Wikipedia:Meetup/Sanitation Wikipedia/2

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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.

Project information[edit]


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.


SuSanA members at a meeting in Chennai, India
SuSanA members at a meeting in Kigali, Rwanda

Adobe Connect work room hours[edit]

  • 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 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[edit]

Register on the project Dashboard[edit]

  • 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 (We respond within 24 hours: test us!)

List of volunteers[edit]

  • 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:

Sanitation articles to choose from for this drive[edit]

Existing articles[edit]

We have started selecting the "Key 100 articles," listed below. Please suggest other articles to add by either emailing us ( or making your suggestion on the "talk page" by clicking on the "talk" tab at the top of this page.

Our suggestions:

  • 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.
Article numbers:

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
3 Toilet 1190 53 46
4 Hygiene 1032 40 38
5 Sanitation 913 31 24
6 Open defecation 632 34 35
7 Wastewater 523 35 25
8 Reclaimed water 315 34 37
9 WASH 166 32 20
10 World Toilet Day (Note a) 121 36 48
11 Water pollution 5004 35 27
12 Gastroenteritis 3771 35 49
13 Cholera 3612 43 57
14 Diarrhea 2758 38 54
15 Sewage treatment 1773 36 38
16 Malnutrition 1429 39 40
17 Feces 1292 50 36
18 Schistosomiasis 1260 40 50
19 Menstrual cup 1155 49 49
20 Urine 1103 44 33
21 Public health 1074 21 8
22 Drinking water 1069 44 56
23 Compost 1054 39 35
24 Waterborne diseases 977 33 30
25 Emergency management 942 21 -32
26 Human feces 796 44 48
27 Wastewater treatment 784 20 41
28 Composting toilet 760 38 35
29 Antimicrobial resistance 671 22 22
30 Ascariasis 623 48 52
31 Sewage 608 38 39
32 Helminths 601 41 40
33 Greywater 418 35 38
34 Hand washing 410 43 43
35 Public toilet 371 48 43
36 History of water supply and sanitation 370 46 34
37 Pit latrine 368 59 68
38 Manual scavenging 342 37 33
39 Human waste 336 48 45
40 Stunted growth 330 42 44
41 Fecal–oral route 292 42 16
42 Child mortality 264 46 58
43 Helminthiasis 261 30 21
44 Groundwater pollution 255 28 30
45 Malnutrition in children 254 32 24
46 Social marketing 245 37 17
47 Neglected tropical diseases 192 34 36
48 World Water Day (Note a) 153 36 44
49 Blackwater (waste) 139 42 35
50 Dry toilet 113 41 58
51 Vacuum truck 111 58 61
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
57 Mass deworming 61 36 37
58 Community-led total sanitation 60 36 32
59 Improved sanitation 56 31 42
60 Human right to water and sanitation 54 42 34
61 Global Handwashing Day 49 35 54
62 Septic tank 36 37 44
63 Omni Processor 26 46 41
64 Decentralized wastewater system 23 25 16
65 Emergency sanitation 22 37 21
66 Vermifilter 20 24 12
67 Self-supply of water and sanitation 17 38 33
68 Sustainable sanitation 13 17 19
69 Container-based sanitation 7 36 27

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.

Possible new articles[edit]

First time editor? Work on Leads or Readability[edit]

Improve the quality of the first thing readers read[edit]

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 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[edit]

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[edit]

  • 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, 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[edit]

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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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[edit]

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)[edit]

Adjust your "Preferences"[edit]

  • Go to 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[edit]

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

Helpful videos[edit]

A video on "How to edit Wikipedia, for medical students", July 2017
  • 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?[edit]

Want to learn more about:

Want to ask a question?

  • Send an e-mail to 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.

Other events[edit]

All events of the WikiProject Sanitation are available here.

External links[edit]