This meetup page was originally set up for a virtual edit-a-thon spanning 1 September to 30 November 2017 to mark World Toilet Day on 26 November 2017. It has since then been modified to become an ongoing "project" which monitors how much editing of sanitation-related articles is taking place. The project also provides guidance to novice editors.
Sanitation Wikipedia aims to make pages related to WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) topics accurate, complete, readable and well-illustrated. You don't have to be a sanitation expert to improve sanitation articles. We need people to add illustrations and shorten sentences to improve readability, as well as those who can add new information.
- Date and time: Ongoing.
- Location: Work from wherever you and your computer, laptop or tablet are.
- Register to volunteer: Anyone can register and volunteer to help: Register on Sanitation Wikipedia's Outreach Dashboard
- Questions? Email us at email@example.com. (We respond within 24 hours: test us!)
- Organizer and sponsor: This initiative is organized by members of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance who work on a project led by Stockholm Environment Institute. This is done in a consortium arrangement with GIZ, Oxfam GB and WaterAid. It is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (more information about this project here).
- Hashtag: #edit4toilets Please help us promote this project on twitter or other social media.
Adobe Connect work room hours
- An Adobe Connect virtual work room is available for the use of registered volunteers. Think of it as "watering hole" where you can go to meet others who are also editing sanitation articles and to chat about articles or about difficulties you are experiencing.
- To schedule a meeting in the workroom, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know when you'd like to use the room.
- To enter the room: Click here. Enter your name and click "enter as guest." No password needed. Adobe Connect works best with Internet Explorer, or download the Adobe Connect App on your phone.
Register as a volunteer
Register on the project Dashboard
- Click here to register as a volunteer for Sanitation Wikipedia.
- From there, you can create a Wikipedia account and then register. (or just register, if you already have a wikipedia account)
- Once registered, you can go to the Dashboard here to see how many edits you've done.
- Questions: Email us at email@example.com. (We respond within 24 hours: test us!)
List of volunteers
- Are you interested to know who else is volunteering for this? Then take a look at the list of editors here.
- If your Wikipedia user name is not on that alphabetic list, but should be, try again to register here.
- Email us if you have problems registering: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanitation articles to choose from for this drive
We have started selecting the "Key 100 articles," listed below. Please suggest other articles to add by either emailing us (email@example.com) or making your suggestion on the "talk page" by clicking on the "talk" tab at the top of this page.
- Choose a topic that interests you and click on it to get to know what's already there.
- Ask yourself "what changes do I think this article needs?" See the next section for ideas.
- Articles are ordered by "view rate" in the table below. The first 10 articles are classified as "top priority", and the rest are "high priority." Within each of the two categories, the articles are ordered by "view rates," which is the average number of views each day, analyzing the one year period Aug 2016 to Aug 2017.
- To sort the list alphabetically, click on the arrows in the table headers.
1-10 are "top priority";
11-69 are "high priority"
|Article Title||View rates
(average daily views from Aug 2016 to Aug 2017)
|Readability score (Flesch score) of entire article in Sept. 2017
(we aim for > 50)
|Readability score (Flesch score) of lead only in Sept. 2017
(we aim for > 55)
|1||Swachh Bharat Abhiyan||3883||27||35|
|2||Sustainable Development Goals||2596||25||35|
|10||World Toilet Day (Note a)||121||36||48|
|36||History of water supply and sanitation||370||46||34|
|45||Malnutrition in children||254||32||24|
|47||Neglected tropical diseases||192||34||36|
|48||World Water Day (Note a)||153||36||44|
|52||Urine-diverting dry toilet||107||40||38|
|53||Fecal sludge management||81||42||26|
|54||Reuse of excreta||80||39||41|
|55||Menstrual hygiene day||77||40||47|
|56||Behavior change (public health)||75||27||39|
|58||Community-led total sanitation||60||36||32|
|60||Human right to water and sanitation||54||42||34|
|61||Global Handwashing Day||49||35||54|
|64||Decentralized wastewater system||23||25||16|
|67||Self-supply of water and sanitation||17||38||33|
Note a: Views for these articles spike around 22 March (World Water Day) or 19 November (World Toilet Day). This can vary from year to year, depending on the annual theme of the international observance day.
- See the top priority articles here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Top-importance_sanitation_articles
- See the high priority articles here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:High-importance_sanitation_articles.
Possible new articles
- Onsite sanitation (currently it would link to here Sanitation#Onsite sanitation). The existing article on onsite sewage facilities (OSS) is focussed on the more high tech solutions in the U.S.
- Scaling-up (international development), currently we only have a disambiguation page on Scale up.
First time editor? Work on Leads or Readability
Improve the quality of the first thing readers read
What Wikipedia calls the "Lead" appears first - just before the table of contents and the first section of every article. We want those leads to be the highest quality possible. Diane Kellogg is putting together a team of volunteers to improve all the Leads. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer to be on that team.
The lead should:
- be like an "executive summary" for the article (similar to an abstract for a journal paper)
- have up to 4 paragraphs (each paragraph no longer than 6 lines).
- include hyperlinks for key words (so readers will click and go to other Wikipedia pages).
- use short clear sentences of no more than 15-20 words.
- achieve a Flesch readability score of 60-70.
See the 5th column of the chart on the "Key 100 articles" for the Flesch score of each Lead, as of September 2017. More information about the lead is here.
An example of a good lead in terms of length is the one for pit latrine (although readability can still be improved!).
Improve the "readability" score of the entire article
See the 4th column of the chart in the"Key 100 articles" for the Flesch readability score of the entire article, as of September 2017.
- None reach the goal of 70, on scale of 100, that would make the content accessible to the average reader.
- Simple edits you can do will improve that "readability" score:
- Replace long words with short words whenever possible.
- Replace passive voice with active voice
- Make long sentences shorter or break them into two sentences.
- Reduce paragraph lengths to 4-6 lines.
- You can check the impact of your work by using this link. Paste in the web address of the revised article to get the new readability score.
- Do you want more tips on improving readability? See here.
Work offline: no need to learn the Wikipedia editing system
- Copy the lead or the article you want to work to Microsoft Word or any other word processor and make your changes with the "track changes" function turned on.
- Email your document to email@example.com, and we'll input your changes into Wikipedia.
- If you want to, give us your Wikipedia user name and we can arrange credit for it on the project Dashboard.
More advanced activities
Once you get some experience with Wikipedia, you may want to tackle a few more things that would be valuable to Sanitation Wikipedia. We have listed these below.
Adding citations and images
- do original research to see if there's more current information available than is currently cited in the articles.
- find citations for assertions not referenced, or delete unsupported assertions. Adding references (or citations) is explained here.
- add images that accurately reflect the content. This is explained in detail here.
Translate articles into other languages
- If you speak a language other than English, you can increase the percentage of articles available in your language.
- For example, less than 20% of Wikipedia's articles written in English are available in the Portuguese Wikipedia.
- The "google translator" is a starting point for non-English speakers, but is often woefully inadequate.
- This link to the WikiProject Medicine Translation Taskforce will get anyone interested in translating started:
Further details if you are interested in pursuing this are available here.
Working offline with WikiFundi
Another option: work in WikiFundi which is an offline editable environment that provides a similar experience to editing Wikipedia online.
Data recorded by the project's Dashboard
The project Dashboard is called "Outreach Dashboard" and lets all of us know how the Sanitation Wikipedia project is doing. You can check it any time. This is a long-term project, so no end date is specified. See here.
- The Dashboard records helpful information about the number of:
- Articles created
- Articles edited
- Edits, in total
- Registered editors (with their Wikipedia names listed)
- Words added (this is the net value, i.e. it includes also words removed)
- Article views
- Wikimedia Commons uploads
Here are the values for 1 March 2017 until 30 November 2017 (9 month period):
- Articles created: 362
- Articles edited: 19,500
- Edits, in total: 44,900
- Registered editors: 111
- Words added: 598,000
- Article views: 814 million
- Wikimedia Commons uploads: 1726
Comparison: values for 1 to 31 March 2017 (one month period) (see here):
- Articles created: 13
- Articles edited: 127
- Total edits: 1260
- Editors: 58
- Words added: 43,600
- Article views: 845,000
- Wikimedia Commons uploads: 16
The big increase between November to March is partly due to the fact that certain long-time very active Wikipedians joined up for this event. These editors however edit a range of articles, not just WASH-related articles. Disaggregating the edits made only on WASH-related articles would be too time consuming.
Finding your way around Wikipedia (for novices)
Adjust your "Preferences"
- Go to Wikipedia.org and login.
- Click on "Preferences" at the top right of the screen and adjust your preferences.
- These five tabs are especially important:
- Editing: Use the pull-down menu next to "Editing mode" and select "show me both editor tabs." (Click here to learn about the difference between "edit" and "edit source.") Most novices use "edit". Advanced users also appreciate being able to use "edit source".
- Watchlist: Tick boxes to assure that pages you create, edit, or upload will be on your watchlist.
- User profile: Tick the box "Email me when a page or a file on my watchlist is changed."
- Notifications: Tick boxes to tell Wikipedia what type of e-mail notifications you want to receive.
- Gadgets: Scroll to "Appearance" and tick the first box, which is "Add an "edit" link for the lead section of a page."
Make use of the Tabs on top of articles
Ever noticed the tabs at the top of any Wikipedia article? If not, please take a look as they are very useful:
- The Talk tab takes you to the page where people talk about the article. There you can:
- Ask (and answer) questions related to the Wikipedia article.
- Add your question or answer to the bottom to make reading the running dialogue easy.
- At the end of what you write, insert four tildes (~) and the system automatically "signs" with your username and the date.
- The Edit tab takes you to the page where you can make changes to the article. There you can:
- Use the editing ribbon just as you do for editing documents: Bold, Italic, font size, numbered list, etc.
- Hover over the icons and you will find ones for adding hyperlinks, images and references.
- Scroll to the bottom to find the "Save changes" box.
- Click "Save changes" often: this helps avoid editing conflicts if someone else is working on the same page at the same time.
- The Dashboard adds one edit to your record each time you click "Save change." (another reason to click often)
- Fill in the "Edit summary" box so others can see the reasoning behind your changes.
- Tick the box "Watch this page" just below the "Save changes" box
- Take a look at short introduction videos created by Sanitation Wikipedia volunteers here.
- Click on the thumbnail picture to the right to see a July 2017 video made by WikiProject Medicine. It describes how to edit articles for medical content, including how to cite sources correctly.
Where to go for help?
Want to learn more about:
- Wikipedia editing in general? Click Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia.
- Talk pages in general? Click Talk page guidelines.
- How to insert an image into a Wikipedia article? Click here.
Want to ask a question?
- Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A real person will respond within 24 hours.
- Click on the "talk" tab at the top of this Meetup Page, and type in your question.
- Post your question on the SuSanA discussion Forum. Click SuSanA Discussion Forum.
All events of the WikiProject Sanitation are available here.