UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

LILAC 2014: Getting to Grips with Wikipedia

Title: Getting to Grips with Wikipedia: a Practical Session

Event: LILAC 2014 conference, 23-25 April 2014

Facilitators: Brian Kelly, Cetis and Nancy Graham, University of Roehampton

Date and time: 14.25-14.55 on 23 April 2014

Venue: Sheffield Hallam University

Further details: See the abstract on the LILAC 2014 web site on the Internet Archive (original content deleted from the LILAC conference Web site).


Wikipedia provides an ideal tool for making information more readily accessible to a wide community, ranging from school children, the general public, students, researchers, as well as senior managers and policy makers.

Concerns over the accuracy of Wikipedia articles have been well-documented. However the crowd-sourced creation and reviewing of articles appears to be effective in ensuring that articles are accurate and relevant. In addition Wikipedia’s fundamental principles for content creation, including neutrality of contributors and objective descriptions being provided from a neutral point of view, is also helping to ensure that Wikipedia content meets the quality requirements which would be expected of such a popular service.

Sceptics may point out that research is suggested that the numbers of Wikipedia contributors are declining. However a response to this should be to encourage librarians to have a greater involvement with the Wikipedia community, which might include editing existing articles, creating new articles and training their users in how to create or edit articles.

This hands-on session will provide an opportunity for those who may be new to Wikipedia to create a Wikipedia profile and even update existing Wikipedia articles. To gain the most benefit from the workshop participants should bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone to use during the session. However for those who do not have such devices, we will ensure that participants without devices are paired with those who do.

The workshop resources will be made available under a Creative Commons licence for those who wish to use them for their own training.

By the end of the session participants will have:

  • created a Wikipedia account;
  • created a Wikipedia user profile;
  • used simple Wikipedia markup in their user profile page and understood how it can be used in Wikipedia articles;
  • identified existing Wikipedia articles which can be improved and, if time permits, have improved the articles;
  • learnt about the key Wikipedia principles.

It should be noted that this session is self-contained. It may also be of relevance for those who wish to participate in the Wikipedia edit-a-thon session, especially for those who have no prior Wikipedia editing experience.

There are two 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

Secondly, read this (short) paper – it’s intended for biologists, but the advice it gives is useful for anyone interested in Wikipedia:


The slides are available on Slideshare and embedded below.

In addition a backup copy of the slides is available on Authorstream (login required to access).

Other Relevant Sessions

It should be noted that this session provides the skills and expertise needed for those who wish to take part in the session on Improving the Information Literacy entry on Wikipedia: LILAC’s first edit-a-thon! In addition Andrew Gray and Nancy Graham will present a paper on Wikipedia: it’s not the evil elephant in the library reading room.


2 Responses to “LILAC 2014: Getting to Grips with Wikipedia”

  1. […] main activity at the conference took place on the first day when I ran a has-on session on “Getting to Grips with Wikipedia” and helped support LILAC’s first edit-a-thon on “Improving the Information Literacy […]

  2. […] Developments in the UK” at the Wikimedia Serbia Eduwiki conference; a workshop session on “Getting to Grips with Wikipedia: a Practical Session” at the LILAC 2014 conference; an invited plenary talk on “Editing Wikipedia: Why You […]

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