UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

LILAC 2014: Information Literacy Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Title: Improving the Information Literacy entry on Wikipedia: LILAC’s first edit-a-thon!

Event: LILAC 2014 conference, 23-25 April 2014

Facilitators: Nancy Graham, University of Roehampton, Brian Kelly, Cetis, Claire Packham, British Library, Andrew Walsh, University of Huddersfield and Andrew Gray

Date and time: 15.25-16.55 on 23 April 2014

Venue: Sheffield Hallam University

Target audience: Information literacy librarians.

Abstract:

This extended workshop will be a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to improve the Information Literacy entry. The Information Literacy page on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_literacy) is in the top three on the list of Google results for information literacy and attracts around 10,000 pages views per month (http://stats.grok.se/en/latest/Information_literacy). It is therefore one of the key resources for anyone interested in information literacy and needs to be accurate, up to date and reflect a global viewpoint.

No single information literacy group has taken responsibility for updates to the page and it has been edited on an ad hoc basis over the years. In June 2010 Wikipedia highlighted the need for more formal editing of the page and to increase the global viewpoint. At present the page is heavily biased towards the United States. As Wikipedia is edited on a purely voluntary basis, there has so far not been any agreement on how to update the page.

Editing Wikipedia pages can be a very daunting prospect for non-users and enthusiastic amateurs alike. The Wikimedia Foundation provides support and guidance on creating and editing Wikipedia pages (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Welcome_to_Wikipedia_brochure_EN.pdf) and will also advise on running edit-a-thons. The workshop will provide an opportunity for LILAC delegates to learn about Wikipedia editing and to contribute to the improvements to the Information Literacy pages with guidance from current Wikipedia editors.

The process of editing a Wikipedia page is a long term commitment which can involve asynchronous online discussions with other Wikipedia editors and information literacy stakeholders. Participants to the workshop will learn about the importance of engagement with the Wikipedia editorial community and the importance of an inclusive approach to improving the Information Literacy page.

The aim of the workshop is threefold:

  • Decide on the changes to be made to the Information Literacy Wikipedia page
  • To give a short training session on editing Wikipedia pages
  • To edit the Information Literacy page and begin

Deciding on which changes need to be made to the Information Literacy page will be crucial in order to focus editing activity and online discussions. Workshop leaders will provide the participants with the current basic structure and ask them to work in small groups to feedback about omissions and inaccuracies. Participants will also be asked to consider appropriate images to include in the page.

The workshop leaders will then provide basic training on editing Wikipedia and participants will set up a Wikipedia account and undertake some small edits to improve their confidence. The group will also be shown how to contribute to the Talk page and begin online discussions with other editors.

Finally participants will then be set into small groups and with guidance from the workshop leaders will begin editing small sections of the Information Literacy page, making improvements to the current structure and content.

Intended outcomes:

  • Improved knowledge of Wikipedia and in particular the Information Literacy page
  • Gaining skills and confidence in editing Wikipedia
  • Small improvements to the IL Wikipedia page
  • Start of online discussion about the Information Literacy page

There are three small things to do in advance to make the session run smoothly. One is to register an account – it should only take a minute or so. Go to https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:UserLogin&returnto=Main+Page&type=signup

Secondly, read this (short) paper – it’s intended for biologists, but the advice it gives is useful for anyone interested in Wikipedia: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000941

Finally, take a look at the draft of a new section IL in the UK to get a feel for what will be covered:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Libraries/LILAC/IL-UK

Resources:

Brian Kelly has produced slides for a talk on “Training the Trainer” which will be used at necessary during the session. The slides are available on Authorstream (login required to access).

 

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