Grants:APG/Proposals/2017-2018 round 1/Wikimedia UK/Impact report form
Purpose of the report
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.
- 1 Purpose of the report
- 2 Summary of Achievements
- 3 Background & strategic context
- 4 Grant metrics overview - all programs
- 5 Telling your program stories - all programs
- 6 Programme 2: Promoting open knowledge
- 7 Programme 3: Education and learning
- 8 Revenues received during this period (12 months for impact report)
- 9 Spending during this period (12 months for impact report)
- 10 Commentary on variances in income and expenditure against budget
- 11 Compliance
- 12 Signature
Summary of Achievements
Wikimedia UK is pleased and proud to share the key achievements of our programme delivery in 2018 - 19 through this report. This is the final year in the UK Chapter’s three year strategy from 2016 - 2019, and our success in 2018 builds on the significant progress made over the previous two years towards our overall strategic aims and outcomes.
We have met or exceeded all of our targets for 2018/19, with particular highlights as follows:
- We involved 7523 participants directly in our activities, compared to 6252 last year and a target for the year of 5200
- Over a million Wikimedia articles were created or improved as a result of our work - significantly above our target of 202,000
- Of the 41,256 images added to Wikimedia Commons through our programmes, 20,435 were used in Wikimedia article pages - a reuse rate of almost 50%
- There were 342 leading volunteers, of whom half were women
- Volunteers contributed 23,254 hours of their time
- 92% of the community leaders who responded to our annual survey would recommend volunteering with Wikimedia UK
The narrative stories from this report are equally impressive. The following list is just a snapshot of some of the highlights of these activities:
- We held the second annual Celtic Knot conference, this time in partnership with the National Library of Wales and attended by Wikimedians and partners from the Basque Country, Brittany, Catalonia, Cornwall, Ireland, Sami-speaking areas, Scotland and Wales.
- We held events at organisations such as the Royal College of Art as part of Art + Feminism 2018.
- We supported a range of other gender gap events within partner institutions. These included the Vote 100 Wikipedia event at Edinburgh University - which used the centenary of women’s suffrage to highlight historic and current inequalities - and events for Ada Lovelace Day.
- The Wikimedian in Residence at Bodleian Libraries continued in post for another year. His work has been critical in developing our understanding of how Wikidata can significantly enrich public access to cultural heritage.
- The Scottish community played an active role in Wiki Loves Monuments this year, supported by the newly appointed Scotland Programme Co-ordinator in Scotland as well as Wikimedians in Residence based at Scottish institutions.
- Our programme in Scotland has seen an exponential increase since the appointment of our first dedicated Progamme Co-ordinator for this work. The range of new projects, events and relationships being developed illustrate the benefit of appointing local staff when working in the UK’s constituent countries.
- We have continued to develop our advocacy activities, and responded to a high number of public policy consultations during the year. It has been encouraging to see the impact of this work at a regional and national level; particularly given the disappointing results of our combined advocacy efforts towards influencing problematic elements of the EU Copyright Directive.
- Our partnership event with the Mayor of London and Bloomberg during London Tech Week 2019 attracted a high level of press coverage and online support.
- Finally, the inclusion of Wikimedia into the Welsh Baccalaureate is a significant achievement both for the chapter and for our local partners in Wales who have helped to make this happen.
Background & strategic context
Wikimedia UK endorsed the new strategic direction for Wikimedia in 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 are now closely involved with the structural discussions around the global strategy.
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.
In the period 2016–2019, Wikimedia UK has been working towards the following longer-term benefits, or outcomes:
- Our work has significantly increased access to knowledge about, or held in, the UK
- The Wikimedia projects reflect our diverse society and are free from systemic bias
- Learners in the UK are able to understand and engage with open knowledge
- Wikimedia UK is recognised as a leading organisation for open knowledge
To support the achievement of these outcomes, during 2016–19 our strategic goals were as follows:
- Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently under-represented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects
- 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
- 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:
- Diverse content and contributors
- Promoting open knowledge
- 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.
Grant metrics overview - all programs
To see definitions of grant metrics, see Grant Metrics.
|Metric||End of Year Targets||Achieved annual outcome||Explanation|
|Participants GM1||5,200||7,523||Whole range of people we have fairly in depth engagement with – either participation in workshops, or listening to our talks. People engaging with WMUK through editathons, Wikipedia in Classroom courses, training sessions, workshops, conferences.
In 2018, WMUK staff and leading volunteers delivered 52 presentations highlighting residencies, Wikidata, open knowledge, Wikipedia and education. Over 500 people participated in this year’s WLM competition. 80 training and workshops, 79 editathons.
|Newly registered editors GM2||800||1,064||Our editing-focused programmes often train new editors to edit. 437 new editors come from Wikipedia in Classroom courses at Stirling University, Middlesex University London, University of Edinburgh and Dundee University. 209 people created accounts to participate in Wiki Loves Monuments 2018.|
|Articles added/improved GM3||202,000||1,117,114||An overwhelming number come from improved and new items created on Wikidata. 436,993 from NLW’s Wikidata visiting scholar and 457,521 from the WIR in Oxford. We didn’t expect that there will be such a rise in working on Wikidata datasets, hence such a significant overachievement on metrics here.|
|Volunteer hours||18,300||23,254||Time spent by volunteer organisers making our programmes happen.
Over 8,000 hours from education courses and other educational activities, 1669 from leading volunteers organising workshops, editathons and representing the chapter in conferences and talks, 300 hours from Mayor/Bloomberg event, 180hrs from WLM competition, and 828 from the Volunteer Programme at NLW.
|Total audience and reach (online or in person engagement with Wikimedia UK)||65,450||74,145||‘Participants’ above plus our online engagement reach. This is a total number of people that we feel we reached with our messaging.
Social media: Twitter-12504, Facebook 3101, YouTube 272, Newsletter 1383 (subscribers), Mailing List 512, Instagram 369, Youtube channel views 1381, Welsh twitter: 5037 welsh wici twitter: 1384.
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
Grant metrics in italics. For context and explanations, see narratives for each of the programmes.
|Metric||Annual targets (2018-19)||Achieved outcome|
|1. Total audience and reach||65,450||74,145|
|2. Number of newly registered users||800||1,064|
|3. Total participants||5,200||7,523|
|4. Number of lead volunteers||250||342|
|5. % of lead volunteers who are women||38%||49.70%|
|6. Estimated number of volunteer hours||18,300||23,254|
|7. Volunteers would recommend WMUK||85%||92%|
|8. Volunteers feel valued by WMUK||80%||80%|
|9. Volunteers have developed new skills||75%||78%|
|10. Images/media added to WM Commons||20,000||41,256|
|11. Images/media added to WM article pages||3,000||20,435|
|12. % of uploaded media used in article pages||15%||49.58%|
|13. Content pages created or improved, across all WM projects excl. Commons||202,000||1,117,114|
|14. Number of articles created||30,200||66,919|
|15. Digital media reach||60,000||66,440|
|16. Responses to consultations||3||5|
|17. Policy change affected||3||3|
Programme 1 all metrics
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 (2018-19)||Achieved outcome|
|1.Number of total participants (GM1)||1,600||2,294|
|2. Number of newly registered users (GM2)||600||627|
|3. Number of articles added/improved (GM3)||200,000||1,112,699|
|4. Estimated number of volunteer hours (GDM1)||8,500||8,409|
|5. Total audience and reach (GDM2)||1,730||2,460|
|6. Number of leading volunteers||130||166|
|7. Female % of above||38%||49.70%|
|8. Volunteers would recommend WMUK||80%||92%|
|9. Volunteers feel valued by WMUK||85%||80%|
|10. Volunteers have developed new skills||75%||78%|
|11. Images/media added to Commons||20,000||41,256|
|12. Images/media added to Wikimedia pages||3,000||20,435|
|13. % uploaded media used in content pages||15%||49.58%|
|14. New articles added||30,000||66,656|
Programme 2 all metrics
|Metric||Annual targets (2018-19)||Achieved outcome|
|1.Number of total participants (GM1)||3,000||3,942|
|2. Estimated number of volunteer hours (GDM1)||4,800||6,339|
|3. Total audience and reach (GDM2)||63,080||70,324|
|4. Number of leading volunteers||80||102|
|5. Digital media reach||60,000||66,440|
|6. Responses to consultations||3||5|
|7. Policy change affected||3||3|
Programme 3 all metrics
|Metric||Annual targets (2018-19)||Achieved outcome|
|1.Number of total participants (GM1)||600||1,287|
|2. Number of newly registered users (GM2)||200||437|
|3. Number of articles added/improved (GM3)||2,000||4,415|
|4. Estimated number of volunteer hours (GDM1)||5,000||8,506|
|5. Total audience and reach||640||1,361|
|6. Number of leading volunteers||40||74|
|7. New articles added||200||263|
Telling your program stories - all programs
Programme 1: Diverse content and contributors
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 addressed both the quality and quantity of online content, ensuring that under-represented subjects are covered as well as increasing file diversity, and diversifying the editor base. This takes inspiration from Wikimedia's gender gap work, which addresses inequalities in both content and contributors.
|Metric||2017-18 full year achieved||2018/19 full year target
(total for all programmes)
Strategic Programme 1
|2018/19 year achieved
(total for all programmes)
Strategic Programme 1
|Participants (GM1)||2,686||1,600||2,294||A varied group of people took part in our events - Wikipedia/Wikidata training series, open events, editathons, conferences, workshops, volunteer programs, and educational courses.|
|Newly registered user (GM2)||734||600||627||New users amongst the participants above.|
|Articles added/improved (GM3)||344,786||200,000||1,112,699||Primarily Wikidata work - see narratives below. For example, NLW worked on ‘The sum of all Welsh literature’ which created Wikidata item for every piece of Welsh literature in the Library’s catalogues (around 350,000 items).|
|Volunteer hours (GDM1)||8,639.6||8,500||8,409||The overall volunteer hours time exceeded our target, but we didn’t quite meet our target in this programme. More energy than anticipated was spent on advocacy and education, reflecting our increased focus on digital literacy.|
|Total audience and reach (GDM2)||2,819||1,730||2,460||Mostly the participants above|
|Leading volunteers||133||130||166||Community organisers making our programmes happen|
|Female % of above||42.85% (57 women)||38%||49.70%||Continuing the trend of high female participation - many of our leaders are partners at external organisations, which helps with diversity|
|Volunteers would recommend WMUK||72%||85%||Write up of the survey below|
|Volunteers feel valued by WMUK||82%||80%||//|
|Volunteers have developed new skills||68%||75%||//|
|Images/media added to Commons||27,207||20,000||41,256||Many came from Wiki Loves Monuments|
|Images/media added to Wikimedia pages||8,456||.3,000||20,435||This is much higher than anticipated, partly due to how we are now reusing images on Wikidata|
|% uploaded media used in content pages||31.08%||15%||49.58%||As above|
|New articles created||35,489||30,000||66,656||4,341 new articles from Wikidata - including a data set of 3,395 about Eastern and Asian paintings and sculptures to Wikidata, 847 from the Wales Wiki Asturias project, 236 through university courses, over 20,000 from the Wikidata visiting scholar at NLW, Over 20k items were created for WLM in Scotland (HES database of listed buildings and scheduled monuments)|
Strategic Goal 1: Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently under-represented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects
“Creative heritage projects almost always have websites, but the information they generate is not sustainable – who is looking after the sites five years on? Often, the information generated by publicly funded projects is lost (from the digital realm) after a few years … Wikipedia is a key knowledge platform, and an excellent way for us to deliver an international audience to our local heritage project (and vice versa).”
— tara s Beall, lead community organiser in Scotland.
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 leads 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 emphasis on diversifying our volunteers and editors.
This logic model explains why we see volunteer engagement as key to our programmes, and how we are developing an engaged, diverse community:
In common with many countries, the UK’s knowledge economy is highly differentiated. There are many structural inequalities in terms of who has access to knowledge, and who has the ability to create knowledge and to share it with authority. Improving the quality and range of coverage of under-represented subjects remains a priority for us. A second priority is working with minority and marginalised groups to improve their ability to discover their own heritage, to tell their own stories, and to make themselves heard. Our purpose is to multiply and amplify the voices of those currently less visible in our cultural spectrum.
Work with volunteers from all backgrounds is essential to all of our programme delivery; however, as part of our first programme strand, we deliver specific activities to try and diversify, multiply and amplify the voice of this community, and to support the diversification of Wikimedia’s content and its contributors.
The key themes of our work under this programme strand in 2018/19 were:
- The Celtic Knot
- Addressing the Gender Gap
- Cultural Heritage
- Community Development
Highlights of programme activity
Our projects within this strategic goal coalesced around specific themes, all feeding into diverse knowledge. We describe our achievements within those themes below.
|The Celtic Knot|
This strand of work has been of key importance to us. It underpins our growing expertise in supporting minority languages and cultures, while collaborating with local governments and institutions.
In July we held our second Celtic Knot conference (click link for a case study). This was organised by the Wikimedian at the National Library of Wales, Jason Evans, in partnership with Wikimedia UK. The event served as a focal point for our work on minority languages. It brought together Wikimedians and wiki partners from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany, Catalan, the Basque country, together with representatives of the Northern Sami, to discuss ways in which Wikipedia can support minority or endangered languages. The technical workshops offered at last year’s event were very popular. To meet continuing interest in this field, we ran a Wikidata and technical track, in which participants shared challenges and solutions for rapid expansion of a minority language wiki. For example, our ‘How to run a Wikipedia Translation workshop’ encouraged attendees to run their own translation workshops.
The conference enabled us to create momentum behind some key work on Celtic content. Working with WiciMon and the National Eisteddfod (the annual Welsh festival of literature, music and performance), we will be turning the biographies of people accepted into the Druidic Circle into Wikipedia articles. Work with Llen Natur on the database of species also continues.
Technology has been a key element of our work to support minority languages. We have drawn on technical solutions to generate new content in a scalable way and to share existing knowledge with third parties. This helps us to support the wider knowledge ecosystem in a systematic way. Examples of this work include:
There are several other projects that fall under our ‘Celtic Knot’ theme. At the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC) the resident continued to build links to engage public library services across Scotland with Wikimedia. The ambition has been to build the digital skills of library staff through regional training sessions, encouraging them to share the libraries’ collections through Wikimedia.
We have also been exploring ways to continue to support the Gaelic language, following our Gaelic language residency project in partnership with the National Library of Scotland in 2017. Our Scotland Coordinator and one of our board members have reached out to the Glasgow Gaelic School, while the Co-ordinator has also had an exploratory meeting with the Literature Alliance to take this work forward.
|Addressing the Gender Gap|
Wikimedia UK remains committed to addressing the gender gap on Wikipedia, and we are working with many partners on different initiatives to tackle this, including:
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 and as freely as possible.
This work was led by the resident at the Bodleian Libraries, Dr Martin Poulter. He delivered a mass China Biographical Database import, based on the freely accessible scholarly database hosted by Harvard University. He also built a Wikidata-driven website for exploring different eras of Chinese and Japanese history. This gives the public a novel – and free – way to navigate these historic items, and is the biggest database improvement project delivered as a part of the residency. The upload is not just about public access to records but also provides a compelling argument for the inclusion of Wikidata in the strategic aims of the university. Throughout the year, Bodleian’s resident continued work on querying Wikidata to show how connections between collections are represented in Wikidata's knowledge graph.
Wiki Loves Monuments had a particularly strong focus on engaging heritage partner organisations in Scotland. One of the key successes was running a live demo of the WLM website and tool at the quarterly Scottish Libraries Information Council Digital Champions Meeting. The resident, Delphine Dallison, produced a Wiki Loves Monuments resource for librarians, which was publicised across the SLIC libraries network. We reused these materials for engagement with Museums and for Heritage Organisations, led by our Scotland Programme Coordinator.
There was further engagement from our partners in Scotland. Historic Environment Scotland provided an up to date database of monuments, which we uploaded to Wikidata (the HES database is open by default, we liaised with them to ensure that the public version was as up to date as possible. Nav Evans of Histopedia was absolutely critical in this process, helping us as a volunteer). Archaeology Scotland supported the project through press releases and competition prizes. The Castle Studies Trust funded a project delivered by Archaeology Scotland and Dig it!, which included taking and uploading photos during WLM. This provided a basis for our developing relationship with Dig It! and we are now working on a small scale Wikimedian in Residence programme with them.
Our approach to community development is grounded in our existing programme strands. For example, Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 was used in Scotland to galvanise the community of volunteers and organisations. The SLIC resident rolled out a library engagement pack; we also engaged with museums and heritage organisations to establish programme tie-ins and publicity support.
In general, we have been working harder to connect volunteer interests to programme opportunities this year. One of our Programme Co-ordinators on the staff team designed a process whereby new volunteers were signed up to a rolling introductory newsletter series, with information about the Wikimedia movement and the work of Wikimedia UK. People were given a chance to explore their engagement with Wikimedia UK. This tailored approach took a few months to bear results, and towards the end of the trial we made some very promising connections. We also connected this process to incoming enquiries from potential partner institutions. Every interaction was different, but some examples of how this worked include:
This way of working has the advantage of being sustainable, beyond the capacity and staff leadership of the programmes team. It requires a larger initial investment of time, but pays off longer-term by creating a more engaged, skilled community.
Wiki Loves Monuments proved to be a great opportunity to galvanise our communities, and we capitalised on this - particularly in Scotland. We ran a wide reaching social media campaign around the competition and involved many of our key partners across the country. We worked with SLIC, University of Edinburgh, Museums Galleries Scotland, Archaeology Scotland, Dig it!, Built Environment Forum Scotland, the Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust, the Scottish Civic Trust and Doors Open Day on WLM 2018, with the partnership links we generated showing an impressive range of volunteer leadership. The SLIC Wikimedian in Residence also promoted Wiki Loves Monuments across the wider library sector in Scotland through SLIC affiliated librarians. WLM was also used to mobilise inactive partners in Scotland, with the resident facilitating a series of Doors Open Days editathons through the Scottish Civic Trust network. This opened up several potential future partnerships at institutions such as the City of Glasgow College and Aberdeenshire Libraries.
Interestingly, the volunteer community in Scotland is very closely linked with our partner organisations and so our approach to volunteer management is somewhat different there compared to other parts of the UK. We are using programme campaigns such as #1lib1ref to boost volunteer activity. The community meetups organised by the Scotland Coordinator have a strong focus on partners as well.
At the end of our financial year we surveyed our community in order to receive structured feedback on our engagement with volunteers. We chose to focus on ‘lead volunteers’, which for us can mean volunteer organisers or external partnership leads; and so the survey specifically targeted community leaders. There were 38 respondents, and the key metric results are as follows:
The full report is at https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7uZ08mzX5bvX2QyUHpvSlhucjBNdGtSOHZYSlpsYzNpUWRv
Our key reflections from the survey are that in general our Community Leaders feel well supported, valued, and enjoy the work that they do with Wikimedia UK. Additional capacity in Scotland has been appreciated, with positive comments reflecting the benefit that additional stewardship of partners in particular has had. However in other areas the challenges faced by the organisation in terms of capacity over the past year has been felt. Our volunteers would benefit from additional support in terms of stewardship, generally.
There are a few innovative programme approaches from 2018 we would like to highlight. This is especially true around the programmes in Scotland, where we had more capacity than previously to experiment thanks to our placement of the Scotland Coordinator.
- Within the SLIC programme, we trialled a new model of Wikimedian in Residence support, setting up a student placement from the University of Strathclyde’s MSc in Information and Library Studies to work alongside the resident. The student had an interest in information literacy, and led on the #1Lib1Ref engagement within the SLIC network, and also led a history group editathon. This boosted the programme’s outputs, and supported the next generation of library professionals.
- The Scotland Coordinator has previously work as a Wikimedian in Residence with two different institutions in Scotland; and so she has been able to draw on her experiences in this role to inform her work as a member of the Wikimedia UK team. As a resident she often found that there wasn’t time to organise social meetups, and didn’t feel that she had the license to organise partnership meetups. In the new role, it was natural to bring together some of our Education and GLAM partners (particularly those with a connection to a WiR) for knowledge exchange. This has been highly productive and allows us to keep knowledge from being lost between residencies and projects, whilst further strengthening the bonds between partners and the ScotWiki community in general.
- In May, in partnership with SLIC, our Scotland Coordinator presented a one hour live streamed event on Periscope, as part of Glasgow Women’s Library’s Open The Door event. Following (broadly) the route of the GWL Merchant City Heritage walk, and taking pictures along the way and uploading to wikiCommons using #WikiShootMe, we presented a Wikimedia-meets-local-history talk. This event also featured a representative from Glasgow City Heritage Trust. There have been 1,300 views so far. Photos were uploaded to Commons and the event prompted the creation of two new Wikipedia articles.
Changes, Challenges and Learning
We believe that overall, we delivered strongly on this goal, and that our programme delivery was tightly focused on this strategic priority. We delivered many of the anticipated activities. The appointment of the Scotland Programme Coordinator has been particularly beneficial, with the impact of this post within the first year exceeding our expectations.
There were some projects that were were not able to realise, such as implementing the text-to-speech technology with Bangor University, working with the Women’s Equality Party, or picking up partnership work with the British Library. Depending on the nature of the projects, we have shifted energies to other projects that promised to be more fruitful. So, for example, we didn’t do as much work within cultural heritage, however, we focused on the emerging area of expertise around technology for underrepresented languages.
We experienced some barriers working with minority languages, largely connected with broader representation issues on Wikimedia. We continue to explore the wider themes of knowledge equity and how this fits into Wikimedia. Working at the fringes of ‘acceptable’ knowledge means that we do come across challenges. As an illustration of this, the SLIC resident recently delivered a Wikipedia presentation for librarians and archivists involved in Local History projects. Questions were raised on how Wikipedia could support local history projects where there is limited information available in secondary sources, and a lot of knowledge is based on oral history. It is very encouraging that the Wikimedia movement is commiting to supporting a wider range of knowledge; however, at the moment it is difficult to see how this can be translated into practical solutions, such as a differentiated approach to notability.
We also want to reiterate the challenge of working with small organisations, who often hold underrepresented knowledge. The Feminist Library, established in 1975, holds a large archive collection of Feminist literature based in London. It has more than 8000 publications in their fiction, non-fiction and periodical rooms. The library possesses unique archival materials, with large sections of their collection created and published by the Feminist Library during the second wave of Feminism in the 1960s and 1970s. The library’s key organisers are also the founding members of the UK-wide Feminist Library and Archive Network, the ‘FLA’.
Recognising the importance of their collection, we established a partnership with The Feminist Library early in 2018. We also saw the potential in upskilling a national network of librarians and community engagers focused on content about women. Often the underrepresented content we want to work with and to share online is not accessible because it has been underfunded. Both the FLA and the Feminist Library are run entirely by volunteers, and struggle to source stable funding. This means that time and capacity for innovation within the organisations is limited. The archive is also relocating this year: not having proper funding means they do not have a permanent space. As a result we have had to put the collaboration on hold. This complication does pose an interesting question: if we are to work even more with underrepresented content, should we also work on the contextual barriers experienced by holders of such knowledge? And if so, how? What resources might be required to achieve this?
The SLIC residency experienced issues getting images onto Commons. The resident is working with several small institutions doing limited – but very valuable – image uploads. These donations have been stuck in the OTRS backlog. We are aware of this issue, however as it is a community-owned process there is limited scope for direct action other than through the community. Various workarounds have been suggested, however these are not ideal. This creates barriers to engagement for small, under-resourced organisations who have only just started working with open knowledge and can be easily discouraged by such an issue. We are hoping that wider changes on Wikimedia Commons will offer a solution in the coming year.
We have been working increasingly in the area of technology and applying it to knowledge underrepresentation. We have been very mindful of the need to upskill our Wikimedians in Residence cohort in this context. Their projects continue to grow in complexity, and the demand on their skills is greater. Many Residents have taken on data projects – this is a very promising area of work, but it’s difficult to support because of poor documentation, poor searchability of existing documentation, and a lack of skilled trainers on specific processes. If a Resident wants to learn about a particular Wikidata process of a tool, they need to do it themselves. Many of our Residents have worked on self-upskilling, and so there is a lot of knowledge in our existing network. Therefore to help with the need for skills for our Residents, we organised a sharing summit in Autumn to facilitate learning within the network. Each participant knew something useful to share with others, and as a result we upskilled the whole cohort.
At a movement-wide level, we have had a number of opportunities to share the UK chapter’s learning. Two of our team members attended an international Volunteer Supporters Meeting in Vienna. This event focused on building connections with other staff who work on volunteer management. Our key contribution was sharing our experience and skills in running Wikidata events. This is in line with our general approach to volunteer support, where we enable the community to build the key skills required for programme delivery.
We are finalising our 2019–22 strategy at this point, but it is clear we will continue working on the knowledge equity strand. There is a lot of learning generated through the experiences above, and it gives us further ideas to experiment within the 2019 programme. This fits into our general strategy of trying out new projects and approaches in the coming year. For example, with Wikidata quickly becoming one of the most-used linked data hubs, we are testing out ways we can work with partner institutions on this emerging trend. This could include working on Wikibase developments.
Two exciting projects to highlight within this programme area are:
- A part-time Wikimedian in Residence at the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland starting in January 2019, and a deeper collaboration with WiciMon project in Wales (previously more independent). These two additional projects will be bringing additional activity into the Celtic Knot programme.
- National Library of Wales will be leading on another Government-funded thematic content project – this time focused on people of Wales (WiciPobl). This is a multi-faceted project, which includes activities such as releasing open data for Welsh Portrait Archive images on Commons, making the data available in Welsh and English, holding an open data hackathon in Cardiff, creating Welsh Wikipedia biography articles, holding translation events at NLW.
|Using Wikidata to uncover collections||Volunteers and partner organisations – The Dumfries Stonecarving Project|
Within the Bodleian Wikimedian in Residence project, we have been working with the Oxford GLAM network on innovative products. Oxford GLAM contains world-class collections of museum objects, library resources and natural world specimens. Many of these have been digitised. The Bodleian Libraries’ SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online) service alone provides access to more than 15 million items, and GLAM’s digital collections as a whole are approaching one petabyte (a quadrillion bytes) in scale. However, these resources are often of variable quality and not optimised for digital access; they can be hard to find online, do not provide the user with any further contextual or relevant information (e.g. incomplete metadata), and can be presented in different formats. This means that people can’t access them easily.
It is currently not possible to get an overview of what Oxford holds on a specific topic as there are no common identifiers that allow users to browse from one type of collection to another. The lack of links reduces the discovery of collection objects by ‘hiding’ information from those without an expert knowledge of the locations of objects, or knowledge of how to search for objects within specific collections.
To address this, the Oxford GLAM network is creating and piloting 'search and discovery' tools to help facilitate search and retrieval for students and specialists, as well as the broader public. This fits very well with Wikimedia UK’s approach, where the aim isn’t so much to generate new content, but to shine a light on existing hidden knowledge.
A traditional way to browse collections would be to go to a specific museum site, select a collection, select a topic, then choose an item from the resulting list. Faceted browsing would start with a view of the whole collection, which is reduced - by specifying multiple properties - to a small set of items of interest. In contrast to these procedures, a web of topics has multiple entry and exit points and can support many different user journeys. Topics can include historical periods, languages, locations, or people. Each of these topic pages can link to related topics and each has a gallery of significant items from the collection.
As each item in the application is addressed via its Wikidata identifier, the transparent URL design allows other visualisations to build on top of it. These can include interactive maps, timelines, and image galleries, all of which can be created with Wikidata’s query service. This gives the topic pages a number of cues that might be missed in the catalogue description of an item. For a start, Wikidata provides alternative names and foreign-language labels. These labels appear in our pages and can be indexed by search engines.
This approach is entity-based: disambiguating the user’s search as early as possible and giving results relevant to the topic itself. It also gives the user a large number of links, allowing them to construct their own journey through the collection. However rather than being unstructured and confusing, the links are connected by topic and prioritised by indicators of interest. This encourages exploration and serendipitous discoveries. The results can appear as static web pages. They are bookmarkable and have social sharing built in, which is great for further sharing of knowledge.
|Scotland Programme Coordinator Sara Thomas has been working with tara s Beall, of the Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust, to support their new Stonecarving project. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Holywood Trust and the People’s Project.
Our Scotland Coordinator has collaborated with tara s Beall across a number of projects. They connected over an editathon at the Glasgow Museums while Sara was a resident at the Museums Galleries Scotland. They later ran an editathon at the Glasgow Women’s Library with tara’s Strong Women of the Clydeside (SWaC) project team, and then another (also for SWaC) at the Mitchell Library when Sara was Wikimedian at the Scottish Library and Information Council. tara maintained the connection with Wikimedia across various projects she was working on. In this way she operated as a partnership lead, but could also be described as a lead community organiser, bringing a Wikimedia element into any project she was working on. She would also volunteer in some editathons run by Sara outside of her work projects.
tara connected with Sara early in 2018 to talk about a potential wiki connection with her new project. This was a Dumfries activity focused on the stonecarving heritage of the area.
When it comes to community heritage, it’s all too common to see excellent digital outputs disappear shortly after the project finishes – websites that expire, apps that aren’t maintained, content held on a third-party commercial service that’s bought out and subsequently vanishes.
With this in mind, Sara helped set up a Wikimedia activity for the Stonecarving project. The Dumfries Stonecarving Project aims to promote the rich stonecarving heritage of the area, and includes practical taster sessions, summer schools with local young people, an exhibition, and workshops and ‘stonecarving quests’ with photography groups to record some of that heritage. Using Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia, the project seeks to give this heritage a global audience, disseminating it through channels which have longevity, and which can, through tools like Magnus Manske’s GLAMorgan, give them insight into where their content is being used.
It has been a very positive experience working with an organisation that sees the potential in using open licensing and engaging with the Wikimedia projects in ensuring the sustainability of their digital outputs.
Within this project, tara s Beall is both a community leader and a partnership contact. The project itself is also building a community of volunteer contributors. Sara has been training volunteer photographers connected with the stonecarving project who then upload their photos to Commons. This is an example of how the community support in Scotland connects volunteer and partnership work.
Programme 2: Promoting open knowledge
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||2017-18 full year achieved||2018/19 full year target
(total for all programmes)
Strategic Programme 2
|2018/19 year achieved
(total for all programmes)
Strategic Programme 2
|Participants (GM1)||2,863||3,000||3,942||Audiences at our talks, raising awareness or generating calls to action|
|Volunteer hours (GDM1)||4,275||4,800||6,339||Connected to the talks above|
|Total audience and reach (GDM2)||82,060||63,080||70,324||Participants, but also our total digital reach|
|Leading volunteers||123||80||102||Community leaders delivering advocacy work or awareness raising talks|
|Digital media reach||79,074||60,000||66,440||Our online reach|
|Responses to consultations||4||3||5||A key tool for political engagement|
|Policy change affected||3||3||3||Long term evidence for success of our advocacy work|
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
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:
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 residents) is a key element of our work here, as successful approaches to internal advocacy and ideas for project implementation can be shared across different organisations and sectors, creating more joined up messaging and avoiding duplication. We are also 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.
The key themes of our work under this programme strand in 2018 were:
- Working towards institutional change
- Promoting open knowledge at a sector-wide level, particularly culture and education
- Influencing public policy and legislation
Highlights of programme activity
|Working towards institutional change|
We are working in depth with some institutions, facilitating the development of more open policies and practice. There are two institutional changes to highlight here:
Edinburgh University made their Wikimedian in Residence permanent from January 2019, in recognition of the long-term importance and value of this work across the whole institution. The inclusion of Wikimedia activities in the university’s Athena SWAN plan and their Digitisation Strategy was a significant factor in this decision.
This permanency allows the resident a longer-term perspective, and with that he has submitted a range of conference papers, most of which have been accepted. Forthcoming talks include the 2019 LILAC Information Literacy Conference (on Embedding Wikimedia in the curriculum), UCISA Leadership Conference 2019 (on digital transformation and data), University of Edinburgh's Learning and Teaching Conference in June 2019 (on Wikimedia in the Classroom – how students are making links with learning, and linked data, to help shape the open web), and the Dealing with Data one day conference on Open Science and Open Scholarship at the University of Edinburgh. These presentations will allow Ewan to reach a wide audience of educationalists and other target audiences for Wikimedia UK, and will form an important element of our education outreach through a partner organisation.
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland decided to trial a part-time Wikimedian in Residence model, where an existing member of staff will perform Wikimedian duties one day a week. We will be evaluating the success of this approach to see if this new model could be replicated elsewhere. It also represents a sign of commitment to openness from a relatively small organisation with limited resources.
|Promoting open knowledge at a sector-wide level, particularly culture and education|
In Spring our sector advocacy in education was focused on the Open Education Resources conference 2018, where we highlighted the Wikimedia in the Classroom approach and the value of Wikimedia engagement within higher education settings. The Edinburgh University residency was particularly well represented.
We also engaged with the library sector through the international #1Lib1Ref campaign, which helped us to spread awareness of Wikimedia further.
Within our sector advocacy activities, it’s worth highlighting the work happening in Scotland, especially the initiatives we were able to start in the second half of the year once the new Programme Co-ordinator - supported by the Wikimedia Foundation - was established in post. The cultural and educational institutions in Scotland are well connected, which means that we can also benefit from this well distributed, wide network. This means that our advocacy activities can have a broad impact. To highlight a few initiatives:
|Influencing public policy and legislation|
This is a key area where we measure metrics on progress. Being involved in policy consultations, and having our recommendations taken into consideration, is a high level vehicle for open knowledge advocacy in the UK. In 2018, we’ve had several successes to highlight:
Advocacy work is a long-term, sustained activity, so there is less space for rapid innovation. However, there are a couple of new approaches made during the year that we want to highlight:
- We’ve made contact with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) to explore how we might be able to support the delivery of their sector-wide Essential Digital Skills Framework. This is an example of us leveraging another organisation’s digital ambitions in order to promote and embed open knowledge.
- Through the National Library of Wales, we’re delivering an impact case study based on the Europeana Impact Playbook, using Wikimedia projects. NLW are one of the first five institutions to be selected to trial the new impact framework. https://pro.europeana.eu/post/exploring-our-impact-at-the-national-library-of-wales. The output of this work will generate a new type of advocacy material for us, showing the impact of Wikimedia work in a novel way.
Changes, Challenges and Learning
With our Chief Executive being on maternity leave for part of this year and overall reduced capacity, we scaled back some of our wider advocacy work – in terms of sector advocacy, and working with specific public policy bodies (such as DCMS). We did take part in a high number of policy consultations however, and we are confident that at least some of them will bring about positive change towards openness. We also had more public presence than anticipated, primarily through a very prominent event with the Mayor of London and Bloomberg.
EU Copyright reform was the focus of our activities in Autumn. We wrote to all 73 MEPs before the key votes on the proposed Copyright Directive, and followed up with some in more depth where there was sufficient interest. Our messaging - coordinated on the EU level across different chapters - outlined the amendments we wanted to be supported and made clear and compelling arguments against certain aspects of the Directive. The result of this campaign was disappointing however, and without a dedicated policy expert within our team it was difficult for us to work out how to proceed. In response to this situation, we have started building an informal openness coalition with fellow organisations working in this field, such as Mozilla Foundation and Open Rights Group, so that we can build our expertise and also feed into their campaigns for a stronger collective voice.
The core of the work here was about sharing our reflections with the Wikimedia movement, and the sectors we work with. We delivered a plenary session at the Museums + Tech conference, speaking about the impact of Wikimedians in Residence. The GLAM Wiki Conference gave us an opportunity to talk about this in more depth, together with highlighting our work with Wikidata and culture. This was echoed in the presentations given by the National Library of Wales. The Library was also prominently featured at the WikiCite 2018 Conference in Berkley, particularly because of their ‘The sum of all Welsh literature’ project. Overall we reached almost 4000 people this year with our public engagement presentations.
We will retain advocacy work in our new strategy for 2019-22. However, we aim to make this strand of work more refined and focused, so that our energy can be better directed towards areas where we can bring impact.
|Articles 11 & 13, proposed EU Directive on Copyright|
Articles 11 and 13 of the proposed EU Directive on Copyright have caused disquiet throughout the open knowledge movement. There were two reasons for this. The first was the suggestion that commercial interests should act in some sense as ‘gatekeepers’. This was seen as a direct threat to Wikipedia and other open knowledge projects. A new exclusive right allowing press publishers to restrict the use of even smallest parts of their news content would compel contributors or Wikipedia itself to get licenses to include annotated bibliographies in Wikipedia articles. It would make access to and sharing of information about current events in the world harder, and failed to include strong safeguards for the public domain. The proposals were also a serious threat for freedom of expression and privacy. There was a further complication; EU processes meant that there was to be a vote in July not on the measures themselves, but on whether the measures could be confirmed in committee or whether they had to go to a full vote of the EU parliament.
Chapters and the movement as a whole reacted strongly. For WMUK the question was what intervention could best oppose implementation of the proposal, and complement other initiatives already in place. We decided to write a considered letter to all 73 UK MEPs. Rather than write the same letter to each, we tailored a number of arguments to the known positions of various parties. We stressed the negative impact on 'women and girls / SDG4' or we looked at questions of diversity and inclusion.This elicited a strong response. More than one quarter of MEPs contact responded, and 13 gave detailed policy outlines. Those voting against represented all the main UK parties. The proposal to consider the matter in committee was defeated and will be considered by the European Parliament in September.
It is not possible to trace a causal relationship between our actions and the subsequent vote, but this ‘micro-targeting’ approach had several positive outcomes. The first is that we can see from the many detailed responses we received that we, and our proposals, are well-regarded by legislators. Our position as a progressive, considered voice in the debate is enhanced. WMUK will again engage with MEPs when it comes to the September vote. The second is that we were able to share these responses more widely, for others to continue the discussion. Welsh MEPs, for example, were sympathetic to our approach and the exchange forms the basis for a dialogue with our Wales Co-ordinator. And the third is that our we were able successfully to link this specific lobbying to our broader programme objectives, such as addressing the Gender Gap.
Programme 3: Education and learning
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||2017-18 full year achieved||2018/19 full year target
(total for all programmes)
Strategic Programme 3
|2018/19 year achieved
(total for all programmes)
Strategic Programme 3
|Participants (GM1)||703||600||1,287||Wikipedia in Classroom participants, but also includes a growing number of other education programme participants. We were able to focus more on education in 2018, and this is directly reflected in this metric achievement|
|Newly registered users (GM2)||360||200||437||New users registered through courses|
|Articles added/improved (GM3)||64,105||2,000||4,415||Articles written as a part of Wikimedia education courses. Bigger than predicted because of the programme growth|
|Volunteer hours (GDM1)||5,067||5,000||8,506||Participants and course leaders time spent on the programme|
|Total audience and reach (GDM2)||744||640||1,361||Education focused talks|
|Leading volunteers||41||40||74||Course leaders, education organisers.|
|Articles added||8,880||200||263||Produced as a part of courses.|
|Digital Skills Improvement||84.62%||75%||86% (Computer and Internet Skill Improvement)||This is the survey result - see notes below. We are iterating and finding the best way to measure the skill increase in the future.|
We conducted a student skills survey in early 2019 to explore the effects of our programmes on participants’ digital skills. The result is the ‘digital skills’ metric above.
The indicators were based on the research carried out by Wikimedia UK which focussed on Wikimedia skills mapping to established frameworks of digital skills. It is clear that some of these skills are project-specific, particularly with reference to more technical (IT-specific) and data (Data literacy) skills. Therefore the methodology / reporting structure should be examined carefully going forward so as to produce accurate data. For the next iteration of this evaluation, a before / after approach, which is tied into the Outreach Dashboard, will be attempted. This was the first time we run the survey, and so it was a part of a learning process. The answers to our survey questions are outlined below:
|Computer & internet skill improvement||85.71%|
|Content Creation improvement||85.71%|
|Collaboration skills improvement||76.19%|
|Info literacy skills improvement||85.71%|
|Data literacy skills improvement||47.62%|
|Increased understanding of open knowledge||85.71%|
|Increased understanding of open data||66.67%|
|Would contribute in the future to a Wikiproject||76.19%|
|Did you enjoy it?||85.71%|
The majority of students had contributed on Wikipedia, with the next most common being Wikibooks. This project distribution would explain the lower scores in improvement on Data literacy & IT specific skills.
“Moving to a student-centred learning environment can improve motivation. It explores how by introducing collaborative projects with genuine outcomes, we can allow students to coherently develop the competences required for professional translators.”
— Al-Shehari, 2017, from ‘Building bridges not walls – Wikipedia in Translation Studies’.
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:
The key themes of our work under this programme strand in 2018 were:
- Delivering Wikimedia projects with learners and educators
- Demonstrating how Wikimedia tools can be used to embed open knowledge in education (digital literacy)
- Advocating for the inclusion of Wikimedia into education policy and curricula
Highlights of programme activity
|Delivering Wikimedia projects with learners and educators|
We have been working on the core of our university engagement by providing tailored support to the network of Wikipedia in the Classroom leaders. We also developed new leads in the education sector in Scotland (including Stirling, St Andrews and Glasgow University).
We worked closely with the new course leaders to help them design the right approach. For example, we have been working with the University College London to construct a ‘Wikimedia in Classroom’ course. This forms part of their unique undergraduate Interdisciplinary Bachelor of Art & Science degree. It ties the Wikimedia assignment directly into digital literacy - the course has a compulsory module called 'Approaches to Knowledge' which offers a great fit. UCL was interested in what working with Wikimedia projects can teach students in terms of research and academic skills, and media literacy. They also wanted the students to take a meta approach and work on creating knowledge about knowledge. With this in mind, the students wrote OER book chapters on topics such as Knowledge and imperialism, Knowledge and truth, Knowledge and evidence. These will be published on Wikibooks, and the best essays will be collected into a book published by UCL Press (the UCL Open Access repository) in 2019. The project will also tie into a UCL education conference in April 2019, where students will be presenting about the Wikimedia work they are doing.
|Demonstrating how Wikimedia tools can be used to embed open knowledge in education (digital literacy)|
This area of our work is about piloting new approaches and experimenting, so that we can grow the programme in the future. Digital literacy has been an emerging area for us in the 2016-19 programme strategy, so using pilots to demonstrate how this work can be applied is key.
For example, in Spring we were approached by the Mayor’s office to deliver an editing workshop for London Technology Week at Bloomberg. This high-profile event offered an opportunity for us to work with a younger audience, training schoolgirls aged 14–15 years.
The event gave us great exposure and built a link with the Mayor of London. This was crucial when an opportunity arose to bid for funding from them – for continuing professional development for digital educators. This was for revenue funding of £450K and capital funding of £300K over two years. We prepared a bid in partnership with the London-based Institute of Education, focused on how Wikimedia can be used by educators to teach digital skills.
Our bid wasn’t successful, with feedback pointing to insufficient links with the technology industry; however the process still offered a robust learning experience, and we are now exploring whether there are any alternative funding opportunities to deliver some of this work with the Institute.
More broadly, during 2018 we worked with some of our key partners to steer their education work towards the digital skills framework (rather than just the course subject), with a view to ensuring that Wikipedia in the Classroom programme delivery in the UK supports our strategic goal for education. The key engagements to highlight are:
|Advocating for the inclusion of Wikimedia into education policy and curricula|
This work is about our growing body of case studies and pilot projects that help us to advocate for the benefits of working with Wikimedia to develop digital skills, and for the potential for this work to be delivered at scale.
Earlier in 2018 we submitted a response to a call by UNESCO on the use of OERs to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), which will be a recommendation at its 40th General Conference in Paris, 2019. Our response highlighted, amongst others, how content creation and membership of a knowledge society increases learning effectiveness, especially in cultural transfer, or the reuse of knowledge between different economic and social environments. We stressed the advantages of Wikimedia in providing culturally diverse, locally relevant and accessible sources, particularly in the context of our work in minority languages. We also emphasised the need for recognising different types of knowledge that people have to offer and providing space for them to share it. We supported the development of the regulatory environment of OER approaches to education but highlighted that it should support an engaged community as opposed to OER professionals only. Wikidata also offers huge potential for supporting linguistic diversity and less-used, under-resourced languages, which should be a key target when considering the recommendations for OER.
Secondary school education has been a key area of development in Wales. In a notable success, achieved after several years of advocacy work, in 2018 the WJEC examination board approved ‘Wikimedia challenges’ as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced and Approved Community Briefs. Since then, the work in Welsh schools has been expanding, supported not just by the Wales Manager but also both Wales residents. WiciMon project has been delivering Wikipedia training to schools throughout 2018. These activities are embedded within the community. For example, this year the island of Anglesey in Wales has been celebrating the year of the sea. As part of this, Year 12 pupils in Ysgol David Hughes have been collaborating with the Thomas Telford maritime museum in Menai Bridge, about the history of this seaside village. The museum gave permission for students to take pictures of artefacts and to share information. We are now working to connect this project to the education activities led by National Library of Wales. For example we are looking into how Wikidata could be used to teach coding, as well as how to connect WiciMon to the Library’s recent ‘Wiki People’ project.
We are hoping to deepen the collaboration with the Welsh government education department, and are currently discussing potential improvements of content relevant to the school syllabus. Materials from WJEC learning resources could also support this work. This would give schools the confidence to make more use of Wikipedia in the classroom and to engage with it more readily. We are considering a pilot project on one subject area for this.
Changing the emphasis of our Wikimedia in Classroom courses to focus on digital literacy has been an innovation over the past few years, and is likely to be a key aspect of our education programme in the future.
A new area of development is working with a university on decolonising the curriculum. This is an important topic in UK academia at the moment, and we believe Wikimedia UK can add important expertise to the issue by combining our understanding of developing digital literacies through engagement with Wikimedia, and our work over the past few years in foregrounding underrepresented subjects. Our forthcoming Wikimedian in Residence project at Coventry University will be a testing ground for this work, and we look forward to sharing our learning from this partnerships in future reports.
Changes, Challenges and Learning
This programme shifted considerably as we brought more focus into the education programme and reflected on the strands of planned work. Our work to engage directly with learners and educators expanded with more courses, a clearer strategic focus on digital literacy and the introduction of a digital skills survey for participants. Similarly, advocating for Wikimedia within curricula and public policy was broader than anticipated and included policy consultations backed by our research. This is matched by our increased activity in participating in consultations overall (see Programme 2 above).
Our work on demonstrating how Wikimedia tools can be used was largely as expected, perhaps broader thanks to the wide-spanning applications demonstrated by the Edinburgh University residency.
With all the above strands of work developing and growing, we had less opportunity to work with the researcher community. There have been some activities (e.g. at the Bodleian Libraries), and we have more planned, but this work has been scaled back overall in the light of a stronger focus on digital literacy.
Losing the Mayor of London Digital Skills bid was a setback. The team put considerable work into it, including background research to evidence where we can increase skills, and developing a partnership with the Institute of Education. The feedback from City Hall pointed to insufficient links with the industry in our bid. We think there is some truth in this as we work primarily with the public/non-profit cultural and education sectors.
This poses an interesting question on whether we should work closer with commercial technology companies and other businesses. It’s an unresolved question, and something we may need to come back to as we consider expanding the scope of our education programme. In the meantime, a lot of the content generated for the bid is reusable for future tenders and funding bids.
Beyond a motivation challenge, we did take some learning from the failed Mayor of London bid. If we had another chance at this process, we would retain the flexibility of our approach, but prepare more practical illustrations of applications. On reflection, we think our offer was too broad, almost too flexible to be easily envisioned by people unfamiliar with open knowledge. Bringing it down to specifics would potentially have made it more tangible to the assessors.
We also learnt from creating the bid itself. Because the process was very structured and formal, it forced us to interrogate our approach towards digital literacy, and what our offer to various sectors should be. The reflections from this process has fed into our new strategic framework for Wikimedia UK, which features digital literacy more explicitly than previously. The aim is to develop this further and continue to lead on this work internationally.
As hinted throughout the report on this strategic programme, education is a developing area of our work. Although the smallest, our strong education programme grew in strength. Our approach grew in sophistication and deeper understanding of where we can offer value to educators and learners. We will be continuing this work in the 2019-22 strategy.
There are a few exciting initiatives that we are currently setting up:
- We have agreed a Wikimedian in Residence project with the University of Coventry, based at their Disruptive Media Learning Lab. This innovative project, starting mid-2019, will focus closely on digital literacy, rather than a particular content area. We have also identified a close strategic match around knowledge equity, and are hoping to build that into the project as well.
- We are exploring the possibility of a Wikimedian in Residence working across the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries network.
- The Scotland Coordinator has been developing ideas for a multi-lingual schools programme in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.
|WiciMôn: digital literacy skills at schools||Wikidata in the curriculum: developing data literacy and data visualization skills|
|WiciMôn Project, based at Llangefni, Anglesey, North Wales, has been now running for two years. It’s funded by the Welsh Government and Horizon, with our support. One of the aims of the project has been to raise the profile of the Welsh language nationally and internationally, by creating new articles on the items of historical, scientific and linguistic importance in Anglesey. Advocacy for open knowledge is a part of its remit.
The project coordinator, Aaron Morris, has previously worked in secondary schools and was able to set up presentations to the schools on the Island. This, combined with long-standing partnership building by our Wales Manager, led to talks with the WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee). A brief was submitted to WJEC (the Curriculum body of Wales) in November 2017. Our aim was to weave the WiciMôn project into the Welsh Baccalaureate as one of the ‘Community Challenges’. This was accepted in December and was the first time that Wikipedia skills were officially on the curriculum in the UK.
The module focuses on STEAM subjects. The project promotes the correct use of neutral sources through research and planning. The challenge will allow pupils to develop their literacy skills as well as their communication skills to get others online by training new editors from the wider community as well as within the school.
In the past few months, the Wicimôn project has been in three different secondary schools on the Isle of Anglesey to pilot the module for the Welsh Baccalaureate. (The full project starts officially in September.) This year, for example, one of the main towns in Anglesey, Amlwch, celebrates the 250th anniversary of Roland Puw’s discovery of copper on Parys Mountain. This was a fantastic opportunity for the sixth form pupils of Sir Thomas Jones School to join the Copper Kingdom museum in Port Amlwch to create articles about the science and history of the copper industry. The pupils have started a WikiClub in the school and are planning to meet the local history/community group to share their skills with others and to make sure that the Welsh Wikipedia is rich with Amlwch history and facts. There will also be a project involving the Digital Competence Framework in the school.
The Welsh Baccalaureate Community Challenge sets out a template that can be copied across Wales. Together with the Welsh Government's campaign to reach 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050, we believe this challenge is going to encourage schools to enrich existing and new Wikipedia articles in the Welsh language.
Based on the case study Wikidata in the curriculum for Data Science for Design MSc Wikidata assignment; developing data literacy and data visualization skills, by Ewan McAndrew, WIR at the University of Edinburgh
The pressing need for implementing data literacy in the curriculum to produce a workforce equipped with the data skills necessary to meet the needs of Scotland’s growing digital economy presents a massive opportunity for educators, researchers, data scientists and repository managers alike. The aim was to aid the students’ understanding of data literacy through the practical application of working with a real-world dataset.
Wikimedian in Residence, Ewan McAndrew, supported the integration of a Wikidata assignment into the Data Science for Design MSc curriculum. This course provides an introduction to programming, used in support of the development of data science techniques, to give a practical facility in manipulating, analysing, visualising and contextualising data.
Students were supported over the course of five weeks to analyse, model and process the data from a real-life database on Survey of Scottish Witchcraft into Wikipedia’s sister project, Wikidata. This database collects, collates and records all known information about accused witches and witchcraft belief in early modern Scotland (from 1563 to 1736) in a Microsoft Access database and to create a web-based user interface for the database. Since 2003, the data has remained static in the Access database. Students at the 2018 Data Fair were invited to consider what could be done if the data were exported into Wikidata, given multilingual labels and linked to other datasets? Beyond this, what new insights & visualisations of the data could be achieved?
The outcome was 3219 items of data on accused witches in Scotland (spanning 1563 to 1736) created in Wikidata. There is also now have data on the 2356 individuals involved in trying these accused witches. Finally there is data on the 3210 witch trials themselves and two data visualization videos created by the two groups of students working on the project.
The learning outcomes were that on completion of this course, the student would be able to:
This project demonstrated that the Data Fair model of providing a variety of research data projects for students to gain ‘real world’ experience of analyzing, processing, importing and visualizing data can be employed in the curriculum to good effect in the case of working with Wikidata. This proved beneficial for the students in terms of improving their understanding of data literacy and for the surfacing of the data itself in order to enable further insights and research. Feedback from the students was extremely positive.
Scalability and transferability The success of this project indicates how this type of project, with students practically engaging with data, lends itself to incorporation into the curriculum and can be potentially scaled up to provide a successful learning experience for larger cohorts. Requirements for staffing include tutors to support the teaching of data processing & data visualisation skills and a Wikimedian to provide Wikidata training. Venues should be equipped with learning technology for training purposes and should support students with personal computers. This type of coursework can be applied in a number of subjects interested in the developing of data skills and knowledge transaction. Wikidata has a particular need, & an ongoing commitment to, improving its coverage of notable datasets; be it biographical, biomedical, geographical, taxonomical, or bibliographical in nature.
Integrating Wikidata into coursework allowed students and staff to develop their understanding of, and engagement with, issues such as: data completeness; data ethics; digital provenance; data analysis; data processing; as well as making practical use of a raft of tools and data visualisations.
Revenues received during this period (12 months for impact report)
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 ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan Annual Plan Grant GBP 335000 83750 83750 83750 83750 335000 432274 432274 (see below for notes) Donations GBP 249000 48634 46372 47680 55740 198426 321302 256043 Gift Aid Claims GBP 17000 4320 3964 4017 5121 17422 21936 22481 Gifts in kind and other fundraising GBP 130000 35031 34549 34706 57869 162156 167748 209241 Total GBP 731000 171735 168635 170153 202481 713003 943260 920038
* Provide estimates in US Dollars
Spending during this period (12 months for impact report)
Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.
Table 3 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ 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 SG1 GBP 90170 14439 15594 15706 30619 76358 116353 98530 84.68% (see below for notes) SG2 GBP 100765 19520 21843 19634 36094 97090 130024 125282 96.35% SG3 GBP 18465 3507 3543 3874 7295 18219 23827 23509 98.67% Fundraising GBP 14900 3395 3469 3389 3413 13666 19227 17634 91.71% Staff GBP 399219 85620 106499 86253 93444 371815 515140 479779 93.14% Overheads GBP 119500 28832 35719 25930 29589 120069 154199 154933 100.48% TOTAL GBP 743019 155313 186667 154786 200452 697217 958770 899667 93.84%
* Provide estimates in US Dollars
Commentary on variances in income and expenditure against budget
Wikimedia UK’s financial year ends on 31st January and the figures presented above are currently still subject to post-audit adjustment. The result at the 2018/19 year end is a surplus of around £16,000 against a budgeted deficit of £12,000. The budgeted deficit included the cost of covering planned absences in key management personnel. The variance arose mainly from savings against staff costs and other overheads, including an unused £10,000 cost contingency. 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 our budgeted expenditure in 2019/20.
- At £213,026, total donations were under our projected figure of £249,000; however we have cut our attrition figure on small regular donations again this year, to just 2.1%. 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.
- Gift Aid claims were on budget at £17,000 having settled back to a standard level after the arrears claim boost of 2017/18.
- Gifts in Kind were 11% over budget, reflecting the charity’s continued success in leveraging resources from partner organisations.
Variances in expenditure against budget are made up largely of the following:
- We have small underspends against our programmes budget.
- There was a small underspend in fundraising arising from reduced direct debit processing costs. Discounting the contingency included in the budget, overheads were just a shade under budget.
- Staff costs were under budget due to delays in recruitment for vacant posts.
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.
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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.
Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".
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