Publicity shot of Stephenson-Goodknight taken by the Wikimedia Foundation in 2015
|Residence||Nevada City, California|
|Known for||Wikipedia editor|
David Albala (grandfather)|
Paulina Lebl-Albala (grandmother)
|Awards||Wikipedian of the Year (2016)|
Dame Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight, known on Wikipedia as Rosiestep, is an American Wikipedia editor who is noted for her attempts to address gender disparity in the encyclopedia by running a project to increase the quantity and quality of women's biographies. She has contributed thousands of new articles and was named co-Wikipedian of the Year in 2016. In May 2018, she was honored with a Serbian knighthood.
Stephenson-Goodknight, of Serbian descent, is the granddaughter of Paulina Lebl-Albala, an active feminist who was the president of the University Women of Yugoslavia. David Albala, her grandfather, was a physician and Zionist leader, who served for a period as president of Belgrade's Sephardi community. At a young age she displayed a keen interest in world culture, but was discouraged by her father from pursuit of a career in anthropology; instead she completed a Master of Business Administration degree.
Stephenson-Goodknight began editing Wikipedia in 2007. Her son had edited an article about a town in Ukraine where he was working with the Peace Corps, and told his mother that Wikipedia can be edited by anybody. She began editing later that year when she looked for books published by the Book League of America and found a gap in the site's knowledge resources. She found the encyclopedia to be a suitable outlet for anthropology, citing Margaret Mead as an influence:
Some of you know that I am a cultural anthropologist at heart. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Margaret Mead and study cultural anthropology at Barnard (my mom’s alma mater), like Margaret did. I wanted to travel to Papua New Guinea and do research on its people, like Margaret did. But my dad said ‘no’ to majoring in anthropology—he wanted something more practical for my university studies. So now, years later, I get to live the life of an armchair cultural anthropologist, writing articles about Goaribari Island and its cannibals. To all the girls out there with impractical dreams, this article is dedicated to you.
Stephenson-Goodknight worked at creating articles on geography, architecture and various biographies for several years, but has more recently concentrated on women's biographies.
By 2013, Stephenson-Goodknight was featured in the UK Huffington Post for having written over 3,000 new articles for Wikipedia, and at that time, over 1000 articles had appeared at the "Did you know?" feature on Wikipedia's main page. As of 2016[update] she has created over 4,000 new articles,[Note 1] and has made over 100,000 edits. She was the emcee for a San Francisco event celebrating Wikipedia's 15th birthday, and also presented there about Wikipedia's "content gender gap."
The 2016 Wikipedian of the Year awards, granted by Wikipedia trustee Jimmy Wales in recognition of outstanding achievement, named Stephenson-Goodknight as a winner, sharing the award jointly with fellow editor Emily Temple-Wood. At the time of the award, it was noted that over 1,300 of her articles have appeared on Wikipedia's "Did you know?". She also co-founded WikiProjects Women writers, Women and Women in Red. These projects have increased Wikipedia's percentage of articles on women from 15.5% to 16.35%. She has taken part in related projects such as the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon in April 2016.
Stephenson-Goodknight has drawn attention to systemic bias in traditional encyclopedias, noting that a typical biography of a man is five times longer than one of a woman in the same field. She believes there is information to write stronger biographies, provided people are prepared to search for it. She also suggests it is possible for women to contribute greatly to Wikipedia, explaining, "What Wikipedia needs is you, the female editor, with your unique aptitudes and interests and talkpage tone. Without you, gender imbalance and systemic bias continue on Wikipedia."
Awards and distinctions
On December 14, 2017, Goodnight was the "honored guest" at an event hosted by Israel's ambassador to Serbia, Alona Fisher-Kamm, to commemorate 25 years of diplomatic relations between Serbia and Israel.
On May 29, 2018, in a ceremony conferring honors on those who deserved high diplomatic recognition, Stephenson-Goodnight was appointed a "Dame of the St. Sava Order of Diplomatic Pacifism" (Vitez svetosavskog pacifizma) by Deputy Serbian Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dačić, for her work on Wikipedia to preserve the memory of Serbs in the "hundred years since the Great War". Mention was specifically made of her contribution towards preserving the memory of the Serbian military officer and Jewish community leader, her grandfather David Albala.
- Total excludes redirects "Pages Created". WMFlabs. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
- Liu, Teresa Yinmeng (July 3, 2016). "Nevada City's Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight named co-Wikipedian of 2016 for addressing online gender gap". Western Nevada County Union. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
- Hussain, Netha (February 9, 2015). "Rosie Stephenson: The Woman Who Wrote Over Three Thousand Articles on Wikipedia". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
- "Wikipedia editing marathons add women's voices to online resource". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
- Redden, Molly (March 19, 2016). "Women in science on Wikipedia: will we ever fill the information gap?". The Guardian. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
- Haan, Francisca de; Daskalova, Krasimira; Loutfi, Anna (2006). Biographical Dictionary of Women's Movements and Feminisms in Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe: 19th and 20th Centuries. Central European University Press. pp. 297–. ISBN 978-963-7326-39-4.
- Vučetić, Radina. "The Emancipation of Women in Interwar Belgrade and the "Cvijeta Zuzori ć " Society" (PDF). Yugoslav Association for Social History.
- Radović, Nadežda (April 3, 2006). "Evokacija Srpskog Feminizma S Početka 20. Veka" (in Serbian). Medijska Dokumentacija. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
- "25 Years of the Israel-Serbia Diplomatic Relations". Embassy of Israel. December 25, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- Bernard, Zoe (February 14, 2013). "Finding inspiration from editing Wikipedia: a profile of Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
- Erhart, Ed (June 24, 2016). "Jimmy Wales names Emily Temple-Wood and Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight as Wikipedians of the Year". Wikimedia Blog. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
- "X!'s tools". wmflabs.org. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
- Gethen, Pax Ahimsa (January 20, 2016). "Wikipedia 15". The Funcrunch Files.
- "Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon". University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries. February 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
- Milošević, Žikica (March 2, 2018). "Interview with Rosie Gojich Stephenson-Goodknight: Everyone in Serbia made me feel like 'this is your home'". Diplomacy&Commerce. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- "25 Years of the Israel-Serbia Diplomatic Relations". Embassy of Israel in Serbia. 25 December 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
- "Dačić dodelio najviša diplomatska priznanja, među laureatima modna kreatorka, humintarac, preživeli logoraši Jasenovca..." (in Serbian). Blic. May 29, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- "Serbian Diplomacy Day Marked", C or D, Belgrade: Alliance International Media, May 29, 2018
- Media related to Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight at Wikimedia Commons