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

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Purpose of the report[edit]

This form is for organizations receiving Annual Plan Grants to report on their progress after completing the first 6 months of their grants. The time period covered in this form will be the first 6 months of each grant (e.g. 1 January - 30 June 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.

Summary[edit]

This report covers the first six months of Wikimedia UK’s financial year - from 1st February to 31st July 2017 - and includes progress towards our grant metrics and other indicators, with narrative highlights of our three programme strands. We are very pleased with our achievements so far this year, which we believe demonstrate sustained momentum in the chapter’s delivery and reach, and reflect the continuing stability of the charity.

From a quantitative perspective, some metric results worth highlighting include:

  • 240,066 content pages have been created or improved so far this year, against a target of 80,000 for the whole year
  • 194 leading volunteers have played a key role in our programmes, against our annual target of 145
  • 41% of leading volunteers during the second quarter of the year were women (our target is 33%)
  • We have made excellent progress towards our ambitious target of 16,000 volunteer hours, having reached 10,116 hours at the half-year point
  • We have already reached 2930 participants - through training, editing events, workshops, conferences, educational courses and meetups - against our overall target of 4000
  • Our total audience and reach (made up of in person and online engagement but excluding print and broadcast media coverage) is currently 53,076, so we have very nearly achieved our annual target of 54,145

Some of the key qualitative outcomes from the year so far include:

  • The appointment of Jason Evans as the first permanent Wikimedian in the UK, following his highly successful residency at the National Library of Wales supported by Wikimedia UK
  • Considerable financial investment into Wikimedia by the Welsh Government, who understand the value of Wicipedia Cymraeg to the development of the Welsh language and who are an active partner of our Wales Manager's work, supporting projects such as Wici Mon (with the Eisteddfod) and Wici Pop (at the National Library).
  • Training secondary school students and members of the wider local community to edit cywiki and record and upload village and town names pronounced by Welsh speakers, as part of the Wici Mon project on the island of Anglesey
  • The successful appointment and launch of the first Gaelic Wikimedian in Residence, Dr Susan Ross, in partnership with the National Library of Scotland; and the development of this programme and of the Uicipeid community
  • Wikimedia UK’s growing expertise in working with minority languages, particularly indigenous languages, as highlighted at July’s Celtic Knot conference in partnership with the University of Edinburgh
  • Confirmation from the University of Edinburgh that they will be funding a third year of Ewan McAndrew’s residency in 2018. Ewan gave a presentation about the value of a Wikimedian in Residence at Wikimania 2017 - delivered alongside Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services at the University - which emphasised the crucial support and input they receive from the UK Chapter.
  • The appointment of a new Wikimedian in Residence at the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC); which has come about following several years of relationship-building with the organisation and a successful external funding application led by SLIC but with considerable input from Wikimedia UK.
  • The charity’s growing profile and credibility within the UK’s cultural, education and open knowledge sectors, with staff, board members, Wikimedians in Residence and volunteers in high demand to talk at events and conferences and our Chief Executive delivering the keynote speech at this year’s Open Educational Resources conference in April 2017

Looking ahead to the second half of the year, we are excited to see how our many partnerships and projects develop, and anticipate strong end of year results both in terms of our achievements against the grant metrics and our progress towards our three year strategy.

Strategic context for Wikimedia UK[edit]

Wikimedia UK believes that open access to knowledge is a fundamental right, and a driver for social and economic development. We work with the Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia to enable people and organisations to contribute to a shared understanding of the world through the democratic creation, distribution and consumption of knowledge. We are committed to the ideal of a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge, and believe that here in the UK, we can play a unique and important role in realising that vision.

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

In order 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 underrepresented 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 against all of our strategic goals; however for the purpose of planning and reporting we have identified which key programme strand and strategic goal each of our activities relates to.

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 outcome at half year mark Explanation
Participants GM1 4,000 2,930 A varied group of people who took part in our events - Wikipedia/Wikidata training series, editathons, conferences, workshops, meetups, summer schools and educational courses.
Newly registed editors GM2 1,000 342 Mostly from editing workshops - as above; and new volunteers trained to help with uploads (e.g. via National Library of Wales)
Articles added/improved GM3 90,000 240,066

A couple of highly valuable data sets: 64,239 improved and 4160 new Wikidata items created on Hillforts; 30,000 Welsh listed buildings uploaded and subsequently improved on Wikidata; 67,857 edits on Wikidata by the visiting scholar (NLW) on Welsh publishers, newspapers and journals. We weren’t quite expecting the volume of datasets work we were able to deliver, hence exceeding the target already.

Mass upload of 11,314 audio files from Sains Records uploaded to Commons

The remainder is a collection of smaller projects, articles on Wikipedia, etc.

Volunteer hours 16,000 10,116 Several bigger projects required a significant amount of work from volunteers - 500 hours each for Celtic Knot Conference and the Education Summit Conference; 3730 from educational classroom programs, 1228 from leading volunteer activities and partnership interactions. 472 volunteer hours from the NLW volunteer programmes. The rest are made up of wiki training, workshops, editathons, the AGM, meetups and other events.
Total audience reach (online or in-person engagement with Wikimedia UK 54,145 53,076 Includes 13,471 social media subscribers, 36,675 viewers on our social media channels, 2,930 active event and programme participants and 194 leading volunteers.

Global metrics for programme 1

Indicator 2016/17 half year achieved  (past results) End year 2017/18 target

Programme 1

End year 2017/18 half year achieved Explanation
Participants 582 1,500 865 Attendees of our contests, open events, training series, workshops, editathons, conferences
Newly registered editors 279 700 233 Mostly from editing training sessions, editathon, and volunteer programs for mass uploads
Articles added/improved 43,976 articles added/improved and 37,825 commons 89,500 234,748 articles added/improved +

11,314 added to Commons (incl. SAIN RECORDS)

Includes files uploaded to Commons and Wikidata, mass uploads of listed buildings, monuments and audio files.
Volunteer hours 3,758

(formerly Number of activity units)

8,000 4,515 Attendance in contests,  open events, training series, workshops, editathons, conferences, presentations, volunteer programs
Total audience and reach N/A 1,620 956 Includes participants as above plus 91 leading volunteers organising core contests, open wikipedia editing workshops and editathons on GLAM issues, volunteer meetups, volunteer programs (NLW, e.g. WiciPop), participating in inter-chapter activities

Global metrics for programme 2

Indicator 2016/17 half year achieved  (past results) End year 2017/18 target End year 2017/18 half year achieved Explanation
Participants 826 2,000 1,620 Conferences, meetings, panel discussions, strategic discussions, festivals, partnership interactions
Newly registered editors N/A N/A N/A The nature of work in this segment does not involve editing
Articles added/improved N/A N/A N/A The nature of work in this segment does not involve editing
Volunteer hours N/A 4,800 1,871 Participation time from sector conferences and  meetings, panel discussions, strategic discussions, festivals, partnership interactions, presentations on open knowledge and advocacy work
Total audience and reach N/A 52,010 51,837 Social media work and all of our other participants - our overall engagement.

Global metrics for programme 3

Indicator 2016/17 half year achieved  (past results) End year 2017/18 target End year 2017/18 half year achieved Explanation
Participants 325 500 445 Educational courses at universities and summer schools
Newly registered editors 315 300 104 Educational course participants registering at the beginning of the term
Articles added/improved 306 500 1,003 Content created as a part of the Wikipedia in Classroom assignments
Volunteer hours 3,190 3,200 3,730 Educational course participants time at universities and summer schools
Total audience and reach N/A 515 477 Participants above+32 Leading volunteers

Telling your program stories - all programs

Achieved Target has been achieved or exceeded
On track On track to achieve the target
Opportunity for improvement Some progress has been made towards achieving the target, but the target is not on track
Attention required Little or no progress has been made towards achieving the target

Beyond grant metrics, we have several other measures of our impact. The charts below visualise our progress against these targets as well as grant metrics in the first six months of the activity year.

Chart for Progress report 2017
Chart for Progress report 2017

Telling your program stories - all programs[edit]

Programme 1: Diverse content and contributors[edit]

Metrics[edit]

Indicator 2016/17 half year achieved 2017/18 full  year target 2017/18 half year achieved
Participants 582 1,500 865
Newly registered editors 279 700 233
Articles added/improved 43,976 articles added/improved+37,825 uploads to Commons 89,500 233,684 articles added/improved + 11,314 added to Commons
Volunteer hours 3,758 8,000 4,515
Total audience and reach N/A 1,620 956
Leading volunteers 32 120 91
Female % of above 32% 33% 38.5% (35 women)
Images/media added to Commons 13,825 + 24,000 mass upload (37,825) 20,000 (plus mass uploads) 11,314
Images/media added to Wikimedia pages 2,016 2,000 440
% uploaded media used in content pages 6% 10% 3.88%
New articles added 5,238 7,900 36,214 (largely coming from a Welsh monuments Wikidata set added)

Programme 1: Diverse content section[edit]

Background and context[edit]

Strategic Goal: Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently underrepresented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects

With the UK’s imperial and colonial history, and the country’s considerable wealth, its cultural holdings are world-class; indeed, many items in the collections of our galleries, libraries, museums and archives have come from around the world and reflect a long history of western violence, looting and appropriation. We are now one of the most culturally diverse countries in Europe, with over 300 languages spoken including many immigrant languages - mainly from South Asia and Eastern Europe - and indigenous living languages including Welsh and Scottish Gaelic. We therefore believe that as the Wikimedia chapter for the UK we have a responsibility to work with partner institutions to open up their content to as wide an audience as possible, identifying those collections which could address content gaps arising from systemic bias and enabling people from all ethnic and linguistic backgrounds living in the UK and beyond to enjoy increased access to their own heritage. This Programme resonates strongly with the emerging focus within the Wikimedia movement strategic direction of nurturing diverse knowledge, and adapting approaches to include different cultures and communities.

Highlights of programme activity[edit]

Our projects within this strategic goal coalesced around specific themes, all feeding into diverse knowledge. We're describing our achievements within those themes below.

CELTIC KNOT theme[edit]
External audio
Wicipop Infographic.jpg
Files from Sain Records on Wiki Radio

Linguistic and cultural diversity were very strong themes in this reporting period, with the Celtic Knot conference at Edinburgh University serving as a focal point for our existing programmes and emerging ideas in this sphere. This conference was also a sign that our projects are becoming increasingly interconnected and building on each other. As an example, this Spring we delivered a WiciPop project (led by 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, including:

  • A member of the screen and sound department at NLW received Wikipedia editing training so that he can improve/create articles as part of his work archiving and recording Welsh music and film
  • Professional photographs of 55 Welsh bands were released on an open license by S4C/Ochr1
  • 241 donated images of Welsh bands were uploaded to Commons
  • Sain Record Company agreed to release 7,000 sound clips and album covers to Wikimedia Commons, as a result of continued hard work and advocacy by our Wales Manager (since 2014).

The project officially ended in May, but with the thematic focus given by this project we have continued work in this area, with Bangor University and Coleg Cymraeg agreeing to release their encyclopedia of 1500 well written articles on Welsh music.

Other projects of significance in Wales include the release (and subsequent improvement) of 30,000 listed buildings database from Cadw, supplementing the Historic England release last year. Both of those databases will be supporting our Wiki Loves Monuments programme in September 2017.

In early 2017 the Wici Mon project was launched, employing a full time Welsh language Wikipedian for the first time, who had been developing the coding skills of young people in the county of Anglesey (Wales). The resident has been working with secondary schools instructing pupils on editing cywiki and setting up regular editing training at Llangefni Library. 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 to tie it into.

Following in the footsteps of Wici Mon, a volunteer group in Cardiff has started running editathons, initiated and supported by our Wales Manager. This work, and Wici Mon, are linked to the Eisteddfod cultural festival for Welsh speakers. This event happens in a different part of Wales every year, and the festival organisers work on building communities in both former and upcoming sites for the event. We are now using that infrastructure and our direct partnership with Eisteddfod to grow our programmes in Wales.

Taking inspiration from the developments in Wales, the Gaelic Wikipedian project, which started in January 2017, focused initially on galvanising the Wikipedia editor community. It then moved on to establishing links with language communities and building engagement with the project, with events such as the Gaelic festival in Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce and a local Gaelic Day by Perth & Kinross Council. There are also plans to participate in several upcoming events, and contacts have been made with Historic Environment Scotland and the University of Aberdeen’s Celtic Department. This work is challenging but we’ve had success linking to the Celtic Post-Graduate Students Training at the University of Glasgow, where we engaged with doctoral students working in Celtic studies from across the UK about writing for Wikipedia (Welsh, Irish, Dutch, Frisian, Scottish Gaelic and English).

Other projects active in the ‘Celtic Knot’ were the Cornish Hypatia Trust project, and Scottish Libraries Information Council with whom we have just set up a Wikimedian in Residence. To strengthen our work on minority languages, we delivered our first Celtic Knot language conference with Edinburgh University.

GENDER GAP theme[edit]

While underrepresented languages has now solidified into a strong theme, we have many initiatives and partners working with us on continuing to address gender gap on Wikipedia. This work, similarly, focuses on building communities of interest, and engaging our existing partner organisations to work on gender themes with us. Some of the successful initiatives in the first half of this financial year have included:

  • The Open Education Resource Advisor at Edinburgh University led her first editathon at the Gender, Global Health and Justice Editathon. Whilst our partnership with Edinburgh is mainly focused on education, it is now feeding into all of our strategic goals as a Chapter
  • The WIR at the Wellcome Library held an editathon focusing on key women from the Royal College of Nursing
  • We delivered a successful programme of events Art+Feminism 2017, running fewer events than last year but with higher outputs in terms of content creation. 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, three editing training events took place in the first half of 2017 at the British Library and Bodleian library in Oxford, attracting academics in the field of food history. It is not an exclusively gender-focused event, though attendance is 100% women and the content of food history is largely a story of missing women. It is a relatively nascent area of study, and we are engaging with an international group of academics who are producing high quality content in an area that is poorly documented on Wikipedia. Additionally, although it started at the British Library, thanks to our links with the Bodleian and the Symposium’s links with Oxford, we were able to expand the initiative beyond London.
  • After a successful full-day editathon in January 2017 the Women’s Classical Committee (WCC) wanted to continue contributing, and set up regular monthly meetups to edit collectively. In April the WCC held an in-person session at the Classical Association conference, helping the profile of the project amongst classicists and sustaining interest. An important aspect of the session was planning for the future, with the group agreeing to maintain momentum by having monthly online meetups, allowing the people involved in the editathon to continue their work - improving nearly 50 articles by the end of July.. This has been done via social media, where the WCC shares news of the editing and the #WCCwiki hashtag is used to highlight the group’s work, and was covered in the prestigious Times Higher Education in June. The next step is a second in-person editathon, this time in September at the University of Manchester.
  • The Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh has developed a number of gender gap projects, as well as targeting women as attendees and participants at editathons and Wikipedia in the Classroom assignments. Earlier this year, an editation that created articles on women such as Jenny Baines, a Militant suffragette, sparked interest amongst participants to engage further in gender gap work. 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.
CULTURAL HERITAGE theme[edit]
External video
Wikimedia UK AGM 2016 at Impact Hub Birmingham, July 2016 19.jpg
Wikimedia: Wikipedia's sister projects as platforms for Digital Humanities

One of our four key strategic outcomes is that our work will increase access to knowledge about, or held in, the UK; enriching our understanding and engagement with our collective cultural heritage and ensuring that this is available in digital forms as much as possible.

At Bodleian Libraries, uploading cultural heritage information to Wikidata has been progressing well with the Cuneiform Digital Library, the Hillforts Atlas and the Oxford Research Archive all contributing to Wikidata. This has involved work creating properties on Wikidata, improving the quality of the data and, crucially, matching new content to pre-existing items - adding value to the dataset by linking to information which already existed in Wikidata. It will also help heritage managers by providing more data on the sites, and even raise the profile of those locations within the general public (as they are not currently well known).

Many of the resident’s projects at the University of Oxford involve data uploads. In many cases the uploads are new case studies for Wikidata, and contribute to an ever expanding portfolio of how to share information and the benefits of working with the project. This often involves creating new properties on Wikidata, creating infrastructure not only for current uploads but for future projects. One such example is the English Short Title Catalogue citation number, an important means of identifying different editions of books. This enables information to be added from the University of Oxford’s research projects, and the Oxford Text Archive, and also paves the way for possible future uploads from organisations using the same system of identifiers, such as the British Library.

It’s important to the UK Chapter that we increase access to cultural heritage assets to everyone living in the UK, regardless of their background; and we are continuing to explore ways in which to achieve this for minority and diasporic communities. Working with Wikimedia UK’s Communications Co-ordinator, who has links with the Kurdish community, we have continued to strengthen our ties with Kurdish speakers in London, attending regular events and assessing the enthusiasm, capabilities and conditions required for further work. There is great enthusiasm from key members of the community and organisations within it, but continued communication is helping us define where we can focus our project. There are numerous options considering the multilingual nature of the community, and the wide array of Wikimedia projects this could affect. We think that patience will help us determine the points of Wikimedia where we can direct that enthusiasm in order to get the most return for all parties.

Progress towards the plan[edit]

Looking back at our APG proposal, written in September 2016, we are very pleased to see that many of the planned partnerships we highlighted have come to fruition. In particular, several external funding proposals we were working on at the time were successful, enabling us to implement new projects including the Gaelic Wikipedian and the Wikimedian in Residence at the Scottish Libraries and Information Council.

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 by making their resident into a permanent position, Edinburgh University by becoming a sector spokesperson for the value of Wikimedia collaboration.


External video
Wikimania 2017 in Montreal WMUK photos 40.jpg
University of Edinburgh's Melissa Highton and Wikimedia UK Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh Ewan McAndrew discuss how Wikimedians based in cultural institutions can create value for those institutions.

We have carried out research with past partners (such as British Library and Museums Galleries Scotland) in 2017, to investigate the long term impact of Wikimedian in Residence posts. This has offered a springboard to re-engage with some of our key partners from a couple of years ago, and to start planning projects which would build on the legacy of our past work.

We have been able, or are planning to, engage with a series of Wikimedia’s movement-wide programmes, such as Art+Feminism, Europeana 1914-18 and Wiki Loves Monuments.

Progress on metrics has also been strong, with some content targets already met through successes with Wikidata work.

Learning and sharing[edit]

Our programme delivery brought about several challenges which we were able to learn from. 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 challenge of 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 is 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 (Gaelic Wikipedia) admin at the Celtic Knot conference, a biography infobox autogenerated by Wikidata was created for Uicipeid, and has been implemented in almost 500 pages.

There are lots of other positive connections, which we are begining to learn about. 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 particularly, and the resident was able to compare notes and gain a lot of information and tips from the Catalan libraries model thanks to Alex being present at the event.

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

Celtic Knot conference proved significant for people who weren’t there too - 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 by mostly 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. Perhaps the reflection here is that a lot of interested people come from small communities (of minority/underrepresented languages), so they might not have had means to travel. A dedicated travel bursaries fund might perhaps have been a good addition to the event.

With so much focus given to the programmes in Wales, we wanted to get a better understanding of the audiences we are serving. For this reason 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. Welsh Wicipedia 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 ensuring that infrequent readers consult Wicipedia more frequently. 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. Generally, readers felt that the information is accurate and reliable, and that Wicipedia gives a good overview of some topics.

We shared the survey questions and results with several other minority language communities, explaining how we delivered the project and what we have learnt.

Wicipop in GLAM newsletter

Case study[edit]

Celtic Knot Conference

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 the small language communities to maintain their heritage. Currently, these languages are underrepresented 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 colourful conference programme offered insights into technological novelties, such as the new Content Translation tool for Wikipedia, plans for text-to-speech and speech recognition technologies for Welsh Wikipedia or new open access audio language recording toolkits from India and France. 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 assist 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 became ready for knowledge sharing across languages. It also coincided with the global Wikimedia movement strategy development, which puts 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, while Norway will be home to the conference in 2019.

Programme 1: Diverse contributors section[edit]

Background and context[edit]

Strategic Goal: Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently underrepresented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects

Working with volunteers underpins all of our programme delivery, but here special focus is given to diversifying our community of volunteers and editors. We believe that knowledge quality will increase as diverse voices are actively integrated into Wikimedia and are able to collaborate effectively. Because of this, we are bringing new volunteers into our community, and also support skills development of existing volunteers so they can engage with our programme delivery more effectively, leading to more reach and impact. A lot of this work happens offline, so that we can build a high quality connection with each volunteer, helping us work with them effectively and ultimately leading to online impact.

As echoed in the draft global movement strategy, “as a movement, we will assemble through strong, sustainable communities that motivate us to contribute. We will welcome people from everywhere to grow fields of knowledge that represent human diversity.” We agree that healthy, motivated communities is key to achieving the overarching goal of the sum of human knowledge, and we are working particularly on increasing diversity of those communities in our context - in recognition of the relationship between increasing coverage of underrepresented subjects on the Wikimedia projects and diversifying contributor demographics.

Highlights of programme activity [edit]

Volunteers were actively involved in our programmes, with almost 350 new editors being engaged through our events across different programmes. Volunteers and programme participants contributed a significant 4,500 hours, while our 91 lead volunteers contributed by helping us deliver our programme.

We continued building the skills and capacity of our volunteer community by running two focused Train the Trainer events in the summer of 2017. Together with Midas (an external training consultancy) we delivered a full two-day training workshop in Edinburgh for 12 people from diverse backgrounds. We invited some of our current WIRs to develop their training skills - as this is often such a crucial part of the role - and six people from other Wikimedia chapters (Germany, Norway and Netherlands) to offer them the opportunity to experience our training offer and encourage them to implement something similar in their communities. We were joined by colleagues from Wikimedia Germany, Norway and Netherlands, all of whom were very interested in our approaches to volunteer support. They all covered the costs of their participation, which signalled their commitment to knowledge exchange between chapters.

This event was shortly followed up by a Train the Trainer refresher and network event delivered in the evening after our Annual General Meeting for WMUK accredited Trainers. Our goals were to build engagement of new trainers, allow networking so that experienced trainers could connect with newly trained volunteers and then call on them to support events. To further grow training skills through exercises, such as a ‘presentation surgery’ session. We also wanted to re-engage some less active trainers and give volunteers an update on Wikimedia UK and its strategic direction. These aims made for an intense and a very productive event, which we are hoping to repeat in the future.

As part of our longer-term strategy of increasing and enabling our Wikidata community, we held several training sessions covering the use of tools and queries. We usually have a mixed ability group, and representatives from local GLAMs who provide databases to work on, and a lot of discussions on what Wikidata is for. The challenge now is to balance training with meetup style events, while serving the community that needs training and the community that benefits from discussions.

Our volunteer grant scheme continued. We run another Core Contest, and in the summer we supported a new volunteer to attend a Wikimedia movement event ‘WikiPride’ in Madrid, for which the organisers to sought our assistance. In the volunteer’s own words:  “I was taken from having very little knowledge of Wikimedia's existence, let alone how you would create an article, to translating multiple articles about LGBTQ activists into English from Spanish, thereby not only providing me with future skills on editing articles online and the infrastructure behind it but also an education on Spanish LGBTQ activists which I would never have known about otherwise! The entire experience provided many new perspectives that I had never encountered before and provided me with the knowledge that I believe will come in useful for years to come.”

Working with volunteers within Wikimedian in Residence programmes[edit]

A lot of volunteer activity was enabled by Wikimedians in Residence, who acted as hubs of activity for local communities. For example at Wellcome, the resident has been excellent at utilising the existing network of Wikimedians and fostering their support. This can be a challenge as community engagement requires extra work which was not included in her original brief, however, it ultimately paid off by enriching her work, getting more training support or engagement with uploaded content.

Also, as mentioned in the past, the National Library of Wales continues to offer structured Wikimedia opportunities through its official volunteering scheme, with projects such as Welsh Translation Project, Welsh Biography Online (both articles and data), and new volunteers being trained. This innovative approach was picked up by the Wikimedia Foundation, who invited NLW to co-author a chapter of volunteer engagement with Wikipedia in Libraries for a book being prepared by OCLC (Online Computer Library Center).

Initially, developing a sustainable volunteer community of Wikipedians within the National Library of Wales was not a target for the project. However, as the project became established, it became clear that the library had a well resourced and well managed community of enthusiastic volunteers, and it seemed logical to offer them the opportunity to engage with Wikimedia projects.

The Library’s volunteers began attending Edit-a-thons arranged by the NLW WiR, followed by several projects specifically developed for the volunteer team.The NLW volunteer manager agreed to include contributing to Wikipedia as an official option for all volunteers applying to work with NLW in 2016. Since then, the number of volunteers asking to contribute to Wikipedia has increased substantially; in March 2017 alone volunteers spent over 100 hours editing Wikipedia.

Project subject Participants New Articles Improved Articles
Welsh Biography (Wikidata) 13 20 66
Welsh Newspapers 9 100 24
Welsh Biography (Wikipedia) 5 304 319
Welsh Translation Project 4 4 4
TOTAL 31 428 413

Figures cover the period January 19, 2015 - April 30th, 2017

Progress towards the plan[edit]

We have been progressing well with skills development for volunteers, building on the Train the Trainer scheme, and responding to our programme needs and community interest by bringing in more Wikidata training elements. We are also very pleased with how our minority language content work has been coupled with supporting the respective language communities.

Learning and sharing[edit]

Working on Gaelic Wikipedia is giving us many lessons in supporting a smaller language project. Only after starting work on this Wikipedia did we realise the limitations of the technical functions, e.g. creating infoboxes is very cumbersome as most templates simply don’t work on Gaelic Wikipedia (Learning pattern ). We are discovering more barriers as we go on, which means that some of the focus of the project is steered away from direct content generation, towards setting up systems.

Programme 2: Promoting open knowledge[edit]

Metrics[edit]

Indicator 2016/17 half year achieved 2017/18 full  year target 2017/18 half year achieved
Participants 826 2,000 1,620
Volunteer hours 2,078 4,800 1,871
Total audience and reach 29,772 52,010 51,837
Leading volunteers 28 10 71 (many more people taking a lead in our organisational interactions)
Digital media reach 28,039 50,000 50,146 (engagement with our blog and website increased above our expectations)
Responses to consultations 1 3 3
Policy change affected 2 3 0

Background and context[edit]

Strategic Goal: Support 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

There are many barriers to growing open knowledge within and beyond the UK. Content holding institutions may not be aware of the benefits of engaging with open knowledge, or may face a range of technical, financial, legal or cultural barriers; and the UK legislative framework needs to facilitate and support open knowledge rather than presenting further obstacles or obfuscations as it can seem to currently. 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 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 within 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.

Highlights of programme activity[edit]

With the benefit of several well established Wikimedians in Residence active in the first half of 2017, we were able to achieve very encouraging progress towards making organisations more open, and secure sustainability beyond their posts. We’ve seen some very significant changes within our long term partner institutions, where sustained advocacy efforts are now bearing fruit:

  • 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 (something we recently recognised at our AGM, awarding the Library our ‘Partnership of the Year Award’). The post is launched with a specific eight month Wiki Health (WiciIechyd) project supported by the Welsh Government, focusing on community engagement, machine translation and increasing access to existing health content.
  • 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. The final report of Jason’s two year residency is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jason.nlw/National_Library_of_Wales_residency_final_report.
  • As a mark of our increasing collaboration with the Welsh Government, we are discussing further projects to be funded, similar to the current MenterMon. We were also invited by the Welsh Government to write an introduction to a publication by the Language Technology Unit at Bangor University.
  • We recently interviewed the Bodleian Libraries to reflect on the past six months of the residency, with the feedback indicating that the value of the resident is clearly and fully recognised by staff, including the Director; who sees the project as bringing reputational enhancement to the Bodleian Libraries and the University’s leadership in open content. This recognition may lead to further engagement with Wikimedia UK and is a very positive signal. In terms of concrete policy change, the WIR has been working individually with a number of different research teams at the University of Oxford to introduce open licensing during the design stage; increasing open access to scholarly research conducted by one of the world’s leading universities.
  • The long term character of the Bodleian Libraries partnership means that we can build on its established successes and expand the scope of its work in innovative ways, responding to growing interest within its networks. The GLAM Strategy Implementation Board is interested in a project with Wikidata which would cross multiple GLAM institutions in Oxford (among the four museums, numerous libraries, and botanic gardens) and for which there is high-quality metadata already available. The potential of linking existing databases is of particular interest to those institutions, for whom resource discovery within Oxford is key. The resident is also working with the newly assigned GLAM Programme Manager, explaining how Wikimedia platforms could help embed GLAM resources in education and learning, with a pilot project for sharing museum data now being planned.
External video
Pics from WMCON 2017 19.jpg
OER17 Keynote: Lucy Crompton-Reid – Opening up Wikimedia content and communities
  • At Edinburgh University, the primary liaison in the Digital Skills Team attended a ‘Train the trainer’ workshop by the resident, so that the team can deliver wiki training going forward in order for a sustained involvement with WMUK, even post residency.
  • The advocacy/ambassador functions of Bodleian and Edinburgh residents were exemplified by another project we supported. Back in 2016, Dr. Martin Poulter and Ewan McAndrew presented at Edinburgh’s Repository Fringe on ‘Wikimedia and Universities’, including how libraries can work with Wikimedia. One of the attendees took some of the ideas back to the library he works for at the University of Leeds and, as a result, the university hired a student to act as a short term Wikimedian. The project aims to link Wikipedia content to the library’s collections - benefitting Wikipedia readers by highlighting further high-quality information, and the library by pointing visitors towards their site - and improve articles related to the collection.

We have been actively building on our partnership network:

  • We have been in discussions with our long term partner organisations British Library and Wellcome Library, with large -scale projects in the pipeline.
  • Working on the Europeana 1914-18 project provided a spur to contact past partner organisations such as the Imperial War Museum, revisiting how we can work together and planning new approaches such as data releases.
Wikimedia UK and Europeana 1914–18
A Battery Shelled Art.IWMART2747.jpg


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, and ARLIS UK & Ireland Annual conference. CILIP is the Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals and is the key umbrella body for the library sector, while ARLIS is the Art Libraries Society. We were also represented extremely well at the Open Educational Resources Conference (OER17), with our CEO giving one of the conference keynote speeches and many residents as well as board members contributing to the programme. The Wellcome Library WIR also attended the OCLC Research Library Partnership Meeting at the British Library, where she presented the key outcomes from her residency. 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.

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.

Through the National Library of Wales, we were represented at the international LODLAM summit, talking about Wikidata in Libraries, Archives and Museums. We also delivered the Wici natur conference, moving forward our Llen Natur work, and the Celtic Knot conference, as highlighted in the case study above . This conference was an important focal point to pick up a variety of minority languages conversation. For example, through the Edinburgh University WIR, we were represented at the 'Minority Languages Policy after Brexit' panel at the School of Scottish Studies, where we established links with the European Language Equality Network and the newly developed ELEN digital working group. The WIR at NLW organised a trade stand at the International Association of Language Commissioners conference in Cardiff Bay to promote our Welsh language work prior to the Celtic Knot conference.

In June our CEO, trustee Doug Taylor and Wikimedian in Residence at Bodleian Libraries, Dr Martin Poulter, appeared at the inaugural Byline Festival in Sussex. Described as "a riot of journalism, comedy, ideas and free speech", the festival was attended by 3000 people, with the 'Ask Wikimedia' session attended by a highly engaged audience in the Data Dome.

In recognition of Wikimedia UK’s growing authority on open knowledge and diversity issues, our Chief Executive was asked to contribute a 6000 word chapter to a new book due for publication this autumn, Feminism and Museums: Interventions, Disruption and Change. Wikimedia UK also contributed to a new publication, 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 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), NHSF (the National Heritage Science Forum) and Wellcome Library, among others. A full list of partners and notes from the discussion are here.

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 giving more tools to contributors to discover and explore the literature. Wikimedia UK will be supporting the work of the initiative going forward 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 and supporting our advocacy objectives.

In order to circulate the growing body of Welsh content, we supported Carl Morris to run a development project to improve the visibility of Welsh Wicipedia. The project began at the end of 2016-17 and concluded in Q1 2017-18. This involved setting up a Twitter bot for @Wicipedia. With regular updates, the account is being used to 1) increase the number of people interacting with content in Welsh 2) send more visitors to Welsh Wicipedia 3) promote the creation of new articles 4) encourage people to add descriptions to images related to Wales.

Our work on EU advocacy has been relatively quiet aside from planning meetings with UK partners in the open knowledge sector; some UK government advocacy on the EU copyright proposals both individually and through this group; and our CEO’s participation in the Wikimedia EU Advocacy meeting that took place over a weekend in Brussels in April and helped determine the group’s priorities over the next year. The CEO also supported the recruitment of a new member of staff to join Dimi in his advocacy activities - as agreed by members of the FKAGEU - joining the panel and contributing her significant recruitment and HR experience.

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

Wikimedia UK Vs Fake News (2017)

Progress towards the plan[edit]

Advocacy projects can be challenging to plan, as their outcomes are reliant on many external factors. In that sense, at this point in the year, we have had some initiatives far exceed our expectations, and some which we are still in an early stage of development or haven’t progressed as anticipated.

Achieving organisational change is an important aspect of our advocacy programme and our progress in this area have been significant, with the permanent Wikimedian at National Library of Wales being a huge achievement. A collaboration with the Welsh Government also grew significantly more than anticipated, especially with the Language department, from which staff have participated directly in several of our conferences.

Our key minority language advocacy initiative, the Celtic Knot conference at the Edinburgh University, was simply a theme for a potential event in our APG proposal, partly because we were not sure if our collaboration with the University will be continuing into 2017, and so we are very pleased with how this has manifested; while our engagement with Heritage Lottery Fund is yet to generate tangible change.

Learning and sharing[edit]

We continue to disseminate learning from our innovative work with partner institutions through the Wikimedian in Residence programme. Following on from our Wikimedian in Residence Summit in November 2016, which provided insight into common problems and possible solutions, we took some of our findings to the Wikimedia GLAM Coordinators meeting in Paris in February. We have identified workflows and common problems faced by our WIRs and also other GLAM project workers, and were able to further discuss this and link up to other resources at the Wikimedia Conference (WMCON 2017) in Berlin.

Our expanded learning pattern including this subsequent work

Reflecting on the importance of this type of work, we delivered another Wikimedian in Residence summit in Scotland to coincide with the Celtic Knot event in July. We focused on the experiences of our new and longer-standing residents from five institutions, with expertise present from the Wikidata team. As well as being a forum to share specific experiences, these meetings tend to bring up key issues facing those working with GLAMs where Wikimedia projects are incompatible or need development: 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 will have 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 had 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. More on this in the NLW case study below.

Investing in knowledge sharing between the WIRs and organisations is a key element of our advocacy work, and we will definitely be continuing in those efforts. Additionally, to build our understanding of how WIRs change their host organisations, we are working on a long term impact study. The basis for this WIR impact research was an exploratory survey, which we were able to construct with help and expertise from Edward Galves (WMF).

Case study[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 installing a jointly funded Wikipedian in Residence. Following negotiations and internal interviews, a Wikipedian in Residence (Jason Evans) was appointed from the Library Staff on a 12 month contract from January 2015. The project was subsequently extended periodically 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 actually highlighted how flexible and inclusive the Wiki platform is when contributing in multiple languages.

Wikimedia UK has been supportive of the residency in a number of ways. Their ability to connect the resident with other WIRs and established members of the Wikimedia community has perhaps been most valuable, along with the knowledge and expertise of the team itself. By gaining access to this network of Wikimedians and WIRs (e.g. through regular meetups run by WMUK) the resident learned invaluable skills and has been inspired to pursue new ideas and opportunities.

Top five 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 very long time
  5. Follow every lead because only a fraction will be fruitful

Legacy of the Residency

The impact of the residency on the National Library of Wales has been very significant, with hundreds of millions of image views and a busy events and volunteer programme having the greatest effect on attitudes towards 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.

Programme 3: Education and learning[edit]

Metrics[edit]

Indicator 2016/17 half year achieved 2017/18 full  year target 2017/18 half year achieved
Participants 325 500 445
Newly registered editors 315 300 104
Articles added/improved 306 500 1,003
Volunteer hours 3,190 3,200 3,730 (we engaged with more classes than planned)
Total audience and reach N/A 515 477
Leading volunteers 6 15 32
Articles added 16 100 73

Background and context[edit]

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

We work with some of the best content holders and influential policy makers in the UK to grow the sum of open knowledge. We believe, however, that just releasing information doesn’t automatically make it accessible for people - users need to have the skills to engage with that knowledge critically and be able to evaluate it. That’s why we run education programmes which, through generating content for Wikimedia projects, teach learners those principles and skills. Also, by enabling students to become the producers of knowledge (e.g. through the Wikipedia in Classroom courses), it empowers them in their exploration of what information is and how it’s produced, as well as growing our body of contributors.

Highlights of programme activity[edit]

This period saw significant developments in our education work, with the tone set by the Education Summit we organised and delivered in February in partnership with (and hosted by) Middlesex University (see the case study below).

The education portal on the WMUK website now showcases our current partners in higher education, with resources available to download and re-use such as marking rubrics and lesson plans.

In addition to our existing courses at Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Imperial College London and Queen Mary University of London, this quarter saw York and Swansea universities running modules incorporating Wikipedia editing for the first time. Using Wikipedia to translate content as part of individual assignments is also being trialed on the Welsh translation course at Aberystwyth University.

Our second quarter (May to July) overlaps with the exam period for universities, but we maintained Wikipedia classroom assignments activity at Portsmouth and Swansea, along with The University of York’s linguistics course running for the first time.

The WIR at Edinburgh continues to support courses at the university and discuss with other module leaders the possibility of integrating editing in their courses. As part of this, he hosted a ‘Teaching with Wikipedia’ session for course leaders to share their work and good practice. He also prepared a piece for the high profile University of Edinburgh Journal about the residency.

Ewan’s work is visibly gaining momentum, and while scaling up his activities and engaging teachers who are new to Wikipedia, he is becoming increasingly aware of technical barriers which make course implementation slow and labour intensive. The tool we are using to manage education courses lacks some key functionality (e.g. allowing course leaders to specify the type of course rather than needing admin help), and so in collaboration with the University we are exploring solutions to this issue. Despite these barriers, the WIR has had significant success in bringing further teachers on board with classroom assignments and refining the current ones (e.g. Translation Studies). Digital Sociology and Anthropology courses are both on board with plans to run projects in Autumn 2017 or Spring 2018, which is very positive. However, the long lead-in times point to the importance of having a multi-year Wikimedian in Residence in place who can oversee and support such projects.

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 highlighted our achievements on several platforms, most notably at the Open Educational Resources Conference (OER17), where our Edinburgh University WIR delivered four talks on the Edinburgh Residency, Content Translation, WikiCite project and a workshop (alongside our Bodleian/Oxford resident) on Gamifying Wikimedia.

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 at the University of Oxford. A key focus of this stage of the residency has been helping academics to use the 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 visualise 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.

While the work at Bodleian focused on engaging with researchers to pull information out of Wikidata, another academic project worked on putting content into it. In March, ContentMine employed a Wikimedian in Residence, funded by the Wikimedia Foundation. As ContentMine is based in the UK and we’ve collaborated in the past, we have been able to lend support and advice to the WIR through an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding). ContentMine combs through scientific publications to produce a feed of short, reliably sourced statements. Copyright does not cover these facts and they can therefore be added to Wikidata and Wikipedia to feed citation-supported facts. The WikiFactMine project also involves producing ‘dictionaries’ which match Wikidata items to scientific terms, allowing scientists to refer to Wikidata.

Research projects were also delivered at Wellcome and Edinburgh University.

Progress towards the plan[edit]

We are very pleased with the progress on Wikipedia in Classroom courses, as not only were we able to continue supporting the existing courses, but also expanded to further universities; responding to increased demand within the UK. These new leads usually came from our general outreach at education conferences (like OER17), and through recommendations from existing course leaders. We have expanded the education section of our website with useful resources and ways of contacting other programme leaders for peer learning. The Middlesex University educators summit at the start of the year was an important and well attended initiative to support knowledge exchange between course leaders.

Progress at Edinburgh University exceeded our expectations in its capacity to engage new lecturers across the institution in Wikimedia. We were not sure this was going to be possible at the start of the year, with lecturers quoting workload and needing very long lead-in times as barriers to implementation. Thanks to the Edinburgh WIR being in post for the second year, though, it was possible for his work to start bearing fruit this year.

External video
View of Edinburgh from Calton Hill - 02.jpg
The Wikimedia Residency at the University of Edinburgh

Some of the new courses are impeded by technical barriers of the education dashboard and we are hoping this will be resolved in the future.

Learning and sharing[edit]

We have had some difficulty at this point to establish a concrete programme with the formal education accreditation bodies, WJEC in Wales and PgCAP in Scotland. In March 2016, with the support of the head of education at NLW a request was made to WJEC (The main Welsh examining body) to include a Wikipedia based challenge as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate. The challenge would involve choosing a topic for an edit-a-thon, planning and hosting the event and teaching fellow students to edit Wikipedia, incorporating a range of skills from event planning to digital literacy.

This document, after several rounds with relevant committees, was unfortunately rejected. The official form we were using to propose this work constricted us in terms of wordcount of our proposal. The feedback we eventually received from WJEC suggested that the project we were proposing was not clearly understood by the organisation. This, to us, suggested that it’s often quite hard to quickly grasp the essence and benefits of working with Wikimedia, unless it’s in a meeting where things can be explained and illustrated. For this reason the form didn’t work for us and we will be looking at other ways to promote our work to WJEC.

Having worked on the Wikipedia in Classroom course in a focused way last year, we are gathering reflections about its strengths and challenges, including sustainability. Course leaders may take sabbaticals or change posts, and during the handover and ensuing changes the Wikipedia aspect of courses may be dropped. We have faced these transitional periods at Queen Mary University of London (QMU) and the University of Edinburgh. At QMU, the Research Methods (Film Studies) has been using Wikipedia editing since 2013. Since it was introduced the module changed from optional to compulsory, and the Wikipedia aspect has helped students with their research skills. The course leader moved on in the summer of 2017 but we hope to engage with him in his new setting. Whilst the University of Edinburgh’s Translation Studies course had two successive course leaders go on sabbatical. The course had included Wikipedia editing for two semesters, and was an innovative approach to the module when introduced. The key factor in ensuring the module retained the editing aspect was advocacy from the Wikimedian in Residence and the previous course leaders.

Case study[edit]

Education Summit

On 20th February this year 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, with the volunteer Nav Evans and Wikimedian in Residence at Edinburgh University, Ewan McAndrew, running a practical workshop on Wikidata; Wikimedia UK’s Richard Nevell and Hephzibah Israel, Lecturer in Translation Studies at Edinburgh, giving a presentation on Wikipedia in the Classroom and the use of the Outreach Dashboard; and an unconference space facilitated by Andy Mabbett. After that were a series of Lightning Talks, with Wikimedians including Fabian Tompsett, Charles Matthews and Clem Rutter giving talks alongside others working with Wikimedia in cultural and educational institutions, and 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 of the summit again broke into three workshop sessions, with another unconference space, a presentation by Dr Martin Poulter and Liz McCarthy on working together on a Wikimedian in Residence programme at Bodleian Libraries and now across the University of Oxford, and Josie Taylor and Lorna Campbell leading a session on curating Wikimedia’s educational resources. Finally, we gathered together at the end of the day in a plenary discussion to share key points from each session, and to start thinking 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 six-month period[edit]

Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

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 148,750 74,375 74,375 148,750 195,005 195,005
Donations GBP 102,500 50,400 49,413 99,813 134,373 130,851
Gift Aid Claims GBP 26,500 7,611 19,726 27,337 34,740 35,838
Gifts in kind and other fundraising GBP 63,000 39,186 25,456 64,642 82,590 84,743
TOTAL GBP 340,750 171,572 168,970 340,542 446,710 446,437

* Provide estimates in US Dollars


As can be seen from the table above, Wikimedia's income during the first half of the year has been in line with our budget. We have seen particular success in leveraging Gifts in Kind from partner institutions, which currently include Edinburgh and Oxford Universities and Wellcome Library, amongst others, and which are building year on year. Other fundraising includes major gifts (donations of over £1000) and grants from trusts and foundations, and were close to budget for the first quarter but had a week second quarter - reflecting the cyclical nature of giving and the fact that the end of the calendar year (31st December) and the standard financial year (31st March) tend to be when Wikimedia UK receives most major donations.


Spending during this six-month period[edit]

Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

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 32,765 14,861 21,545 36,406 42,954 47,727 111.11%
Strategic goal 2 GBP 42,932 24,384 16,245 40,629 56,282 53,263 94.64%
Strategic goal 3 GBP 6,791 3,568 3,269 6,837 8,903 8,963 100.68%
Fundraising GBP 8,750 3,980 3,624 7,604 11,471 9,969 86.90%
Staff GBP 189,039 96,479 87,113 183,592 247,823 240,682 97.12%
Overheads GBP 66,550 24,944 30,683 55,627 87,244 72,925 83.59%
TOTAL GBP 346,827 168,216 162,479 0 0 330,695 454,677 433,529 95.35% N/A

* Provide estimates in US Dollars


Our spending for the first two quarters of the financial year was broadly in line with our reforecast budget, particularly in programmes where a minor overspend on strategic goal (programme) one was offset by a minor underspend against strategic goal (programme) two. There were some very minor variances in planned spend on fundraising and staff, and a slightly larger variance within overheads. The latter was mainly down to costs related to our office move being incurred during the start of the third quarter rather than the end of the second quarter, plus our unused contingency of £10,000 (or £5000 for the half year).

The Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Operations produce detailed management accounts and a narrative commentary highlighting any variances on a quarterly basis, which are examined in detail by the Audit and Risk Committee before being presented to the board. These are available for Wikimedia Foundation staff or FDC members to look at so do get in touch if further financial information is required.

Compliance[edit]

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".

Signature[edit]

Once complete, please sign below with the usual four tildes.