Grants:APG/Proposals/2017-2018 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 grant 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.


WMUK is the UK chapter of the global Wikipedia movement. We receive a significant grant from the Foundation, equal to roughly one half of our annual income. We supplement the Foundation grant with other fundraising, gifts-in-kind, membership fees and monthly donations from committed supporters. The complexity and range of our work are commensurate with the size of the grant. We have three strategic objectives: to increase the quality and quantity of coverage of under-represented subjects, to contribute to the development of open knowledge in the UK, and to support the use of the Wikimedia projects in education.

We’re pleased to report that we are on track to meet all our targets under the 2018-19 grant agreement. Although there is some overlap, each strategic objective relates to a specific programme area. Each programme, in turn, is underpinned by a robust logic model, including a set of assumptions and a theory of change. We are confident that our measures, and this report, accurately reflect the work that has been done, and the successes we have enjoyed.

Our programme work is supported by our communication strategy. During the period our social media profile has continued to grow, and we successfully use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to reach a wide audience. But we have also successfully used mainstream media, public speeches and events to increase our profile. We were pleased, for example, to get a warm response In July when we wrote to all 73 UK MEPs regarding the proposed EU Directive on Copyright. And at the Annual General Meeting of members of Wikimedia UK in July, we enjoyed high profile presentations from Corey Stoughton of Liberty, Dr Helen Hardy of the Natural History Museum’s Data Portal and Gareth Morlais, digital adviser to the Welsh Government.

Our thanks, as always, to the staff and trustees of Wikimedia UK who make this possible, but mostly, of course, to the volunteer community without whom none of this would exist.

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]

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. For more information, see Grant Metrics.

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

Metric End of the Year Targets 2018/19 2018/19 Half-Year Achieved Explanation
Participants GM1 5,200 3,644 A varied group of people who took part in our events - educational courses, Wikipedia/Wikidata training series, editathons, conferences, workshops, meetups, summer schools.
Newly registered editors GM2 800 609 Mostly from editing workshops, educational courses and volunteer programmes (e.g. new editing group in Caerdydd, Wales).
Articles added/improved GM3 202,000 692,564

+ 6,685 files uploaded to Commons

A couple of highly valuable data set processed on Wikidata: 4,341 new and 404,437 improved items created on Easter and Asian paintings and sculptures from the Bodleian Library, 10,223 items improved (labels added) on Scottish witches, 5,050 new items and 81,821 statements created on Welsh portraits and associated people, 2,712 new and 93,723 statements added by the Wikidata Scholar in Wales on Welsh books and journals, 2,101 new and 48,894 statements created on Asian art from the Ashmolean Museum and from the Pitt Rivers Museum.

On Welsh Wikipedia 1,686 new and 2,717 edited articles on the Welsh WikiHealth project, 1,900 new and 15,750 edits were made on Welsh Wikipedia by a trainee editor, which saw cywiki reaching 100,000 articles on 27 March 2018. 6,685 files uploaded to Commons, including 4,900 Welsh portraits.

Volunteer hours 18,300 14,711 Several bigger projects required a significant amount of work from volunteers - e.g. 900 hours for Celtic Knot II. 4,320hrs came from educational classroom programmes,, 730 hours library staff training in Scotland, 556 hours from Amnesty International and Wikipedia events, 1,086 from leading volunteer activities and partnership interactions, 532 volunteer hours from the NLW volunteer programmes and 308 hours through small project grants. The rest are made up of smaller contributions.
Total audience reach

(online or in-person engagement with WMUK)

65,450 61,376 Includes 22,280 social media subscribers, 35,297 viewers on our social media channels, 3,644 active event and programme participants and 155 leading volunteers.

Global metrics for programme 1

Indicator 2016/17 half-year achieved   2017/18 half-year achieved   End year 2018/19 target Programme 1 2018/19 half-year achieved Explanation
Participants 582 865 1,600 1,019 Attendees of our contests, open events, training series, grant projects, workshops, editathons.
Newly registered editors 279 233 600 312 Mostly from editing workshops, training sessions, editathons.
Articles added/improved 43,976

+ 37,825 added to Commons


+11,314 added to Commons

200,00 688,643+6685 files uploaded to Commons Several collections and datasets uploaded to Wikidata, Commons and Wikipedia.
Volunteer hours 3,758 (formerly Number of activity units) 4,515 8,500 5,620 Attendance in contests, open events, training series, workshops, editathons, volunteer programmes.
Total audience and reach N/A 956 1,730 1,101 Includes participants as above plus 82 leading volunteers organising core contests, editing workshops, volunteer programmes or participating in inter-chapter activities.

Global metrics for programme 2

Indicator 2016/17 half-year achieved   2017/18 half-year achieved   End year 2018/19 target Programme 2 2018/19 half-year achieved Explanation
Participants 826 1,620 3,000 1,806 Conferences, meetings, panel discussions, strategic discussions, festivals, partnership interactions.
Newly registered editors N/A 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 N/A The nature of work in this segment does not involve editing.
Volunteer hours N/A 1,871 4,800 4,258 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 51,837 63,080 59,449 Social media work, participants above + 66 leading volunteers who delivered advocacy talks and activities with us.

Global metrics for programme 3

Indicator 2016/17 half-year achieved   2017/18 half-year achieved   End year 2018/19 target Programme 3 2018/19 half-year achieved Explanation
Participants 325 445 600 819 Educational courses at universities and schools.
Newly registered editors 315 104 200 297 Educational course participants registering at the beginning of the term.
Articles added/improved 306 1,003 2,000 3,921 Content created as a part of the Wikipedia in Classroom assignments.
Volunteer hours 3,190 3,730 5,000 4,832 Educational course participants time at universities and schools.
Total audience and reach N/A 477 640 858 Participants above + 39 Leading volunteers.

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.

WMUK 6-Months Results Compared to 2018-19 End of Year Target
WMUK 6-Months Results Compared to 2018-19 End of Year Target

Telling your program stories - all programs[edit]

Programme 1: Diverse content and contributors[edit]

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

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


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

Indicator 2016/17 half-year achieved 2017/18 half-year achieved 2018/19 full year target 2018/19 half-year achieved
Participants 582 865 1,600 1,019
Newly registered editors 279 233 600 312
Articles added/improved 43,976

+ 37,825 uploads to Commons


+ 11,314 uploads to Commons

200,000 688,643
Volunteer hours 3,758 4,515 8,500 5,620
Total audience and reach N/A 956 1,730 1,101
Leading volunteers 32 91 130 82
Female % of above 32% 38.5% 38% 58.82% (50)
Images/media added to Commons 13,825

+ 24,000 mass upload (37,825)

11,314 20,000

(+ mass uploads)


We have uploaded almost 5K Welsh portraits in Q2, and created corresponding Wikidata items for all of them. This accounts for the high reuse rate of images. Wiki Loves Monuments takes place during Q3 and we are confident that it will enable us to meet our yearly media upload target.

Images/media added to Wikimedia pages 2,016 440 3,000 5,460
% uploaded media used in content pages 6% 3.88% 15% 81,6%
New articles added 5,238 36,214 30,000 18,919

Background and overview of achievement[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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 are:

  • The Celtic Knot
  • Addressing the Gender Gap
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Community Development

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.


Welsh Diagram on Human Body Organs
Infographic on the WikiHealth project

In July we held our second Celtic Knot conference. This was organised by Wikimedian in Residence, 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 turning the biographies of people accepted into the Druidic Circle into Wikipedia articles. Work with Llen Natur on the database of species continues.

In terms of programmes run within the ‘Celtic Knot’ space, there are several key projects to highlight. In Spring the National Library of Wales concluded the WikiHealth project. Their new focus is Welsh books (with associated printers, publishers and authors), and their ongoing upload of Welsh portraits. At SLIC the resident continued to build links to get public library services across Scotland engaged with Wikimedia. The ambition is to build digital skills of library staff through regional training sessions and then to share the libraries’ collections. We trialled a new model of WIR support: we set up a student placement from the University of Strathclyde’s MSc in Information and Library Studies, to work alongside the WIR. 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 WIR programme’s outputs, and supported the next generation of library professionals.


Vote 100 leaflets at the Wikipedia editing event on 22nd February 2018 at the University of Edinburgh

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:

  • Art+Feminism, which was our flagship gender gap campaign, delivered as a part of an annual global project. There were 275 events and 4000 people participating worldwide. In the UK we worked across a range of organisations such as the Royal College of Art, The Photographers’ Gallery and Birkbeck College to create articles about women in the arts. One of the more interesting aspects about this year was working with students interested in addressing systematic bias beyond the gender gap. We partnered with the UnBias project at the Royal College of Art, where the events involved talks from trans activists involved in technology, and discussions of how to address systematic bias at a source level.
  • Edinburgh University continued to work on the gender gap, despite being primarily an education-focused Wikimedian in Residence partnership. They deliver Women in Red monthly editathons, and the Suffragette 100 editathon on International Women's Day. One highlight was an article on Frances Ivens, chief medical officer at the Scottish Women's Hospital at Royaumont. She did this as part of the #Vote100 editathon in February, and it was included on the front page of Wikipedia in the ‘Did You Know?’ section. It is a very good example of the power of editathons. On 21 February 2018 the page did not exist. By 27 March it had been viewed more than 5000 times.


Shah Jahan, a Mughal emperor depicted by items in both the Bodleian and the Ashmolean, made available in Wikidata

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. During the first half of the year 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 & Japanese history. It gives the public a novel - and free - way to navigate these historic items. This is the biggest database improvement project delivered as a part of the residency. The upload is not just about public access to records. It also provides a compelling argument for the inclusion of Wikidata in the strategic aims of the university. This discussion is currently taking place in the higher decision making bodies of the university.

We are also building up links with heritage organisations in preparation for Wiki Loves Monuments this year, particularly in Scotland.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Our community engagement results from the first half of the year are very positive. We hosted in 121 events this year so far, which provided many opportunities for volunteers and editors to get involved with our programmes.

Participants and project leaders contributed almost 15,000 hours participating in our programmes (e.g. university classroom courses which brought in 5,000 hours). We also had a chance to celebrate and thank our key volunteers via the ‘Wikimedian of the Year’ awards at our AGM in July.

There were also further volunteering opportunities generated by our Wikimedians in Residence. The National Library of Wales, notably, provides a structured way to participate. In Spring, for example, volunteers worked on Welsh Wikipedia articles about health, to tie in with the residency’s Wiki Health programme (see the case study below).

Our policy is to use existing programme strands to grow our volunteer community. For example, the upcoming Wiki Loves Monuments will be used in Scotland to galvanise the community of volunteers and organisations. The SLIC resident is rolling out a library engagement pack; we are also engaging with museums and heritage organisations to establish programme tie-ins and publicity support.

We are also continually improving and iterating our general approach to volunteer engagement and communications. Through brainstorming workshops we worked to update the WMUK ‘Wiki’ Volunteer Portal, and to refresh the programmes’ team approach to coordinating volunteers. We reviewed our volunteer database (this was tied into our GDPR compliance), and created a system for responding to volunteer signups. We wanted to focus on newcomers to the movement. For this, we are now running a 2 month pilot of supported communications with ‘fresh faced’ attendees from several of our 2018 events.

Progress towards the plan[edit]

The Queen visiting the University of Stirling, image from the University of Stirling's Archives

The traffic light metrics quoted above indicate that we are on track to achieve our objectives this year. This is a source of satisfaction, and a stimulus to continue our ambitious programme.

Comparing to the proposal, our ‘Celtic Knot’ minority languages work has expanded and strengthened. We reached several key milestones, such as 100,000 articles on Welsh Wikipedia, closely linked to our programmatic work. We were able to work expanding language tools and content with help of the Welsh Government funding. Many of these projects will continue into 2018. Celtic Knot conference was yet again a focus for the minority language collaborations. In Scotland, the excellent hire of a Programme Coordinator brought new energy and focus into that programme. We were able to progress a number of projects for which we hadn’t had the capacity (and therefore they were not mentioned in our proposal). We linked up and offered more support to some existing Wikimedia projects, e.g. at Stirling Library & Archives. We also followed up on the Scottish Gaelic project we delivered in 2017.

Further, we were able to offer more support to our partners in Scotland, multiplying and amplifying their work. The new Coordinator was formerly a resident. In this capacity she found that she often lacked time to organise social meetups, and was unable to facilitate a meeting between partners. It was a natural extension of her new role, however, to bring together some of our Education and GLAM partners (particularly those with a connection to the WiR) for a knowledge-exchange. We held the first #ScotWiki partners meeting in July. There's high potential for project collaboration led by our newly appointed Coordinator, and this initiative strengthens our overall programme in Scotland.

Several partnership collaborations didn’t go as hoped, especially in the ‘cultural heritage’ strand of work. We didn’t get the British Council cultural protection funding, and our collaborations with the British Library and the House of Commons are still at the project pitch stage. This is partly because our focus and capacity went to minority languages, and partly it’s the nature of partnerships taking time to develop.

Learning and sharing[edit]

Wiki-enabled libraries in Scotland map - July 2018

There are two challenges to highlight, both relating to working with small organisations. 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 & periodical rooms. The library possesses unique archival materials. Large sections of their collection were created and published by the Feminist Library during the second wave of Feminism in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The library’s leads are also the founding members of the UK-wide Feminist Library and Archive Network, the ‘FLA’. We also saw the potential in upskilling a national network of women-content-focused librarians and community engagers.

Recognising the importance of their collection, we established a partnership with the organisation earlier this year. Often the underrepresented content we want work with is not accessible in the wider context exactly 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?

The other ‘small organisations’ challenge came from Scotland. The resident at SLIC has been reflecting on the first year of the project. Event planning has been identified in previous Wikimedian in Residence posts as being a big drain on time and resources, especially when working at sector-wide level. To preempt this issue in the SLIC residency, it was agreed that the onus for planning and delivering Wikipedia events would be on the library staff. This approach has been mostly successful. However, in the same way as the role of the librarian is very diverse, the range of skills and staff available can vary from library to library. In some cases, it does not cover event management. During Q2 two editathons had to be canceled because of a lack of sign-ups. In both cases, event planning issues were contributing factors. To mitigate this, we are developing two approaches. First, we saw that the Wikipedia working group at Inverclyde library, which is composed of library staff, museum staff and heritage officers, has been successful in creating a cohesive approach to the Wikipedia project. The collaborative approach amplifies strengths and compensates for weaknesses. Other libraries are being encouraged to set up similar working groups to help share the workload of planning events. Secondly, the WIR is putting together a resource specific to planning Wikipedia events. This focuses on identifying the audience for your event and how to reach out and activate your audience to take part.

In terms of knowledge transfer and sharing our learning with the open movement, we focused on the Celtic Knot conference and its technical/learning strand. We were also invited to the British Library’s Digital Conversations series, where we engaged an expert audience, discussed how Indigenous communities are using new technologies to preserve and promote their culture. Via the Edinburgh University residency, we are contributing a chapter on the Wikipedia translation assignment to the Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom open access book (its focus is on representing the current landscape of open practices in language learning and teaching around the globe and reflect on how openness is understood in different contexts). Our growing expertise in the minority languages work translated into engagement within the Wikimedia movement too - we have fed into the ‘Decolonising the Internet’ activities around Wikimania. At the AGM in July, Dr. Gareth Morlais on the Welsh Government gave a presentation on ‘Digital Survival Kits for Minority Languages.’ This was subsequently shared with staff members at Radio Free Europe who work with a range of minority European languages.

Case studies[edit]

Celtic Knot Conference 2018, a case study by Delphine Dallison
Robin Owain, From 1,000 to 100,000 articles - milestones of the Welsh Wikipedia – by Jason Evans CC.BY.SA

The Celtic Knot conference was first hosted in 2017 at the University of Edinburgh, and was the first Wikipedia Language conference organised in collaboration with Wikimedia UK to support Celtic and Indigenous languages. Spurred on by its success, these communities have now come back together a year on for a two-day Celtic Knot 2018 Conference at the National Library of Wales to share their progress and reflect on their successes and sometimes failures.

The Welsh Government Minister for Welsh, Eluned Morgan, A.M. opening the Celtic Knot Conference

The conference first kicked off with a presentation by Robin Owain, Wales Manager for Wikimedia UK, who gave us an overview of the history of the Welsh Wicipedia. Welsh Wicipedia has had a number of firsts, including the creation of Jason Evans’ post as the first National Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales and Monmouthpedia, the first Wikipedia GLAM project to cover a whole town. Robin highlighted that the National Library of Wales’ proactive stance towards releasing their digital content under an open license on Wikipedia has been a major contributing factor to the growth of Welsh Wicipedia. Another major contributing factor is the fact that any Welsh language project funded via Welsh government initiatives are required to share their outputs under an open license, which unlike projects funded by other funding bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, is not restricted to non-commercial use.

The National Wikimedian welcoming conference delegates to Celtic Knot 2018

The next speaker, in stark contrast, was Mark Trevethan, Cornish Language Strategy Lead, presenting on Cornish language and Wikipedia - finding ways to make Wikipedia work for a small language community. Mark attended the 2017 Celtic Knot conference and it was his first introduction to the work Wikimedia is undertaking to support minority languages worldwide. Since then, he has worked to position the use of Cornish Wikipedya (3,810 articles and 9,779 users) as one of the supporting infrastructures for the Cornish language strategy.

As one of the smaller fledgling Wikipedias, working on Cornish Wikipedya is not without its challenges. The Cornish language only has a community of between 1,000-2,000 speakers, mostly scattered and with very few mother tongue speakers. It was only given official recognition status in 2003 and Cornish language initiatives currently receive no government funding.

Celtic Knot 2018 unconference sessions - by Jason Evans CC-BY-SA

A lot of community effort in the past has been invested in spelling wars, which can often get personal in a small community. However, they have now adopted a stable written convention and in 2008 a new online Cornish dictionary became available online. Achieving official recognition status and the rise of new technologies has been a turning point for the Cornish language, allowing them to take a more pro-active stance rather than focusing on protecting the status quo and this has been reflected in the growth of younger Cornish language speakers.

Mark now wants to capitalize on the advantages afforded by new technologies by investing the Cornish communities’ efforts on growing the Cornish Wikipedya, which can ensure the long-term preservation of the culture, and also expose it to a more global audience. Some of the challenges encountered in this endeavour are choosing what priorities to focus on. Do you focus on adding content about Cornish culture or do you work on translating or creating articles from the 1,000 essential articles list for Wikipedia? Do you prescribe what articles the community should work on or do you follow the community’s interests? How do you balance the workload between article creation and the adminship work required to maintain the Wiki infrastructure and prevent vandalism? Bear in mind that all these tasks are undertaken on a voluntary basis, in a small community already at high risk of volunteer fatigue. These challenges were a recurring theme during discussions with other minority language Wikipedias such as the Northern Sami Wikipediai and the Irish Vicipéid throughout the conference.

Along with these inspirational stories, the conference speakers were also able to offer a wide range of practical solutions they have been investigating in order to grow the content on their individual Wikipedias. The Basque Wikipediara and the Irish Vicipéid have both been leading Wikipedia Education initiatives with their local minority language universities with great success, leading to a large number of articles being created. Welsh Wicipedia have also been investigating some outreach in education with a focus on upper secondary school students with project WiciMôn (as described in Programme 3).

Multimedia projects can be essential to preserving endangered languages as witnessed by Subhashish Panigrahi who presented remotely via video on How to create a digital archive for indigenous languages and not let them die. These types of social editing sessions can be hugely productive and easy to replicate if you have the appropriate training resources on hand. Gwenno Griffith from Wici Caerdydd shared with us her experience of running monthly social drop-in Welsh Wicipedia editing session, for which she recently received funding from the Welsh government to roll out across the diverse strands of community in Cardiff.

Finally, technology was a major strand throughout the conference with a particular focus on Wikidata, Wikipedia’s open source, multilingual repository of linked structured data which now underpins all the content on Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and their sister projects.

Wikidata works on a system of triples with items, properties and values each requiring labels. These labels can be translated into any language hosted on the Wikimedia projects and the more labels are translated the more data can be available across these languages (see statistics for labels per language on Wikidata). Nicolas Vigneron from the Breton Wikipedia demonstrated the Transl-a-thon tool, which allows anyone with a Wikipedia account to go and look up labels that are missing in the language of their choice and translate them directly in Wikidata. The more of these labels are translated, the more you can draw on Wikidata to backfill some of the gaps in minority language Wikipedias where sufficient manpower is always an issue.

Pau Cabot from the Catalan Viquipèdia demonstrated how you could create workflows to automatically generate infoboxes on Wikipedia pages using the translated data from Wikidata. Wherever the translated labels were missing, it would revert back to one of the larger Wikipedia projects such as Spanish or English, but the automatic infoboxes are each equipped with an easy edit tool allowing Wikipedia users to translate the data directly in Wikipedia.

Another exciting tool was the ArticlePlaceholder with a demo from Hady Elsahar. The ArticlePlaceholder aims to replace stub articles on minority language Wikipedias by generating information based on sets of Wikidata triples to describe the topic and some automatic bot generated text. The advantage of using this data driven tool is that unlike stub articles, it will remain up to date with any new information or data it is fed from the other language Wikipedias.

All of these new developments are very exciting when we consider the future of the Gaelic Uicipeid and Scots Wikipaedia and there was a real sense at the conference that this knowledge sharing was a gateway for future innovation which would continue to drive the preservation of these rich and precious cultural assets.

Working with Amnesty International on Human Rights Activists

As a result of relationship built over the years with Amnesty International (who keynoted at the London Wikimania in 2014) and a growing volunteer network, we have found an opportunity to work together on an international initiative focusing on human rights activists and other human rights issues. Working with the International Secretariat, we worked to scope enthusiasm among their sections (similar to our chapters) worldwide.

In June we collaborated on the Amnesty International’s BRAVE campaign focusing on Women Human Rights Defenders. The volunteer bases of both movements were combined to create content on human rights in multiple languages.

We had materials and toolkits shared across Amnesty’s sections internationally, with each section determining its own content locally and submitting it to the International Secretariat for approval and collation. This meant that each group worked on content relevant and most pressing for them. Also, managing the differing motivations of each movement was key to achieving success and reducing risk in terms of creating the wrong type of content. The shared goals were increased content on a subject that isn’t well covered, written by motivated people in a range of languages.

This project was an opportunity for the global Wikimedia community to work with the leading human rights charity in their own location, and an opportunity to raise awareness and produce some great content across the Wikimedia projects. In facilitating international participation in the project as well as delivering activities within the UK, we draw on learning from our 2016 BBC collaboration #100womenwiki.

External video
[Amnesty International Video on WMUK editathon]

Successes: Connections made: 23 chapters were connected to their local Amnesty sections and though some were unable to work together in June, there is potential for more events later on.

Multilingual contributions: Articles were created and edited in >7 languages. There is still an opportunity for translation of some of this content across more languages.

Inter-chapter cooperation: One chapter acting as a connector for a large, global NGO and building a project that other affiliates with less capacity could “plug into”.

Building on existing focuses: Some chapters such as Argentina, Mexico, Norway and Sweden already have a track record of working on human rights content. In some cases already having contacts with Amnesty, this was a good way to build on existing networks and encourage further activity supported by Amnesty International’s central organising body.

Capacity built: Many Amnesty sections now have the basics in terms of contributing their knowledge to Wikipedia among their staff and volunteers. This can be built upon by local Wikimedians.

Problems: Mismatch of coverage: Our respective communities did not map onto each other perfectly. We had motivated Wikipedia editors in some countries with no Amnesty section and vice versa.

Focus on creation of biographies: Human rights is a strand of underrepresented content on Wikipedia, and as such, there are reasons that is the case. One being a difficulty of finding good sources, clashes with General Notability Criteria. This caused some deletions and friction with existing Wikipedia communities once we started creating the articles.

To address some of those issues, we wanted to steer Amnesty partners towards broader human rights subjects instead of individuals. There are many worthwhile areas of human rights content that can be expanded, and human rights organisations have many publications that can support this. However, Amnesty has a very strong focus on the individual human rights activists and insisted on working on the individuals.

We agreed to this thematic focus. This meant, however, that more time was spent on training since teaching people how to write good biographies of living persons is more challenging.

Next steps: German, Austrian and Swiss chapters are looking to run events, and there is an opportunity to follow up with Sweden and Norway. Increasing the supporting documentation and being stricter about the focus of the events on expanding as well as creating new content will help with some of the problems faced before.

Wicipedia Cymraeg reaching 100,000 articles
A timeline of Welsh Wikipedia

Wicipedia Cymraeg, the Welsh Wikipedia has reached 100,000 articles milestone in Q1. This is a significant achievement for a minority language Wikipedia. The number of pages relative to the number of speakers is very high in comparison to other Wikipedias, and reflects the amount of programmatic work we delivered to grow Wicipedia Cymraeg. Wikimedia UK is committed to diversifying Wikimedia’s content and contributors and to supporting the Celtic, indigenous British languages, and reaching this milestone demonstrates the impact our work has had.

It’s been a long journey since the birth of the Welsh Wicipedia in 2003. Wikimedia UK’s Programme Co-ordinator in Wales has been a driving force behind the growing strength of the Welsh Wikipedia, along with the National Wikimedian at the National Library of Wales. Welsh Wikipedia is already the most visited site in Welsh online. It maintains gender parity in its biographical articles, and it is highly integrated with Wikidata. The question is, what is the next goal for the Wicipedia community? Jason Evans, National Wikimedian at the National Library of Wales, says that the focus will be growing the Welsh-language editor community, securing partnerships with the education sector and existing producers of relevant Welsh language content.

“Not only is the Welsh Wici growing but the community of editors is growing. The National library of Wales will continue to support and encourage editors through events and training sessions and by sharing its own data openly for use on Wicipedia and beyond”, Evans said.

During Q1 another 2,000 female biographies were created, which raised the overall percentage of female articles to 53.2%. These were written by editors trained by our Wales Manager, who said, “We now have an understanding on cywiki that if an editor creates three male biogs, then a female biog needs to be created. This ensures our editors think about gender continuously, with a positive view of notability of women. We have also added the new Wikidata Infobox on all 17,500 biographies; the only two exceptions being footballers and politicians! I’m not aware of any other language which has achieved this.”

Welsh Wikimedians have recently established a Community User Group in Wales, Grŵp Defnyddwyr Cymuned Wicimedia Cymru, to help with the community growth by providing them with a distinct identity and branding.

Wikimedia UK is now looking forward to the Celtic Knot Conference, taking place at the National Library of Wales in July. This conference aims to bring together people working on smaller language Wikipedias, especially the Celtic languages of the UK, but also indigenous languages from other parts of Europe, showcasing innovative approaches to supporting minority language communities using Wikimedia tools and projects.

Programme 2: Promoting open knowledge[edit]


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

Indicator 2016/17 half-year achieved 2017/18 half-year achieved 2018/19 half year achieved 2018/19 half-year achieved
Participants 826 1,620 3,000 1,806
Volunteer hours 2,078 1,871 4,800 4,258
Total audience and reach 29,772 51,837 63,080 59,449
Leading volunteers 28 71 80 66
Digital media reach 28,039 50,146 60,000 57,577
Responses to consultations 1 3 3 2
Policy change affected 2 0 3 1

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

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.

Highlights of programme activity[edit]

Edinburgh University's Learning, Teaching and Web Information Services Team, Receiving WMUK Partnership of the Year Award 2018

Working towards institutional change

We promoted open knowledge engagement with our existing partners, and so far this year saw evidence of success in these activities. Several of our partner organisations moved towards openness.

  • Despite the high level of engagement at Edinburgh University, we have not yet been able to work with its Collections. To help with the advocacy work delivered by the resident, we facilitated a meeting between Alice White (former resident at the Wellcome) and the Head of Special Collections at the University of Edinburgh to discuss the work the Wellcome Library had undertaken in sharing their image collections to Wikimedia Commons. It appears that these discussions have moved the argument along. In Q2 we were able to run our first editathon for the Library & University Collections staff. This marked a change in a previously closed attitude of the organisation. Further editathons are planned and, crucially, the Library and University Collections has included Wikimedia work in its new digitisation strategy. (We count this as one of our advocacy goals). The resident is also connecting with the Vice Principal to discuss the University’s institutional approach to public engagement and research outputs via Wikimedia projects. Our aim is to create guidance for how the university can better demonstrate its commitment to Open Science.
  • We are continuing our longstanding collaboration with the National Library of Scotland, who are preparing to move a large number of images from CC-BY to CC0/PD. Our expectation is that this will become a Commons upload.
  • Scottish Libraries Information Council (SLIC) resident is working with the Inverclyde libraries to upload some current content from CC-BY-NC to CC-BY-SA

Promoting open knowledge at a sector-wide level, particularly culture and education

External video
[#OER18 Lorna Campbell Keynote Speech- Changing perspectives on OER]

In Spring our sector advocacy in education was focused on the Open Education Resources conference 2018, where we highlighted Wikimedia in Classroom approach and the value of Wikimedia engagement at a university. Edinburgh University residency was particularly well represented. We also engaged with the library sector through the UK-wide #1Lib1Ref campaign. This helped us spread awareness of Wikimedia within the University further. At SLIC we have been engaging with the sector-wide Digital Champions network to increase engagement with the public libraries and Wikimedia.

Within the library sector in Scotland, we are also working with SLIC to influence the National Strategy for Public Libraries, which is due to be updated. The current strategy (Ambition & Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland ) has six strategic aims: Libraries promoting reading, literacy & learning; digital inclusion; economic wellbeing; social wellbeing; culture and creativity, and as excellent public services. There is a strategic lead for each aim, drawn from library service staff across Scotland. Two of those strategic leads sit on the steering committee for the SLIC residency, with one being the main project partner.

The current strategy is due to be refreshed this year, and both our Resident at SLIC and WMUK Scotland Programme Coordinator have been keen to ensure that open knowledge values and participation in the Wikimedia projects are considered during that process. As a funding organisation which delivers certain funding streams on behalf of the Scottish Government (including the Public Library Improvement Fund, which funded the Residency at SLIC), SLIC's explicit inclusion of these aims within the strategy could be significant and have a wide reach.

Influencing public policy and legislation

We participated in two high level initiatives:

  • UNESCO consultation on OERs: we used our recent digital skills research to raise important points on the power of creating content as a means of building digital skills
  • Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market: we wrote to all 73 UK MEPs (and received detailed responses from 12 of them) and participated in discussions with the European advocacy group to push for a measured approach to articles 11 and 13 (case study below).

Our Bloomberg/Mayor of London editathon was covered extensively in the media (e.g.,

In the context of our fake news messaging, John Lubbock secured a comprehensive ‘long read’ independent article about Wikipedia and Wikimedia UK in February. We supplemented this messaging with a blogpost on how journalists should use Wikipedia, and an in-depth article with CILIP.

We also engage with audiences in-depth through public talks - our engagements drew a cumulative audience of over 1800 people. This is an effective way to deliver focused messaging about Wikimedia UK’s work. To name just a few conferences, we were represented at the CILIP Scotland summer conference, and at the Wikimedia & Scottish Higher Education Libraries via the SLIC residency. The National Library of Wales highlighted their work with Wikidata at the Europeana Tech conference in Rotterdam, while Alice White from the Wellcome Trust gave the Keynote Address at the European Society for the History of Human Sciences conference.

Progress towards the plan[edit]

We are very pleased with our metrics performance within advocacy. At the same time, advocacy can be a hard area to predict. Comparing our achievements with the Proposal, there are both some unexpected wins, and a few disappointments. Overall we performed very strongly with our institutional advocacy, securing some very welcome changes. At the same time, it has not been possible to publish the National Library of Wales’ ‘business case for openness’ that we worked on.

On a sector level, the progress with CILIP (the UK library and information association) has been very encouraging and we have collaborated on several initiatives. The collaboration with SLIC has exceeded expectations, and there have been some positive changes in our talks with the main UK cultural funder, HLF.

Our EU work focused around the copyright reform and we were also able to draw on our open knowledge contacts to build an effective advocacy approach. This meant our activity was stronger in this area than originally expected.

Learning and sharing[edit]

Becoming fluent in advocacy messaging is a hard-won skill. We are making sure that our learning in this area is shared within Wikimedia UK and beyond, so that the whole movement can be more effective in promoting open knowledge. There are a few key examples of this work to highlight:

Menter Iaith is a community-based organisation which works to raise the profile of the Welsh language in a specific area. We collaborated with Menter Môn (Anglesey) to run a Wikipedian in Residence project focusing on Welsh in education. This was the first Menter Iaith collaboration. We are using this project to encourage Menter Iaith management to work with open knowledge. Talks have been positive; we also presented at their annual conference. Now many local Menter groups are now planning, or at least considering hosting Wikipedia events.

At the National Library of Wales, Head of Digital Access Dr Dafydd Tudur was invited to help develop the Europeana Impact Play Book. The project aims to develop a framework for demonstrating the impacts of cultural heritage projects. The National Library of Wales was also selected as one of 5 institutions to test the first stages of the playbook and it was agreed to use the library's Wikimedia activities as the bases of the case study. This work is currently underway and will be completed in 2018-2019. There’s a lot of interest within our network of partners in this work, so we expect the knowledge exchange to grow.

We also worked on an individual knowledge transfer project. Unusually, we had a staff change within one of our residencies (Scottish Library and Information Council). This was the first time for us where a residency project was being handed over to another person half way through. We were very mindful not to lose the momentum, contacts, and expertise already built in. The outgoing resident organised a prolonged handover over a month. She put together a handover/handbook resource for the new WIR. The two WIRs also co-presented a number of training and advocacy events. This helped the new resident knowledge share around the aims and objectives of the role. It also allowed individuals in the sector to be introduced to the new resident, to provide a clear link between the two roles, and ensure a continuity of confidence in the role (which is key for advocacy). The outgoing resident also volunteered to sit on the steering group for the residency, which provides a degree of continuity and support to the wider stakeholder group. This was especially important given that the project lead at SLIC had also left during the same month.

WMUK video 2018: What is open knowledge? A short history of copyright

Case studies[edit]

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[edit]


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

Indicator 2016/17 half-year achieved 2017/18 half-year achieved 2018/19 full year target 2018/19 half-year achieved
Participants 325 445 600 819
Newly registered editors 315 104 200 297
Articles added/improved 306 1,003 2,000 3,921
Volunteer hours 3,190 3,730 5,000 4,832
Total audience and reach N/A 477 600 858
Leading volunteers 6 32 40 39
Articles added 16 73 200 142

Background and context[edit]

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

Wikipedia and Information Literacy - Academic Support Librarian Ruth Jenkins, UoE

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.

Highlights of programme activity[edit]

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, running 10 programmes. We are also new courses, including, for example, Art and History at the University of East Anglia, to tie in with our Art+Feminism programme.

We offered deeper support to the programme leaders, and have been steering the courses towards focusing on digital skills (rather than just the course subject). This is to bring the Wikipedia in the Classroom in the UK closer to the focus of our strategic goal in education.

For example, we are also working with the University College London to construct a new ‘Wikimedia in Classroom’ course to start in October 2018. This will form 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.

Building relationships with the research community

We were able to secure funds to continue our Bodleian Libraries residency - its focus became purely researchers and data engagement. Oxford University (of which the Library is a part) has identified a strategic need to make its GLAM collections easier to find, to promote their use in education and research, and to grow public engagement. We were able to tie into this priority and deliver Oxford-wide Wikidata work. This ties in with our 1st strategic goal, as it focuses on giving access to heritage information held in Oxford, especially for learners, researchers, and international audiences. For example, Oxford has a world-leading collection of Astrolabes but only held in PDFs; there is not as yet an interactive way to browse that collection.

Demonstrating how Wikimedia tools can be used to embed open knowledge in education (digital literacy)

Julia Prinsep Stephen, philanthropist, the mother of Virginia Woolf. Now thanks to students in Edinburgh, she has an article on German Wikipedia.

We have delivered a series of pilots in the digital literacy area, responding to the strategic importance of this work. For example, in Sprint we were approached by the Mayor’s office to deliver an editing workshop for London Technology Week. This took place at Bloomberg’s London offices. Our focus was local schools and ways to involve women in tech. This high-profile event offered an opportunity for us to work with a younger audience, training schoolgirls aged 14-15. More than 70 girls received training, and some even created new content. The event was a great success, partly because we delivered induction sessions at schools prior to the main event.

The event gave us great exposure and built a link with Bloomberg. More importantly, it allowed us to develop a valuable connection with the Mayor of London, which we anticipate will lead to more opportunities for training, outreach, and funding.

Schools education has been a focus area of development in Wales. In January 2018 WJEC examination board approved ‘Wikimedia challenges’ as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced and Approved Community Briefs. See below for the case study.

We have worked with some of our key partners to steer their education work towards the digital skills framework. An example is the Edinburgh University. The resident has started to collaborate with the Digital Skills team (previously not connected to the project), and to improve their skills in Wikimedia projects. He also ran Wikidata workshops during the University-wide Festival of creative learning. These placed Wikimedia projects as a powerful vehicle of innovative learning. The resident continues supporting existing internal Wikimedia in Classroom courses and is discussing new leads. The Law Department, for example, is interested in developing research skills and in communicating laws in an accessible way.

Advocating for the inclusion of Wikimedia into education policy and curricula

External video
[Stories of Student Empowerment]

We are able to use our growing body of case studies and pilots to advocate for scale in using Wikipedia for digital skills growth. For instance, earlier this year the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations have released the Essential Digital Skills Framework & Toolkit. We have signed their Digital Participation Charter and we now discussing with them how best to scope our involvement within it. This could include having input into the delivery of the framework and sharing our digital literacy research insight.

We continue to collaborate with Edinburgh University on producing the UK’s first ‘Wikimedia in Education Booklet’. It will highlight our project models, from Wikimedia in Classroom to Wikidata as an educational tool. We want to stress the opportunities for developing the myriad of transferable academic skills e.g. collaborative writing, public engagement, citation skills, rather than writing the Wikipedia articles themselves.

Response to UNESCO Consultation on OER and Sustainable Development Goal 4

WMUK 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 to a knowledge society increases learning effectiveness, especially in a cultural transfer, or reuse of knowledge between different economic and social environments. We stressed the advantages of WM in providing culturally diverse, locally relevant and accessible sources, particularly in the context of our work in minority languages, as well as stressed the need for recognising different types of knowledge 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 and engaged community as opposed to OER professionals only. Wikidata also offers massive potential for supporting linguistic diversity and less-used, under-resourced languages, which should be a key target when considering the recommendations for OER.

Digital Literacy Research - A Framework for Wikimedia

As digital convergence gained prominence, a trend to place them digital skills and competencies on a trajectory to serve a larger, long-term goal (digital citizenship, digital economy, digital entrepreneurship, etc.) has evolved. A research was carried out by WMUK to show that working with Wikimedia projects offers a unique response to this challenge.

The research aimed:

  • To build a strong argument towards stakeholders in the field of digital literacy development (and in OER) on why, how and at what levels WM projects improve the respective skill and competency levels of individuals;
  • To compare the developed framework of skills that are gained via working with WM projects to existing theoretical frameworks on digital skills in the UK and at the international level;
  • To stratify gained skills according to a basic, intermediate and advanced level within the context of Wikimedia projects to be able to develop educational modules corresponding to these levels and to build diversified educational collaborations;
  • To provide concrete examples of collaboration/inclusion of these WM modules into existing initiatives.

The results showed that not only do Wikimedia projects equip individuals with skills in computer and internet use, data and information management, content creation and online collaboration, they also engage them in a project with a global outreach that serves a larger goal - building the largest pool of human knowledge. This adds further benefits to learners and educators alike, gaining key transferable skills for employability, such as a first hand experience in the use of an open educational resource (OER), multicultural experience (tolerance for diversity), the ability to build new learning technology upon existing platforms or dealing with Big Data, to name a few.

External video
[The global knowledge base: open data about everything by Dr. Martin Poulter]

Furthermore, the research explored theoretical links between the research results, the Wikimedia Movement Strategic Direction and the Digital Equity in Education initiative of the Wikimedia Foundation. Based on that, WMUK suggested the development of a framework for the global movement, which includes, next to individual level skills, environmental factors such as access to infrastructure, as educational policies, internet infrastructure, internet penetration rates, etc. Such a framework for digital skill education would allow WM partnering up with highly impactful organizations across the globe that provide access to digital tools and place WM in a position as the provider of the open knowledge and as a contributor of knowledge equity (particularly in regions with low internet penetration rates, no or little access to digital infrastructure and digital education to provide basic skills).

It would also allow for a more strategic approach to the technical development and maintenance of the WM projects which face significant challenges in the near future due to platform and file format diversifications. The educational modules’ content, formats, and language versions will need to follow these rapid changes. This process could be facilitated by encouraging feedback loops within the framework to ensure that those with advanced level digital skills can respond to the ICT development needs of WM projects and educational modules within a strategic educational context.

The proposed framework could bring several further benefits to the movement:

  • Building links between WM, OER and digital and information literacy policies at the global level (particularly through UNESCO and the European Commission, which has frameworks in place for digital and information literacy);
  • Provide a system of comparability of skill levels of different regions and allow for a refined strategy building to arrive at a more just distribution of skill and knowledge;
  • Digital skills education can become a pillar of the infrastructure of open knowledge and OER;
  • Institutional learning and development for WM chapters and user groups;
  • Increased inter-chapter collaboration in the field of education;
  • Capacity for adaptive management in digital skill educational content (as WM projects develop technically, diversify on digital platforms, and integrate new file formats);
  • Collaboration with new stakeholder groups that could generate new forms of support to open knowledge;
  • Increase the number of platforms for fundraising.

Progress towards the plan[edit]

This programme became larger than originally expected, which helped us deliver very strongly both on participants and content metrics. The support we gave to the Wikipedia in the Classroom courses meant that their productivity and size grew. Also, the WiciMon Welsh Baccalaureate programme in schools has been a very successful and well-attended programme. Since it’s a pilot, which weren’t quite sure how it will deliver at the Proposal stage.

Beyond WiciMon, several other potential programmes got confirmed, such as the Bodleian Libraries or Edinburgh University partnerships.

We are pleased to see that our intention of focusing on digital skills is taking shape. We are able to offer meaningful engagement with schools and hope to grow that further. We not only showed the connection of our education programmes to the Sustainable Development Goals but also engaged in depth with the UNESCO consultation on the issue.

Going forward, we will want to focus more on producing resources for education, to ensure that our programmes can scale.

Learning and sharing[edit]

The education programme performed very well in terms of statistics so far. In this context, it is worth noting that we had experienced a challenge in Spring. Our communications and levels of activity from the Wikimedia in Classroom courses were comparatively lower during that term compared to previous periods. This was due to nationwide University strike action taking place throughout March. It offered a clear learning that our programmes don’t run in a vacuum and are dependant on the general context of the education sector in the UK.

Sharing In June we participated in the ‘Academia and Wikipedia’ conference at Maynooth University in Ireland. This was a one-day exploration of research into Wikipedia and its use as a teaching instrument. There were 3 presentations given from the Wikimedia UK community, including case studies from WMUK's influential advocacy within the Welsh curriculum, the University of Edinburgh's replicable WIR model, and the Wellcome Collection's OER's featuring their medical history collections. It was important for us to share what we know with the Irish and the international community.

In terms of more specific learning and innovation, the residency at the Edinburgh University continued to be a focus of our innovative engagement with the higher education. The resident participated in the Digital Day of Ideas panel, discussing the place of any university in the digital society, and the role of arts, humanities, and social science research in the wider discussions surrounding our increasing reliance on the digital. The resident also gave guidance to scholars from the American University in Cairo, Teesside University, Coventry University and Queen's University Belfast, all of whom were seeking collaborations with Wikimedia.

Case studies[edit]

WiciMôn: digital literacy skills at schools

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.

WiciMon Project Logo

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.

Wikidata in the curriculum: developing data literacy and data visualization skills

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.

Wikidata in the Classroom - interview with Data Science for Design MSc students

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:

  • 1. Program: Identify and deploy strategies for writing, understanding and managing computer programs using Python and version control
  • 2. Data: The ability to wrangle, analyse, learn from and visualise a range of data in a number of ways, such as maps, timelines, graphs, bubble charts, data visualisation videos and more, in a way that demonstrates its relevance to particular contexts of enquiry
  • 3. Communicate: Communicate around socially relevant issues, supported by the use of multiple data sources and appropriate analysis
  • 4. Professionalism: Working in collaborative, interdisciplinary teams to a high professional standard.

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 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 167,500 83,750 83,750 167,500 216,137 216,137 N/A
Donations GBP 104,500 48,634 46,372 95,006 134,844 122,593 See below for narrative
Gift Aid Claims GBP 8,500 4,320 3,964 8,284 10,968 10,689 See below
Gifts in kind and other fundraising GBP 85,000 35,031 34,549 69,580 109,681 89,784 Fundraising less successful than anticipated. £65,867 gifts in kind received from partner organisations - mostly WIR salaries
TOTAL GBP 365,500 171,735 168,635 340,370 471,630 439,203 See below

* Provide estimates in US Dollars

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 33,550 14,439 15,594 30,033 43,292 38,754 89.52% Small underspends combined.
Strategic goal 2 GBP 46,025 19,520 21,843 41,362 59,389 53,374 89.87% Spend on the external relations element of SG2 was under budget in Q1 but recovered partially in Q2.
Strategic goal 3 GBP 7,425 3,507 3,543 7,0501 9,581 9,097 94.95% Variance not significant
Fundraising GBP 7,700 3,395 3,469 6,864 9,936 8,857 89.14% Variance not significant
Staff GBP 201,961 85,620 106,499 192,118 260,604 247,905 95.13% New post filled later than budgeted.
Overheads GBP 65,050 28,832 35,719 64,551 83,939 83,295 99.23% Variance not significant
TOTAL GBP 361,711 155,312 186,667 341,979 466,741 441,282 94.55% N/A

* Provide estimates in US Dollars

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

Wikimedia UK’s financial year ends on 31st January and and its Q2 date is 31st July 2018. These figures presented above are currently in draft form. The result at the end of quarter 2 is a small overall deficit of around £1,600 against a budgeted surplus of £3,800, a variance of £5,400. This is a mixture of larger variances on income and expenditure.

Income Variances[edit]

  • At £95,006, donations were under our projected figure of £104,500; however our attrition figure for regular donors has stabilised after last year’s more proactive communications with our individual donors.
  • Progress in other areas of fundraising (mainly major donors and trusts and foundations) remained at a similar level to last year, reflecting the challenging funding environment in the UK currently.

Expenditure Variances[edit]

  • There are small underspends against our strategic goals, which do not concern at this stage as they will be a combination of timing differences and actual savings.
  • Staff costs are under budget because our new Scottish co-ordinator started later than budgeted.
  • Underspends on fundraising and overheads were insignificant.

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 a summary of current financial prospects, and are available upon request for anyone who would like more insight into the organisation’s finances.


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

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

  • Changes (all compliant) are highlighted throughout the report here

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

  • Yes

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

  • Yes


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