Wikipedia:Meetup/Wellington/Women in Science

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WikiSciWomen Banner.png

What's it about?[edit]

A Wikipedia workshop is an all-day event where people improve Wikipedia's coverage of a particular topic. Led by an experienced Wikipedia editor, participants learn to create and edit pages, correct mistakes, add references, and upload photos. Complete beginners are welcome; training and troubleshooting is provided. This edit-a-thon was hosted by the Royal Society Te Apārangi, and focussed on adding and improving articles on women in New Zealand science.

When and where[edit]

  • Sunday 6 August, 2017
  • 10:00–16:00 NZST
  • Royal Society of New Zealand building, 11 Turnbull St, Wellington.
  • Participants from anywhere in the world are welcome to join in remotely, using #WikiSciWomen in tweets and in edit summaries. Using the #WikiSciWomen hashtag in edit summaries will help us highlight the impact of the edit-a-thon via this tool.


Giantflightlessbirds giving the introduction to the workshop
  • 10:00: Meet and greet
    Setup, and account creation if needed.
  • 10:15–12:00: Intro to Wikipedia
    We'll explore how Wikipedia works, how to create and edit articles, and the various editing rules and conventions. Experienced editors will be familiar with this, so will be buddied with newcomers.
  • Lunch
    A light lunch will be provided; vegan and vegetarian options available.
  • 12:30–16:00: Wikipedia editing
    Our goal is for beginners to create stub articles on New Zealand women in science, and to improve existing pages. Experienced Wikipedia editors will be available to help and troubleshoot.

What to bring[edit]

  • Laptop and power cord. The building has free wifi.
  • Any snacks and drink you want.
  • Children are welcome: there will be professional childcare available, so just bring some toys and books to share.
  • Spare name tag or lanyard if you have one (we'll have extras), with your name and Wikipedia username.
  • Any resources (books, journals, magazine or newspaper articles) relevant to pages you're interested in. The Royal Society Te Apārangi has a small library with books on New Zealand science and its history we can use.
  • Any photos that might illustrate articles you're working on; you'll learn how to donate these to Wikimedia Commons so Wikipedia articles can use them.

How to sign up[edit]

This event is free and open to all!

Lunch and childcare are provided; you'll need to register so we know numbers attending. Register here. (Update: all 40 tickets were sold, though two participants cancelled on the day.)


  1. If you're coming, try to create a Wikipedia account beforehand: don't wait until the day to do it! Here's a form you can use. Creating an account makes editing much easier (here's more info on why you should). You'll need to pick a "handle" for your username; you could use your real name, but it's nice to have the option to be a bit anonymous if you want. See the list of attendees below for the format.
  2. Read up on Wikipedia: there are lots of tutorials, like the Wikipedia Adventure, and useful guides, like the Editing Wikipedia brochure. The more you prepare, the more you'll be able to get done. You may want to read up on avoiding common mistakes, but Wikipedia has a "don't bite the newbies" policy, and we'll be there to troubleshoot.
  3. Pick a woman from the list below who needs an article created or improved. Do some homework: find references and sources, especially public-domain or open-licensed photographs (see the info in Useful Links). You don't have to be an expert; anyone who can do library research and write clearly can contribute to Wikipedia. The best candidates for Wikipedia articles are people who are "notable". In Wikipedia terms (here's lots more info on what "notability" means), that usually means they're mentioned in print in various reliable independent sources, such as news stories, textbooks, or magazine articles. If you're proposing to add someone to Wikipedia it's very important to make sure they're "notable"; talk to us if you're not sure.

Some "notable" women who need articles[edit]

Stuartyeates has created a Google list of New Zealand women professors. All of these women meet the minimum requirements for inclusion in Wikipedia, but whether it will be easy to find good, relevant sources will vary from person to person. If you find a blank page a bit intimidating, there is a template at User:Stuartyeates/sandbox/academicbio of things that should go in an academic's biography: it's a helpful starting point.

Other editing tasks[edit]

There are many "stub" articles on notable women scientists that are in need of improvement. See the category New Zealand women scientists. Examples include:

  • The Royal Society has also created this resource, 150 Women in 150 Words which can be used as a reference.

Appropriately licensed images of women scientists need to be discovered and added to their Wikipedia articles. It is worth checking Auckland War Memorial Museum's Collections Online for images as these are appropriately licensed for uploading into Wikicommons and then for reuse in Wikipedia. Help will be given to those who want to learn how to load images into Wikicommons and then add them to articles.

Any images taken of the actual workshop can be added to Wikicommons under the following category: Category:Women in Science, Wellington.

Useful links[edit]


  • Journalists: use the URL in print; it'll take people to this page. (Note: URLs are case sensitive.)
  • Shareable web graphic version of the banner image
  • There's a public Facebook event you can share


Please add your Wikipedia username once you've registered and created an account.

Attended remotely[edit]

Participants from outside Wellington are welcome to register and add themselves and their time zone here. We can Skype you in to chat with other participants and talk about what you're doing. We can't promise you lunch though!


Three editors hard at work on new articles

There were 35 people at the workshop, including two organisers and four experienced editors who helped newcomers. The majority of those attending were complete beginners, never having edited Wikipedia before. Workshop participants made 1144 edits, created 114 Wiki pages including 22 new biographies of women in science, and substantially improved 15 other articles. When surveyed, almost all participants said they would be more or much more likely to keep editing, and 25 out of 28 said they now have a more positive feeling towards Wikipedia. All 28 surveyed said they would definitely come to another workshop, and 21 said they would also be interested in being part of regular informal editing meetups.

New articles[edit]

Articles improved[edit]


A "Wikibrunch" for participants was organised by Giantflightlessbirds on Sunday 5 November at Loretta's Cafe, Wellington. Ambrosia10, Pippipip, Susan Tol, Rosalindaymes, and Emilyc15 attended, and we discussed amongst other things creating a page on anti-nuclear protests in the Pacific and the possibility of an Edit-a-thon at Otari-Wilton's Bush.


We're very grateful for the support of Nancy de Bueger at the Royal Society Te Apārangi for hosting this event, and Rebecca Priestley at Victoria University of Wellington for funding lunch and childcare. The organisers and participants are all volunteers who believe that there are far worse things to spend our precious free time on than improving a free information resource used daily by millions. The woman pictured on our banner is theoretical astrophysicist Beatrice Tinsley, one of New Zealand's leading scientists and the inspiration for this workshop.