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NWSA Wikipedia Initiative



NWSA Wikipedia Initiative


Announcing call for applications for Wikipedia Fellows Program

We are pleased to announce new opportunities to join the Wikipedia Fellows Program, an interdisciplinary project led by Wiki Education to train academic scholars to contribute content expertise to Wikipedia. The general public uses Wikipedia to seek answers, learn about issues important to them, and make behavioral decisions. One alumnus of the program said, "We are the 'experts' and as such, we should use our expertise for the greater good." We believe scholars who bring their understanding of complex issues to Wikipedia can empower the public to participate fully as citizens.

We will launch several new cohorts this summer, beginning June 4th, 2018, and we welcome you to apply to any cohort relevant to your area of study.

  • Two cohorts will improve articles that are relevant to the upcoming midterm elections. If you're interested in working on articles related to congressional districts, underrepresented communities in government, political parties, issues relevant to voters, fake news and propaganda, candidates, etc., we're interested in teaching you how to be painstakingly nonpartisan while adding scholarly information to Wikipedia.
  • One cohort will focus on any academic topic related to Fellows' areas of expertise/interest. Past Fellows created or expanded the articles about masculinity, LGBT conservatism in the United States, body horror, women's studies, and black science fiction. NWSA Wikipedia Fellow Dr. Jenn Brandt even upgraded the Margaret Atwood article to the esteemed "Good Article" rating, a feat nearly unheard of for a brand new Wikipedian. We invite all academics to apply to these cohorts and learn how to evaluate Wikipedia's coverage of your area of expertise so you can fill in content gaps.
  • We will announce details of additional cohorts soon. They will begin later this summer (July, August, September). If this first round does not work for you for any reason, you can let us know in our application if you want to be considered for a later cohort.

Wikipedia Fellows will join members from other academic associations from June to September 2018. Participants will learn to contribute to Wikipedia, receiving guidance and support as they make contributions.

  • No experience with Wikipedia is required.
  • Participants are asked to commit 3 hours/week, including training and group meetings.
  • Wiki Education will provide training, guidance, and support throughout the process, using video conferences and instant messaging software—both free.
  • Participants will make significant contributions to at least two Wikipedia articles by the end of the program.
  • Fellows will fill out short surveys in the beginning and end of the program, and Wiki Education asks them to write one reflective blog post (on wikiedu.org) about their experience.

For more information, visit http://wikiedu.org/wikipedia-fellows/ or email wikipediafellows@wikiedu.org. If you're interested in participating, please fill out the Wikipedia Fellows application by Friday, May 25, 2018.

 

Teaching with Wikipedia: The Wikipedia Education Program

The goal of the NWSA Wikipedia Initiative is simple: Make information available about women's studies and feminist topics on Wikipedia as complete and accurate as possible. To reach that goal, NWSA is encouraging our members to contribute content to Wikipedia or make use of Wikipedia-based assignments for students as part of your coursework, in partnership with the Wiki Education Foundation.

Why Wikipedia?

When the public searches for information, the top search results are Wikipedia articles. As the fifth most-visited website, Wikipedia is the go-to resource for knowledge on every topic, and all of that content has been written by volunteers. As women’s studies scholars, it's important to ensure that the information on Wikipedia is accurate, fair, and representative of women’s experiences, achievements, and struggles.

It is not always the case. For years, information on topics relevant to women simply haven’t been present, or had the same quality, as others. Some articles on Wikipedia that had been absent or incomplete — such as birth control, gender inequality, maternity leave, feminism, pregnancy risks in developing countries, the refugee status of women, sex work, and the women’s role in the Arab Spring — are now thriving thanks to the engaged efforts of students and instructors who used Wikipedia in their classroom assignments.

As part of our commitment to social change, NWSA is encouraging our members to actively participate in curating knowledge on Wikipedia about our field and about a wide variety of feminist topics.

The easiest way to improve Wikipedia’s representation of women is to participate in the Wikipedia Education Program, a project in which students contribute content to Wikipedia in place of a traditional research paper through a classroom activity. The Wikipedia Education Program in the United States and Canada is run by the Wiki Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization partnering with NWSA to support our Wikipedia Initiative.

Here's how it works. A Wiki Education Foundation staff member will help you craft an assignment that enables your students to improve Wikipedia articles as they relate to the topic of any class. Wiki Ed has an online training for you and your students and brochures and handouts for you to distribute to students in class. As your students craft their Wikipedia articles, they'll be gaining key skills like:

• Fact-based, neutral writing
• Research
• Media literacy and source evaluation
• Critical thinking
• Collaboration

And best of all, their coursework will serve to improve publicly available information about the subjects you teach.

Ready to get started?

Reach out to the Wiki Education Foundation at contact@wikiedu.org and tell them you're interested in participating in the NWSA Wikipedia Initiative, or check out http://wikiedu.org/for-instructors/ for a full list of resources available to help you craft your assignment and run it successfully.