Wikipedia:University of Edinburgh/Two year review

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University of Edinburgh Wikimedian in Residence Collage - Year Two images



'Changing the Ways the Stories are Told' - Melissa Highton speaking at the Wikipedia Science Conference - 3 September 2015

The Wikipedian in Residence[edit]

A Wikimedian (or Wikipedian) in Residence (WiR) is a Wikimedian who dedicates time to working in-house at an organization. The role is fundamentally about enabling the host organisation and its members to continue a productive relationship with the encyclopaedia and its community after the residency is finished.

The University of Edinburgh residency aims to facilitate a sustainable relationship between the University and Wikimedia UK to the mutual benefit of both communities through improving knowledge exchange. The Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh is to advocate for Open Knowledge and promote understanding of Wikimedia projects amongst students and staff. This involves delivering skills training workshops and events both inside & outside the curriculum in order to develop the university's commitment to digital & information literacy. As such it is the first Wikimedia residency in the UK to have a whole university remit.

For general information about the Wikimedian-in-Residence programme, the following articles may be of interest:

Background to the project[edit]

The first Wikipedia 'edit-a-thon' in Scotland was held at the University of Edinburgh and focused on Women in Science and Scottish History in February 2015. This event helped make the case for the residency and research arising from that event has newly been published by Professor Allison Littlejohn and Dr. Nina Hood in the online journal Information Research published by the University of Borås in Sweden:

For further details on the background to the residency, please see the 12 month review.

Key aims of residency[edit]

# Strategic goals
1 Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently underrepresented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects, with a particular focus on cultural content.
2 Support the development of open knowledge in the UK, by increasing the understanding and recognition of the value of open knowledge and advocating for change at an organisational, sectoral and public policy level.
3 To support the use of the Wikimedia projects as important tools for education and learning in the UK.
Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal for Online Learning at the University of Edinburgh on the long term impact of the Wikimedian residency (video)

Summary of Activities and outcomes[edit]

Below is an overview of key activities and outcomes which would likely not have happened without the direction of a Wikipedian in Residence.

External video
Wikimania 2017 in Montreal WMUK photos 40.jpg
University of Edinburgh's Melissa Highton and Ewan McAndrew discuss how WIRs can create value for educational institutions.


Growing the ScotWiki community - St. Andrews Day Wiki meetup 2017 at Levels cafe, Edinburgh.

Several events were held in collaboration with partners across a range of disciplines (Reproductive Medicine, English Literature, the School of Divinity,the School of Chemistry, Translation Studies, the School of Law, Digital Sociology, Global Health and Anthropology, the Centre for Design Informatics etc.) and external partners including the the University of St Andrews and the Scottish Library and Information Council among others. The editathon model has been proved to be an effective way of bringing staff & students to come together to share knowledge & develop their digital & information skills as part of an open knowledge community and is now well established and understood at the university.

  • 110 Training sessions delivered in total. 76 more since the 12 month review.
  • 1 'ScotWiki' Wikipedia Social meet held on St. Andrews Day 2017.
  • 5 Wikipedia in the Classroom assignments completed.
  • 1 Wikipedia component for Online Education courses facilitated.
  • 39 Editathon events in total. 27 more since the 12 month review.
  • 438 students trained.
  • 331 staff trained.
  • 174 members of the public trained.
  • 98 Rolling active editors. Doubled last year's efforts; there were 46 rolling active editors at end of year one.
  • 2368 volunteer hours.
  • 1182 attendees at residency events. 815 more than the 12 month review.
  • 442 Wikipedia usernames recorded.
  • 235 new Wikipedia accounts.
  • 69.5% of attendees were female (on average).
  • 71.2% of the total number of attendees were female.
  • 6541 new articles (includes Wikidata items created).
  • 394 new Wikipedia articles.
  • 1139 improved articles.
  • 2963 Edits to Wikipedia Mainspace
  • 822,620 bytes added to Wikipedia's mainspace.

Wikipedia in the Classroom[edit]

Reproductive Biomedicine Wikipedia Education assignment - September 2017
Video interview with Ruth Jenkins, Academic Support Librarian at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, speaking about the Reproductive Biology Honours Wikipedia assignment.

Year one assignments 2016/2017[edit]

  • Reproductive Biology Honours - Semester One.
  • Translation Studies MSc - Semester One and Semester Two.
  • World Christianity MSc - Semester One.
  • Intellectual Humility (MOOC) - online tutorial.
  • Online History MSc - Summer project.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) - online tutorial.

Year two assignments 2017/2018[edit]

  • Translation Studies MSc course started in September 2017 - 21 students trained to translate 2000 words from one high quality article into a different language Wikipedia. Repeated in Semester Two.
  • Reproductive Biology Hons. course started in September 2017 - 51 students trained to work in groups to create articles missing from the field of Reproductive Biomedicine (6 new articles and 1 improved with 26.3K words added and 618,000 article views to date).
  • World Christianity MSc course began in September 2017 - 8 students trained to create articles missing from the field of World Christianity.
  • Data Science for Design MSc - Wikidata in the Classroom project in Semester One.
  • Global Health MSc - postponed due to Felix Stein's research leave. First iteration confirmed instead for 2018/2019.
  • Workshop in Digital Sociology MSc - First iteration in November 2017.
  • Intellectual Humility (MOOC) - online tutorial.

Further collaborations

  • Also presented a talk on Wikipedia as the Front Matter to All Research to colleagues at the School of Astronomy's Blackford Hill site.
  • Met with Dr. S. Orestis Palermos to discuss his research on Wikipedia as Social Machine and put him in contact with Wikimedian Ed Saperia to further collaborate on this research.
  • Met with Valeri Wiegel to discuss a Science, Technology and Innovation Studies editathon.
"I use Wikipedia a lot, so it was good to be able to understand exactly what goes into editing it. The assignment also helped me understand where to find valuable references in places I would not have known to look.

Reproductive Biology Hons. student

"I had the opportunity to translate a small part of Milton's poems, and it was a great translation practice. I became more informed about how Wikipedia works and how to create and edit an entry."

Translation Studies MSc student

"It is nice to see my work published and online, and the content translation tool meant that I didn't have to spend much time worrying about formatting"

Translation Studies MSc student

"It demystified creation of online resources especially in this context, Wikipedia. I believe we had all the help and resources necessary for a successful article. Thank you for this wonderful exposure, enabling in us the "I can" spirit."

World Christianity MSc student

"It surprised me that editing a Wiki article would be such fun."

World Christianity MSc student

Planning for Year three assignments 2018/2019[edit]

  • Reproductive Biology Honours students - confirmed for September 2018. (4th iteration)
  • Global Health MSc - confirmed for September 2018.
  • Translation Studies MSc - (tbc)
  • World Christianity MSc - Semester One (tbc).
  • Data Science for Design MSc - Wikidata in the Classroom project in Semester One (tbc).
  • Digital Society MSc (tbc).
  • Law (under discussion).

Wikidata in the Classroom - The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft project[edit]

Following a Wikidata workshop at the Open Knowledge Network event earlier in 2017, Joe Corneli from the Data Science for Design MSc invited the residency to attend the Data Science for Design MSc's annual Data Fair on 26 October 2017, where I presented to 45 students on the course a project to import the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft database into Wikipedia's sister project, Wikidata. Two groups of students were enthused to volunteer and they received introductory training to get started which included adding place of education data for Glasgow Caledonian University alumni.

The two groups first divided the data into three datasets (witches, witch trials and people involved in administering the witch trials) and mapped them onto Wikidata. They then mass-edited Wikidata to add verifiable machine-readable data referenced back to the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft. We now have 3219 items of data on the accused witches in Wikidata (spanning 1563 to 1736). We also know 2356 individuals involved in trying these accused witches. Finally, we have 3210 witch trials themselves. In total, Data Science MSc Students at the University of Edinburgh created Wikidata items for 8,785 accused witches and witch trials from the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft database, and an additional 53,636 statements were added as labels. Now we can link and enrich the data further by adding location data, dates, occupations, places of residence, social class, marriages, penalties arising from the trial etc. The students also produced videos visualising their analysis of the datasets (available on Creative Commons license):

History of Medicine Wikipedia editathon at the Surgeons Hall Museum

Year two editathons[edit]

Student societies[edit]

Black History Month editathon on 25 October with the History Society

Students felt empowered to suggest collaborations with the following student societies:

  • The Translation Society.
  • International Development.
  • The History Society.
  • The Law and Technology Society.

Addressing the gender gap[edit]

Wiki Women in Red editathon at the University of Edinburgh
Periodic Table cupcakes at Ada Lovelace Day 2017 - King's Buildings, University of Edinburgh
  • We held events for International Women's Day in 2017 (Women writers); International Women's day 2018 (Suffragettes); Black History Month 2017, Ada Lovelace Day 2017 (Women in STEM with a special focus on Women in Chemistry); Women in Medicine; Women in Anthropology; Lost Literary Women; and International Nurses Day. All these events had a strong focus to address the gender gap on Wikipedia and create new role models for young and old alike.
  • Ada Lovelace Day held on 10 October - 16 attendees at the editathon, 13 articles created and 2 improved about notable women in STEM including ensuring all 19 signatories to the 1904 petition to the Chemical Society were represented. The event also had 41 signups to the talks and fun tech activities in the morning and 63 signups to the evening film screening of 'A Chemical Balance' & panel discussion with Professor Polly Arnold, Professor Jane Norman and Dr. Carole Morrison. Storify of the day.
  • Wikipedia Women in Red editathons are also held every month at the university to allow Wikipedia editors a place to come and gain further practice and advice in a supportive environment but also to focus on the creation of pages about notable women missing from Wikipedia to help address the content gender gap where only 17.6% of biography articles are about women.
  • Caroline Wallace, HR Senior Partner (Equality and Diversity) has confirmed that Wikipedia Women in Red editing is part of their new 4 year Athena SWAN action plan at the university with a focus on improving the visibility of female role models in ten academic disciplines.
  • Navbox created for Annie's Arboretum - to help signpost the suffragettes who planted trees at Eagle House in Bath, Somerset - and added to each of their Wikipedia pages.
  • New page created for Isabella Skea - (1845-1914) who was a campaigner for women's rights from Aberdeen who became the first female headteacher of a large mixed sex board school when few female headships were achieved. Her rise to prominence from a humble background has led to her being described as "the lass o' pairts" as a female counterpoint to the notion of "the lad of pairts" prevalent in Scottish educational philosophy of the time.
  • New page created for Elizabeth (Bessie) Watson - Scottish child Suffragette and piper. Bessie wore hair ribbons in the colours of the Suffragette campaign to school. She played the pipes on the platform of Waverley Station as trains departed taking convicted women's rights campaigners to Holloway Prison and she piped outside Calton Jail to encourage the Suffragettes imprisoned there.
  • New page for Phoebe Blyth (1816-1898) who was a Scottish philanthropist and educationist from Newington in Edinburgh. She was a leading campaigner for opening up opportunities for women in professional employment and one of the first Scottish women to be elected to public office.
  • Met with Leah McCabe, Learning, Teaching and Web's new Gender and Equality Images intern based at the university's Centre for Research Collections on 8 February 2018 to discuss how her work surfacing images from the university's archive collections can be supported by, and help contribute to, the Wikimedia projects.
  • Met with Siobhan O'Connor from Edinburgh Napier University to discuss her proposed plan for a three day editathon to improve coverage on Wikipedia relating to women working in Nursing Informatics. Contributed to an article she submitted to the Lancet on the Wiki Women in Red project.
  • Mary Susan McIntosh (1936–2013) sociologist, feminist, political activist and campaigner for lesbian and gay rights in the UK featured as a ‘Did You Know‘ fact was on Wikipedia’s front page on 11 May 2017. The front page is viewed, on average, 25 million times a day. Mary’s page was only written on 8 March 2017 during our International Women’s Day event here at the University of Edinburgh by one of our attendees, Lorna Campbell (read Lorna’s blog article on Mary here). While her page has only been live on Wikipedia for two months, Mary’s page has now been viewed in excess of 7000 times because a) editors were motivated to address Wikipedia’s gender gap problem where less than 15% of editors are female and less than 18% of biographies are of notable women and b) we felt Mary’s story was important enough that it should be shared on Wikipedia’s front page and introduced to an audience of up to 25 million.
  • Successfully nominated one new article from our 22nd February #Vote100 and Women in Medicine editathon to be included on the front page of Wikipedia in the Did You Know section. The article on Frances Ivens, chief medical officer at the Scottish Women's Hospital at Royaumont, northeast of Paris, has gone from not existing at all on 21 February 2018 to receiving over 5000 views on 27 March 2018.

The Celtic Knot: Wikipedia Language Conference 2017[edit]

Celtic Knot 2017 collage
The University of Edinburgh Wikimedia residency - Year Two

The main objective of ‘Celtic Knot’ was to showcase innovative approaches throughout Wikimedia Projects that facilitate cooperation between language community practitioners and enable access to open content to facilitate the growth of these communities. Participants exchanged ideas, solutions, problems and visions concerning collaboration-building, policymaking, best practice and advocacy on open access, community support and public engagement. The conference programme offered insights into technological novelties, such as the new Content Translation tool, plans for text-to-speech and speech recognition technologies for Welsh Wikipedia. Recent research findings on bilingualism and minority languages by Prof. Antonella Sorace (University of Edinburgh) and on identifying opportunities and challenges of sharing free knowledge in Latin-American native languages through Wikipedia by Eddie Agila (Rising Voices) were shared, as well as the work of UNESCO in bridging Wikidata and the ‘UNESCO Atlas of World Languages in Danger’.
Small language community engagement techniques were of key interest during the event and tips and progress were shared enthusiastically by Basque, Catalan, Estonian, Rhaeto-Romance and Welsh professionals. A collaborative workshop was dedicated to assisting the Norwegian partners in their specific problem of revitalising the Sami communities on Wikipedia and resulted in sharing useful practices to institutional partnership building and a wide range of potential activities. Innovative approaches, such as the strategy of Welsh Wicipedia in supporting the Welsh government to reach 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050, further inspired the attendees. The conference was delivered just as Wikimedia UK’s Celtic languages work started to solidify and become ready for knowledge-sharing across languages. It also coincided with the global Wikimedia movement strategy development, which puts an unprecedented focus on minority languages and knowledge diversity. For this reason, the conference attracted a significant amount of social media interest. The conference inspired participants to follow up the developments in minority languages throughout Wikimedia Projects on a yearly basis. The Welsh attendees volunteered to host the event in 2018, and Norway will be home to the conference in 2019.

Sharing digital content[edit]

Detailed metrics are available via the Baglama2 tool to measure the impact of University of Edinburgh images shared on an open licence via Wikimedia Commons.

The Library and University Collections division (L&UC) has included Wikimedia work in its new digitisation strategy "to establish a programme for enriching Wikipedia / Wikimedia with collection images, to support teaching and public engagement” by July 2019.

New Library and University Collections digitisation strategy[edit]

  • Broader upload of images to Commons
  • Wikipedia Content Audit
  • Training programme
  • Proactive linking of collections to external Wiki activity
  • Ongoing experimentation with Wiki tools and contribution to the community

Map of Iceland appears in Wikipedia and CC State of the Commons Report[edit]

17th century map of Iceland digitised by the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Research Collections and uploaded to Wikipedia by Anne-Marie Scott.

A 17th century map of Iceland digitized by the Centre for Research Collections and uploaded to Flickr was added to Wikimedia Commons during a Women in Medicine editathon in February 2016. This map was subsequently added to the German and English Wikipedia pages for Iceland and as a result of interest generated by the Euro 2016 football championship the map has now been viewed over 10 million times. The story of the Iceland map was picked up by Creative Commons who included it as a Spotlight Feature in the influential 2016 State of the Commons Report.

  • 55 images uploaded to Wikimedia Commons from the Library & University Collections.
  • 16,735,955 views accrued from these uploaded images between January 2016 and March 2017. This amounts to an increase of 9,634,942 pageviews since the 12 month review. Total monthly page views for March 2017: 1,140,153.
  • 17 images shared by Edinburgh Central Library from Ethel Moir's World War One diary, and added to relevant Wikipedia pages.
  • Kirsty Lingstadt (Head of Digital Library) has met with Jason Evans, Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales, on Friday 7 July 2017 to learn more about his particular residency with a view to seeing how GLAM residencies work. A proposal for a SDLC & GLAM-Wiki showcase event involving SLIC WiR Sara Thomas, NLS WiR Susan Ross, myself and UoE Digital Curator, Gavin Willshaw, has been mooted.
  • Data from the Mactutor Archive has been autoscraped into Wikidata so all 2739 biographical entries should now be represented on Wikidata with a link back to the Mactutor site.
  • Planning continued for the release of theses data to Wikidata from the Edinburgh Research Archive.
  • The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft database is being imported into Wikidata.
  • The university have also recently been digitising PhD theses as part of a two-year project and a pilot case of uploading PhD theses to Wikipedia's sister project, Wikisource (the free content library) took place in February 2017 (Thomas Jehu's thesis) to see if others can be uploaded and linked to relevant biography pages on Wikipedia.
  • Added 416 'Place of Education' (P69) statements to Wikidata during the Wikidata hackathon. So now William Henry Playfair joins suffragette Bessie Watson in the Histropedia timeline of University of Edinburgh alumni (filter by gender, occupation & place of birth)
  • Created short video to demonstrate how to create a Wikidata-driven timeline of university alumni for any institution.
  • Met with Melissa Terras, Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage at the University of Edinburgh's College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, on 7 February 2018 to discuss areas of potential collaboration.

Wiki Loves Monuments 2017[edit]

View all 2,100 pics.

Flickr Images[edit]

45 Public Domain images imported from the British Museum's Flickr site of illustrations from Robert Louis Stevenson's Edinburgh:Picturesque Notes.

Added illustration of Thrawn Janet, Robert Louis Stevenson's gothic horror story to Wikimedia Commons. The article was first created by User:Triptropic at our Edinburgh Gothic editathon in November 2016. The image was then used to illustrate a talk on Revenants and Robert Louis Stevenson - The Scottish Undead in literature by Dr Louise Yeoman, previously co-director of the Scottish Witchcraft Survey which I attended on 23 November 2017.

Wikidata-driven timelines, bubble charts and maps[edit]

SPLOT resources[edit]

  • Wiki Basics - SPLOT Wordpress site developed by Anne-Marie Scott and Ewan McAndrew to simplify how to get started with Wikipedia editing, specifically to aid new editors before an editathon. Used ahead of the Lost Literary Women editathon on 24 November 2017.
  • Wiki Games - SPLOT Wordpress site building from Anne-Marie Scott's Mozfest presentation with a view to enabling members of staff at Learning, Teaching and Web Services (and other new editors) to engage with short, fun ways of contributing to the Wikimedia projects. Used in the LTW Staff meeting on 5 December 2017.
  • Wikisource Basics - Wordpress site to simplify the process of engaging with Wikisource, the free digital library. Used in the Wikisource workshop on 7 December 2017.
  • Wikidata Basics - SPLOT Wordpress site to simplify the process of engaging with Wikidata, the free and open knowledgebase of structured linked open data. Used in the Wikidata workshop on 21 February 2017.


  • University of Edinburgh alumnus Thomas Jehu's digitised PhD , Some Problems in Variation and Heredity, was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and transcribed onto Wikisource, Wikimedia’s online library of digitised, out of copyright texts, in 100% searchable HTML. A link to the thesis has been added from the Wikipedia page for Thomas Jehu so that it is only 1 click away. The page has been viewed 196 times on Wikisource to date, compared with 11 downloads from the University of Edinburgh's own repository. A tenfold increase.
  • Robert Louis Stevensons' Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes(1914) added to Wikisource and 100% transcribed into searchable HTML.
Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes - Image demonstrating the interlinking of the Wikimedia projects

As a result we now have:

  1. The illustrated text described as “to the Scot it ought to be a sort of Bible” in 100% searchable HTML on Wikisource.
  2. Illustrations shared to Wikimedia Commons for anyone to share and reuse.
  3. A brand new Wikipedia article created about the book with a) a link to the book's illustrations on Commons and b) a link to the text on Wikisource. Both 1 click away!
  4. A link to the text on Wikisource added to the Wikipedia page for Edinburgh so that the text is surfaced on a relevant page where people can discover it.

Other texts added to Wikisource. (includes texts by Lost Literary Women Authors recently added to Wikipedia during the LitLong editathon in November 2017):


The Wiki Library’s campaign takes place every January to mark Wikipedia's birthday and asks librarians to add references to help improve Wikipedia's verifiability as a birthday present to Wikipedia. Increase in University of Edinburgh adding citations to Wikipedia every year:

2016: 32 citations added.
2017: 63 citations added.
2018: 184 citations added.

There has been a move from asking 1Lib1Ref attendees to add references in a “free for all” to using the Citation Hunt Tool to managed microtasks (e.g. adding citations for pages on individuals held in the thesis collection). As a result of moving to managed microtasks, there has been a large increase in staff involvement from the Library and University Collections division (L&UC) which sets the scene for planned future editathons.


In order to promote the benefits of open access, and of engaging with Wikipedia projects, a Twitter account was setup so news about the project could be shared. Regular blog posts were also used to report on aspects of the project. The residency has also attracted interest from other Higher Education and Open Education institutions and the resident has been interviewed for STV television, a BBC Technology podcast and the OEPS website.

  • 7844 Tweets. 5204 more since the 12 month review.
  • 1,993,500 Twitter impressions. Trebled since 12 month review.
  • 30 Blog posts by the resident.
  • 28 blog posts by others about the residency.
  • 14 video interviews recorded. 10 more than last year.
  • 224 videos curated on the Wikimedian in Residence Media Hopper channel. 131 more videos than at 12 month review.
  • 63 videos created; hosted on the Youtube channel and the Media Hopper channel. 33 more since the 12 month review.
  • 30,821 views in total for the Youtube channel since January 2016. 23,000 more views since the 12 month review.
  • 144 subscribers to the Youtube channel. 100 more subscribers since the 12 month review.
  • 165 countries have viewed videos from the Youtube channel.
  • 8,300 views for one particular video - The Wikidata Sparql Query Tutorial. Almost 7,000 more views since the 12 month review.
  • 6499 views for the second most viewed video -'How to edit using Visual Editor: Part One'.
  • 14 MOOC video snippets shared to Wikimedia Commons and inserted into relevant Wikipedia pages.
  • 1,023 views for the MOOC snippet of drone footage of Arthur's Seat since it was added to the Wikipedia page for Arthur's Seat on 27 November 2017.
  • 37 conferences and presentations.

OER17, Summer of Data, and Community Heritage Conference presentations[edit]



There are many positives to take from the second 12 months of the residency at the University of Edinburgh. The events and presentations we ran have again led on to staff and students approaching us to run more presentations, workshop events and classroom assignments so that the work of the residency continues to reach new people and encourage more collaborations.
As last year, we have had engagement with all three teaching colleges, across a range of disciplines and have built on the three very different case studies from year one in:

  1. Reproductive Medicine (Hons.) course assignment
  2. the World Christianity MSc literature review assignment and the
  3. Translation Studies MSc Independent Study module assignment.

From being something of an experiment in year one, these 3 courses have now established an (improved) methodology which can now be replicated elsewhere in many other disciplines. The Reproductive Biology assignment in particular has grown from:

  • 3 students participating in 2015/2016
  • 28 students participating in 2016/2017
  • 51 students participating in 2017/2018

Course leaders on the Reproductive Biomedicine course have confirmed that they will run the project again in 2018/2019 as they have intimated in interviews that they value the skills & experiences the project delivers; particularly in bringing groups of students together to work collaboratively at the beginning of the year. What is especially pleasing is that the course is making a real difference. Aine Kavanagh, a student on the course in 2016/2017, wrote an article on High grade serous carcinoma, one of the most common forms of ovarian cancer, and one of the most deadly too. Her scholarship has now been viewed over 30,000 times from publishing in September 2016 until March 2017, addressing a serious health information gap for the benefit of the global Open Knowledge community. Aine also developed her own openly licensed diagrams using Photoshop to help illustrate the page as she could not find any openly-licensed diagrams. The makeup of the Reproductive Biology class is also 92% female; an illustration that we are moving further away from Wikipedia being thought of as the preserve of the 'white techy male'. Discussions have now been moving into how course leaders would sustain the work on their own and how to move the assignment from something formatively assessed to something summatively assessed. Translation Studies MSc course leaders have also been happy to support the assignment over 4 consecutive semesters. Beyond this, there were three new Wikipedia in the Classroom assignments planned in for 2017/2018.

  1. Data Science for Design MSc - Wikidata in the Classroom assignment.
  2. Global Health MSc - 200 word Wikipedia research assignment (postponed until 2018/2019 due to Felix Stein being on research leave in Haiti.
  3. Digital Sociology MSc - introductory workshop with a view to further project work on the Digital Society course.
  4. Law (undergraduate) - in discussion.
  5. Archaeology (postgraduate) - early discussions.

Social media, particularly Twitter, has also been of huge value in advocating open knowledge, critical information literacy and developments in the residency. As a result, we have also seen other Higher Education and cultural institutions looking to become more involved with Wikimedia since the residency began which is enormously encouraging.


Making successful local examples visible for course leaders to see a) how others engage with Wikipedia in the Classroom projects and b) the first steps as to how they would go about getting started themselves has been something we would like to see happen. As a result of the last two years, for the first time, we now have enough examples of good practice to create a Wikimedia UK booklet of Case Studies of Wikipedia in the Classroom in the UK. Using the current booklet as a jumping off point, the University of Edinburgh and Wikimedia UK are collaborating on the design and content of this new booklet which will feature assignments from the University of Edinburgh and other notable examples from across the length and breadth of the UK. This exciting development should be available online and in print in the next few months.

Case Studies booklet (current version)

Time and motivation were identified at the residency's outset as the two key challenges to overcome. There are undoubted challenges for staff & students to engage with new initiatives during the busy academic calendar so flexibility on the part of the Wikimedian has again proved to be a necessary part of the residency. While academic colleagues are greatly motivated to explore collaborations, there is an appreciation of the learning curve involved so lowering the barriers for both learning how to edit Wikipedia and how to train others how to edit Wikipedia is an ongoing challenge. A challenge that is getting easier with the new Visual editor and all the new video tutorials and resources newly created. There does seem to be a 3-step process which seems to help colleagues bridge the divide and feel more confident about becoming a trainer:

  1. Colleagues first learn how to edit themselves in a workshop or editathon event so they experience it from a trainee's point of view.
  2. Colleagues then attend a Train the Trainers workshop to demonstrate the resources available and the process to delivering a successful training session.
  3. The new trainer then leads a training session with an experienced Wikimedian on hand.

These 3 steps are not always necessary however as law undergraduate, Jemima John, was enthusiastic enough to lead a training session herself after attending her first Train the Trainer workshop.

Demystifying Wikipedia & its sister projects[edit]

Introducing Wikipedia's sister projects to a new audience has prompted some enthusiastic responses esp. in terms of Wikisource (the free content library of longer out-of-copyright texts) and Wikidata (the free & open knowledgbase of structured data).

The Wikidata workshops for the Open Knowledge Network event, the Wikidata I/O showcase event at Repository Fringe, the Summer of Data event at the University of St Andrews, and the Wikidata Conference in Berlin laid the groundwork for Wikidata in the Classroom project work on the Data Science for Design MSc course, a Wikidata hackathon at the Festival of Creative Learning and an upcoming Wikipedia & Wikidata 2 hour practical workshop at the annual Digital Day of Ideas 2018 symposium at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in May 2018.

Working collaboratively and building sustainability[edit]

I have encountered positive reactions to Wikipedia at every turn and Edinburgh University, as an ancient university but also a modern 21st-century university, has significantly moved to embrace the residency in its second year and now includes it:

  1. As an asset in its annual report.
  2. As a core part of a 4 year action plan for meeting its commitment to Athena SWAN.
  3. In planning discussions for how to get greater public engagement with research.
  4. In college-wide events such as the Digital Day of Ideas 2018.
  5. As part of its new digitisation strategy for its Library and University Collections.

I encounter fewer and fewer misconceptions & preconceived (historic) ideas about Wikipedia as the residency has continued. There seems to have been a shift in the thinking of many as regards Wikipedia's usefulness in academic contexts. As such, its role as the front matter to all research has been understood & accepted. That being said, like last year, I maintain that establishing a core Wikipedia working group of staff has been crucial to the success of the residency. With the leadership of Melissa Highton and Anne-Marie Scott, and the assistance of key colleagues from Open Education (Lorna Campbell & Charlie Farley), Academic Support Librarians and Digital Curators (Marshall Dozier and Gavin Willshaw) the work of the residency has been successful. These relationships and the will to work with Wikipedia has made the difference in my view; and has led to collaboration after collaboration with each one building on the last. Now, in its second year, the residency has empowered these colleagues to run their own editing events which is helping to achieve sustainability in the longer term:

  • Wikipedia editing training workshops are now embedded in the Digital Skills programme at the university with Andrew Kirk and Christina Hussell taking the lead.
  • Charlie Farley ran a Wikipedia editathon for Gender, Global Health and Justice in February 2017.
  • Anne-Marie Scott ran a Lost Literary Edinburgh Wikipedia editathon in November 2017 and a Wiki Games workshop at Mozfest in October 2017.
  • Lorna Campbell was to have run an Archaeology editathon in Nov/Dec 2017 (since postponed) but will assist on the Wikidata workshop for the Digital Day of Ideas in May 2018.
  • Gavin Willshaw has run the Portobello: People and Places Wikipedia editathon in April 2018 with a view to future editathons with colleagues in Library and University Collections.
  • Jemima John, law undergraduate, is to run a Law and Technology Society editathon.
  • Translation Society students have been trained and plan to run their own Wikipedia translation workshops.
  • Dr. Simon Riley and Dr. Richard Smith are looking to explore how they can run the Reproductive Biology editathon workshops themselves.
  • Felix Stein is willing to run the Global Health MSc Wikipedia editing session.
  • Sophie Nicholl is helping to faciliate a training session for would-be Wikipedia trainers at Teesside University on 27 & 28 April.
  • Academic support librarians, Marshall Dozier, Ruth Jenkins and Donna Watson are running a 'How to run a Wikipedia editathon workshop' at the annual EAHIL Conference in Cardiff in July 2018 for other health information librarians.
  • Facilitated two practice workshops for Digital Skills colleagues (18 January 2018) and colleagues at Library & University Collections (26 January 2018) so they could have a dummy run at being the lead Wikipedia trainer before doing it for real in front of an audience.

Key learning points[edit]

These year one learning points remain true for year two:

  • Sharing good practice & working collaboratively is crucially important.
  • Creating a variety of stimulating events where practitioners from different backgrounds can be motivated to attend to participate in an open knowledge community has proved to be a successful approach.
  • Wikipedia & its sister projects offer a great deal to Higher Education and can be successfully integrated to enhance the learning & teaching within the curriculum.
  • Demystifying Wikipedia through presentations, workshops & scaffolded resources has yielded positive reactions & an increased understanding of Wikipedia's important role in academia.

In addition, I would add:

  • Once colleagues attend workshops, they see how to better use and evaluate Wikipedia. The academic calendar and the current time pressures for academic colleagues do not often allow for deep explorations however so developing resources that further explain simply how and why to engage with Wikipedia is an area for development. Resources can always be improved for further and piggybacking on other events that colleagues are already likely to attend may be the way forward.

Looking forward[edit]

The University of Edinburgh residency has been extended by mutual consent until 11 January 2019. The resident will continue to support Wikipedia in the Classroom assignments and facilitate staff members to continue their collaboration with Wikimedia after the residency. In addition, the resident will continue to advocate for the sharing of open knowledge and deliver sessions which increase digital literacy & information literacy both inside & outside the curriculum. Now that the editathon model is well established at the university, the resident will support others to lead editathon sessions with a view to building greater sustainability and also focus increasingly on ways that the institution can collaborate with Wikipedia's sister projects such as WikiSource, Wikimedia Commons, Histropedia and Wikidata in particular.

Case studies[edit]

Lesson plan[edit]


Year One video interviews[edit]

  • The Wikimedian in Residence channel on Youtube now has accrued 30,821 views of its 63 videos with 144 subscribers (23,000 more views and 100 more subscribers since the 12 month review).

Year Two video interviews and presentations[edit]

MOOC video snippets shared to Wikimedia Commons[edit]

  • Sneak peak of the number of views for the newly added MOOC snippets above for March 2018.


Getting started with Wikipedia[edit]

Getting started as a Wikipedia Trainer/Course leader[edit]

Getting started with Wikimedia Commons – the free & open media repository[edit]

Getting started with Wikidata – the free & open knowledgebase of structured linked open data[edit]

Getting started with Wikisource – the free digital[edit]

Wikipedia Games[edit]