreed to respond quickly all queries or bugs. Complex bugs and other feature fixes were planned into the development cycles. But finding the right solution for the publishing target proved to be major challenge, from user experience to analytics. Originally, we did not support publishing into the main namespace of any Wikipedia: users had to publish their translations under their user pages first and then move them to the main namespace. However, this caused delays, confusion and sometimes conflicts when the articles were eventually moved for publication. In some cases, we also noticed that articles had not been counted correctly after publication. To avoid these issues, that original configuration was changed for all supported sites. A new translation is now published like any other new article and in case an article already exists or gets created while the translation was being done, the user is displayed warnings.

New features

Considering the largely favorable response from our first users, we have now started to release the tool to more Wikipedias. New requests are promptly handled and scheduled, after language-specific checks to make sure that proposed changes will work for all sites. However, usage patterns have varied across the 22 Wikipedias. While some of the causes are outside of our control (like the total number of active editors), we plan to make several enhancements to make Content Translation easily discoverable by more users, at different points of the editing and reading workflows. For instance, when users are about to create a new article from scratch, a message gives them the option to start with a translation instead. Users can also see suggestions in the interlanguage link section for languages that they can translate an article into. And last but not least, the Contributions section now provides a link to start a new translation and find articles missing in your language (see image at the top of this post).

In coming months, we will continue to introduce new features and make Content Translation more reliable for our users. See the complete list of Wikipedias where Content Translation is currently available as a beta feature. We hope you will try it out as well, to create more content

Runa Bhattacharjee, Language Engineering, Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at April 08, 2015 05:10 PM

Wiki Education Foundation

Catching the Wiki Bug

Conor Zeer-Wanklyn

Conor Zeer-Wanklyn

Conor Zeer-Wanklyn had never edited Wikipedia. That changed in his fourth year at the University of Toronto, when Conor signed up for Dr. James Scott’s medical mycology course.

Students in that class edited articles about fungi, and Conor expanded an article on Exophiala dermatitidis, “a freaky black mold that has caused fatal brain infections in young and otherwise healthy people.” He loved the assignment.

“One interesting aspect of the Exophiala dermatitidis assignment was learning about the history of research into the species. The fungus has had frequent name changes over the last few decades, in part because of (understandable) mistakes and mischaracterizations by researchers. I was able to trace the evolution of literature on Exophiala dermatitidis, in part because the assignment was unique in requiring us to appreciate the full breadth of work on the fungus.”

When Dr. Deborah Zamble announced another course with a Wikipedia component, he signed up. He’s taking that course now, creating an article on calprotectin.

Writing for Wikipedia, though, took some adjusting.

“In undergraduate science we are accustomed to preparing papers that are technical, argumentative, and that value primary sources. Even though I had avidly read Wikipedia before I began contributing to it, it was definitely a struggle for me to adapt to the style. In a sense, I had to unlearn writing styles that I had been using since high school.”

He explored the Wikipedia Manual of Style. His class peer-edited their assignments, assessing the content and style of each article.

Conor said that the Wikipedia assignments required students to appreciate the biological, historical, commercial, and cultural implications of a compound, to access knowledge from other courses, and to explore some entirely new fields of study. That helped him connect his work into a broader network of knowledge.

“To write an effective Wikipedia article you have to really appreciate context,” he said. “For instance, chemistry students who want to prepare a complete Wikipedia article on a bioinorganic compound need to appreciate the biological, environmental and historical context of that compound. We are forced to acknowledge aspects of the story that we may have otherwise ignored.”

He says this has changed the way he thinks about research, for example, in his current work on calprotectin. Writing for Wikipedia encouraged him to expand his literature search not only deeper, but wider.

“I wouldn’t have explored the relationship between humans and their microbiomes as deeply for a traditional assignment; considering that this work was done for a bioinorganic chemistry course. My literature-search would have instead focused very specifically on metal binding by the complex.”

While the benefits have been rich in terms of his own learning, Conor has also been enthusiastic about the broader scope of Wikipedia. He sees his work as pulling knowledge out of a closed information ecosystem and into the world.

“I feel that I have some responsibility to improve Wikipedia while I still have access to the phenomenal resources available to University of Toronto students,” he said. “While I appreciate that accessible references are ideal for Wikipedia, it feels awesome to take information squirreled away behind paywalls and share it with Wikipedia’s vast readership.”

He’s made some impact outside of the classroom, too. Conor improved an article on the Inuit Canadian illustrator Agnus Nanogak Goose as part of an Art + Feminism edit-a-thon in Toronto this year. He’s also hatching a plan with his roommate, an illustrator, to improve Wikipedia articles together. He’s interested in chemistry and biochemistry, but also hopes to work on articles in speculative fiction and queer identities.

“I think that I’ve caught the Wikipedia bug,” he said. “It’s extremely difficult for me to simply navigate away from pages if I feel that I could improve upon them.”

by Eryk Salvaggio at April 08, 2015 03:30 PM

April 07, 2015

Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimedia Foundation releases latest transparency report

In the second half of 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation received hundreds of requests from governments, individuals, and organizations to disclose nonpublic user data and remove content from the Wikimedia Projects. Only two requests were granted. Photo by Booksworm, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0.
In the second half of 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation received hundreds of requests from governments, individuals, and organizations to disclose nonpublic user data and remove content from the Wikimedia Projects. Only three requests were granted.
Photo by Booksworm, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0.

We are pleased to announce the release of our biannual update to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Transparency Report. Transparency has always been core to our mission, and last year’s first-ever report was a step forward in achieving even greater openness for the Wikimedia community of users. This year’s report details how, of the 201 content and copyright takedown requests we received from July through December 2014, only three were granted.

As supporters of the world’s largest free knowledge resource, the Wikimedia Foundation regularly receives requests from governments, individuals, and organizations to disclose nonpublic user data and remove content from the Wikimedia Projects. These requests often conflict with our mission of making the sum of all knowledge freely available to everyone, and our commitment to protecting user privacy. Our Transparency Report documents these requests, their origins, and how we responded to them.

The first report published in August 2014, which covered requests from July 2012 through June 2014, documented how we complied with none of the 304 general content removal requests received during this time. The current update continues this practice with fresh numbers. We’ve also highlighted new, interesting stories from this period and have included even more information about the requests we’ve received. The report now documents which government entities made requests for user data, sheds light on requests made under the European Union’s so-called “right to be forgotten,” and discusses our infrequent voluntary information disclosures during emergency situations.

The recently released report focuses on three key areas: :

  • Content alteration and takedown requests. Of the 190 general content removal requests, only one was granted by staff at the Wikimedia Foundation. We receive relatively few content removal requests because of the vigilance of the Wikimedia user community, which often works to address legitimate concerns dealing with issues like content accuracy, Wikipedia policy compliance, and potential copyright infringement. However, when we do receive such requests, we defend against them vigorously — maintaining open and neutral platforms means resisting attempts to censor users. It is the users who decide what content belongs on Wikimedia projects. We therefore strongly encourage complaining parties to engage with the user community instead of resorting to unproductive legal threats.
  • Copyright takedown requests. Of the 11 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requests received, only one was granted. Wikimedia users, many of whom are copyright holders themselves, remain instrumental in ensuring that Wikimedia projects comply with copyright laws. As a result, we receive very few DMCA requests. For the occasional DMCA notices we do receive, however, we conduct a thorough evaluation and only remove infringing content if the request is valid.
  • Requests for user data. Of the 28 user data requests received, only one has resulted in disclosure of nonpublic user information. We carefully review every request we receive to ensure that it is legal and meets our standards. We reject those that don’t. And often, we do not have any information to give. As part of our commitment to user privacy, Wikimedia collects little nonpublic user information, and retains that information for a short amount of time.

We invite you to learn more about our efforts to protect user privacy and the integrity of the Wikimedia projects at https://transparency.wikimedia.org/.

Michelle Paulson, Senior Legal Counsel*, Wikimedia Foundation
Geoff Brigham, General Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation

* This transparency report would not have been possible without the help of many individuals, including: Moiz Syed, Prateek Saxena, Jacob Rogers, James Buatti, Aeryn Palmer, Katherine Maher, Jove Oliver, James Alexander, and Patrick Earley.

by Andrew Sherman at April 07, 2015 05:11 PM

Wiki Education Foundation

Notes and slides from Quarterly Reviews now available

Frank Schulenburg, 2014-10-01I’m pleased to share several Wiki Education Foundation Quarterly Reports. Every three months, Wiki Ed staff reflect on accomplishments, goals, and challenges. We publish notes and slides from these reports to share what we’ve learned with our stakeholders.

We’ve recently published our Classroom Program and Educational Partnerships, Programs Strategy and Communications reviews.

Our Classroom Program and Educational Partnerships Review focuses on programmatic goals for the current (spring 2015) term. It also looks back at the accomplishments and challenges of the fall 2014 term, which we have shared previously here. Our Programs Strategy Review discusses goals for our programmatic activities, and the best ways to reach these goals. Finally, the Communications review discusses the strategies and challenges of conveying the work we do to a range of current, and potential, stakeholders.

Frank Schulenburg
Executive Director

by Frank Schulenburg at April 07, 2015 04:35 PM

April 06, 2015

Wikimedia Tech Blog

How content translation improved my wiki edits

Group photo
The Content Translation tool has made it a lot easier for Catalan Wikimedians to convert articles to and from different languages. Photo by Flamenc, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Catalan Wikimedians are a very enthusiastic wiki community. In relation to the whole movement, we are mid-sized but one of the most active in terms of editors per millions of speakers.

Surprisingly Catalan, our mother language, was banished for more than 40 years. Thankfully, editors like to use wikis for digital language activism. With Wikipedia (Viquipèdia, in Catalan) we founded a digital space where we can freely spread our language without real life restrictions (governments, markets).

Almost 99% of Catalan speakers are bilingual and also speak Spanish. This means that content translation from Spanish Wikipedia happens frequently on our project. Some translate by hand, others use commercial platforms like Google Translate or freely licensed translation engines like Apertium. Some users even create their own translation bots, like the AmicalBot or EVA, which our community loves and uses often.

A few months ago, we heard news of the upcoming Wikimedia’s ContentTranslation tool, and we’re really happy to find that the very first language tests were planned between Spanish and Catalan. Our community responded to this news with great enthusiasm and we have been testing the tool for months now. The development team has kindly listened to our comments and demands, while implementing many of our shared recommendations.

At a personal level, I found the tool really helpful. It is easy to use and understand, and it greatly facilitates our work. I can now translate a 20- line article in less than 5 minutes, saving lots of time. Before, the worst part of translating articles was spending extra time translating reference templates and some of the wikicode. We understand the tool is not perfect yet, but nothing is perfect in a wiki environment: it is continuously being improved.

One of our community’s biggest challenges is updating different language wikis. We have good content about Catalan culture in the Catalan language, but we are not that good at exporting this content to other wikis. I personally hope that this tool can help us with both tasks.

I recommend that you try the ContentTranslation tool with an open mind and spend some time with it. Translate a few articles and if you find any bugs, please report them. When we say Wikipedia is a global project, we mean that it is multilingual, and this tool really helps us reach our shared vision to help every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

Alex Hinojo, Amical Wikimedia community member

by Andrew Sherman at April 06, 2015 10:08 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - General Tso's chicken

Every now and again I just make a statement because it is funny. General Tso's chicken is a dish named after a general of the Qing dynasty called Zuo Zongtang. So I added that this dish is a dish and named after the general.

I do not change the nationality of Mr Zongtang. Apparently he was a general of the People's Republic of China. I will not add nor change nationalities, it is a can of worms that I gladly leave to people who are more heroic that I am.

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 06, 2015 04:45 PM

Wiki Education Foundation

The Roundup: Alien Territory

"Maat Mons on Venus". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Maat Mons on Venus“. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

When we think of planets, we may think of distant glimmering orbs suspended in the night time sky. Dr. Alex Webb’s Geology class, “The Evolution of Terrestrial Planets,” at Louisiana State University takes us closer to those celestial spheres, charting the geology and landscapes of planetary surfaces – particularly Venus. Because these student editors share their knowledge on Wikipedia, we can all better understand, and imagine, the landscapes of other worlds.

Dr. Webb created this article on the surface features of Venus. It describes volcanoes, channels, plains, and a landscape feature unique to Venus, the Tessera. Tessera are tectonically deformed, tall terrain. A student editor in this course, User:Sjoh197, created a beautiful, illustrated page detailing theories of how this terrain came to be.

Other fascinating articles on Venusian terrain include Lada Terra, Ovda Regio, the Chaaz-Camaxtli Region, and the Ganiki Chasma.

Student editors also contributed articles that contribute to the understanding of planetary geology. These include a clear article explaining the creation of secondary craters, and the Zamama volcano on a moon of Jupiter.

by Eryk Salvaggio at April 06, 2015 04:18 PM

Tech News

Tech News issue #15, 2015 (April 6, 2015)

TriangleArrow-Left.svgprevious 2015, week 15 (Monday 06 April 2015) nextTriangleArrow-Right.svg
Other languages:
čeština • ‎English • ‎español • ‎suomi • ‎français • ‎עברית • ‎italiano • ‎日本語 • ‎Ripoarisch • ‎русский • ‎svenska • ‎українська • ‎Tiếng Việt • ‎中文

April 06, 2015 12:00 AM

April 05, 2015

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - #statistics

This chart is really interesting; it was made from the last dump (2015-03-30). Item numbers are subdivided into intervals of 100,000. So for instance (X,Y) = (192,73720) represents the interval [Q19200000, Q19299999] having 73,720 out of 100,000 items without a single claim.

It is interesting because it indicates to me that items are imported in batches. As the items in those batches are similar, it follows that even though many statements are added all the time, these items do not get similar attention.

Reasonator has a "Random item" feature and I used it to get a feeling what items do not have any statements. It seems to me that they are mostly items with a sitelink to "another" language and often they are about subjects that are in a relatively small class.

The items with a sitelink to "another" language are probably the most problematic. It is realistic to expect that many of them could be linked to another item when it was clear what it is the item is about. For that you need people who know the language and/or you need a way to figure things out using tools like Kian.

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 05, 2015 06:41 AM

April 04, 2015

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - What to do in a #Datathon III

One goal for a datathon is to demonstrate, to teach the use of the various tools. When you want to be effective individually or as a group, you have to use tools. The Wikidata statistics make it obvious; the numbers of items, statements and labels are huge. To have an impact it is important to use the tools that are available.

The mathematics involved explain how you can have the most impact. Set theory helps you understand how to approach this effectively. When you add one label and it affects 10,000 items it is powerful. When you add every known lawyer of a country in one go and it affects 10,000 items it is powerful.

Choosing the tools that help you be effective is therefore what you teach the participants of a datathon. They go home and they are likely to continue using the tools.

The most obvious tool to introduce is Reasonator. For it to function well, it needs to be configured. This is done partly from the personal settings. This ensures that you Wikidata data will show as information in Reasonator in *your* language by preference.

The other part to configure Reasonator is Widar. Widar is a tool that authenticates the edits you do in Reasonator to Wikidata. In the screenshot above there is a picture that was added to Wikidata in this way. The most relevant use case is adding labels in your language. The missing ones are underlined in red.

AutoList is probably the second most relevant tool to demonstrate. It provides an interface to several tools. One of them is the WDQ or Wikidata Query another is the CatScan. Combining these tools allows you to find every human in a category that is not known in Wikidata for what the category indicates is true about this human... and then add the statement that does just that.

There are other tools that are extremely useful. In a datathon it is important to have a mix of people. People who know the tools well, people who are interested to learn and people who have a "mission". When the activities concentrate on the "missions", it means that you zoom in on a subject and apply the skills and labour on doing good. This makes it clear how relatively little effort can have a huge impact. Not only for a language but also for a subject domain.

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 04, 2015 06:41 AM

April 03, 2015

Wikimedia Foundation

Women and gender diversity on Wikimedia: our top stories

Last month, the Wikimedia Blog featured a special collection of stories on women and gender diversity in the Wikimedia movement — to celebrate International Women’s Day and WikiWomen’s History Month.

Our goals for that month’s editorial focus were to show how women around the world are contributing to Wikimedia projects today, to invite more women to participate, and to identify best practices for increasing gender diversity in our communities, as well as in the content we create together.

We published 15 different stories on this theme, ranging from profiles of women who contribute to the Wikimedia movement, to reports about programs that encourage gender diversity, to recommended articles about women on Wikipedia.

Here are the most popular stories we featured this month on this topic:

Meet some of the women who contribute to Wikipedia

Zinaida Good grew up in Russia, studied in Canada and started editing Wikipedia in 2008, as a college assignment. Photo by Victor Grigas, under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Zinaida Good grew up in Russia, studied in Canada and started editing Wikipedia in 2008, as a college assignment. Photo by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Here are 11 inspiring profiles of some of the women who actively participate on Wikimedia projects — many of these stories include video interviews. They have very diverse backgrounds and come from different parts of the world, including: a Russian biology student, an Indian math teacher and a Swiss community leader. They all share a passion for knowledge — and see editing as a way to freely share that knowledge with the world. Read more.

Art+Feminism Events on International Women’s Day

Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon in Madrid, Spain. Events like these took place around the world on International Women's Day, to increase gender diversity on Wikipedia.  Photo by Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA 4.0

Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon in Madrid, Spain. Events like these took place around the world on International Women’s Day. Photo by Carlos Delgado, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Over 75 edit-a-thons were held around the world on International Women’s Day weekend, to improve coverage of women and the arts on Wikipedia. This global effort was organized by the Art+Feminism Campaign in New York. Here is their report on this massive undertaking, which engaged 1,500 participants to help increase gender diversity on Wikimedia projects. Read more.

15 women who made a difference

Malala Yousafzai is one of the inspiring women recommended by our community for this month's search for high-quality women's biographies. The youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, she is a human rights advocate for education and for women in Pakistan.  Photo by Russell Watkins, CC-BY-SA-2.0.

Malala Yousafzai is one of the inspiring women recommended by our community for this month’s search for high-quality women’s biographies. The youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, she is a human rights advocate for education and for women in Pakistan. Photo by Russell Watkins, CC-BY-SA-2.0.

Here are our favorite biographies of women on Wikipedia, suggested by community and team members. The articles we selected together feature 15 women who made important contributions in the arts, sciences, business and politics. We hope you will find their life stories as inspiring as we do. Read more.

Gender as a text field: What Wikipedia can learn from Facebook

We are more than our sex and more than our gender, and many users want more nuanced options for identifying themselves online. Andrógino by Ismael Nery. Public Domain.

Andrógino by Ismael Nery. Public Domain.

We are more than our sex and more than our gender, and many users want more nuanced options for identifying themselves online. This thoughtful essay gives an overview of sex and gender differences and explores how other sites like Facebook have addressed questions of gender identification. Read more.

Inspire Campaign to fund new gender diversity initiatives

The Inspire campaign aims to increase gender diversity on Wikimedia. Graphic by Vpseudo, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Inspire Campaign graphic by Vpseudo, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Complex issues require collective action. Last month, the Wikimedia Foundation launched the Inspire Campaign, inviting community ideas to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects. In response to this call to action, over 266 ideas were submitted, with 629 people joining the campaign, as outlined in this update. Read more.

Serbian women edit Wikipedia together in new FemWiki project

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, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Photo by BoyaBoBoya, CC BY-SA 4.0.

The FemWiki project invites women to collaborate to increase gender diversity on the Serbian Wikipedia. Regular workshops help them form friendships, share advice and support each other to write more articles about women and gender issues. Learn more.

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

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

Photo by Victor Grigas, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Italy is a global leader in the fashion industry. But Italian fashion history is not well covered on Wikipedia. Librarian Virginia Gentilini explains why. 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 topic. Learn more.

Thanks to our contributors

We are very grateful to everyone who made this special series possible!

Special thanks to story authors Juliet Barbara, Siko Bouterse, Tilman Bayer, María Cruz, Siân Evans, Victor Grigas, Michael Guss, Katherine Maher, Amanda Menking, Dorothy Howard, Jacqueline Mabey, Michael Mandiberg, Sanja Pavlovic, Andrew Sherman, Heather Walls and Alex Wang, for taking the time to share your news and ideas with our community.

Together, we featured a diverse collection of insightful stories, which introduced us to some amazing women — and helped surface promising ideas for encouraging more gender diversity in our projects. We hope you learned as much from this exploration as we did.

And our deepest thanks go to all the women featured in these stories: your wonderful contributions and dedication to free knowledge is truly inspiring!

What do you think?

What do you think of this special focus on Women and gender diversity? Was this topic interesting to you? Did you learn anything new?

Should we focus on other monthly themes in the future? If so, which topics would you recommend? Should we do this regularly, or just once in a while?

Please share your comments below — or on the blog talk page.

We look forward to hearing from you, so we can share more stories that match your interests — and help grow and diversify our movement!

Fabrice Florin
Movement Communications Manager
Wikimedia Foundation

by fflorin2015 at April 03, 2015 10:35 PM

Inspire Campaign receives hundreds of new ideas to increase gender diversity on Wikimedia projects

The Inspire campaign aims to increase gender diversity on Wikimedia.
Graphic by Vpseudo, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Last month, the Wikimedia Foundation launched the Inspire Campaign, inviting community ideas to address gender disparity on the Wikimedia projects, with USD $250,000 of funding available through the IdeaLab.

A wealth of ideas

The first phase of that campaign started on March 4th and came to a close on April 1st. During that time, over 266 ideas were submitted, far surpassing the initial goal of 100 proposals.

About 629 people participated on the Inspire pages, suggesting new approaches, endorsing ideas, offering feedback, and discussing issues. While discussions about gender were active, the conversations were generally friendly and productive — thanks to the supportive Meta community, its administrators, and the new IdeaLab friendly space guidelines.

Ideas ranged from major, movement-wide initiatives, to smaller, local proposals. Some focused on existing Wikimedia workflows and projects, while others looked at outreach to other educational communities. Research was also a popular category. Ideas were submitted in multiple languages, and proposals involved communities from around the world.

Here are just three examples of proposals submitted during the campaign:

Gender-gap admin training: Focusing on the English Wikipedia, this idea seeks to provide training to site administrators on the topic of gender diversity.

Wikineedsgirls: This proposal hopes to engage female students in Ghana to edit the Wikimedia projects through training sessions, mentoring, and edit-a-thons.

Linguistics Editathon series: Through a focused series of edit-a-thons and instructor training at academic conferences, this idea will promote more participation on Wikipedia by linguists – a group with an above-average percentage of women.

What’s next?

In the next phases of the Inspire Campaign, we plan to develop ideas that need funding into viable grant applications, then award grants. In the second half of April, the Funding Committee and IdeaLab staff will apply a scoring rubric to proposals. In the first half of April, the Committee will discuss ideas, and publish feedback on the proposal talk pages. The grantees will be announced on April 30th.

There are still a lot of innovative ideas that don’t need funding and/or could use additional support, such as finding project leaders and mentors. We’d love to see those ideas move forward, so please keep developing them. We are committed to supporting gender-related work year-round, through all our grantmaking programs.

If you have questions about the process, you can post them here, or email grants-at-wikimedia.org.

Patrick Earley, Community Advocate, Wikimedia Foundation
Alex Wang, Project and Event Grants Program Officer, Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at April 03, 2015 07:19 PM

April 02, 2015

Wikimedia Tech Blog

Share a fact with friends on the Wikipedia Android app

File:Share-a-Fact on the Official Wikipedia Android app.webm

You can now easily share facts from the Wikipedia Android app. Watch this video for a quick preview. You can also watch it on YouTube or Vimeo. Video by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0.

Have you ever won an argument by finding a fact on Wikipedia? Or maybe you love sharing Wikipedia articles with your friends and family?

If that sounds like you, there’s a new feature on the Wikipedia Android app you might enjoy! Now, you can easily and quickly create Wikipedia fact cards — images overlaid with whatever text you choose from an article — that can be shared with anyone via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), email, or text message.

Anyone can generate and share fact cards from the official Wikipedia Android app developed by the Wikimedia Foundation. Simply choose your favorite article, select some text, and then click the “Share as image” option. The app will pull the main image from the article and apply selected text on top. This card can then be shared with your friends, family, and the world on your communication channel of choice. You can also choose a text-only option if you prefer.

Quick guide

Step one: Choose and highlight text.

Share a fact
Strasbourg Wikipedia article with highlighted text to be shared.
Image by Dan Garry, CC BY-SA 4.0. Photo by Jonathan Martz, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Step two: Click share.

Share a fact2
Share options for card creation.
Image by Dan Garry, CC BY-SA 4.0. Photo by Jonathan Martz, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Step three: And the card is created!

Card to be shared on media channels. Image by Dan Garry, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Card to be shared on media channels.
Image by Dan Garry, CC BY-SA 4.0. Photo by Jonathan Martz, CC BY-SA 3.0.

This is just one of many other existing features available on the Android app.

Other recently added features include:
• Read more feature at the end each article, to encourage further exploration
• Lead image at the top of each article, to engage readers in the topic
• Image gallery that lets you swipe left or right through all of an article’s images
• Nearby articles that suggest content related to your location
• Saved pages that allows you to read articles while offline

What do you think of this new feature? Let us know in the comments here — or share your own Wikipedia fact cards with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Dan Garry, Product Manager, Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at April 02, 2015 06:24 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#Wikidata - You are infamous when you are on the Simon #Wiesenthal list

There are many Nazis who are included in #Wikipedia. Consequently they are in Wikidata. When you compare the attention given to them, it is obvious a case of positive bias. More attention is given to their awards, their stations, ranks and other paraphernalia than for many similar groups.

For this reason it is great to offset such bias by listing those who were convicted for their crimes. It is important to list the people who are or were wanted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, There is no category for these people. The list is very much incomplete but at least there are now at least 22 of them listed.

It would be good when attention is given to the people who were on the list and what came of them. The glorification of these people needs a counterweight. This list is at best a start.

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 02, 2015 05:16 PM

Wikimedia Suomi (WMFI - English)

Wikitriathlon at Kiasma


Final results are counted from the post it notes. On the right side the three stages of editing are presented on columns; editors are on the rows. Teemu Perhiö CC BY-SA 2.0

Lue myös Kiasman blogipostaus aiheesta suomeksi.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma held a new-kind-of editathon event, ”Wikitriathlon”, on 28 March. Like a real triathlon the event was a multi-stage competition involving three stages of editing: writing an article, editing an existing article and adding links to articles. The game was fair and in the end everybody was awarded the ”first prize”.


There were lots of source material for writing the articles! Teemu Perhiö CC BY-SA 2.0

The staff of Kiasma had hoped that the participants would edit articles related to the artists presented at the exhibitions. At the end of the day 14 new articles were created and 18 existing articles complemented. There were both newcomers and experienced wikipedians present. Hopefully many of the newcomers will stay active and edit articles in the future as well!

In addition to the triathlon model, new approaches to presenting and monitoring the results were tried out. Edits were written on post it notes that were attached to white boards. This way the editors got a better sense of the progression made during the day and could more easily realise their impact on Wikipedia. Participants could also ”book an article” by attaching their own name on top of the article name on a whiteboard. Maybe not so modern approach, but it worked (due to the limitations of the wiki software, more than one people can’t edit a wiki page at the same time).

The Kiasma building had just been renovated, and during the break the participants got a free tour of the new exhibitions Face to Face & Elements. 2013 Kiasma held a ”Wikimarathon”, a 24-hour editathon; this year a Wikitriathlon. Maybe next time we will see a pentathlon-themed event?


Participants editing articles. On the background there are whiteboards for booking articles. Teemu Perhiö CC BY-SA 2.0

by Teemu Perhiö at April 02, 2015 04:15 PM

Gerard Meijssen

#VIAF - Move over #Wikipedia for #Wikidata

VIAF or the Virtual International Authority File is maintained by the OCLC or the Online Computer Library Centre. It is effectively where libraries worldwide maintain information on everything. Its importance is hard to grasp; it links to the sum of all knowledge worldwide in all the libraries in the world.

To share in the sum of all knowledge, VIAF links to Wikipedia and so far it was only the English Wikipedia it linked to. VIAF took a huge step in sharing to all of Wikipedia recently. It decided to no longer link to English Wikipedia but to link to Wikidata.

What this does not mean is that the OCLC does not appreciate the English Wikipedia. What it does mean is that by linking to Wikidata it implicitly links to every Wikipedia. It can now link to authors only known in the Russian, the Chinese, the Hindi or any other Wikipedia. This is enabled by Wikidata because it links to any article in any Wikipedia.

It takes me three paragraphs to explain what it is that is happening. The implications are huge. Every month the OCLC will update its information from Wikidata. Given that the OCLC had a Wikipedian in Residence who was instrumental in this development, it is well possible that the information flow will be going more and more in both directions. The German community has collaborated for years with the German Library who maintains its authority file. The GND is included in the VIAF.

At Wikidata we have always been open to collaborating with external resources. This open attitude now results in relevance. A relevance that will expose every Wikipedia in every library of the world that is linked to the OCLC through VIAF. How wonderful is that?

by Gerard Meijssen (noreply@blogger.com) at April 02, 2015 02:40 AM

Benjamin Mako Hill

RomancR: The Future of the Sharing-Your-Bed Economy


Today, Aaron Shaw and I are pleased to announce a new startup. The startup is based around an app we are building called RomancR that will bring the sharing economy directly into your bedrooms and romantic lives.

When launched, RomancR will bring the kind of market-driven convenience and efficiency that Uber has brought to ride sharing, and that AirBnB has brought to room sharing, directly into the most frustrating and inefficient domain of our personal lives. RomancR is Uber for romance and sex.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Users will view profiles of nearby RomancR users that match any number of user-specified criteria for romantic matches (e.g., sexual orientation, gender, age, etc).
  • When a user finds a nearby match who they are interested in meeting, they can send a request to meet in person. If they choose, users initiating these requests can attach an optional monetary donation to their request.
  • When a user receives a request, they can accept or reject the request with a simple swipe to the left or right. Of course, they can take the donation offer into account when making this decision or “counter-offer” with a request for a higher donation. Larger donations will increase the likelihood of an affirmative answer.
  • If a user agrees to meet in person, and if the couple then subsequently spends the night together — RomancR will measure this automatically by ensuring that the geolocation of both users’ phones match the same physical space for at least 8 hours — the donation will be transferred from the requester to the user who responded affirmatively.
  • Users will be able to rate each other in ways that are similar to other sharing economy platforms.

Of course, there are many existing applications like Tinder and Grindr that help facilitate romance, dating, and hookups. Unfortunately, each of these still relies on old-fashion “intrinsic” ways of motivating people to participate in romantic endeavors. The sharing economy has shown us that systems that rely on these non-monetary motivations are ineffective and limiting! For example, many altruistic and socially-driven ride-sharing systems existed on platforms like Craigslist or Ridejoy before Uber. Similarly, volunteer-based communities like Couchsurfing and Hospitality Club existed for many years before AirBnB. None of those older systems took off in the way that their sharing economy counterparts were able to!

The reason that Uber and AirBnB exploded where previous efforts stalled is that this new generation of sharing economy startups brings the power of markets to bear on the problems they are trying to solve. Money both encourages more people to participate in providing a service and also makes it socially easier for people to take that service up without feeling like they are socially “in debt” to the person providing the service for free. The result has been more reliable and effective systems for proving rides and rooms! The reason that the sharing economy works, fundamentally, is that it has nothing to do with sharing at all! Systems that rely on people’s social desire to share without money — projects like Couchsurfing — are relics of the previous century.

RomancR, which we plan to launch later this year, will bring the power and efficiency of markets to our romantic lives. You will leave your pitiful dating life where it belongs in the dustbin of history! Go beyond antiquated non-market systems for finding lovers. Why should we rely on people’s fickle sense of taste and attractiveness, their complicated ideas of interpersonal compatibility, or their sense of altruism, when we can rely on the power of prices? With RomancR, we won’t have to!

Note: Thanks to Yochai Benkler whose example of how leaving a $100 bill on the bedside table of a person with whom you spent the night can change the nature of the a romantic interaction inspired the idea for this startup.

by Benjamin Mako Hill at April 02, 2015 12:15 AM

April 01, 2015

Wikimedia Foundation

15 women who made a difference

Malala Yousafzai is one of the inspiring women recommended by our community for this month's search for high-quality women's biographies. The youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, she is a human rights advocate for education and for women in Pakistan.  Photo by Russell Watkins, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0.

Malala Yousafzai is one of the inspiring women recommended by our community for this month’s search for high-quality women’s biographies on Wikipedia. The youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, she is a human rights advocate for education and for women in Pakistan. Photo by Russell Watkins, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0.

This month, we invited the Wikimedia community to recommend high-quality Wikipedia articles about women and gender diversity, to celebrate International Women’s Day and WikiWomen’s History Month.

Together, we collected a wide range of factual, well-written and insightful articles, with over 43 community recommendations, shared via email, social media and on Wikimedia sites this month.

Here are some of our favorite biographies, based on community and team feedback. The articles we selected together feature 15 women from diverse backgrounds, who made important contributions in a variety of fields, from science to the arts, business and politics.

We hope you will find their life stories as inspiring as we do.

Ada Lovelace

Image by Alfred Edward Chalon, public domain.

Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, wrote what is recognized as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. Because of this, she is often described as the world’s first computer programmer. This article is factual and well-written; it features a woman that’s an inspiration to many, particularly in the technology community.
Suggested by Fabrice Florin.
Image by Alfred Edward Chalon, Public domain.

Anita Sarkeesian

Image by Anita Sarkeesian, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Anita Sarkeesian is a Canadian American feminist public speaker, media critic, blogger and thought leader on women’s studies in popular culture. Her essays and video blogs have been used to teach university-level courses, drawn millions of readers and viewers, and intend to create a renewed taste for originality and diversity in modern media.
Suggested by Glitchygirl.
Image by Anita Sarkeesian, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Anne Frank

Image by Getty, Fair use.

Anne Frank is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. She gained international fame posthumously after her wartime diary was published: The Diary of a Young Girl documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Featured article.
Suggested by Andrew Sherman.
Image by Getty, Fair use.

Barbara McClintock

Image by Smithsonian Institution.

Barbara McClintock was an American scientist and cytogeneticist who discovered several important concepts that make modern molecular genetics possible. McClintock received her PhD in botany from Cornell University, where she lead the development of maize cytogenetics, the focus of her research for the rest of her life. She received the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Featured article.
Suggested by Keilana.
Image by Smithsonian Institution, Public domain.

Corazon Aquino

Suggested by Jewel457. Image by Airman Gerald B. Johnson, Public domain.

Corazon Aquino was a Philippine politician who served as the 11th President of the Philippines — the first woman to hold that office, and the first female president in Asia. Aquino was the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled the 20-year authoritarian rule of President Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy to the Philippines. Prior to that, she had not held any elected position in government, and is said to be “the housewife that launched a revolution.”
Suggested by Jewel457.
Image by Airman Gerald B. Johnson, Public domain.

Emma Goldman

Suggested by Kaldari. Image by Emma Goldman Papers, Public domain.

Emma Goldman was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the 20th century. For that reason, she has been described as “the most dangerous woman in America.” Featured article.
Suggested by Kaldari.
Image by Emma Goldman Papers, Public domain.

Hedy Lamarr

Suggested by Katherine Maher. Image by author, license.

Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian and American inventor and film actress. Lamarr is known primarily as an actress, but also co-invented the technology for spread spectrum and frequency hopping communications, used by the American military to control torpedoes during World War II. Those inventions have more recently been incorporated into Wi-Fi, CDMA and Bluetooth technologies, and she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.
Suggested by Katherine Maher.
Image by Studio, Public domain.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Suggested by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mary_Mark_Ockerbloom"Mary Mark Ockerbloom. Image by Prathyush Thomas

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is an Indian entrepreneur, the chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore. In 2014, she was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry. She is on the Financial Times’ top 50 women in business list — an impressive feat, considering she was told that she could not be hired in a male-dominated field.
Suggested by Mary Mark Ockerbloom.
Image by Prathyush Thomas, GFDL 1.2.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is one of the inspiring women recommended by our community for this month's search for high-quality women's biographies. The youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, she is a human rights advocate for education and for women in Pakistan.  Photo by Russell Watkins, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0.

Malala Yousafzai is the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy for education and for women in northwest Pakistan, where she faced abuse from the local Taliban. Her advocacy has since grown into an international movement. This article is informative, in-depth and well-researched; it’s about an inspiring young woman that’s shown exceptional courage and started an international movement.
Suggested by Fabrice Florin.
Image by Russell Watkins, CC BY 2.0.

Navi Pillay

Suggested by Katherine Maher. Image by US Mission Geneva, Public domain.

Navi Pillay is a South African human rights lawyer who most recently served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She defended anti-apartheid activists while breaking color and gender barriers as a jurist in South Africa, before becoming a respected international human rights jurist. A South African of Indian Tamil origin, she was the first non-white woman judge of the High Court of South Africa, and she has also served as a judge of the International Criminal Court and President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Suggested by Katherine Maher.
Image by US Mission Geneva, Public domain.

Patricia Locke (Tawacin WasteWin)

Suggested by Wiki-uk. Image by source, Fair use.

Patricia Locke (Tawacin WasteWin) was an American Indian educator-activist who is best known for her work in promoting, preserving and maintaining indigenous languages and cultures. She was a MacArthur Fellow and represented the US National Bahá’í community at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. She was honored with an award from the Indigenous Language Institute in 2001, just before her death; posthumously, she was inducted by the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
Suggested by Wiki-uk.
Image from Gobonobo, Fair use.

Rosalind Franklin

Suggested by Er Mohsin Dalvi. Image by Jewish Chronicle Archive/Heritage-Images, Copyright.

Rosalind Franklin was instrumental in deciphering the structure of DNA, which today is the cornerstone of modern medicine. In 1952, while at King’s College, London, she and Raymond Gosling obtained exceptionally clear diffraction pictures of DNA, which led to the discovery of its helical structure. Due to long exposure to X-rays, she developed ovarian tumors and died young at 37 years of age, without receiving recognition for her scientific contributions. Many believe that she should have shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for decoding the structure of DNA, along with James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins.
Suggested by Er Mohsin Dalvi. Image by Jewish Chronicle Archive/Heritage-Images, Copyright.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Suggested by Katherine Maher. Image by Steve Petteway, Public domain.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a member of the Supreme Court of the United States, the second female judge ever appointed, and the first Jewish female judge in the court’s history. She is also 81 years old, and has a healthy sense of her own vitality and influence. Before becoming a judge, Ginsburg spent a considerable portion of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of women’s rights as a constitutional principle.
Suggested by Katherine Maher.
Image by Steve Petteway, Public domain.

Juana Inés de la Cruz


Juana Inés de la Cruz was a self-taught scholar and poet of the Baroque school, and Hieronymite nun of New Spain, known in her lifetime as “The Tenth Muse.” Although she lived in a colonial era when Mexico was part of the Spanish Empire, she is considered today both a Mexican writer and a contributor to the Spanish Golden Age, and she stands at the beginning of the history of Mexican literature in the Spanish language. Featured article.
Suggested by Ivan Martinez.
Image by Miguel Cabrea, Public domain.

Susan Sontag

Suggested by Jane023. Image by Juan Bastos, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Susan Sontag was an American writer and filmmaker, teacher and political activist. Sontag was active in writing and speaking about, or travelling to, areas of conflict, including during the Vietnam War and the Siege of Sarajevo. She wrote extensively about photography, culture and media, AIDS and illness, human rights, and communism and leftist ideology. The New York Review of Books called her “one of the most influential critics of her generation.”
Suggested by Jane023.
Image by Juan Bastos, CC BY 3.0.

More articles

For more notable women’s biographies, visit our community submissions page: ‘Women and gender diversity on Wikimedia’.

This short list of community suggestions is not meant to be comprehensive, but introduces a few of the many women who helped change the world we live in.

Besides women’s biographies, we also collected other suggestions of interesting articles about gender diversity and related topics:
Women in piracy
Women in popular legends
Gulabi Gang


Thanks to everyone who contributed to this community-created collection of articles!

Together, we found really well-written, factual and insightful articles, which introduced us to some fascinating individuals. Your collective suggestions broadened our perspectives about women and gender diversity.

And we are grateful to all the women profiled here, for their inspiring achievements in making the world a better place.

What do you think?

What do you think about this community curation experiment? Did you learn anything new? Should we try this again? If so, what themes would you like to focus on next?

Please chime in the comments below, with your ideas and suggestions.

We hope that collaborations like these can help us discover new ways to share knowledge with each other, by combining Wikimedia projects, our blog and social media.


Fabrice Florin – Movement Communications Manager, Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at April 01, 2015 12:29 AM

March 31, 2015

Wikimedia UK

Looking ahead to April

Editathons in action

March has raced by, and while April is nearly upon us Wikimedia UK has a programme of events for everyone.

The month kicks off with a Wiki Hour of Power at the University of Edinburgh students, staff, and academics are invited to spend their lunch hour editing Wikipedia. It’s a monthly event, and the last one coincided with International Women’s Day.

Editathons are a great way to get together with other people to improve Wikipedia as a team and learn how to edit. So there are events at the University of Lancaster, the National Library of Wales (not once but twice!), and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

There are five meetups scheduled this month across Leeds (12th April), London (12th April), Oxford (19th April), Edinburgh (22 April), and Manchester (26 April). Most take place on the weekends, except for the one in Edinburgh which is on a Wednesday. It’s an opportunity to meet other Wikimedians. There is a full list of upcoming meetups so you can find one near you, and if there isn’t one perhaps it’s time to start one yourself!

For those of you with a GLAMorous side, GLAM-Wiki 2015 organised by Wikimedia Netherlands takes place in The Hague in the middle of the month. Closer to home the GLAM Committee will be discussing all things related to Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums on 21 April. Join the conversation to learn about what the charity does in this area.

On top of all that there is training available for the GLAM upload tool, helping you get to grips with mass uploads. The tool underpins some of the charity’s fantastic work, such as uploads from the National Library of Scotland (look, here’s a castle). Two dates are available, but if you’re interested and can make either session leave a note at the foot of the page.

We hope to see you at our events in April, but most importantly of all enjoy editing!

by Richard Nevell at March 31, 2015 12:40 PM

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.

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.


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]


  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


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..

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?

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,

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

Wikimedia Foundation

The Editatona: Helping women edit Wikipedia in Mexico


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”


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.


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.


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

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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