From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dr. Duncan Hull
Duncan Hull (3958134413).jpg
A picture of me taken by Paul Downey
NationalityUnited Kingdom
Manchester 🐝
Other names@wikiscientists
CitizenshipGlobal 🌍
Scientific career
Computer science education[1]

Hello, my name is Duncan, I live and work in Manchester, UK[1] and contribute to English Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons and Greek Βικιπαίδεια. 🇬🇷 Why? Because it is fun and important, or as Freeman Dyson once put it:

Women in Red: Scientists and Engineers[edit]

That's me (far left) talking[3] at an edit-a-thon at The Physiological Society in London in 2017 about wikibiographies of Fellows of the Royal Society. Picture by Andrew Davidson.

Most of my contributions to Wikipedia are quick biographies (Wikibiographies) of living women in engineering, women in science and women in STEM fields. These biographies would otherwise be either woefully incomplete or non-existent. As part of an ongoing collaboration[4] between, the Royal Society in London and Wikimedia UK,[5][3][6][7] I have created and improved Wikibiographies of some Fellows of the Royal Society, particularly the Female Fellows of the Royal Society. I've tried to follow the fundamental wiki-principles[8][9][10] especially:

As of January 2020, most fellows elected from after 2014, have reasonable Wikibiographies that usually include a good portrait.[12] If you'd like to help address the gender bias in Wikipedia which reflects everyday sexism in society at large. See the redlist index of notable women without biographies, for articles waiting to be written such as female computer scientists, female engineers and female mathematicians.

So where is your Wikibiography?[edit]

Unfortunately, there is significant gender bias on Wikipedia which reflects sexism in society at large, where women are either mis-represented or completely under-represented. As of 14 February 2022 only 19% of all biographies in Wikipedia are about women (358,922 of 1,873,707 total), see[13][14][15][16]
Women in Red logo.svgThis user is a member of WikiProject Women in Red (redlinks→blue)
Wikipedia can help make your data more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Accessible, aka FAIR data[17]

Even if you are considered notable by editors, you may not necessarily have a Wikibiography as coverage of scientists is often poor.[4][18] For example, around 30% of Fellows elected before 2012, have no wiki-biography at all.[4] Lots of notable scientists in the wider scientific community who aren't fellows have no biography either, especially women.[19][20][13][14][15] If you want a Wikibiography, there are several steps you can take to improve your chances of having one:

  1. Uploading a picture of you after creating an account. You can upload images using the Upload Wizard with an appropriate license. Images will often spur editors to create articles[12][21] because pictures are a key ingredient of good articles and are usually a significant improvement to an article with no picture at all, adding significant value.[22]
  2. Requesting a biography by adding your name to the requested biographies by profession pages. Note that demand for biographies typically outstrips supply.
  3. Updating information about you online to avoid the typical academic homepage of “everything you ever wanted to know about your Professor from ten years ago”.[23]
  4. Opening access open access to your scientific literature allows verification of facts by editors because primary sources that are open access can be more widely read and cited. If your publications are locked closed access behind a paywall most editors won't be able to read them as they are unlikely to have access to libraries that can afford scientific journal subscriptions.
  5. Identifying yourself by clearly and persistently distinguishing your work using an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)[24][25] in your grants and publications. Your ORCID profile can be populated automatically from the publications in your Scopus record, saving you the tedious job of re-entering all your publication data again.[26] If you haven't done so already you should also consider creating a Google Scholar profile[27] and claim your ResearcherID because they make your work more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR data)[17] to the wider world.[28] All this metadata will also help editors to write better articles about you.
  6. Communicating with the public about your work using mainstream media, social media and other platforms for public engagement that increase public awareness of science. This will create secondary sources about you and your research that add significant value to primary sources of scientific literature and enables editors (who are probably not subject experts) to understand and write about your research.
  7. Contributing data,[29] pictures[30] and requested articles because Wikipedia is arguably the “greatest ever opportunity for public engagement[31] that would benefit from your expertise. As John F. Kennedy might have said:

Edits of your Wikibiography[edit]

For better or worse, people will use Wikipedia to find stuff out

If you do have a biography in Wikipedia it might be incomplete, inaccurate, badly written and have plenty of other “issues”. Although tempting, it is a bad idea to edit your autobiography on Wikipedia and any edits you make are likely to be speedily reverted due to your obvious conflicts of interest (COI). Getting your friends, colleagues or students to write or edit your Wikibiography is also not recommended, because it is difficult for them to have a Neutral Point of View. Leaving a comment on the the talk page of the article in question is usually the best way to make corrections and the Help Pages of the Biographies of Living Persons explain this in more detail. The notable person survival kit is also useful.

Remember that anyone can edit Wikipedia including vandals, bots, practical jokers, your students, collaborators, abusers and other enemies (assuming you have enemies). So it is a good idea to track changes of your Wikibiography by subscribing to the syndicated feed of the article using your favourite news aggregator. Point your aggregator at the atom feed which can be found on the "view history > tools > Atom" link to receive automatic notifications of edits to that page. Data from new Wikibiographies appears in the Google Knowledge Graph within a week or two of their publication, with both Wikipedia articles and the KG appearing prominently in search results, should you ever indulge in a spot of egosurfing.[4][31]

Please delete me, let me go![edit]

When he's not belting out Please Release Me, Let Me Go the singer Engelbert Humperdinck is gutted that there isn't a better openly licensed portrait of him in Wikimedia Commons. If you've got a higher quality one with an appropriate license please upload it, then maybe he'll stop crooning

If you're not feeling the Wikilove and want your Wikibiography deleted, read the how to delete a page guide and the Wikipedia:Deletion policy. You may have the right to be forgotten or may want to protect your data using the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Before you request deletion from wikipedia, bear in mind that:

Full disclosure[edit]

If you're wondering about my conflict of interests, I am not funded, paid or employed by the Royal Society and never have been. I started WikiProject Royal Society in 2012 with help from Paul Nurse[44] and John Byrne.[4] The aim of the project is to improve the coverage of scientists (and their science) in Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons using the resources of the Royal Society. Like I've already said above, I avoid writing biographies of people I know personally or professionally.

I have been an active member of the amazing Wikipedia community since my first edit to this article on Botany in 2004, eighteen years ago. Since 2007, I have used my real name (the one my parents gave me) rather than my interwebs pen name, dullhunk which I used for edits prior to 2007.

Getting in touch[edit]

The best way to contact me about wikistuff is via the talk pages of an article or on my personal talk page. If you add the text {{ping|Duncan.Hull}} to your comment, I'll get automagically notified. If you want to contact me off-wiki in less than 140 characters, you can tweet me[6] or email me (where mytwitterhandle = wikiscientists). For more urgent or serious problems, you should email Wikimedia volunteers using the ticketing system (OTRS) so that your issue gets properly logged and dealt with.


Slides from a training session on the theme of Women in War and Peace for new editors co-organised with the Imperial War Museum North in June 2020.[45]
A talk[3] presented at The Physiological Society in London in 2017[5] about the wikibiographies of living scientists.
A talk[4] presented with John Byrne at the Wikipedia Science Conference (#wikisci) in London in 2015[5] about the Wikipedian in residence scheme at the Royal Society.
Every month, Wikipedia is viewed more than 15 billion times by over 1.5 billion unique devices.[32] That amounts to over 500 million visits per day, or about 6000 visits per second.[32] Put it another way, every month, people spend ~60,000 years reading Wikipedia articles.

  1. ^ a b Duncan.Hull publications indexed by Google Scholar
  2. ^ Dyson, Freeman (2011). "How We Know: Review of The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick". The New York Review of Books. New York City. 58 (4). Archived from the original on 2017-04-21.
  3. ^ a b c Hull, Duncan (2017). "Wikipedia at the Royal Society: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". London: Physiological Society. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.5525494.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hull, Duncan; Byrne, John (2015). "Improving the troubled relationship between Scientists and Wikipedia". Wikipedia Science Conference. London: FigShare. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.1535122. As of March 2019 this slide deck has over 13,000 views according to SlideShare
  5. ^ a b c Hodson, Richard (2015). "Wikipedians reach out to academics". Nature. London: Springer Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2015.18313.
  6. ^ a b Wiki Loves Scientists on Twitter
  7. ^ Hull, Duncan (2012). "Fellows of the Wiki Society? The Royal Society in London experiments with Wikipedia". Manchester, UK: O'Really Media. Archived from the original on 2013-06-17.
  8. ^ Darren W Logan; Massimo Sandal; Paul P Gardner; Magnus Manske; Alex Bateman (2010). "Ten simple rules for editing Wikipedia". PLOS Computational Biology. 6 (9): e1000941. doi:10.1371/JOURNAL.PCBI.1000941. ISSN 1553-734X. PMC 2947980. PMID 20941386. Wikidata Q21145331.
  9. ^ Auerbach, David (2014). "Encyclopedia Frown: Wikipedia is amazing. But it's become a rancorous, sexist, elitist, stupidly bureaucratic mess". Slate. Archived from the original on 2014-12-12.
  10. ^ Reagle Jr, Joseph M. (2010). Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia. Boston, Massachusetts: MIT Press. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-262-01447-2. OCLC 699490862.
  11. ^ Longair, Malcolm (2019). "Editorial". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 66: 1–6. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2019.0004. ISSN 0080-4606.
  12. ^ a b Byrne, John (2014). "New images released are quickly put to use". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on 2014-10-21.
  13. ^ a b Tesh, Sarah; Wade, Jess (2017). "Look happy dear, you've just made a discovery". Physics World. 30 (9): 31–33. doi:10.1088/2058-7058/30/9/35. ISSN 0953-8585. closed access
  14. ^ a b Fyfe, Aileen; Røstvik, Camilla Mørk (2018). "How female fellows fared at the Royal Society". Nature. 555 (7695): 159–161. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-02746-z. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 29517005.
  15. ^ a b Schellekensa, Menno H.; Holstegeb, Floris; Yasseria, Taha (2019). "Female scholars need to achieve more for equal public recognition". arXiv:1904.06310. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ Frith, Uta (2019). "In Verba: Goodbye Diversity Committee". Archived from the original on 2019-04-17.
  17. ^ a b Mark D. Wilkinson; Michel Dumontier; IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg; et al. (15 March 2016). "The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship". Scientific Data. 3 (1): 160018. doi:10.1038/SDATA.2016.18. ISSN 2052-4463. PMC 4792175. PMID 26978244. Wikidata Q27942822.
  18. ^ Samoilenko, Anna; Yasseri, Taha (2014). "The distorted mirror of Wikipedia: a quantitative analysis of Wikipedia coverage of academics". EPJ Data Science. Springer Publishing. 3 (1). arXiv:1310.8508. doi:10.1140/epjds20. open access
  19. ^ Devlin, Hannah (2018). "Academic writes 270 Wikipedia pages in a year to get female scientists noticed". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  20. ^ Charman-Anderson, Suw (2018). "Five amazing female scientists you've probably never heard of". London: The Guardian.
  21. ^ Knipel, Richard (2017). "The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 375,000 windows on art history, and that's just the beginning". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on 2017-07-26.
  22. ^ Erickson, Kristofer; Perez, Felix Rodriguez; Perez, Jesus Rodriguez (2018). "What is the Commons Worth? Estimating the Value of Wikimedia Imagery by Observing Downstream Use". Proceedings of the 14th International Symposium on Open Collaboration: OpenSym '18, August 22–24, 2018, Paris, France. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery: 1–6. doi:10.1145/3233391.3233533. SSRN 3206188.
  23. ^ Cham, Jorge (2012). "The Academic Homepage: everything you ever wanted to know about your Professor from ten years ago". Piled Higher and Deeper. Archived from the original on 2014-04-07.
  24. ^ Laurel Haak; Martin Fenner; Laura Paglione; Ed Pentz; Howard Ratner (1 October 2012). "ORCID: a system to uniquely identify researchers". Learned Publishing. 25 (4): 259–264. doi:10.1087/20120404. ISSN 0953-1513. Wikidata Q30512726.
  25. ^ John Bohannon; Kirk Doran (19 May 2017). "Introducing ORCID". Science. 356 (6339): 691–692. doi:10.1126/SCIENCE.356.6339.691. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 28522483. Wikidata Q30513139.
  26. ^ Anon (2017). "Send Scopus Author details and publication list to ORCID". Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.
  27. ^ Anon (2017). "Google Scholar Citations: Setting up your profile". Mountain View, California: Alphabet Inc.
  28. ^ Duncan Hull; Steve Pettifer; Douglas Kell (31 October 2008). "Defrosting the digital library: bibliographic tools for the next generation web". PLOS Computational Biology. 4 (10): e1000204. doi:10.1371/JOURNAL.PCBI.1000204. ISSN 1553-734X. PMC 2568856. PMID 18974831. Wikidata Q21092568.
  29. ^ Denny Vrandečić; Markus Krötzsch (October 2014). "Wikidata: a free collaborative knowledgebase". Communications of the ACM. 57 (10): 78–85. doi:10.1145/2629489. ISSN 0001-0782. Wikidata Q18507561.
  30. ^ Pinchuk, Maryana (2013). "Announcing the official Commons app for iOS and Android". Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on 2017-04-27.
  31. ^ a b Logan, Darren W.; Gardner, Paul P.; Manske, Magnus; Bateman, Alex (2010). "Why Wikipedia is important in Science". Cambridge, UK: Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
  32. ^ a b c d Zimmerman, Kate; Bayer, Tilman; Quinn, Neil Patel (2019). "Audiences: Core Metrics & Insights Through Q1 of FY 2018/19" (PDF). San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation.
  33. ^ Wass, Joe (2016). "Where do DOI clicks come from?". CrossRef. Archived from the original on 2017-08-17.
  34. ^ Anon (2017). "Chronograph analyzes which websites people come from when they click on a DOI".
  35. ^ Anon (2017). "Key Facts on Digital Object Identifier System".
  36. ^ MusikAnimal, Kaldari & Marcel Ruiz Forns (2017). "Pageviews Analysis".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  37. ^ Schiermeier, Quirin (2017). "Initiative aims to break science's citation paywall: Publishers agree to release proprietary data on references in millions of papers". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.21800. ISSN 1476-4687.
  38. ^ Wilsdon, James; et al. (2015). "The Metric Tide: Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management". Higher Education Funding Council for England. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.4929.1363. ISBN 9781473973060. OCLC 1002030907.
  39. ^ Priem, Jason; Taraborelli, Dario; Groth, Paul; Neylon, Cameron (2010). "altmetrics: a manifesto".
  40. ^ Jason Priem; Paul Groth; Dario Taraborelli (2012). "The altmetrics collection". PLOS One. 7 (11): e48753. doi:10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0048753. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3486795. PMID 23133655. Wikidata Q21560746.
  41. ^ Heather Piwowar (10 January 2013). "Altmetrics: Value all research products". Nature. 493 (7431): 159. doi:10.1038/493159A. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 23302843. Wikidata Q22978859.
  42. ^ Mike Thelwall; Stefanie Haustein; Vincent Larivière; Cassidy Sugimoto (2013). "Do altmetrics work? Twitter and ten other social web services". PLOS One. 8 (5): e64841. doi:10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0064841. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3665624. PMID 23724101. Wikidata Q21133507.
  43. ^ Anon (2019). "Top 100 articles of 2019".
  44. ^ Hull, Duncan (2012). "An Open Letter to the Royal Society: Please employ a Wikipedian in Residence". Manchester.
  45. ^ Hull, Duncan (2020). "Women in War and Peace: Training event for new Wikipedia editors".
Wikimedia UK logo.svg I'm a member of Wikimedia UK
We are a group of local Wikimedians helping to create
"a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge".
Love Wikimedia? Live in the UK? Donate, Volunteer, and Get Involved!
Wikimedia UK logo.svg