Grants:APG/Proposals/2016-2017 round 1/Wikimedia UK/Impact report form

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Purpose of the report[edit]

This form is for organizations receiving Annual Plan Grants to report on their results to date. For progress reports, the time period for this report will the first 6 months of each grant (e.g. 1 January - 30 June of the current year). For impact reports, the time period for this report will be the full 12 months of this grant, including the period already reported on in the progress report (e.g. 1 January - 31 December of the current year). This form includes four sections, addressing global metrics, program stories, financial information, and compliance. Please contact APG/FDC staff if you have questions about this form, or concerns submitting it by the deadline. After submitting the form, organizations will also meet with APG staff to discuss their progress.


Wikimedia UK is proud to present our Impact Report for the 2017/18 financial year. We hope that stakeholders including our own community, partners, the Wikimedia Foundation and the Funds Dissemination Committee will enjoy reading about our achievements during the year, including progress towards our strategic aims and objectives and our success in terms of the Grant Metrics and other indicators.

We have performed strongly against Grant Metrics this year, as follows:

  • 6252 people participated directly in our programmes, compared to our target of 4000
  • There were 1094 newly registered users/editors, exceeding a target of 1000
  • 408,947 articles were improved or created against a target of 80,000
  • The estimated number of volunteer hours was 17,981, against a target of 16,000
  • Our total audience and reach (excluding press and broadcast media coverage) was 85,601, well in excess of our target

We are also very pleased with our results against other indicators, such as:

  • Working with 275 lead volunteers, compared to a target of 145 and actuals of 219 in 2016/17 and only 70 in 2015/16; with 49% of lead volunteers in 2017/18 being women (against a target of 38% women lead volunteers)
  • 27,207 images and media were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with around a third of these (32%) being used in Wikimedia articles against a target of 10% reuse
  • According to the recent Volunteers Survey, just over 81% of volunteers who participated would recommend Wikimedia UK, and the same percentage said that they had developed new skills as a result of their participation in our activities during the year

In addition to providing quantitative data about our delivery in 2017/18, through this report we will share narrative information about our work during the year and including in-depth case studies drawn from across our three programmes: Diverse content and contributors, Promoting open knowledge, and Education and Learning. Highlights of our activity include:

  • Our continued focus on diverse and under-represented content as the strategic driver for much of our partnerships activity throughout the year, which is helping to address systemic bias on Wikimedia
  • Highly successful, large-scale and ongoing partnerships with major cultural and educational institutions in the UK including the National Library of Wales, University of Edinburgh, University of Oxford and Wellcome Library, which are all hosting Wikimedians in Residence
  • The creation of permanent posts for the Wikimedians in Residence: at the National Library of Wales - where the Wikimedian is now embedded within the Digital Access team - and the Wellcome Library
  • The appointment of a new Wikimedian in Residence in partnership with the Scottish Library and Information Council
  • The successful delivery of the Gaelic Wikimedian in Residence project, in partnership with the National Library of Scotland
  • Our education programme, which includes delivery of Wikipedia in the Classroom with 9 universities across the UK as well as work with school children in Scotland and Wales.
  • The inclusion, after several years of working towards this with the curriculum body WJEC of Wikipedia modules into the Welsh Baccalaureate from September 2018, Wikimedia UK’s growing expertise in working with minority languages, particularly indigenous languages, as highlighted at July’s well attended Celtic Knot conference in partnership with the University of Edinburgh as well as through projects delivered with Kurdish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh-speaking communities
  • The charity’s growing profile and credibility within the UK’s cultural, education and open knowledge sectors, with staff, board members, residents and volunteers in high demand to talk at events and conferences. Our Chief Executive delivered the keynote speech at the Open Educational Resources conference in April and gave presentations at the CILIP annual conference, DCDC Conference, DCMS, and the London REMIX Summit, whilst our Chair, Josie Fraser, gave the keynote at the British Library’s annual BL Labs Symposium
  • A high level of engagement with the Wikimedia 2030 movement strategy process, with our Chief Executive sitting on the steering group to determine the strategy planning process, creating regular opportunities for input by our volunteer community including a strategy session at our AGM, and a partnership salon hosted by our Chief Executive and Chair and attended by 15 leaders from the cultural sector

Looking back we see a lot of innovation across our programme areas, and the particular developments are highlighted throughout this report for ease of reference.

Background & strategic context[edit]

The financial year 2017/18 was the second year of Wikimedia UK’s current three year strategy, outlined below. We are now going into the final year of this plan and will, therefore, spend some time during 2018 reflecting on our priorities and revising our plans, to create a new strategy for the next three to five years which builds on our current high level of delivery and furthers our social mission.

Wikimedia UK endorsed the new strategic direction for Wikimedia in October 2017, and noted the high level of overlap with our own strategic priorities - particularly in terms of diversity and equality, expressed in the Wikimedia 2030 strategic emphasis on knowledge equity. We anticipate being closely involved in the next phases of the movement’s strategic development.

Our vision is of a more tolerant, informed and democratic society through the shared creation of, and access to, open knowledge.

Our mission is to support and advocate for the development of open knowledge, working in partnership with volunteers, the cultural and education sectors and other organisations to make knowledge available, usable and reusable online.

Wikimedia UK is working towards the following longer-term benefits, or outcomes:

  1. Our work has significantly increased access to knowledge about, or held in, the UK
  2. The Wikimedia projects reflect our diverse society and are free from systemic bias
  3. Learners in the UK are able to understand and engage with open knowledge
  4. Wikimedia UK is recognised as a leading organisation for open knowledge

To support the achievement of these outcomes, during 2016–19 our strategic goals are as follows:

  1. Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently under-represented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects
  2. Contribute to the development of open knowledge in the UK, by increasing understanding and recognition of the value of open knowledge and advocating for change at an organisational, sectoral and public policy level
  3. Support the use of the Wikimedia projects as important tools for education and learning in the UK

These strategic goals relate directly to our three key programme areas:

  1. Diverse content and contributors
  2. Promoting open knowledge
  3. Education and learning

These programme strands are interconnected, with some of our activities – such as Wikimedians in Residence - helping to deliver our strategic goals; however, for the purpose of planning and reporting, we have identified which key programme strand and strategic goal to which each of our activities relates.

Global metrics overview - all programs[edit]

For more information, see Grant Metrics.

The table below shows our results for all programmes. Later in this report, we report on our achievements against the grant metric targets for each individual programme.

Metric End of the Year Targets Achieved annual outcome Explanation
Participants GM1 4000 6252 People that engaged in person with a range of our activities, including Wikipedia/Wikidata training series, editathons, conferences, workshops, meetups, and educational courses.

Across these activities in 2017, WMUK and its volunteers featured at 16 different conferences and delivered 120 training sessions and workshops, 61 edithatons and hackathons, 22 volunteer meetups, and 57 awareness-raising presentations about open knowledge and Wikimedia. People furthermore participated in our project grant program, contests, and educational courses. We run in-person activities as it strengthens our outreach activities and builds the volunteer network. Our external presence at conferences grew considerably in 2017 thanks to the strategic leadership by our CEO, hence the higher achieved outcome.

Newly registered editors GM2 1000 1094 Our activities bring in a good number of new editors. These editors come from varied backgrounds and contribute to our ‘diverse contributors’ goal.

The editors come mostly from wiki workshops, editathons, educational courses, from participating in the WLM contest, and new volunteers trained to help with uploads (e.g. via National Library of Wales).

Articles added/improved GM3 90,000 408,947 Generating diverse content is a key priority for Wikimedia UK, particularly through Wikidata as it enables us to apply our work across a variety of languages, as shown in our pioneering work with Welsh Wikipedia.

The rise of Wikidata work in our partnerships explains this overachievement in terms of content metrics. We uploaded or improved numerous datasets, e.g. British Halfords (60k improved and 4k new Wikidata items), Welsh listed buildings (30K new items, subsequently improved), Welsh newspapers (67k improved items), health (35k improved items). A significant upload of 8785 items to WikiData on Scottish Witches and their trials plus the subsequential 53,636 edits of these items by students. The remainder of this achievement was attained by a collection of smaller projects, editathons, regular editing events, and articles created or improved during educational courses, articles on Wikipedia, etc.

Volunteer hours - GDM 1. 16,000 17,981 Volunteers power our activities - enabling and providing them with ways to get involved with the chapter is one of our key activities.

This metric summarizes the hours spent on activities by people involved in WMUK activities, and by lead volunteers. Volunteer hours are calculated by adding the hours that our volunteers, residents, and Trustees spend on leading or attending committee and partnership meetings, working groups, workshops, editathons, volunteer programs, grants, contests, educational courses, or promote WMUK activities at conferences or institutional events. It is calculated based on our tracking sheet of events and activities and our data recorded in CiviCRM. At the UK national minimum wage, this contribution would be worth more than £140,000. In 2017, several bigger projects required a significant amount of work from volunteers - 500 hours each for Celtic Knot Conference and the Education Summit Conference; 5067 from educational classroom programs, 2,151 from lead volunteer activities and partnership interactions, 1,045 volunteer hours from the NLW volunteer programmes, over 200 hours of WiciMon activities engaging students, 417 hours on contests (WLM+World Red Contest). The rest is made up of wiki training, workshops, editathons, presentations at conferences, meetups, and other events.

Total audience reach - GDM 2. (online or in-person engagement with Wikimedia UK) 54,145 85,601 With ‘raising awareness of open knowledge’ being one of our three strategic goals, reaching a wide audience is an important focus of our work - which is particularly supported by our Communications Coordinator. With this team member becoming fully operational in 2017 and focusing on online outreach, our end year result was much higher than expected!

The total figure Includes 79,074 social media subscribers and viewers of our social media channels and 6,252 active event and programme participants and 275 lead volunteers.

Color coding of the results

Achieved Target has been achieved or exceeded
Opportunity for improvement Good progress has been made towards achieving the target, but the target has not been reached
Attention required Little or no progress has been made towards achieving the target

All of our metrics - Summary[edit]

Grant (GM) and Grantee-Defined Metrics (GDM) are in italics. For context, targets, and explanations, please see narratives under the individual strategic programme descriptions.

Metric Annual targets (2017-18) Achieved outcome
1. Total audience and reach (GDM2) 54,145 85,601
2. Number of newly registered users (GM2) 1000 1094
3. Number of total participants (GM1) 4000 6252
4. Number of leading volunteers 145 275
5. Percentage of above who are women 33% 48.72% (134)
6. Estimated number of volunteer hours (GDM1) 16,000 17,981
7. Volunteers recommend WMUK 85% 81.25%
8. Volunteers feel valued by WMUK 85% 75.86%
9. Volunteers developed new skills 75% 81.48%
10. Images/media added to Commons 20,000 27,207
11. Images/media added to WM article pages 2000 8456
12. % of uploaded media used in article pages 10% 31,08%
13. Content pages created or improved, across all WM projects excl. Commons (GM3) 90,000 408,947
14. Number of articles created 8000 50,798
15. Digital media reach 50,000 79,074
16. Responses to consultations 3 4
17. Policy change affected 3 3

We have met all the targets set this year, and significantly overperformed on a few, as illustrated by this graph:

Wikidata is the main explanation for the outstanding results in terms of content delivery. All the metrics that measure our planned delivery - such as our advocacy efforts, volunteer engagement and events - were close to (although generally somewhat higher than) the set targets. The areas where we went significantly over target are all content-related metrics, which were directly affected by our success with Wikidata and weren't possible to predict when we were setting the targets.

Programme 1 - All Metrics[edit]

Grant (GM) and Grantee-Defined Metrics (GDM) are in italics. For context, targets, and explanations, please see narratives under the individual strategic programme descriptions.

Metric Annual targets (2017-18) Achieved outcome
1. Number of total participants (GM1) 1500 2686
2. Number of newly registered editors (GM2) 700 734
3. Number of articles added/improved (GM3) 89,500 344,786
4. Estimated number of volunteer hours (GDM1) 8000 8639.6
5. Total audience and reach (GDM2) 1620 2819
6. Number of leading volunteers 120 133
7. Female % of above 33% 42.85% (57)
8. % of volunteers recommend WMUK 85% 81.25%
9. % of volunteers feel valued by WMUK 85% 75.86%
10. % of volunteers who developed new skills 75% 81.48%
11. Images/media added to Commons 20,000 (plus mass uploads) 27,207
12.Images/media added to Wikimedia pages 2000 8456
13. % uploaded media used in content pages 10% 31,08%
14. New articles added 7900 35,489

Programme 2 - All metrics[edit]

Grant (GM) and Grantee-Defined Metrics (GDM) are in italics. For context, targets, and explanations, please see narratives under the individual strategic programme descriptions.

Metric Annual targets (2017-18) Achieved outcome
1. Number of total participants (GM1) 2000 2863
2. Estimated number of volunteer hours (GDM1) 4800 4275
3. Total audience and reach (Total direct engagement) 52,010 82,060
4. Number of leading volunteers 10 123
5. Digital media reach 50,000 79,074
6. Responses to consultations 3 4
5. Policy change affected (Evidence taken into consideration) 3 3

Programme 3 - All metrics[edit]

Grant (GM) and Grantee-Defined Metrics (GDM) are in italics. For context, targets, and explanations, please see narratives under the individual strategic programme descriptions.

Metric Annual targets (2017-18) Achieved outcome
1. Number of total participants (GM1) 500 703
2. Number of newly registered users (GM2) 300 360
3. Number of Articles added/improved (GM3) 500 1684 + a mass upload of 8,785 new items and 53,636 edits to WikiData (in total, 64,105)
4. Estimated number of volunteer hours (GDM1) 3,200 5067
5. Total audience and reach (GDM2) 515 744
6. Number of leading volunteers 15 41
7. Articles added 100 95 +8785 new items to WikiData by students, (in total, 8880)

Telling your program stories - all programs[edit]

Programme 1: Diverse content and contributors[edit]

Overall goal 1: Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently under-represented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects

This programme is addressing both the quality and quantity of content, ensuring that under-represented subjects are covered as well as increasing file diversity, and diversifying the editor base. This takes inspiration from the Wikimedia gender gap programme, which addresses inequalities in both content and its contributors.


Metric 2016/17 full year achieved 2017/18 full year target

(total for all programmes) - Strategic Programme 1.

2017/18 year achieved

(total for all programmes) - Strategic Programme 1.

Participants (GM1) 2137 (4000)




A varied group of people took part in our events - Wikipedia/Wikidata training series, open events, editathons, conferences, workshops, meetups, volunteer programs, summer schools and educational courses. We are continuing to focus on attracting a diverse participant group. This metric helps us see whether our programmes remain relevant to the groups we are targeting.
Newly registered editors (GM2) 522 (1000)




Mostly registered from editing training sessions, editathons, and volunteer content competitions.
Articles added/improved (GM3) 476,022 (90,000)




A key metric measuring our efforts in generating content relating to under-represented knowledge. Seeing that we surpassed the target significantly is encouraging and suggests there is more we can do, to bring diversity content into Wikimedia.

This includes new and modified articles on Wikipedia and files added and edited on Wikidata e.g. our WIR’s Hillforts project, mass uploads of Welsh listed buildings, Welsh biographies of notable people, WikiHealth.

Volunteer hours (GDM1) 12,096 (16,000)




The amount of time that participants and lead volunteers contributed to the work of Wikimedia UK. This can include attendance at contests, open events, training series, workshops, editathons, conferences, and presentations.

This helps us see the engagement levels of our broad community and the attractiveness of our programme offer.

Total audience and reach (GDM2) N/A (54,145)




Includes participants as above (GM1) plus 133 leading volunteers (see below).
Leading volunteers 151 (145)




Leading volunteers who are organising GLAM partnerships, contests, workshops, and editathons, leading on advocacy - essentially volunteers taking leadership roles in driving the activities of the chapter. This is a key driver of our activity, expanding the scale of what we can achieve.
Female % of above 23% (33%)


(48.72% - 134 women)

42.85% (57 women)

42.85% of our lead volunteers were female in 2017.

Diverse volunteer force helps attract diverse participation at our outreach events, so this is a key metric in our general gender gap work.

% of volunteers who reported having developed new skills through WM volunteering N/A 75% 81.48% 81.48% of our volunteer survey respondents reported feeling that their volunteering with WMUK equipped them with new skills.
Images/media added to Commons 45,554 (20,000+mass uploads)

20,000 (Plus mass uploads)



Wiki Loves Monuments resulted in 14,310 uploaded images (19% higher than previous highest for the UK), a significant proportion of which came from Wales. Sound files on Welsh music, images of Welsh journals, war memorial photographs are amongst the major uploads in 2017.
Images/media added to Wikimedia pages 2898 (2000)




This figure involves 5580 files of images of Welsh journals and audio files reused on cywiki. WLM images were also reused at a high rate on Wikipedia.

A high reuse rate tells us that the images we uploaded were addressing important content gaps on Wiki projects.

% uploaded media used in content pages 6.4% (10%)




Due to reuse in Wikidata, 31% of our uploads to Commons were picked up by editors in 2017.
New articles added 369,372 (8000)




Largely coming from a Welsh monuments Wikidata set added - important expansion for the Welsh cultural heritage.

Color coding of the results

Achieved Target has been achieved or exceeded
Opportunity for improvement Good progress has been made towards achieving the target, but the target has not been reached
Attention required Little or no progress has been made towards achieving the target

Background and overview of achievement[edit]

Strategic Goal 1: Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently under-represented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects

Frame the story

The Welsh language is a source of great pride for the people of Wales. I believe that everyone who wants to access services in the Welsh language should be able to do so.

— Alun Fred Jones, the Welsh government's Minister for Heritage

It was a real privilege to be involved in this event and as a Gael, I found the [Celtic Knot] conference to be both moving and inspiring. I may have got a little starry-eyed listening to delegates talking animatedly in Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Basque and too many other languages to mention. And as an indication of the collaborative and supportive nature of the event, it was great to see all 50+ delegates come together to provide input and advice to Wikimedia Norge on how to support Sami language Wikipedia.

— Lorna Campbell, OER Liaison - Open Scotland, Learning, Teaching and Web Services Division at the University of Edinburgh

Wikimedia UK works in partnership with the cultural and education sectors and other organisations to make knowledge freely available, usable and reusable online. By developing partnerships with institutions with diverse collections, and other organisations that hold important information about diverse subject areas, we can produce and release material about under-represented subjects and help address systemic bias.

This logic model illustrates how our focused work with organisations in the UK will lead to greater diversity of content available to all people:

Working with our community underpins all of our programme delivery. However, given the scope and scale of our work to increase coverage of under-represented subjects, a significant proportion of our work with volunteers falls under this programme strand. This is reflected in our targets for this programme and demonstrates how our extensive offline work with the Wikimedia UK community translates into online impact (as this is also the programme with the highest outputs and targets relating to content creation). It is also within this programme strand that we put the most focus on diversifying our volunteers and editors.

This logic model explains why we see volunteer engagement as key to our programmes, and how we plan to create an engaged, diverse community:


The UK is one of the most culturally diverse countries in Europe, with over 300 languages spoken including the indigenous living languages, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic. With the country’s world-class cultural holdings we believe that we have a responsibility to reanimate cultural heritage for new and diverse audiences. Organisational partnerships are key to delivering this programme, and Wikimedia UK has established ongoing, highly successful partnerships with a wide range of institutions across the UK.

We are committed to developing projects that help to address the gender gap; and as well as promoting and advocating for the involvement of women and other under-represented groups on Wikimedia. The gender gap is a key theme for many of our Wikimedians in Residence in their partnership activities, even when the focus of their programmes is on another aspect of our strategy, such as education. We appreciate that many contributors are committed to increasing diversity and equality on Wikimedia regardless of their own background, and are working closely with existing volunteers and editors to develop and deliver this work. To support skills development amongst this cohort, in 2017 we ran a focused training programme based on feedback from our annual volunteer survey. This is our largest programme in terms of investment and short term outcomes.


Editors at Swansea University – image by Llywelyn2000

Our continued focus on diverse and under-represented content was the strategic driver for much of our partnership activity throughout the year, helping to address systemic bias on Wikimedia. In a major achievement, we achieved gender parity on Welsh Wikipedia - more articles on cywiki are about women than men. We regard this as significant achievement and we are committed to maintaining gender parity on Wicipedia. Our content achievements in this programme area are highlighted in the metrics table above.

Our high profile partnership work underpinned success in this programme area. In 2017, after extensive preparation, we set up a new Wikimedian in Residence in partnership with the Scottish Library and Information Council. We also oversaw the delivery of the Gaelic Wikimedian in Residence project, in collaboration with our long standing partner organisation, the National Library of Scotland.

Wikimedia UK is growing its expertise in working with minority languages, particularly indigenous languages, as highlighted by July’s Celtic Knot conference in partnership with the University of Edinburgh.

Volunteers and programme participants contributed roughly 8000 hours, while our 130 lead volunteers contributed by helping us deliver our programme. Wiki Loves Monuments served as a brilliant focus to our volunteer engagement. Not only did it draw in a significant number of first time contributors (over 300) and generate an impressive amount of volunteer hours (around 350, including photographers and judges), it also provided an opportunity for our lead volunteers to contribute to key tasks. Because we focused WLM on Wales and Scotland, it engaged volunteers in these key areas.

Our Europeana 1914-18 showcase won the prize for Most Diverse Portfolio, reflecting our work with different partners on different aspects of the conflict, different types of content, and different languages.


As a chapter we’re continually improving our programmes, and taking advantage of opportunities arising within our partnerships. For a few years now we have been committed to running fewer, but longer partnership projects. This approach does not create stagnation or repetition of programmes. Because we have built trust and mutual understanding, we are able to innovate and risk new approaches. For example, a lot of volunteer activity in 2017 was enabled by Wikimedians in Residence, who acted as hubs of activity for local communities. This was a new, distributed approach for us. Instead of leading all volunteer activity from the Wikimedia UK office, it was increasingly done through the Residents. This decentralised approach is reflected in a new diversity in our range of volunteers, e.g. at National Library of Wales, contributing to Wikipedia is an official option for its volunteers.

Also, we have organised the movement’s first ever Celtic Knot conference, bringing to focus our experience and reflections on working with minority language communities.

Elephants in the room

In our assessment of the 2017 programme, FDC stated: WMUK includes gender diversity as an emphasis in its programs. At the same time, specific plans to address gender diversity are not included, nor are there specific targets in this area.

We have clear targets on gender in terms of our volunteers, and were delighted to have exceeded these significantly in 2017-18, with nearly half our lead volunteers identifying as women. Whilst we don’t currently have metrics related specifically to the diversity of the content our programmes generate, we hope that it’s clear through our narrative reporting that this is a high priority and is yielding excellent results.

Further, in our proposal, it was also hard to see the connection between our focus on diverse content and our efforts to diversify the editor and volunteer community. Taking that feedback on board, we combined these two areas in this impact report to draw closer parallels and connections between them; demonstrating how these two areas of work are interrelated, affecting and strengthening each other. Whilst working on content and contributors may sometimes require different approaches, the two areas of work contribute to the same strategic goal of increasing the quality and quantity of coverage of under-represented subjects on Wikimedia.

Highlights of programme activity[edit]

CELTIC KNOT theme[edit]
External audio
Files from Sain Records on Wiki Radio
  • With our commitment to growing under-represented knowledge of the UK, it has become very important to us to focus on the United Kingdom's ‘Celtic fringe’. This strand of work has emerged as the ‘Celtic Knot’ and it has guided our content and community work in 2017, with the Celtic Knot conference serving as a focal point (case study below). This spring we delivered a WiciPop project (led by the National Library of Wales and funded by the Welsh Government) which aimed to improve Wicipedia content about pop music and popular culture. The project brought together a series of projects and grew beyond its original library-only scope to mobilise other partnerships. For example, as a result of continued hard work and advocacy by our Wales Manager, Sain Record Company agreed to release 11,000 sound clips and album covers to Wikimedia Commons. More than half the clips have since been added to Wikipedia, showing how needed this content was.
  • Inspired by the success of WiciPop project, the Welsh Government agreed to fund another programme to be delivered by the National Library of Wales - this time focusing on health information in Welsh. Just as the WiciPop work galvanised music partnerships, WikiHealth has been bringing together health information organisations, such as the British Lung Foundation and Mind UK. These developments are further boosted by the creation of a Wikidata Infobox for use on all medical articles on the Welsh Wikipedia - a case study about this project is below.
  • Other significant projects in Wales include the release of the 30,000 listed buildings database from Cadw, supplementing the Historic England release we delivered in 2016. Both of those databases supported our Wiki Loves Monuments programme in September. As the case study below illustrates, we put a strong Wales/Scotland emphasis on WLM in 2017, recognising that those countries within the UK have the most content gaps to be addressed.
  • In 2017 the Wici Mon project was launched, employing a full-time Welsh language Wikipedian for the first time. The resident has been working with secondary schools, instructing pupils on editing cywiki. Crucially, he was able to deliver training for the local community to record and upload around 1,200 village and town names pronounced by Welsh speakers. This was a project idea we have had for several years but had not been able to make it a reality in the past due to lack of capacity and a lack of an existing thematic focus into which it could be tied. The upload will continue in 2018.
  • Taking inspiration from the developments in Wales, the Gaelic Wikipedian project focused initially on galvanising the Uicipeid editor community. It then moved on to establishing links with language communities and building engagement with the project. It also raised awareness of the collections of National Library of Scotland within Gaelic speaking communities - e.g. we were represented at the Royal National Mòd, the largest annual festival for Gaelic speakers. We also connected the non-Gaelic-speaking staff of NLS with Uicipeid, to help identify how the National Library’s digital Gaelic collections can be linked in order to develop the encyclopaedia. This is important as it enables English-speaking contributors to enhance the contributions of the Gaelic-speaking community. The Resident focused on curating learning materials and guidance for beginner editors, together with instructions for educators. She also proposed a Language policy that covers which spelling conventions are considered appropriate, which was key for a small language wiki.
GENDER GAP theme[edit]

Gender gap work has always been of high importance to us, and in 2017 we have focused on gender diversity in our existing strands of work.

  • The Edinburgh University residency delivered projects beyond its primary ‘Wikipedia in Classroom’ focus, developing several key diversity initiatives throughout 2017. Often the activities were tied in with relevant courses delivered at the university, for example the History Society ran a Black History Month editathon, writing biographies of notable women of colour. A Reader at the School of Chemistry volunteered to organise an Ada Lovelace Day event focused on Women in Chemistry, and has also encouraged his postgraduate students to attend monthly Wiki Women in Red meetups at the School of Chemistry to work on articles ahead of the event. Those regular meetups use source texts such as the Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, taking inspiration from the Dictionary of Welsh Biographies project led by NLW last year.
  • We delivered a successful programme of Art+Feminism events, with higher outputs in terms of content creation than the previous year. These events continue to help us build and develop our relationships within the arts sector.
  • Following on from the Oxford Food Symposium activities in previous years, editing training events took place at the British Library and Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, attracting female academics in the field of food history. This is not an exclusively gender-focused event, but attendance is 100% women and through the event we were able to create new content addressing the gender imbalance in the history of food.
  • After a successful editathon in January 2017 the Women’s Classical Committee set up regular monthly meetups to edit collectively. In April they held an in-person session at the Classical Association conference, raising the profile of the project amongst classicists. They ran monthly meetups online, allowing the people involved in the editathon to continue their work. This was covered by the leading publication in the field, Times Higher Education.
External video
Wikimedia: Wikipedia's sister projects as platforms for Digital Humanities

At Wikimedia UK we work to enrich people’s understanding and engagement with our collective cultural heritage and to ensure that this is available in digital forms as much as possible.

  • At Bodleian Libraries, uploading cultural heritage information to Wikidata has focused on the Hillforts Atlas. This will raise the profile of those locations with the general public (as they are not currently well known).
  • We are adding the BBC’s recordings of the bells of selected churches in the UK to Wikipedia articles, with the potential for every notable church to have a sound file added to its article. If this is successful, we aim to have the BBC release more content that can be embedded on Wikipedia articles, expanding accessibility by adding audio and possibly video content.
  • The Europeana 1914-18 Showcase was set up this year to look back at how Wikimedia UK has worked with its partners to improve open content related to the First World War. Our showcase won the prize for the Most Diverse Portfolio projects, reflecting our work with different partners on different aspects of the conflict, different types of content, and different languages. We used the prize to fund a volunteer who embarked on a photo hunt tour focused on war memorials, combined with in-depth work on the Wikipedia articles.

It’s important to us that we increase access to cultural heritage assets to everyone living in the UK, regardless of their background. We are continuing to explore ways in which to achieve this for minority and diasporic communities. In 2017 we focused on the Kurdish community in London, taking advantage of existing connections.

Kurds are unusual among diaspora communities in that they do not have a secure state of their own, and face threats to their culture as a people. They are proud of their nationality, and preserving their heritage is important to them. Kurds speak a range of languages, including Kurmanji, Sorani, Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Armenian, Azeri, so we needed to consider our focus in terms of which language Wikipedia(s) to work on. So far we have found that Kurmanji or the Kurdish (Kurdî) Wikipedia is the most natural fit for this audience, but we remain flexible depending on the interest of the community we work with. We are teaching Wikipedia skills to Kurdish Kurmanji language teachers, as we felt this has the best chance of being scaled up. The plan is to incorporate some Wikipedia tasks into their teaching methods, supporting a language that, whilst widely spoken (by 15 million people), is threatened by hostile government policy in countries with large Kurdish populations such as Turkey. Factors we consider important to the success of this type of work are:

  • Involving native language speakers
  • Developing good relationships and contacts within the community
  • Enthusiasm for the project
  • Institutions that can act as venues, networks, and advocates
  • Native language Wikipedians
  • Digital skills and literacy

UK train the trainer's event Edinburgh July .jpg
UK train the trainer's event Edinburgh July
Train the trainers Edinburgh Paterson's Land July

We built the skills and capacity of our volunteer community by running two focused Train the Trainer events in the summer of 2017, to coincide with the Celtic Knot conference. We invited some of our current WIRs and six people from other Wikimedia chapters (Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands) to offer them the opportunity to experience this established training course and encourage them to implement something similar in their communities. They all covered the costs of their participation, which signalled their commitment to knowledge exchange between chapters.

Delivering such skill-building activities for volunteers has a direct impact on our programme delivery. For example, in 2017 we were working with Leeds University’s Research Data Management, with the discussions led by two accredited trainer volunteers based at the University. Their attendance on our Train the Trainer course earlier in 2017 gave them greater confidence to plan larger projects involving the university (one of them remarked: "I had planned one-off ad hoc events before but this gave me the confidence to think about planning a series of events and helped me find a network of other trainers nearer to where I live to co-plan events much more easily").

As part of our work to increase and enable our Wikidata community, we held several training sessions covering the use of tools and queries. We usually have a mixed ability group, including representatives from local GLAMs who provide databases to work on. This feeds directly into our dynamic programme work strand on Wikidata databases, responding to our need for more expertise in the area. Our volunteer grant scheme continued. With our diversity commitment in mind, in the summer we supported a new volunteer to attend ‘WikiPride’ in Madrid, for which the organisers had sought our assistance. In the volunteer’s own words:

Changes, Challenges and Learning[edit]


Looking back at our APG proposal, we are very pleased to see that many of the planned partnerships have come to fruition. We also delivered on all the SMART goals, with our volunteer satisfaction results falling only slightly short of the target. In particular, several external funding proposals were successful, enabling us to implement new projects, including the Gaelic Wikipedian at National Library of Scotland and the Wikimedian in Residence at the Scottish Libraries and Information Council.

External video
University of Edinburgh's Melissa Highton discusses how WIRs can create value for educational institutions.

The continuing high-level partnerships (e.g. Edinburgh University, National Library of Wales) not only carried on their projects as planned, but expanded and evolved their approach in impressive ways: NLW made their resident into a permanent position; Edinburgh University became a sector spokesperson for the value of Wikimedia collaboration and expanded their education remit to include several diversity programmes. Our collaboration with the Welsh Government, framed as an initial exploration in the proposal, expanded to become a close partnership where the Government is funding several of our projects in Wales.

Inevitably, some of the partnerships we were scoping for 2017 did not move into delivery. For example, we were working towards a Wikidata programme at the House of Commons, but because of the departure of our key advocate, this project has been put on the backburner. This is why we maintain a pipeline of possible leads and ideas for partnership programmes, so that we can be agile when a project falls through on the side of the partner organisation. With our programmes being extensive and long-term, we have to be prepared for this to happen sometimes.


Our programme delivery brought about several challenges. With the Gaelic Wikipedian project, we initially assumed that the existing Gaelic language networks would be quick to engage with our residency. The project was slow to start, however, facing a real challenge ing reaching out to a variety of partners (each having a different programme cycle) who all needed long lead-in times. We concluded that in the future a true ‘launch’ of the project should probably happen a few months after the resident starts work, once the leads and projects are established and we are ready for delivery.

Our partner institution on the project, National Library of Scotland, reflected that they were prepared for this slower development, as they experienced something similar with their first NLS residency. We have also found that the Gaelic project was struggling against the limitations of its Wikipedia which is missing many of the technical features of larger languages. However, as a result of working with Basque Wikimedians User Group and a Uicipeid admin at the Celtic Knot conference, a biography infobox autogenerated by Wikidata was created for Uicipeid and has been implemented in almost 500 pages. Learning pattern

Because of the challenges of engaging the Gaelic language community, we tried a new outreach approach via social media. We attempted to stimulate Uicipeid activity by curating #onthisday tweets with a link to a relevant Uicipeid page, to mirror the approach long used on the Welsh Wikipedia (something we supported in terms of technological development). The Resident tried to engage with the Wikipedia community to suggest pages to be promoted. However, this was not successful in stimulating interest or activity. We learned that the online initiatives will not pay off if interest has not been tested. This idea also came across a barrier long experienced by the resident, which is that there aren’t that many high-quality Uicipeid pages - and to promote poor work would mean putting off the (already small) community.

The most important conclusion is, every language community is different, and the programme approaches to engage with it must be adapted accordingly.


There are lots of positive connections generated through the Celtic Knot conference. At the time of the conference, we had just recruited a Wikimedian in Residence for Scottish Libraries and Information Council - a network organisation for libraries across Scotland. Our project will focus on public libraries and the resident was able to compare notes and gain considerable insight from the Catalan libraries model thanks to Alex being present at the event.

Wikimedia Norway created a Learning pattern based on their conference participation.

The Celtic Knot conference proved significant for people who weren’t there in person - we were approached by numerous Wikimedians from across the world at the Wikimania conference, asking for slides and follow up information. The Celtic Knot conference was attended mostly by Europeans, and we didn’t think there was an appeal for the event outside that circle. It turned out however that the event was an important focal point for the growing global conversations about minority languages. The reflection here is that many interested people come from such small communities (of minority/under-represented languages), so they might not have had means to travel. A travel bursaries fund might perhaps have helped.

With so much focus given to the programmes in Wales, we wanted to get a better understanding of the audiences we are serving. We ran a survey of Welsh Wicipedia’s readers, to learn more about what motivates people to read Welsh Wicipedia, how they perceive its content, and the demographics of this group. Wicipedia Cymraeg has a large audience with 750,000 page views in March 2017 alone, and it’s the first time the readership has been surveyed. The WMF’s reader survey from 2011 allowed us to make comparisons between Welsh Wicipedia and English Wikipedia, with the Welsh Wicipedia performing better in terms of reliability of content, neutrality, and depth of content. Breadth of content, neutrality, and ensuring text is written in an accessible way are factors in driving more readership. Wikimedia UK can directly affect the first of these factors through its work with partners such as the National Library of Wales. There has been a long-standing assumption that better quality content leads to more readers; this survey has provided evidence of that, and a strong case for adding more content to Wicipedia. We shared the survey questions and results with several other minority language communities, explaining how we delivered the project and what we have learnt.

We have also focused on learning from Wiki Loves Monument. Assessing our delivery in 2017, we identified a couple of key recommendations for us to consider in 2018. These include greater customisation for England, Scotland, and Wales, growing capacity around broad communications for the competition through our partner institutions, and investigating technical solutions around Monumental.

In a broader context, in autumn Richard Nevell and Stuart Prior attended a Volunteer Supporters Meeting hosted by Wikimedia Deutschland. It was very useful to share experiences and possible solutions with a professional peer group from various chapters with a volunteer management function, and also to build contacts for future consultation or joint projects. The community dynamics do vary significantly, though some of the work we do with Welsh Wikipedia was more analogous to the community management of smaller Wikis. There were common themes, such as the financial support we can offer volunteers, and managing conflicts within a community.

We have also gathered reflections on our volunteer engagement work in the annual volunteer survey, which guides our approach in the following year. In the January 2018 survey about 2017, 91% of respondents reported that they volunteer at least once a year, delivering an estimated total of 1,645 volunteer hours. 84% of people said they were likely to continue volunteering with WMUK. This is a significant positive result compared to previous years, and shows that we matched our volunteering opportunities with the skills and interests of volunteers. 81% of respondents would recommend volunteering with Wikimedia UK to others.


We are building on a very solid base of successful partnerships, both in terms of existing connections and leads, but also case studies and evaluation to strengthen our case for open knowledge. We are very excited about our work in 2018-19, our last year of the current strategy, and are expecting to see several high profile activities come to fruition. These include:
  • We are likely to see strong content developments in Wales. We believe it is as a result of our advocacy work that Welsh Government grant recipients must use an open license for their outputs.
  • We will run another Celtic Knot conference, this time at National Library of Wales.
  • Late in 2017, a group of Wicipedia Cymraeg editors applied to the Affiliations Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation to form a user group in Wales. Their application was approved by the committee in early 2018 and a user group agreement was signed in March 2018. The group is now Wikimedia Community User Group Wales. In 2018 it will be a priority to build a creative and mutually supportive relationship between Wikimedia UK and the user group. We will make this formal in a Memorandum of Understanding.
  • We will have hired our new colleague, the Scotland Programme Coordinator, who will support and develop key partnerships in Scotland (including potential new residencies), and build the community in Scotland.
  • Towards the end of 2017 we have started building relationships with potential strategic partners such as Arts Council England, DCMS and NESTA, who can influence policy and practice at a sector level.

Case studies[edit]

WIKI HEALTH (Wici-Iechyd)
Dyn Sidydd, Llawysgrif Gutun Owain 1488-1498

Wicipedia is the most viewed website in the Welsh language, and articles about health-related issues are among the most frequently viewed. And yet only around 2% of Welsh articles cover this subject, compared to more than 6% in English. Hugely important topics such as cancer, mental health and medical treatments have very little coverage on Wicipedia. So, in July 2017 the National Library of Wales, with Welsh Government funding and Wikimedia UK support, embarked on a 9 month project to improve this content.

A series of edit-a-thons and translation projects has already lead to the creation of over 250 handwritten articles. Many have been translated from English articles prepared for use in other languages by the WikiMed project. Other are derived from text released on an open license by project partners including the British Lung Foundation (who released all their Welsh language content on an open license), WJEC Examination Board and the mental health information service

On the one hand, this project also stimulated conversations with potential partners in Wales. For example, we started talking to the Cardiff University about inspiring students to create Welsh health-based articles as part of their coursework. The existing volunteer scheme at the NLW was also expanded to include health topics. On the other hand, NHS Wales decided not to release Welsh language health content on an open license, fearing that their content could be changed and made incorrect by Wikipedia editors, potentially leading to a risk to public health. They were also concerned that having their name associated with content which might not be up to date or accurate could have a negative effect on their image. Those are valid concerns - and something we worked through with Cancer Research UK previously - but in the context of this programme we were not able to resolve them, so far, despite support from the Welsh Government.

The big win was the creation of 2700 articles about human genes. The articles were created using information from Wikidata and PubMed and images from Wikimedia Commons. Since all articles about genes follow a similar format it was possible to generate and upload the 2700 articles en mass. All include a bibliography with the 5 most recent publications about each gene. Wikimedia UK was involved in producing a Wikidata Infobox which pulls in a comprehensive array of data, images, and citations. We also ensured that Wikidata had Welsh labels for items which were likely to be called on by the infobox. Our ambition is that users will link health-related content to these articles about genes, giving a greater depth of information on the subject.

This upload alone represents a 2.8% increase in the total article count for Welsh Wikipedia. With more articles being prepared on diseases, drugs and medical pioneers we could see close to a 5% increase by the end of the project. It is likely that health-related content as a percentage of the total article count will be comparable to, or better than the ratio in the much larger English Wikipedia.

The project is funded until the end of March 2018, but it is hoped the Wici-Iechyd will continue to thrive as a Wiki project on the Welsh Wicipedia. This work has a potential to expand further: Edinburgh University’s resident is currently planning to propose a workshop proposal in for the EAHIL Conference in Cardiff to demonstrate practically how Health Information Librarians could and should run Wikipedia editathons in their own institutions to improve information literacy and Wikipedia's coverage of health-related articles.

Celtic Knot 2017 collage

The world’s knowledge has been preserved throughout the ages in different languages, many of which are facing extinction and listed as endangered by UNESCO. Wikipedia, as the world’s leading online encyclopedia that hosts the single largest body of knowledge in currently 288 languages, has tremendous potential and responsibility in assisting small language communities to maintain their heritage. Currently, these languages are under-represented on Wikipedia and would greatly benefit from technological and community-building solutions to fight this distortion. In partnership with Wikimedia UK, Ewan McAndrew - Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh - organised the first international Wikimedia conference to support the work on minority languages, on 6th July 2017. 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. More than fifty professionals attended the event representing Scots and Irish Gaelic, Welsh, French, Breton, Estonian, Odia, Catalan, Basque, Greek (Cephalonia), Northern Sami, Rhaeto-Romance, Norwegian Bokmal and Nynorsk and Latin American 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.

Smithfield Market ceiling
Glenfinnan Viaduct at Loch Shiel
Balcombe Viaduct (Ouse Valley Viaduct)
The derelict West Pier in Brighton

Total uploaded images: 14,367 (19% higher than previous highest for UK) - Wales 6,823, England 5,417, Scotland 2,099, Northern Ireland 28

  • 467 participants, 336 new editors
  • 1868 images used in mainspace
  • 4500 images categorised as being potentially useful for Wikidata (ie: items which do not have images)
  • 788,000 people visited during the competition
  • 10 new members attributable to the competition
  • 20 volunteers involved in image screening, donating close to 160 hours in the process
  • Several lead volunteers involved in running specific activities with partners

The UK has so far participated in four editions of the international photography competition Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM), with each year introducing incremental improvements to boost the quality of contributions. The 2017 edition was significantly boosted by a Wikidata-powered tool helping to identify poor-coverage areas. Earlier in 2017 Jason Evans at the National Library of Wales secured the release of data relating to Grade II listed buildings in Wales. This meant more eligible sites appeared on the tool’s interactive map, making it easier for people to prioritise sites without images. Magnus Manske’s Wikidata Free Image Search Tool also made it possible to update Wikidata items with images already on Commons, improving the accuracy of the map.

WLM provided a great focus to volunteer activity, offering a wide range of tasks depending on interest - technical infrastructure, taking and uploading photos, helping with image reuse (e.g. on Wikipedia) and categorisation, screening and judging. To boost the opportunities, we also trialled a photography workshop shortly before the competition’s start to attract new contributors and skill-up the existing ones.

With the strong programmes in Wales and Scotland, it was important to us that the UK WLM competition has its identity in those countries. Wales’s activities were spearheaded by Robin Owain, who championed contributions within his networks, resulting in a very high number of uploads from Wales. He also inspired the Scottish community to be more involved. Archaeology Scotland sponsored the competition, providing a prize for the best photograph from Scotland. Wikimedia UK was also able to provide a prize for best image for Wales. Also, for the first time the Wiki Loves Monuments UK website featured content in Welsh so that people reaching the competition from the central notice on Wicipedia Cymraeg found a website relevant to their needs rather than ending up with a site in English. We are currently discussing how to best deliver a photography competition in Wales for 2018.

There was a stronger emphasis on publicity this year, sharing the competition through WIRs, institutional contacts, and on social media. It allowed us to present a more detailed picture of the competition than the central notice banner on Wikipedia. As such, one of the top 10 photographs from the UK (Avebury by Paul Adams) was from someone who encountered the competition on Twitter.

Joseph Seddon (WMF) experimented with the Wikipedia banners to increase the number of people visiting the various WLM competition websites. WLM-UK’s website was the staging ground for these changes, and Seddon’s changes (in particular making the whole banner clickable rather than just the text as in previous versions) increased traffic by around 100%. For the last week of the competition the WLM-UK website included a link for people to become members of the charity.

Reuse of the images will be assisted by the Wikidata-powered tool. Ewan McAndrew, WIR at the University of Edinburgh, arranged an image-a-thon for 24 November 2017, at which people added Wiki Loves Monuments pictures to Wikipedia pages.

Programme 2: Promoting open knowledge[edit]

Overall goal: To 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


Metric 2016/17 full year achieved 2017/18 full year target

(total for all programmes) - Strategic Programme 2.

2017/18 year achieved

(total for all programmes) - Strategic Programme 2.

Participants (GM1) 1520 (4000)




Participants, trainers, presenters, and organisers at 16 major conferences and 57 meetings and panel discussions where we advocated for open knowledge (e.g. Digital Past, Language Show Live, OER, CILIP Cymru,Lodlam Linked Open Data Summit ARLIS Library conference, Smartify Launch, Feill Fhiobha Scottish cultural day festival, Welsh Medical Association Conference, DCDC and various diversity-focused conferences).
Volunteer hours (GDM1) 2455 (16,000)




Hours that our residents, staff, Trustees and volunteers spent on promoting open knowledge - through events, meetings, lobbying, etc.

This programme has been a strong focus in 2017, yet we missed the target slightly. This is because a lot of our activity was guided by high level, focused (but short) meetings with decision makers.

Total audience and reach (Total direct engagement) (GDM2) 72,459 (54,145)




Includes 79,074 social (digital) media reach, 2,863 participants and 123 lead volunteers. This is a gauge for the reach of our open knowledge messaging, one of the key metrics telling us about the spread of our work through diverse and new audiences.
Leading volunteers 48 (145)




In 2017, 123 volunteers (incl. Trustees, former and current Wikimedians in Resident and their supervisors, and volunteers at institutional partners - GLAMs) who were actively involved in our activities, promoted/presented on open knowledge and WMUK, participated in panel discussions and strategy discussions, workshops, discussed opening up data for WMUK and contributed to partnership-building. This number of people was much higher than we expected, a sign of growing involvement in advocacy work.
Digital media reach 68,259 (50,000)




A wide reach of our messaging on social media, driven by our Communications Organiser, wider staff team, Wikimedians in Residence, and others.

Includes 6,968 Twitter, 2,468 Facebook, 229 Youtube subscribers, 1,435 newsletter reader, 273 mailing list subscribers, 217 Instagram followers, 4,988 YouTube channel viewers, 32,603 unique blog article readers 24,196 WMUK website main page unique viewers, 4,542 Welsh WM twitter and 1,155 Welsh Wicipedia Twitter followers.

Responses to consultations 4 (3)




Government consultation on Fake News, Initiative of Open Citations, DCMS consultation, Wikimedia movement strategy consultation which we involved our partner organisations in.

Consultations allow us to get our advocacy voice heard in a high profile, official capacity.

Policy change affected (Evidence taken into consideration)

5 (3)




NLW permanent post, Welsh Government requiring CCBYSA licence on their language grants, inclusion of Wikipedia challenge for Welsh Baccalaureate.

Color coding of the results

Achieved Target has been achieved or exceeded
Opportunity for improvement Good progress has been made towards achieving the target, but the target has not been reached
Attention required Little or no progress has been made towards achieving the target

Background and overview of achievement[edit]

Strategic Goal: To 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

Frame the story

This programme strand complements our content generation, community and education work. By focusing on barriers to open knowledge within the UK, we work with partners (including individual institutions and umbrella organisations), advocate within specific sectors, and influence UK and EU policy to create the right conditions for open knowledge.

Advocacy can be the hardest area in which to identify meaningful metrics, given that public perceptions are difficult to measure and that institutional and legislative changes can take a long time to achieve; however we have identified a number of proxy measures and intermediate quantitative targets that should help us to understand what progress we are making this programme strand. Our qualitative indicators are included in the logic model below, in the form of short-term and intermediate outcomes which we believe creates legislative and behavioural change in support of open knowledge:


There are many barriers to growing open knowledge within the UK. Many content holding institutions are not aware of the benefits of engaging with open knowledge, or face a range of technical, financial, legal or cultural barriers; and the UK legislative framework does not currently facilitate or support open knowledge. Our solution has been to advocate for open knowledge at an institutional, sector and public policy level, whilst also promoting the value of open knowledge to the general public.

Working with cultural and educational partners, our most successful Wikimedians in Residence become change makers and facilitators within their host institutions, and advocates for open knowledge for the whole of their sector. Facilitating knowledge transfer between organisations (and WIRs) is a key element of our work here too, as ideas for advocacy arguments and implementation can be shared across different organisations and sectors, creating more joined up messaging and avoiding duplication. Further, we are engaging in the arena of public policy and legislation, both through our work with the EU Free Knowledge Advocacy Group, and lobbying on specific UK legislative and policy issues.

We amplify these messages by contributing to sector-wide platforms - such as events, conferences and publications - and developing large-scale partnership projects that can generate significant media coverage.


  • We completed the Wikimedian in Residence long-term impact research, which showed that all of the past WIR host organisations experienced significant impact resulting from their open knowledge engagement. This will form a key piece of advocacy messaging in 2018.
  • We established a permanent post for the Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales.
  • Our growing profile and credibility within the UK’s cultural, education and open knowledge sectors is illustrated by the regularity with whcih staff, board members, residents and volunteers are now being asked to present at events and conferences.
  • We engaged with the Wikimedia 2030 movement strategy process, with our Chief Executive sitting on the steering group and hosting a partnership salon event with by 15 leaders from the cultural sector.


We are developing our expertise in partnership work and taking it to the next level; with our partner organisations becoming extensions of our messaging and carrying out advocacy work in collaboration with us, increasing our impact. This is beneficial both to us and to the partner organisations, as it helps them to build their profile as open, progressive and innovative institutions.

This argument is echoed in the Wikimedian in Residence impact report:

A major success and an innovation was our evolving relationship with the National Library of Wales. We worked with NLW to transform their Wikimedian in Residence into the UK’s first permanent Wikimedian. Similarly, Wellcome Library’s resident became Wellcome’s Web Editor, with significant Wikimedia duties built in to the post on an ongoing basis.

Elephants in the room

As FDC staff mentioned in our assessment, advocacy is a difficult area to measure - we recognise that the theory of change here is complex, affected by many external factors, and takes a long time to materialise, especially when it comes to public policy. Our team has engaged with general evaluation theories of campaigning and advocacy to deepen our understanding of how to capture change and evidence the impact of our work. We feel quite confident that our evaluation framework gives us a good indication and feedback on the programmes we run across the areas described below. To effect legislative change, we first need case studies from individual organisations. We can then present this evidence to UK legislators and UK consultations on policy change. If this evidence is then accepted it points to a general movement towards embracing open knowledge.

Often, though, this area of work really comes alive in the narrative reports that we produce for our board of trustees on a quarterly basis, where we can describe the institutional changes that we are able to influence or create through our programmes. We hope to develop further metrics in this areas over the coming year.

The other area of this programme which has been previously highlighted as a weakness is that we talk here about knowledge exchange (including travel to movement events), while this doesn’t appear connected to the advocacy work. However whilst the link is subtle, it exists nonetheless, especially when it relates to Wikimedians in Residence connecting to each other and the movement. Advocacy work is challenging and we have found that peer-learning about the arguments that work is key in boosting its effectiveness - with in person meetings enabling people from different institutions to share case studies and ideas and develop collaborative approaches to this aspect of their work.

For clarity, from next financial year (2018-19) we will report on the staff time and resources spent on international working (such as attending movement conferences and meetings) separately; although for the purposes of our statutory accounts this will remain part of our spend on External Relations and Advocacy.

Highlights of programme activity[edit]

Advocacy work requires different strategies depending on the audiences; our activities can be summarised around four main themes:


We supported key UK institutions through a process of sustainable change in policy and organisational practice towards open knowledge. The key vehicle of this was our high profile Wikimedian in Residence programme. Its strength is that residents can assess the particular needs and barriers of the organisation they are working with. This work also generates tangible, evidenced case studies of beneficial change, which we can then use in other strands of our advocacy work. Our highlights include:

  • Jason Evans’s post at the National Library of Wales was made permanent in 2017, as a ‘National Wikimedian’. This has required substantial internal advocacy, and also marks an important point in the NLW’s journey towards open knowledge. The creation of this permanent post has only come about because of Jason’s initial residency at the Library, co-funded by Wikimedia UK and delivered through a strong partnership between the two organisations.
  • Our Wikimedian in Residence at the Wellcome Trust has been employed as the Knowledge Communities Web Editor after her fixed term residency concluded. The resident’s work was highly valued and the organisation has found alternative internal sources of funding to allow her to continue in a role that sustains much of the activity of the residency but with a broader digital remit.
  • Edinburgh University is becoming a strong advocate of a Wikimedian in Residence within a university, spreading the message at relevant sector conferences, working with the University of Glasgow, and connecting with the Open Education team at the Université Catholique de Louvain. The resident is facilitating dialogue between the National Library of Wales and Edinburgh University’s Digital Library with a view to increasing GLAM wiki work. In autumn 2017, The Edinburgh University residency was extended for a further year (to January 2019), again from internal budgets.

Inforgaphics from the residencies at the National Library of Wales (left) and Wellcome Library (right). The former is from a full-time residency running for 2 year and which has subsequently become permanent, and the latter from a part-time residency over a shorter period.
External video
OER17 Keynote: Lucy Crompton-Reid – Opening up Wikimedia content and communities
SLIC team working on 1Lib1Ref

As an important part of our advocacy work, we contributed to some of the key sector conferences, including CILIP conferences in Wales, Scotland, and England. CILIP is the Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals and is the key umbrella body for the library sector. This advocacy work with library audiences also ties in with our annual #1lib1ref campaign. Wikimedia UK already works effectively with many major libraries but recognises a need to increase the credibility of Wikimedia as well as to develop digital literacy skills amongst a broader audience of librarians, and this is an excellent starting point for engagement with this community.

We took part in the Open Educational Resources Conference (OER17), with our CEO giving one of the conference keynote speeches and several residents and board members contributing to the programme. The Wellcome Library WIR attended the OCLC Research Library Partnership Meeting at the British Library. OCLC, the Online Computer Library Center, is a global library cooperative that supports thousands of libraries in making information more accessible and more useful to people around the world.

In recognition of Wikimedia UK’s growing authority on open knowledge, Wikimedia UK contributed to a book, Open Licensing for Cultural Heritage, by our former board member Gill Hamilton and Fred Saunderson, published in August 2017. This is a practical and explanatory guide for library and cultural heritage professionals which introduces and explains the use of open licences for content, data and metadata in libraries and other cultural heritage organisations. Our Chief Executive also write a 6000 word chapter on Wikimedia's work with museums to address the gender gap, for a new publication by Museums Etc called Feminism and Museums: Intervention, Disruption and Change. Given the number of submissions this became a publication in two volumes, with the second of these, featuring our CEO's chapter, published in March 2018.

Our residents lead sector advocacy work, further scaling our impact. The SLIC residency, launched in October 2017, has great potential to advocate for openness in the Scotland library sector. The project supports a sector-wide "Digital Champions" group, which includes representatives from all local authority library services.


Our Chapter’s involvement in the development of the new Wikimedia movement strategy (Wikimedia 2030) supported our advocacy work with institutions, enabling us to host a partnership dinner attended by senior staff from current and potential partners including the British Library, DCMS (the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), the National Heritage Science Forum and Wellcome Library among others.

This event tied into our participation in the DCMS consultation ‘Culture is Digital’ in Summer 2017, to which we submitted an extensive contribution. We were very pleased that this, along our CEO’s meetings with Jane Finnis, (the CEO of Culture24 who was seconded to the Culture is Digital team), resulted in the inclusion of Wikimedia in Jane’s narrative and policy development framework for content infrastructure. In November 2017 Lucy was also invited to give an hour long talk to around 50 staff at DCMS as part of their '40 Hours to Get Ahead' Series of lectures by leaders from the cultural and digital sectors; and this presentation led to introductions to key staff at Arts Council England.

In March 2017, prior to its launch, Wikimedia UK became a named stakeholder of the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC), which asks scholarly publishers to make citation data for their papers openly available. I4OC has some of the largest scholarly publishers onboard and believes this work will be critical in improving verifiability and sourcing on Wikimedia projects, and in giving more tools to contributors to discover and explore the literature. Wikimedia UK will be supporting the work of the initiative and approaching UK-based publishers who don’t make their citation data open to consider doing so; complementing our existing work with the research community (in Programme 3) and supporting our advocacy.

At a public policy level, it is important to highlight our ongoing advocacy and engagement with the Welsh Government. Not only did the government fund the Wici Health programme at the National Library of Wales, it has made ply the license and publish thea further 16 grants, each valued at around £20,000. The recipients are able to generate community-led content on a CC-BY licence. We are now working with the partners leading these projects to ensure that they apir content on Wikipedia and Wikidata. We believe this is very significant, as all of those projects are producing high quality and relevant Welsh content which we will be able to use.


Wikimedia UK continues to support the work of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group for the EU both at a financial and practical level; however we are also aware of the increasing sensitivities around the UK Chapter's involvement in EU policy work, given the ongoing Brexit negotiations. In April 2017, our CEO attended the annual Wikimedia public policy and advocacy meeting (known as the ‘Big Fat Brussels meeting’) organised by Dimi Dimitrov - the EU Policy Director whose post is part-funded by Wikimedia UK - and inputted into the plans for this work over 2017 - 18. In the summer, our CEO also supported the appointment of a new member of staff to the EU advocacy team as a third recruitment panel member alongside Dimi and John Weitzmann from Wikimedia Deutschland. Wikimedia UK has a position paper on the proposed EU copyright framework directive, developed in consultation with Dimi, which we have shared with a number of publications, partners and public policy makers over the past 18 months; arguing for particular aspects of this paper as appropriate. In early 2018, we were asked by Dimi to contact a UK MEP regarding the public domain issue and so have been directly advocating on this in recent weeks.


In 2017 Wikimedia UK staff and trustees participated in many public forums, speaking at events such as the Byline journalism festival, OER17, the ODI, British Library, Mozfest. Our CEO and other staff and board members have also been interviewed about the gender gap by the media, where we share insights into local and global initiatives to tackle the gender gap in partnership with museums and the broader cultural sector.

We have produced more video content over the past year to showcase the work of Wikimedia UK and the wider community. We have also started making general videos about subjects such as gender bias in the arts. Their purpose is to attract the attention of people not specifically searching for Wikimedia content. We have also opened an Instagram account to promote understanding of Open Licenses and Wikimedia Commons, and begun to use social media management tools like Crowdfire, which is helping to grow our Twitter engagement.

Our regional events and partnerships, such as the Llen Natur event in North Wales and the Celtic Knot event in Edinburgh, as well as outreach work by our staff in Wales and Scotland, has helped to boost awareness of the Wikimedia movement across the UK and generated media coverage in regional news outlets.

Our awareness-raising and media work in the UK has been somewhat boosted by the rise in ‘Fake News’. Staff and volunteers have been interviewed by various media outlets - including the BBC - on this theme. We submitted a response to a UK government consultation on Fake News during Q1.

Wikimedia UK video on Fake News (2017)

Changes, Challenges and Learning[edit]


Achieving organisational change through our partnerships is an important aspect of our advocacy programme and our progress in this area have been significant. A collaboration with the Welsh Government grew substantially more than anticipated, especially with the Language department.

Despite the somewhat unpredictable nature of advocacy work, we were able to reach the majority of planned targets, both in terms of SMART goals and changes at particular institutions we were targeting.

Where our advocacy work wasn’t as successful as hoped (e.g. with Heritage Lottery Fund, with whom we’ll continue to discuss open knowledge in 2018), we diverted staff and volunteer energy towards education work. This partly explains why we haven’t reached the volunteer hours target in this programme, while significantly over-delivering in Programme 3.


Conducting the Wikimedian in Residence impact research gave us insight into all the barriers that institutions experience which prevents them from becoming more open. Parachuting a Wikimedian in Residence into an unsuspecting institution does not deliver automatic results. Numerous challenges can present themselves, for example:

Through experience of those barriers, we identified a number of secret ingredients for a successful project. To frame them as recommendations:

  • Ensure there is clarity about what impact is expected from the programme, both in the view of Wikimedia UK and the host organisation
  • During set up, establish the digital skills level of the partner organisation
  • Ensure project visibility by having a showcase early on during the programme
  • Build communication, transparency and trust early on. This helps mitigate problems and makes it easier take opportunities when they arise
  • Recruit for soft skills when placing a WIR and build technical skills within the host organisation to carry on WIR work after they leave
  • Shape projects in a way that makes host organisations’ staff work more efficiently
  • Demonstrate the financial value of releasing content openly.

Sharing learning

The Wikimedian in Residence impact research formed the core of our learning how best to promote open knowledge. Through in-depth, reflective interviews with our key national GLAM partners, we discovered what they see as the impact of their work with Wikimedia UK. We found that the Wikimedian in Residence programme created significant positive impact for all host organisations and the wider sectors in which they operate. This went beyond what we were expecting.
  • WIRs have extended the reach of existing collections (media, data) to new audiences, thus strengthening institutions’ work to share their knowledge. The reach has continued to increase after the residencies ended.
  • WIRs have brought about positive changes in institutions’ external image in their respective sectors and with existing and new audiences. This can bring institutions out of a persistent, historical image of being outdated and out of sync with the needs of their users and potential users.
  • WIRs have transformed the institutions’ culture and self-perception, and led them to become more open and connected with their audiences. In some cases changes were strengthened by internal policy changes.
  • The WIR collaborations had a wider focus than just the partner institutions and evidence shows that the projects often had a sectoral impact, creating a multiplier effect for the programme.

In terms of disseminating our learning, we were able to promote our innovative work on our Wikimedian in Residence programme. Following on from our Wikimedian in Residence Summit in November 2016, which gave us insight into common problems and possible solutions, we took some of our findings to the Wikimedia GLAM Coordinators meeting in Paris in February 2017. We have identified workflows, and common problems faced by our WIRs and also other GLAM project workers. We were able to further discuss this and link up to other resources at the WMCON in Berlin.

Reflecting on the importance of this type of work, in July we delivered another Wikimedian in Residence summit in Scotland to coincide with the Celtic Knot event. We focused on key issues facing those working with GLAMs: one key issue being how difficult it is for donors to monitor the quality of data added to Wikidata, and how this is becoming a stumbling block for institutional cooperation. This highlighted the divide between the people working directly with GLAMs advocating for content donations and the Wikimedia developer community and their ability to create technical solutions, especially in the area of Wikidata. The outcome of this discussion means WikidataCon in Berlin later that year had submissions focusing on this particular problem.

It’s through these networking and sharing meetings that some of the real value of having Wikimedia UK provide a high level of support to each residency becomes apparent; as our role in sharing knowledge between residents, avoiding duplication, supporting problem solving and connecting to the UK volunteer community as well as the wider global movement is seen as crucial. We are an active agent in shaping the future of the programme as it develops and grows in the UK - for example, recently several institutions have become interested in embedding WIR posts permanently into their institutions - and we are leading those discussions, making suggestions on the best models and sharing learning across organisations.

With our residencies lasting longer and taking on change-maker roles, they increasingly are becoming local Wikimedia knowledge hubs as well - especially around Wikidata where the existing knowledge is primarily experiential. Investing in knowledge sharing between the WIRs and organisations is a key element of our advocacy work. Through those knowledge exchanges they become better advocates for our work. Our expanded learning pattern including this subsequent work


A lot of the advocacy work is ongoing in nature and so we will be building on our achievements and taking our messages further. Welsh Wikipedia reaching a milestone of 100,000 articles will be a focus of our messaging in Spring 2018. We will also be deepening our already multi-faceted collaboration with the Welsh Government.

We will build a lot of our sector advocacy on the Wikimedian in Residence impact research as it arms us with key arguments about the long term benefits of open knowledge.

We will continue to facilitate change towards openness at key institutions across the UK, through Wikimedians in Residence and more broadly. We will also produce a new suite of materials to bring our work to life and to encourage a wide range of organisations across different sectors (including GLAM) to engage with open knowledge.

Case studies[edit]

Reflecting on the WIR at the National Library of Wales (2.5yr long project)

Based on the WIR’s final report, by Jason Evans and Dafydd Tudur with input from Daria Cybulska

The National Library of Wales (NLW) first collaborated with Wikimedia UK in 2012/13 when a number of NLW photographs were shared via Commons in support of the MonmouthpediA project. The National Library was named GLAM of the year 2013 and the following year, the Library was approached by Robin Owain, the Wikimedia Wales Manager, who proposed a jointly funded Wikipedian in Residence. Following negotiations and internal interviews, a Wikipedian in Residence (Jason Evans) was appointed on a 12 month contract from January 2015. The project was subsequently extended until July 2017.

The Wikipedian Residency at the National Library of Wales has surpassed expectation in both impact and influence. Wikimedia projects have greatly increased exposure of the Library’s collections and raised awareness of Wales and its people, resulting in 15,000 images from the Library’s collections being included in articles viewed over 250 million times.

Unlike many previous residencies, this entire project has been run bilingually with the aim of increasing the quality and quantity of knowledge in the Welsh language and about Wales through the English language. Operating the project, and producing all documentation bilingually has had its own challenges but doing so has highlighted how flexible and inclusive the Wiki platform is when contributing in multiple languages.

Wikimedia UK supported the residency in a number of ways. Our ability to connect the resident with other WIRs was valued highly by the NLW, along with the knowledge and expertise of the Wikimedia team. By gaining access to this network of Wikimedians and WIRs (e.g. through regular meetups run by WMUK) the resident learned invaluable skills and was inspired to pursue new ideas and opportunities.

Top four Lessons learned - from the Resident

  1. Publicising and reporting on activities is as important as the activity itself
  2. Everyone is a potential volunteer, you just need to pique their interest
  3. Edit-a-thons - think big but start small
  4. Meaningful policy change in a large institution takes a long time

Legacy of the Residency

The impact of the residency on the National Library of Wales has been very significant. The hundreds of millions of image views and busy events and volunteer programme had a substantial effect on attitudes to open access and to Wikimedia projects more specifically.

The impact on the Library’s strategy and policy can be clearly seen in its new 5-year plan ‘The Nation’s Memory: Informing the Future’ covering 2017-2021. The Strategy puts Wikimedia at the heart of its digital outreach, stating:

And the Library’s targets for 2021 include:

This demonstrates the commitment of NLW to continue to work with WMUK and the Wikimedia community long term.

The National Library of Wales has embedded the Wikimedian position into its digital access team, creating a full time, fully funded, permanent position within its staffing structure. The post holder will work in partnership with WMUK and others to co-ordinate Wikimedia based activities at NLW including sharing open content, running events and volunteer projects and advocating open access both within the organisation and more widely across the culture sector. This is the first time that a national cultural institution has appointed a permanent Wikimedian within its organisation, and credit must be given to the NLW for its forward-thinking, outward-looking, open approach and its commitment providing free access to knowledge.

Long-term impact at the National Library of Scotland
Staff training at Glasgow Caledonian University Library in 2017
Set up and delivery

The residency started in July 2013, with Ally Crockford appointed as the Resident. The project was initially planned for 8 months, but was regularly extended and ultimately lasted for 20 months. It received a significant amount of positive media attention during its launch, already signaling that the Library was embarking on an innovative project. In late 2017 we met the Library to explore what they saw as the long-term impact of the residency.

Extended reach of the National Library’s collections to new audiences

  • 9 successful editathons were delivered in Scotland, gathering some 115 participants (80% women, on average);
  • A pilot release of 1,200 images from the Library’s digitised collections were placed on Wikimedia Commons. (At this time the Library was licensing all imagery as CC-BY-NC-SA or In Copyright). For the 44 months of available data since May 2014 there have been more than 96 million views of these images.

The resident and managers also exerted early internal influence within the Library resulting in the approval of a much more open Metadata and Digital Content Licensing Policy by the Library Leadership Team in March 2014. This supported the progress of internal changes towards open knowledge at a formal level. Less formal, cultural changes were facilitated by the Resident and were maintained and built on by the managers after the residency ended.

Lasting changes to the internal and external image of the Library Early on, the Library was unclear about how to fully engage with open knowledge. However, over time it was able to lead and advise on openness in the cultural sector in Scotland, as demonstrated by the Open Licensing for Cultural Heritage book, published in August 2017 and written by library staff Gill Hamilton and Fred Saunderson. Working on practical projects through the residency helped the Library to clarify ways in which it can deliver on its mission to provide open access to knowledge. Both internal and external perceptions of the organisation were significantly influenced by the residency.

The amount of publicity received when the project launched made the Library think about its approach to collections and highlighted the tension between being a custodian of collections and distributing the knowledge within these collections widely and openly. The project raised the Library’s awareness of people’s expectations that it should be open, instantly accessible, and close to the audiences.

The residency helped affirm the Library’s internal view that it needed to be more relevant to people’s needs, and that its user group is wider than the people who physically come to the Library – the audience is potentially world-wide. It helped the Library understand that to reach a global audience it must place its knowledge where users most often seek it - on Wikipedia and its associated projects. And finally, WIR hugely increased understanding within the organisation of its role in the open knowledge movement. Actively participating in this programme, changed the way the National Library of Scotland thinks about openness. This has been the longest lasting effect of the residency, and its impact is still being felt as the organisation moves towards embracing the public domain.

At her exit interview in May 2015, the Resident expressed the view that in effect she had been asked to ‘bring the Library into the 21st Century’. She reflected that:

External collaboration and wider sector impact

The wider impact was generated through significant collaboration with several other GLAM organisations throughout Scotland, including Glasgow Museums, Jisc RSC Scotland, Edinburgh City Libraries, Scottish Poetry Library, Glasgow Women’s Library, British Computer Society Women.There was also a renewal and growth of a Scottish community of Wikipedia contributors.

This residency was the first one ever in Scotland, and the first one for Wikimedia UK, where advocating for open knowledge externally played such an important role in the project. Originally the project was very internally focused, with the move towards external advocacy developing as it continued. It eventually took center stage.

Building on this advocacy work, a knowledge exchange workshop was organised in 2015 with representatives from the British Library, National Library of Wales and the National Library of Scotland to discuss intellectual property rights, open access, and their respective experiences with Wikimedia. The workshop led to ongoing communication between the three libraries regarding their open access policies and procedures. National Library of Wales was at that point considering hosting a WIR and this meeting enriched the discussions - with the library setting up a residency in collaboration with Wikimedia UK not long afterward.

Because the Library had hosted the WIR and it went well, they were open to working on another project. This gave rise to the Gaelic Wikipedian WIR project which National Library of Scotland is now collaborating on with Wikimedia UK, creating a wider, continuing impact.

What enabled the impact at NLS?

Looking back over a longer time span, the staff at the Library most closely involved in the project were able to reflect on what was most effective in the delivery of the residency. With a big organisation such as National Library of Scotland, the key was that the Resident trained many people across the organisation. This created networks of people aware of open knowledge, creating an environment for the flashes of innovation to travel across the organisation.

The resident was continually catalysing change not only by promoting innovative pieces of work but also by helping with delivery. Having the project come from the inside of the organisation, in a sense, not from the top, helped as well, and reduced possible resistance to it. The project was supported by the Library Leadership Team too.

The shift in thinking about the role of the Library and a modern approach to engaging with audiences was already taking place before the residency, as it was stated in its strategy. But the Library had not considered that by embedding knowledge and imagery from the Library's collections in Wikimedia projects its reach could be wider than anticipated in the strategy.

Wikimedia UK learned that to achieve its objectives, it is necessary to allow for a degree of tactical flexibility in its planning for a residency. It is helpful to be willing to re-evaluate the expectations of a residency (from both the host's perspective and Wikimedia UK’s), before and during the term of residence. This flexibility was instrumental in the course of the National Library of Scotland residency, as it was demonstrated early on that some of the initial aims - particularly the training of staff and staff's eventual involvement - were not feasible.

The initial funding from Wikimedia UK made the project possible. Without that support it would be much harder to get it approved internally; Gill also stressed that the ongoing support (both in terms of finance and advice) from Wikimedia UK was key to making the case in the Library to continue to fund the role.

The resident had the right qualities and skills. She was very articulate and persuasive – e.g. being able to explain concepts in a clear way. Effective communication skills were essential for her work as the representative of the Library externally. In addition, she was an experienced trainer and her academic background meant that it was easier to work with curators and change their perceptions of what a Wikipedian looks like.

Programme 3: Education and learning[edit]

Overall goal: To support the use of the Wikimedia projects as important tools for education and learning in the UK. As a result, learners in the UK are able to understand and engage with open knowledge.


Metric 2016/17 full year achieved 2017/18 full year target

(total for all programmes) - Strategic Programme 3.

2017/18 year achieved

(total for all programmes) - Strategic Programme 3.

Participants (GM1) 543 (4000)




This figure involves participants of WP in the Classroom and other educational courses organised through our partner universities. It helps us see the scale of our education work.
Newly registered editors (GM2) 409 (1000)




New users as a result of the courses above.
Articles added/improved (GM3) 570 (90,000)



1684 + 8,785 new items and 53,636 edits to Wikidata, (in total 64,105)

New and improved articles as a result of these courses above, creating steady amount of content while we focus on building digital literacy skills.

One project is an outlier: 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.

Volunteer hours (GDM1) 5,345 (16,000)




Time spent by the participants of the courses. We’re significantly over budget, this is thanks to the growth of activity at Edinburgh University and general development of this programme beyond expectation.
Total audience and reach (GDM2) N/A (54,145)




This figure includes the number of participants and the lead volunteers.
Leading volunteers 15 (145)




Lead volunteers responsible for the delivery of the courses. With the success of the programme, we had more leaders than originally expected, a very positive outcome.
Articles added 71 (8,000)



95 +8785 mass upload to Wikidata (in total 8880)

The number of new articles added as a result of the educational courses. Again, Witchcraft database is the reason for this extended result.
Digital Skills Improvement N/A 75% 84.62% This is the aggregated result of four variables on digital skills measured across our Wikimedia in the Classroom educational programmes amongst students, including finding, evaluating, sharing, and creating information and content online. 84.62% of our student felt their skills in these realms were improved by working with Wikimedia projects.

Color coding of the results

Achieved Target has been achieved or exceeded
Opportunity for improvement Good progress has been made towards achieving the target, but the target has not been reached
Attention required Little or no progress has been made towards achieving the target

Background and overview of achievement[edit]

Strategic Goal: To support the use of the Wikimedia projects as important tools for education and learning in the UK.

Framing the story

Wikipedia and Academic Research

Wikimedia UK believes that engaging with Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects - particularly through becoming a contributor - enable learners to understand, navigate and critically evaluate knowledge and information. Our third programme strand is therefore focused on the development of Wikimedia as a teaching and learning tool in the UK, with content production as an output but not the key outcome of this work.

We run education programmes which, through generating content for Wikimedia projects, teach learners these principles and skills. Also, by enabling students to become the producers of knowledge (e.g. through the Wikipedia in Classroom courses), we empower them in their exploration of what information is and how it’s produced.

This is how we see the growth in digital literacy as an end goal of using Wikimedia in education:


Education and Learning is a relatively new programme strand for Wikimedia UK and whilst we are increasing our reach and profile within the higher education sector, the mainstreaming of Wikimedia within the UK schools system is a longer-term ambition. Given the scale and diversity of the schools' sector within the UK - with around 25,000 institutions in total - we need to be mindful of our capacity to engage with schools in a meaningful way. Our current strategy is to develop and deliver a small number of pilot projects from which we can draw key lessons and success criteria for working with young people and Wikimedia, to develop shared resources, make the case to policymakers, and cascade learning (for example through teacher training within the UK or through global movement sharing). All of our work in education and learning link to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) which aim to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.


Wikipedia in the Classroom - Interview with Edinburgh University's Translation Studies MSc students
  • Although the smallest, our strong education programme is growing in strength. This includes delivery of Wikipedia in the Classroom with a number of universities as well as work with school children in Scotland and Wales.
  • We are particularly pleased about the inclusion of Wikipedia modules into the Welsh Baccalaureate from September 2018, after several years of advocacy, working towards this with the curriculum body WJEC.
  • The Edinburgh University residency was extended for another year (funded fully by the host). This particular WIR project is growing in influence and bringing significant innovations in our education work and in advocacy.


Our work alongside educational institutions such as the University of Edinburgh and Bodleian Libraries at Oxford have helped rethink our original Wikimedia in the Classroom model delivery. We have been able to explore education programmes involving Wikidata and alternative media engagement. In association with the University of Edinburgh, we are creating a case study booklet highlighting our increasingly dynamic education courses. This will be to be printed in the spring of 2018.

Our Wikipedia in the Classroom courses have shown to be crucial in developing students digital and media literacies, lifelong skills which they can transfer throughout their education and professional lives.

Elephants in the room

FDC commented that the links between targets and activities isn’t always clear within our education programme. We accept this and respond as follows. This programme is about building literacy skills through editing, rather than generating content itself, while our metrics focus on content outputs. This is a pragmatic choice - we still want to show how much editing the programme is generating.

However, to address this issue we added a new pilot metric to the programme this year to capture raise in digital literacy skills in participating students. We will continue using this metric from now on.

Highlights of programme activity[edit]

First year of the residency at the University of Edinburgh concluded in January 2017 – this work gave a foundation for the resident's progress this year. You can also read reflections on the first 12 months of residency

We continued to run our Wikipedia in Classroom courses at a range of universities across the UK, including Portsmouth, Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London, York and Swansea. Using Wikipedia to translate content as part of individual assignments is also being trialed on the Welsh translation course at Aberystwyth University.

The Edinburgh University residency has continued to grow in scope and influence, and in January 2017 the project was extended for another year. As an example of the way the work is developing, the resident is currently discussing whether openly-licensed snippet video clips from the University of Edinburgh MOOCs could be hosted on Wikimedia Commons. The core of the Edinburgh residency, Wikipedia in the Classroom, has progressed and grown too. The resident is supporting existing courses by running Teaching with Wikipedia training sessions for the course leaders, and running drop-in clinics for students and teachers. He is also running taster workshops for selected courses.

Another success was combining Wikipedia in Classroom with Wikidata. The resident attended Data Science for Design MSc's annual Data Fair, where he proposed the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft as a potential Wikidata project. Students received training to get started. They divided data into sets (witches, witch trials and people involved in administering the witch trials) and mapped them onto Wikidata. They then mass-edited Wikidata to add verifiable 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. 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:


A noticeable trend in our recent education work has been engagement with the wider academic and research communities via our residents. This has been particularly successful within the WIR project at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, which focused on helping academics to use Wikimedia projects for outreach and impact and using Wikidata to share information. This has resulted in some interesting and high-profile projects such as supporting the Atlas of Hillforts (covered by the BBC, Guardian, Financial Times, and Independent), the Oxford Research Archive, the Electronic Enlightenment, and the Early Modern Letters Online database. Being able to create visual representations of data to make it accessible is an important skill of any researcher. The resident focused on this aspect by delivering workshops for researchers on Wikidata, data visualisations, and Wikipedia for public engagement. Impact is an important aspect of publicly funded research projects, and the Wikimedia projects are an attractive platform for this kind of activity as they reach a huge audience. We have produced case studies as part of this residency explaining how Wikidata can be used as a form of resource discovery, how research data can be used to create entirely new articles on Wikipedia (further showcasing the research), and explore how different datasets interact with each other.

We expanded this ‘research & Wikidata’ work into GLAM, exploring how the treasures of Oxford’s libraries, museums and gardens can be made more discoverable. The project, launched in autumn and still running, involves sharing collection data on Wikidata, building a proof-of-concept resource discovery tool, then using analytics to evaluate the additional interest in the GLAM catalogues both from our tool and from other Wikidata-driven sites. The prototype is referencing Wikidata Query Service, Wikipedia API and Wikimedia Commons to get item properties, descriptive text and images. The idea is to encourage exploration of a web of knowledge, guided by concepts of entity-based searching, generous interfaces, and by extensive research that the University has already been carried out on the discoverability of its GLAM collections.


We’ve had significant success in the schools sector in Wales, following long term discussions with the WJEC (National Examination Board and Welsh Baccalaureate accreditation body). Our ‘Training Wikipedia Editing’ module is now a part of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced and Approved Community Challenge, and therefore, an official part of the National Curriculum. Students will organise Wikipedia editathons within their schools and externally within their local communities. The project will promote source research to contribute the correct information to the Welsh Wikipedia. With the government's campaign to reach 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050 this project is going to encourage school pupils to enrich and create Wikipedia articles in the Welsh language. Wikimedia UK will be supporting the delivery of the programme by teaching wiki skills to students.

Five schools are now piloting the Challenge.There are a growing number of other organisations and schools across Wales who will be taking part. To illustrate the type of content we will be working on, for example, in 2018 Amlwch town celebrates 250 years since Roland Puw discovered copper on Parys Mountain. This was an opportunity for the sixth graders of Sir Thomas Jones School to join the Copper Kingdom museum at Amlwch Port and to create new articles about subjects on which there is currently little information on Wikipedia. There will be an opportunity to take photographs and interview local historians.

Amlwch Lighthouse (by James)

Changes, Challenges and Learning[edit]


This programme has elements of sustainability and continuation (Wikipedia in Classroom courses), and experimental pilots. With Classroom courses we delivered on our ambitions.

When writing the plan we hoped to develop projects with Learning and Work Institute focused on family learning, and with Stirling University focused on digital literacy in high schools. As sometimes happens with new relationships, these potential projects weren’t eventually developed. We were able to divert our capacity into the work with WJEC on high school accreditation. This partnership includes all the priorities of the projects we weren’t able to run, and more.


We have been concerned about managing our Wikipedia in Classroom courses, which is made somewhat vulnerable because of upcoming technical changes around courses extension and outreach dashboard. Naturally, many course leaders would prefer to work with a robust tool rather than be test cases, especially since using Wikipedia in the classroom is a new experience for many. The developers of the dashboard are to be commended for their openness and responsiveness when WMUK have asked them for help or advice. As the course extension is due to be retired in 2018, the importance of the dashboard is even greater. Wikimedia UK should continue to advocate for the development and funding of the outreach dashboard as the tool has great potential and is already being used by several of the courses we support.


Having worked on the Wikipedia in Classroom course in a focused way last year, we are gathering reflections about its strengths and challenges. One of the main challenges for classroom courses is sustainability. This can take many forms, including turnover of teaching staff. Course leaders may change posts, and during the handover and ensuing changes, it is possible that the Wikipedia aspect of courses may be dropped. At the University of Edinburgh’s Translation Studies course, the module had two successive course leaders go on sabbatical. Advocacy from the Wikimedian in Residence and the previous course leaders ensured that the course kept its Wikimedia element.


We will be deepening our work with Edinburgh University, including by collaborating on a case study booklet to be launched at the high profile Open Education Resources conference in 2018. We hope our Welsh Baccalaureate work will expand too, and provide us with case studies to implement elsewhere in the UK and maybe across the Wikimedia movement. We’re thinking, for example, about engaging with school librarians across the UK, working on digital literacy. In general, this will be an exciting area of work for us.
Martin Poulter, Bodleian Libraries Oxford Wikimedian in Residence, long-term impact report

Case studies[edit]

Education Summit

In February 2017 Wikimedia UK held an Education Summit in partnership with Middlesex University, attended by around 45 students, educators, academics and Wikimedians. Our keynote speakers were Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services and Assistant Principal for Online Learning at the University of Edinburgh, whose high-level overview of the impact and strategic case for a Wikimedian in Residence was complemented perfectly by Stefan Lutschinger’s more practical but no less compelling keynote speech focused on his own approach to Wikipedia in the curriculum. Stefan is Associate Lecturer in Digital Publishing at Middlesex University with whom Wikimedia UK worked closely in planning the event.

Following the keynote speeches, the summit broke into three workshop spaces. The volunteer Nav Evans and Wikimedian in Residence at Edinburgh University, Ewan McAndrew, ran a practical workshop on Wikidata; Wikimedia UK’s Richard Nevell and Hephzibah Israel, Lecturer in Translation Studies at Edinburgh, gave a presentation on Wikipedia in the Classroom and the use of the Outreach Dashboard; and an unconference space facilitated by Andy Mabbett. After that, there was a series of Lightning Talks. Wikimedians including Fabian Tompsett, Charles Matthews, and Clem Rutter, gave talks alongside others working with Wikimedia in cultural and educational institutions. There were contributions from a number of Stefan’s students; all of whom who had worked on Wikimedia assignments as part of their undergraduate course.

Following lunch and networking, the attendees broke into three workshop sessions. Dr Martin Poulter and Liz McCarthy gave a presentation on working together on a Wikimedian in Residence programme at Bodleian Libraries and now across the University of Oxford. Josie Taylor and Lorna Campbell led a session on curating Wikimedia’s educational resources. Finally, we gathered at the end of the day in a plenary discussion to share key points from each session, and to think about future developments. For Wikimedia UK, some key action points emerged, including the need to:

  • Develop and share our thinking in terms of education, particularly how we prioritise this work and what support we can offer teachers and learners
  • Support existing Wikimedia education projects and nurture new ideas
  • Build on the work that’s been started in terms of curating and creating resources and redeveloping the education pages on the Wikimedia UK site
  • Continue to provide opportunities for people working within education and Wikimedia to come together virtually and in person to share practice
  • Share models of good practice, case studies, and learning.

Revenues received during this period (12 months)[edit]

Table 2 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

  • Please also include any in-kind contributions or resources that you have received in this revenues table. This might include donated office space, services, prizes, food, etc. If you are to provide a monetary equivalent (e.g. $500 for food from Organization X for service Y), please include it in this table. Otherwise, please highlight the contribution, as well as the name of the partner, in the notes section.
Revenue source Currency Anticipated Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan
Annual Plan Grant GBP 297,500 74,375 74,375 74,375 74,375 297,500 390,011 390,011 see below for narrative
Donations GBP 205,000 50,400 49,413 49,685 53,207 202,705 268,747 265,738 see below
Gift Aid Claims GBP 33,500 7,611 19,726 4,005 4,513 35,855 43,917 47,004 see below
Gifts in kind and other fundraising GBP 115,250 39,186 25,456 44,073 55,623 164,338 151,088 215,441 see below
TOTAL GBP 651,250 171,572 168,970 172,138 187,718 700,398 853,763 918,194 see below

* Provide estimates in US Dollars

Spending during this period (12 months)[edit]

Table 3 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

(The "budgeted" amount is the total planned for the year as submitted in your proposal form or your revised plan, and the "cumulative" column refers to the total spent to date this year. The "percentage spent to date" is the ratio of the cumulative amount spent over the budgeted amount.)
Expense Currency Budgeted Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Percentage spent to date Explanation of variances from plan
Strategic goal 1 GBP 66,800 14,861 21,545 19,955 20,922 77,283 87,572 101,316 115.69% see below
Strategic goal 2 GBP 73,700 24,384 16,245 22,510 26,221 89,359 96,618 117,146 121.25% see below
Strategic goal 3 GBP 12,500 3,568 3,269 4,564 4,969 16,371 16,387 21,462 130.97% see below
Fundraising GBP 17,500 3,980 3,624 3,521 3,533 14,659 22,942 19,217 83.76% see below
Staff GBP 367,523 96,479 87,113 96,993 87,855 368,440 481,808 483,010 100.25% see below
Overheads GBP 125,227 24,944 30,683 37,799 29,200 122,626 164,168 160,757 97.92% see below
TOTAL GBP 663,250 168,216 162,479 185,342 172,700 688,737 869,494 902,907 103.84% N/A

* Provide estimates in US Dollars

Commentary on variances in income and expenditure against budget[edit]

Wikimedia UK’s financial year ends on 31st January and the figures presented above are currently in draft form. The result at the 2017/18 year end is a surplus of around £12,000 against a budgeted deficit of £12,000, with this variance being mainly the result of small cost savings against fundraising and other overheads, including an unused £10,000 cost contingency. The organisation took the unusual decision to create a budget with a small operational budget due to the planned office move during the year, however through judicious financial management - and by not drawing on our contingency of £10,000 - we were pleased to end the year with a modest surplus. Our stated policy is to hold between three and six months of operating costs in reserves, and the new balance sheet represents reserves of over four months of costs, based on budgeted expenditure in 2018/19.

Income Variances[edit]

  • At £202,705, donations were slightly under our projected figure of £205,000; however we have significantly cut our attrition figure this year which we believe is a result of more proactive communications with our individual donors. Gift Aid claims were slightly over budget at £35,855 due to an increase in our Gift Aid recovery rate; which is again related to more proactive communications with regular givers and targeted requests for donors to declare Gift Aid.
  • Gifts in Kind were significantly over budget, reflecting the charity’s continued success in leveraging resources from partner organisations.
  • Progress in other areas of fundraising (mainly major donors and trusts and foundations) remained at a similar level to last year, reflecting the challenging funding environment in the UK currently.

Expenditure Variances[edit]

Variances in expenditure against budget are made up largely of the following:

  • We have overspent against all of our strategic goals, which reflects the increased Gifts in Kind received towards our programme costs.
  • There was a small underspend in fundraising, related to minor cost savings throughout the year.
  • There was a small, insignificant underspend on overheads.
  • Staff costs came in almost exactly on budget.

The Senior Management Team at Wikimedia UK produce a Quarterly Financial Monitoring Report and an accompanying narrative commentary on a quarterly basis. These include much more detailed breakdowns of variances against income and expenditure along with an overview of current financial prospects, and are available upon request for anyone who would like more insight into the organisation’s finances.


Is your organization compliant with the terms outlined in the grant agreement?[edit]

As required in the grant agreement, please report any deviations from your grant proposal here. Note that, among other things, any changes must be consistent with our WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement.

  • Yes

Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".

  • Yes

Are you in compliance with provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and with relevant tax laws and regulations restricting the use of the Grant funds as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".

  • Yes


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