Charting Diversity – Working together towards diversity in Wikipedia
In our study, Charting Diversity, that was published in August 2014, we identified additional instruments and field of actions that could have a positive effect on promoting gender diversity in editors. Two approaches are key: Developing an understanding and awareness on the subject of “diversity” within the community as well as nurturing and enhancing an open and a welcoming culture are highly important. As Lila Tretikov, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, and others said at this year’s Wikimania, the promotion of mutual respect and a positive communication culture are essential for Wikipedia. Another field of action is our research on the connection between diversity and quality of knowledge production. There are still many unanswered questions as to how socio-demographic diversity affects the content of Wikipedia articles.
Charting Diversity deals with diversity and its importance to Wikipedia, documenting our current knowledge on the matter, setting out fields of action and concluding with a catalogue of measures to serve as motivation for our future work. The study incorporates the opinions and ideas of male and female Wikipedians, gathered at numerous meetings, workshops and at the 2013 Wikimedia Diversity Conference in Berlin.
Key Action Points
Understanding and awareness
This action point focuses on raising awareness and educate people on the topics so they can reflect on their own attitudes and actions and develop new strategies for dealing with individual differences. The main goal is for Wikipedians to approach individual differences as something to be appreciated.
An open and welcoming culture
A more open and welcoming culture at Wikipedia lays the foundation for building a culture of respect where every participant's expertise and know-how is recognized and used without reservation. Being open to diverse perspectices and ways of living results in an inclusive work environment and a positive attitude towards change.
Respect and communication
Respectful interaction leads to better collaboration and a more positive working atmosphere. Approaching people with respect means alyways treating them in a way that reflects underlying values of tolerance, appreciation and goodwill, regardless of the situation.
Participation and involvement
Participation means sharing in Wikipedia and in the various decision-making opportunities and responsibilities Wikipedia provides. It's impossible to be a meaningful participant in a community without the opportunity to make a difference, to make decisions, and to help shape, initiate and change things.
Quality and knowledge production
Quality of knowledge in Wikipedia includes more than just the quality of jointly created products (such as Wikipedia articles). It also comprises the quality of joint knowledge processes (such as collaboration between multiple actors).
Charting Diversity was created as part of the Wikipedia Diversity project. The project was developed in collaboration with Prof. Ilona Buchem, guest professor in digital media and diversity at the Gender and Technology Center of Beuth University of Applied Science in Berlin.
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