Grants:APG/Proposals/2018-2019 round 2/The Centre for Internet and Society/Impact report form
|The Centre for Internet and Society|
|Location||Bangalore (head office)|
|Legal status||Registered non-profit organisation|
|Main office||No. 194, 2nd 'C' Cross, Domlur, 2nd Stage, Bengaluru, 560071 (OpenStreetMap, Google Maps)|
|Other language(s)||Kannada, Hindi|
|Key people||Please see CIS-A2K team|
|Reports||Access to Knowledge reports|
|Phone number||+91 80 4092 6283 (Bangalore office)|
|E-mail address||titocis-india.org (primary contact)|
Access to Knowledge (or A2K) is submitting the "Impact Report" for the work-plan period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. CIS-A2K conducted a series of Wiki-events and activities, which we shall narrate in this report. We will also try to illustrate the impact our work has made with respect to facilitating and extending the work of the Wikimedia communities in India, and add follow-up plans or future ideas with respect of some of our areas of work. The document structure, including its sections and sub-sections, have been created following the instructions at APG report preload.
Centre for Internet and Society
The Centre for Internet & Society (or CIS) is an Indian non-profit (research) organisation. The organisation has its head office in Bangalore, Karnataka. CIS undertakes interdisciplinary research on the internet and digital technologies from policy and academic perspectives. Please see the official CIS at cis-india.org. Please learn more about different programs and initiatives of the organisation such as Accessibility, Openness, Internet Governance, Telecom, Research at Work etc. The yearly reports and audit reports of the organisation may be seen here, and the organisational policies may be read here.
Access to Knowledge
The Access to Knowledge (or A2K) programme works to support Wikimedia and the free-knowledge movement in India. We have been closely working with various Indian-language Wikimedia communities for several years now. A2K has two primary guiding values/principles or objectives—
- Indian languages: We are specially interested in improving content in Indian languages on various Wikimedia projects. We have conducted and supported a large number of initiatives with this primary objective so far.
- Free knowledge: Our other guiding value has been promoting better access to free knowledge content and improving its presence and discoverability on the web.
With these two ideas as guiding values, A2K has been working on annual work-plans to prepare, conduct, and support various events, activities, and initiatives in collaboration with Wikimedians from diverse Indian language communities. We are also immensely grateful towards the hard-working and dedicated Wikimedians, who have been actively building free and open content on Wikimedia for several years. We have learnt a lot from their contributions, their enthusiasm and their collaboration. A2K has been careful and attentive towards supporting these hard-working Wikimedians and this service will continue to be our humble responsibility in the future.
Access to Knowledge (A2K), in the 2019–2020 programme year, conducted and supported several Wiki activities, events, and initiatives. We especially focused on events and activities around Wikisource and Wikidata. After the India Wikisource Community Consultation (IWCC) in November 2018, we conducted the second national-level Wikisource event, which was an advanced training for different experienced and emerging Wikisource language communities in India. 21 Wikimedians from 10 communities participated in the workshop. This workshop was followed up by a national-level proofread-a-thon in May 2020 where more than 20,000 pages were proofread by the participants. We have provided regular support to Wikisource communities and editors through Wikisource help-desk, webinar, social media interaction and 1:1 communication. We have continued to collaborate with Indic TechCom, and provided our feedback and suggestions to create and improve scripts and tools.
Wikidata was also our focused project this year. We have continued to directly support WikiProject India on Wikidata. We have initiated a Wikidata skill-share platform to share skills and knowledge about Wikidata among community members. We have conducted/supported Wikidata workshops and data-thons such as a Sanskrit workshop at Bengaluru, Karnataka in November 2019, Indian scientists data-thon in May 2020 etc. We have worked on Wikidata WikiProject India Newsletter, a quarterly Newsletter that intends to share news and updates about Wikidata India activities. The first edition of the Newsletter was published on 1 October 2019 and two more editions were published before 30 June 2020.
We focused on content donation and content re-license work and reached out to several individuals and organisations for efforts on content donation. 10 authors or copyright holders have re-licensed 63 books and 5 organisations have re-licensed 41 books this year. Most of this content donation was in Maharashtra and we would like to focus on other Indian states in the upcoming year. We have continued working with our existing institutional partners such as Christ University, Vigyan Ashram etc. We have also started working with new institutional partners such as the National Digital Library of India, Shetkari Sanghatana Trust, Jadavpur University, PAH Solapur University etc. We also conducted the seventh iteration of Train-The-Trainer at Mumbai in February 2020. We facilitated a series of workshops in March 2020 during Women's History Month. In the 2019–2020 work plan year, for the first time, we added a research component in the work-plan where some of the team members are working on different short-term research studies related to Wikimedia projects.
This year we continued our collaboration with Punjabi Wikimedians and supported Punjabi Wikisource project. We also got the opportunity to work with other user groups such as West Bengal Wikimedians on various interesting projects. We wanted to focus on the technological development of Wikimedia to support Indic Wikimedians. However, we could not make much progress and a developer could not hired. We also failed to hire a person to oversee communications work which slowed down some of the communications and documentation work of the programme.
A2K's previous proposals may be seen here:
COVID-19 pandemic and our programme:
This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic some of our programmes and activities were directly affected. Following the Wikimedia Foundation's guidelines and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India's instructions we did not conduct any on-ground event between 1 March and 30 June 2020. In keeping with the updated health advisories, and the situation in different parts of India, we have continued to engage with communities online. Some of the on-ground events which could not be conducted included 2 national-level workshops: Advanced Train-the-Trainer (ATTT) and Wikisource Hackathon, a few regional Wiki-events, Punjabi Wikisource book-scanning activity etc. Some fieldwork related to the research case studies, including visits and meetings were also delayed or cancelled. We signed an MoU with the National Digital Library of India, however, the collaborative work could not be started due to delays owing to the pandemic. Similarly, on-ground Wiki activities with other institutional partners such as the Education Programme at Christ University, PAH Solapur University, and digitisation work at Vigyan Ashram had to be suspended.
Between 1 March and 30 June 2020, we worked with communities through online activities such as proofread-a-thon, online training session on heritage documentation, COVID-19 related content creation activities such as edit-a-thon on Kannada Wikipedia and Punjabi Wikipedia. Given the present safety concerns in India owing to the pandemic, and following relevant health advisories by the Government and Wikimedia Foundation, we continue to primarily work with Wikimedia communities online.
In the table below to narrate how our programs contributed to the Grant Metrics.
|Participants||2,841||CIS-A2K's existing and new institutional partners have helped us to achieve these targets as well as the events conducted under Focused Language Area (FLA) and Focused Project Area. Due to COVID-19, we were not able to conduct many events in the work plan and therefore the targets were not achieved completely.|
CIS-A2K events/activities took place in the following cities/places.
|Gender ratio||An aggregate of approx 41% of female Wikimedians have taken part in the events organised by CIS-A2K.||Please see Gender ratio here|
In our proposal we proposed different activities to support Indian language Wikisource projects. Wikisource has been a focused project of A2K for more than two years now. Building on our previous work, and following our proposal, this year we have continued our effort to support and strengthen Wikisource projects and communities in India.
Wikisource Advanced Training 2019
On 11–13 October 2019 we conducted the second iteration of Wiki Advanced Training (WAT) at Pune, Maharashtra. The first iteration of Wiki Advanced Training was conducted in June 2018 at Ranchi, Jharkhand. Every year we select a particular Wikimedia project and the programme provides a platform for advanced training on the project. In 2018, the project we discussed was Wikipedia. In the second iteration Wikisource was the project for advanced training and discussion. 21 Wikilibrarians from 10 language communities (Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil) participated in this workshop. 7 of the the 21 participants identified as women. On the first day of the workshop some of the topics we discussed were: Workflow of Wikisource, OCR process, layout with typography, Wikisource tools such as IA-Upload, Vicuna Uploader, URL2Commons tool, Fill Index Gadget, advance proofreading templates, transclusion. On the second day of the workshop, we arranged a hands-on session or Proofread-a-thon/Transclusion-thon. We also had a session on Library Classification for Wikisource. On the third day of the workshop, we had a session on book scanning demonstration, lead by the Wikimedians of Vigyan Ashram. In another session on the third day User:Omshivaprakash discussed archive.org implementation for Wikisource and various digitisation best practices. He used Kannada Wikisource as a showcase during this training. Another important topic to discuss during the workshop was Wikidata and Wikisource integration. User:Satdeep Gill, with remote support of User:Bodhisattwa (CIS-A2K) discussed FRBR model to integrate data from Wikidata on Wikisource.
- Wiki Advanced Training 2019 was the second national-level on-ground event in India completely dedicated to Wikisource. The first national-level dedicated Wikisource event was Indic Wikisource Community Consultation that took place in November 2018 at Ranchi, India.
- Wiki Advanced Training was conducted in collaboration with Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE), a renowned research & training institution in Maharashtra. This not only helped in getting good in-kind support such as discounted rates of stay etc, but they also helped with their institutional and academic expertise. Head of the library and GIPE digitisation project, Dr. Nana Shewale deliberated upon the basics of library science and methodology for classification on Wikisource projects.
Realising the importance of Wikisource project as free reference library, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE) has collaborated with CIS-A2K in organising TWL conference and Advanced Wikisource Training events. Once again thank you for giving us an opportunity to work with CIS-A2K Team.
In the coming years, searchability of reference material, standard cataloguing and linking of resources across various languages is crucial for multi-disciplinary research projects. I feel that building Indian language Wikisource projects based on customized classification and library science systems is need of an hour. The cataloguing and digitisation projects with libraries to integrate their knowledge resources with Wikimedia projects is also important. Both Prof. Rajas Parchure, Director, GIPE and myself in personal capacity will be happy to extend support for this open knowledge movement in the near future.— Dr. Nanaji Shewale, Librarian (Professor Cadre), GIPE
Learning: For advanced Wiki training, pre-work/preparation plays an important role, although we gave some pre-work to the participants, we could have given more time and effort.
Indic Wikisource Proofread-a-thon
In India there are 12 Wikisource language communities. A2K had the experience of supporting language-specific Wikisource proofreading events such as financially supporting Rabindranath Tagore proofread-a-thon. We wanted to conduct a national-level proofreading event where all communities could work together, and learn from each other's work. The idea of conducting a national-level proofread-a-thon was also discussed during Wiki Advanced Training 2019 while demonstrating Wikisource workflow.
A2K conducted a national level proofread-a-thon contest on 1 May – 10 May 2020. This was one of the on-wiki initiatives we undertook during the COVID-19 lockdown. This was also the first national-level Wikisource on-Wiki event. 10 language communities and 195 Wikimedians participated in the event. Each of the communities prepared their own list of books to proofread. A total of 22,446 pages were proofread. Detailed statistics (including language community statistics) may be seen here.
Follow-up plan: We were delighted to see the positive response from the Wikisource communities in India towards this event. We would like to conduct a second iteration of the national-level proofread-a-thon in the 2020–2021 work-plan year.
Punjabi Wikisource Activity
In mid-2018 A2K started a collaboration with Punjabi Wikimedians to support the Punjabi Wikisource project. In the 2019–2020 work-plan year we have continued working with Punjabi Wikimedians. Our this work was mostly related to book scanning for Punjabi Wikisource. We are using a Scansnap SV600 for scanning, and with support of the members of the Punjabi Wikimedians user group, we found the required books from the local libraries (such as Bhai Kahn Singh Library of Punjabi University Patiala) and local contacts/vendors. Before starting the scanning work, we check the book license and make sure that it is compatible with the free license policy of Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource.
In this programme year, we have scanned and uploaded 34 books which had 7,927 pages altogether.
- 27 books (6,398 pages) uploaded between July–December 2019 may be seen here.
- In January 2020, 6 books (1,239 pages) were uploaded. The books uploaded in this month are: ਤਸਵੀਰ:ਯਰਵਾਦਾ ਮੰਦਰ ਵਿਚੋਂ ਆਸ਼ਰਮ ਸਾਧਨਾਂ, ਤਸਵੀਰ:ਕੱਸਾਕ - ਲਿਉ ਤਾਲਸਤਾਏ, ਤਸਵੀਰ:ਦਿਲ ਖ਼ੁਰਸ਼ੈਦ, ਇੰਡੈਕਸ:ਮੋਇਆਂ ਦੀ ਜਾਗ - ਲਿਉ ਤਾਲਸਤਾਏ - ਪ੍ਰੋ. ਪੂਰਨ ਸਿੰਘ,ਇੰਡੈਕਸ:ਵਗਦੇ ਪਾਣੀ - ਡਾਕਟਰ ਦੀਵਾਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾਲੇਪਾਣੀ, ਇੰਡੈਕਸ:ਨਵੀਆਂ ਸੋਚਾਂ - ਪ੍ਰਿੰਸੀਪਲ ਤੇਜਾ ਸਿੰਘ
- In March 1 book (290 pages) were uploaded: ਇੰਡੈਕਸ:ਮੁਕੱਦਮਾ - ਫ਼ਰਾਂਜ਼ ਕਾਫ਼ਕਾ
- No book was uploaded in the months of February and April–June.
Follow-up plan: In mid-2018 when we started our work on Punjabi Wikisource, one of the primary goals we had was bringing more free-licensed or public-domain books on Wikimedia Commons (and Punjabi Wikisource). In the last 2 years, we have uploaded more than a hundred Punjabi books (this is to note this year we could upload 34 books, in comparison to 71 books in the last programme year). Sometime in the beginning of 2020–2021 work-plan year, we wish to do an assessment with of this work through community consultation/input. As we mostly focused on books scanning in the first 2 years, we would like to work on other areas such as proofreading, Wikisource events, tech-support etc.
A2K has worked with various like-minded institutions, organisations and groups to improve free content on Wikimedia, bring new editors, and to strengthen and support the existing Wikimedia community.
National Digital Library of India
CIS-A2K and Wikimedia Foundation signed a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Digital Library of India (NDLI), a Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India project under its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), in early 2020. NDLI aims to collect and collate metadata and provide full text index from several national and international digital libraries, as well as other relevant sources and also function as a digital repository of textbooks, articles, videos, audiobooks, lectures, simulations, etc. The three parties agreed to—
- integrate Wikisource content on the NDLI website.
- integrate relevant Wikidata content on the NDLI website.
- build up technical infrastructure on the NDLI website to crowd-source metadata curation on Wikidata and proofreading on Wikisource.
- share relevant contents from the NDLI website to be imported to Wikidata and Wikisource.
- develop capacity building activities to better equip Wikimedia communities to support this collaboration.
- share news and interesting updates from the Wikimedia world on their newsletters.
- identify and pursue collaboration opportunities around other Wikimedia projects, such as Wikibooks.
CIS-A2K continued facilitating re-licensing of content by individuals as well as organisations in this programme year as well. We approached several authors, copyright holders as well as organisations for re-licensing their content. This process-oriented activity continued throughout the programme year. Our Program Officer User:Subodh (CIS-A2K) made regular visits to different places in Maharashtra Pune, Satara, Pabal, Ambethan, Mumbai and Nagpur. This year we have signed MoUs with Vigyan Ashram and Shetkari Sanghatana Trust.
In this work-plan year 10 authors or copyright holders have re-licensed 63 books and 5 organisations have re-licensed 41 books. All these 104 books are uploaded on Wikimedia Commons under various categories.
- Content on women's legal & social issues was released by the organisation Lek Ladki Abhiyan. These books are not only being used by different organisations, we have also started seeing an increased interest among other like-minded organisations and institutions to work on the open knowledge platform. We expect to see more content donation and involvement in the future. CIS-A2K is planning a broader project of building a free knowledge repository on content related to women with Lek Ladaki Abhiyan.
- Another non-profit organisation Jnana Prabodhini has uploaded their content on Women empowerment.
- The publishing house Saptahik Vivek Hindustan Prakashan Sanstha released their series of eight encyclopedias which are recently published and are being sold in the market.
- Vigyan Ashram re-licensed their four skill training manuals.
- A non-profit organisation from Vidarbh region of Maharashtra, Vrikshamitra re-licensed valuable reference books on biodiversity, community forest management and forest acts.
- Shetkari Sanghatana Trust has taken initiative to upload first batch of 13 books by Sharad Joshi and two books on Sharad Joshi.
Due to the consistent activity of re-licensing over the last 3 years, a positive outlook towards free knowledge has developed among authors, publishers and organisations. This has made this movement sustainable. These recent and relevant books are attracting users to contribute on Wikisource projects also. A simple manual on re-licensing in local languages has facilitated the spreading of the concept of open access and encouraged more people to consider making their work available under open licenses.
It is the need of the hour that important documents of knowledge should be archived on the digital network not only for present generation to access at any time and from any place of the world but also to keep available for generations to come. The 'Shetkari Sanghatana’ trust was thinking on a scheme to do the same and came into contact with Subodh Kulkarni, representative of CIS-A2K who introduced us the to the Wikimedia projects. Under guidance of CIS-A2K, the trust has re-licensed 13 books by late Sharad Joshi, founder of the farmers organisation Shetkari Sanghatana and a liberal party Swatantra Bharat Paksha. Also Sharad Joshi’s biography by Bhanu Kale and one collection of speeches elaborating ‘thought and method of work’ of the Shetkari Sanghatana were uploaded on Wikimedia Commons. Thanks to CIS-A2K for providing a platform to make available the intellectual property of Sharad Joshi and Shetkari Sanghatana to the world.— Sureshchandra Mhatre, Trustee, Shetkari Sanghatana
- In 2019–2020 almost all of our content donation work was in Maharashtra. In future, we would focus on other states and conduct content donation drives as well.
Collaboration in West Bengal
West Bengal Wikimedians is a user group working around Bengali language Wikimedia projects, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons etc. West Bengal Wikimedians are steadily leading major events in West Bengal in India such as Wiki Loves Monuments, Wikisource proofread-a-thon, photo documentation in districts etc.
We received a request from West Bengal Wikimedians (WBUG) in January 2020 to work with them to build new partnership in West Bengal. Following the request A2K and (WBUG) started exploring partnership opportunities with like-minded organisations and institutions. We had a meeting with Swami Vedtattwananda, Principal of Ved Vidyalaya at Belur Math, Howrah. Some of the plans we started developing were: sharing of digitised content suitable for Sanskrit Wikisource, development of OERs for Sanskrit learning and Orientation programmes for Belur Math and Sanskrit department of the institution. We also had a day-long meeting at the School of Cultural Texts & Records, Jadavpur University. Some of the projects discussed and planned in this meeting were: integrating the book metadata of the archives and library with Wikidata, and uploading copyright-free material such as books, images, audio files already digitised on Wikimedia projects.
In this mission, collaborative projects with Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan were also initiated. CIS-A2K and West Bengal Wikimedians User group (WBG) have jointly submitted a project proposal to Visva-Bharati University after the meeting with officials in Rabindra Bhavana Museum. The major components of the proposal include - Digital documentation of heritage structures in the university campus along with museum collections, online storage and display of digitally documented artifacts and structures in Wikimedia projects and building a long term partnership between the Wikimedia world and the university. In another meeting with officials of Sangit Bhavana, the proposed projects finalised were - digital documentation of the teaching methodology of the departments of Sangit Bhavana, digital documentation of all aspects of Indian classical music and music produced by departments of Sangit Bhavana.
The discussions with the non-profit social organisation, Development Research Communication and Services Centre (DRCSC) were fruitful as they showed interest in releasing their content in the form of training material. The topics of this content include - sustainable agriculture and scientific management of natural resources.
In this mission, various authors were approached for content donation. The discussions were held with three authors, while a re-licensing session was conducted with an author.
Christ (deemed to be university): A2K has been working with Christ (deemed to be university) for several years now. This year also we have continued working with the students (mentored by the faculty members) to support and improve Indian language Wikimedia projects. A certificate course was started at Christ (deemed to be university) as an active step to enable the spread of content writing on Wikipedia in vernacular languages and also to motivate more number of students and create more interest among students community to contribute on Wikimedia platforms.
During the certificate course, students get training for 45 hours which includes on-wiki contribution and discussion with the community members. In this academic year, 30 students took part in the certificate course in Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, Tamil and Sanskrit languages.
This course is designed with the help of the needs assessment of the students. This course has three major components:
- Introduction to Wikipedia - This incorporates the history of online encyclopedias and Wikipedia itself, using sources, choosing and drafting articles and moving articles to the main space.
- How to edit and publish articles - Here, common templates, editing and Wikification of articles, adding content such as tables and references, legal aspects, policies and guidelines, tackling vandalism and tools for producing illustrations are dealt with.
- Wikipedia’s reliability and social significance - Under this component, Wikipedia is discussed in a critical and evaluative manner, where matters such as its ethics, existence as a social community, existence as a democratic project, use by students, teachers, librarians and journalists, criticisms and measures to improve its quality come under the purview.
Alva's college: In this programme year A2K received an invitation from Alva's College, Moodbidri faculty members to support Wikipedia program. The Alva's college Wikipedia programme was already running, and A2K's role was mostly of supporter (financial, trainer, merchandise preparation etc).
- Internship: On 21 February 2020, Wikipedia Internship Training was conducted for the students of Alva's college. This was an Internship programme for the students who are interested to contribute to Wikimedia projects. This was a 60 day-long internship programme where students worked on the set of assigned tasks based on the community needs. This helped students in learning the Wikimedia projects in depth and contribute to Kannada Wikimedia projects, mainly Wikipedia & Wikisource. A total of 18 students from the undergraduate course took part in this programme.
Like Wikisource, Wikidata was also a focused project of the A2K work-plan. Since 2016, A2K gradually started planning events and activities around Wikidata. In 2019–2020 we had a stand-alone work-plan around Wikidata, we also appointed a Wikidata programme person to steer the plan and support the communities in India.
Wikidata skillshare is an initiative started during this programme year to share skills and knowledge about Wikidata among community members. The initiative was started as an easy entry point for new or experienced users who want to learn something new or improve their skills or solve some issues. Wikidata contributors who require some specific skill or knowledge can request the same on the project page as an individual or as a group. People who have the knowledge or skill can respond to their requests and conduct an online or offline session as per feasibility. The CIS-A2K advisor facilitates and arranges for the meetings as required. The initiative aims to reach out to as many contributors as possible, in a budget-friendly manner so that funds for this project are utilised optimally. In the last programme year, 5 offline and 10 online sessions have been conducted in response to requests from 6 women and 6 men editors. Diverse topics from basics to advanced tools were shared with the participants depending upon their requirements. As the requirements came directly from the participants, editor retention was good and learnings were implemented. The initiative was a decentralised and proactive approach to share knowledge about Wikidata while taking care of the exact requirements of the participants, unlike the previous approach we had. Ways to involve old participants as future trainers are to be explored now.
WikiProject India Newsletter
Wikidata WikiProject India Newsletter is a quarterly online newsletter which intends to share news and updates about Wikidata activities in India and/or by Indians editors. It started from 1 October 2019 and is released regularly on a quarterly basis on Wikidata. The major activities around Wikidata in the Indian context happening for three months are presented, with a short one-line summary to describe the achievements, news or updates. A post about the newsletter is shared to the WikiProject India participants and/or newsletter subscribers on their talk page along with wikidata-l and wikimediaindia-l mailing lists. It is a challenging task to track Wikidata activities happening around the country, which requires close communication among different Indian communities operating in different parts of the country. The process on how to do that more efficiently is still evolving.
Sanskrit Wikisource and Wikidata workshop
A 2-day workshop was conducted on Wikisource and Wikidata for Sanskrit Wikimedians on 30 November 2019 and 1 December 2019 at Aksharam, Samskrita Bharati, Bengaluru. Sanskrit Wikisource has a lot of potential to become a resourceful website, but still it has not seen much growth. The aim of the workshop was to bring the community to the same page with other Indic Wikisource projects and train the participants to work more efficiently on the projects. One day each was allotted for Wikisource and Wikidata. On the first day, copyright of books along with uploading, OCR and other tools were discussed extensively. On the second day, the main focus was to learn Wikidata in relation to Wikisource. To do that, the basics of Wikidata, WikiProject Books (specially FRBR modelling of books), SPARQL query etc. were discussed. Both the days had hands-on sessions. CIS-A2K supported the event by sending resource persons who conducted the workshops. The workshop was the first attempt to involve the Sanskrit community to learn about Wikidata. Most of the participants had not edited on the project ever before and the workshop was presented in such a way to the participants so that they could get a glimpse of the potential of Wikidata. There were some activities from the participants after the workshop ended. It was quite an experience to explore the areas where Wikidata as a technical marvel can synchronise with the rich cultural heritage of Sanskrit language and its history.
Indian scientists datathon
Indian scientists datathon was conducted in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic from 22 May 2020 to 24 May 2020 on Wikidata to fill the huge data gap related to Indian scientists, especially those who are on the forefront of COVID-19 research, as much as possible. Task-lists were created prioritising researchers working on COVID-19 in leading research institutes of the country like National Institute of Virology, AIIMS, New Delhi etc. A total 18 participants enrolled to participate in the datathon, 7 of them were women. New items about scientists were created, but more work was done to link scholarly articles with the researchers, which is evident from the graphs generated for National Institute of Virology scientists before and after the datathon. The datathon was the first attempt by any Indian Wikidata community to work on researchers and scholarly articles in an organised manner. As the area requires specific skills, the event did not get much participation from volunteers but even after that, good quality edits were made to fill the data gaps in the area as much as possible within the short span of the event.
The research component of the APG 2019–20 was introduced with the broad objective of identifying and developing a better understanding of specific knowledge gaps within Indian language Wikipedia communities in the areas of content creation, participation, access and wider public outreach to name a few. This is also based on feedback from the foundation on exploring new areas of work and need for capacity-building in the team by drawing upon expertise available with other research programmes at CIS. This year, six short-term research studies were undertaken by team members, as follows:
As illustrated by the topics, the research studies are closely aligned with continuing areas of work, like the gender gap in Indian Wikimedia communities, creating multilingual and open educational platforms and resources, and efforts and challenges with content creation, access and outreach in specific language communities. Team members worked on framing specific research questions on these topics, as well as identifying suitable methods and expected outputs. The studies have included a mix of various methods, including interviews, surveys, desk research and focused group discussions. The projects are presently in various stages of consolidating observations and analyses, internal peer review and finalisation, and learnings will soon to be shared in the form of essays, reports and blog posts. In the interest of making this work more accessible across communities, most if not all research outputs will be available as translations in the languages of their study/contexts of inquiry.
Short updates on a few of the research studies are as follows:
Mapping GLAM in Maharashtra
This research comprised of a study of seven GLAM institutions located in two districts (Pune and Kolhapur) in Maharashtra, with the support of three active Wikimedians. The main objective was to document digitisation efforts, views towards making collections free & open, institutional challenges and opportunities. The methods for the study included desk research to identify major GLAM institutions across the state and their online online presence, and data collection from seven key institutions through a survey and field visits to document information related to the history and objectives of institutions, archival management practices, resources and challenges, future digitisation plans and potential collaborative projects. The volunteers also created Wikipedia articles and image galleries in Wikimedia Commons. The analysis of data and discussions lead to set of recommendations for different stakeholders such as volunteers, GLAM institutions, facilitating organisations and Wikimedia affiliates. These include several learnings on the need for awareness of copyright and open licenses, training resources in local languages, streamlined digitisation practices and better collaboration with policy makers to foster collaborative work in the sector.
Through GLAM mapping research study, I got an opportunity to explore various institutions. It helped me to grow as a researcher as well as a Wikimedian. I dealt with museums having collections related to Indian History and Culture. During the interviews, I learnt many aspects of open data, ancient books and antiquities from the key resource persons. I strongly felt the digitisation of this treasure and making it openly accessible to the public through Wikimedia projects. This will give new dimensions to the research and studies regarding the history to future generations. I am hoping for such collaborative work with CIS as well as Wikimedia Foundation in near future.
Bridging the Gender Gap in Indian language Wikimedia Communities
The main objective of this research was to understand the prevalence of a gender-based gap/bias in participation and content creation in Indian language Wikimedia communities. The study focused on three thematic areas, namely the engagement of women in online and offline spaces in different ways, challenges which contribute to a gap in the content created by/about women on Wikimedia projects, and strategies for sustained participation. As part of this study, 15 interviews were conducted with women Wikimedia contributors from 11 different Indian languages. 2 Focused Group Discussions(FGDs) were also conducted with women participants at Wikipedia community events. The process involved discussions on nature of contributions, understanding of gender gap and bias, safe spaces, accessibility, sustainable participation and community health. The observations from these discussions offered several learnings on policies and strategies for engagement in online and offline participation by women, resources for training, awareness and outreach, and need for visibility and recognition of work done by women on Wikimedia
Understanding the Data Gaps in Wikidata on Heritage Structures in West Bengal
A short research study was conducted to understand challenges related to gaps on Wikidata concerning heritage structures in West Bengal, and strategies for addressing the same. The study was undertaken between November 2019 and February 2020. SPARQL-based queries in the Wikidata Query Service were used to identify gaps within the dataset related to heritage structures in West Bengal generated by the local community. Interviews were also conducted with people who were involved in the process of such data generation to understand the reasons behind these data gaps and identify and develop strategies to significantly reduce them in future. The learnings from the research offered important insights into the reasons for these data gaps, which included infrastructural issues such as lack of proper hardware required for documentation, and the need for better training to generate and curate good quality datasets. These steps would therefore aid in better discoverability of cultural heritage content through Wikimedia platforms.
Case Study on Wikimedia in Education
This short study of the education programme at Christ (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru, was undertaken between October 2019 to April 2020 to understand better some of the important aspects of the programme, including motivations, challenges and impact over the last several years. The methods for the study comprised of semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, namely students, faculty and community members along with the use of a detailed questionnaire. The research mainly focused on the use of Wikimedia in the classroom and its challenges and possibilities. The analysis of data collected offered some interesting learnings on the structural aspects and changes in the programme over the last few years. It also presented some important observations on the need for skill-building with respect to faculty members and students, and ways of rethinking pedagogic strategies for using open educational resources and collaborative platforms like Wikimedia in regional languages.
In addition to the above, research studies were also undertaken on—
- Understanding knowledge gaps in content creation on Punjabi Wikipedia, and
- comparative analysis of two article creation campaigns, Wikipedia Asian Month and Project Tiger.
Final reports/essays/blog posts on all the above projects will be published between October–December 2020. Developing the research projects over the course of this year has been a learning experience, with several interesting observations and specific challenges. The lack of existing research on several areas of Wikimedia in the Indian context has been a limitation in many ways, offering little in terms of available knowledge and best practices to work with. Given the diverse interests, location and skills of team members, the research studies were also developed and modified to build on existing capacities within the team, and its learnings from previous years of working with various language communities. Capacity-building on research design, methods, fieldwork and documentation was mostly done through individual supervision and collaborative work. While some efforts were undertaken to upscale these efforts, for example through sessions with community members at team events, it was observed that initiatives in research capacity building for communities need to be designed better with a relevant needs assessment conducted for the same. Similarly, another important learning has been with respect to the need for understanding the long-term outcomes of undertaking research on Wikimedia projects, and its relevance to other areas of the free knowledge movement, apart from a focus on short-term impact.
In this section we'll talk about some other major/important events, programmes, and activities conducted in this work-pan year.
Train the trainer 2020 is an annual residential training programme that attempts to groom leadership skills among Indian Wikimedia community members. TTT was conducted in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 previously. Train the Trainer 2020 was the seventh iteration of the programme and was conducted at the Uttan of Mumbai on 28 February to 1 March 2020 (while 27 March was considered as Day 0). A total of 24 participants participated in the workshop, out of which 23 Wikimedians (15 men, 8 women from 13 communities) attended the programme.
The schedule of the programme was designed as per the needs spelt out by participants in the application forms. On 27 February, during the inauguration, Marathi Language day was celebrated by participants by lighting lamps for all the Indian languages. On 28 February (day 1), the participants were divided into five groups, and the groups worked together during the TTT.
Some of the topics discussed during TTT 2020 included:
- Ongoing activities: Discussion and presentation of ongoing events and activities by communities, best practices for conducting Wiki-events and discussions on specific themes such as gender gap on Wikimedia.
- Monument documentation session: Dr. Suraj Pandit, an archaeologist working on Kanheri caves, presented a session on the process & importance of factual knowledge creation and documenting monuments.
- Wikimedia Strategy 2030: Presentation and discussion on Wikimedia Strategy 2030, the working groups, and the progress by the end of February 2020.
- Revolving café: Revolving café training sessions on Copyrights, Wikidata, Wikisource and Research & Documentation.
- Participant's presentations: Presentation on Wikisource, pseudoscience and fake news affects Wikipedia and identifying reliable sources, Wikivoyage introduction etc.
TTT 2020 was indeed a great experience. The training programme was well designed. All the sessions were conducted systematically. All the trainers were very friendly to us. The enthusiasm showed by the participants was great. I'm sure they would continue to contribute to the projects in the coming years. The sessions went smoothly without any hiccups. Other arrangements like food, accommodation were good too. The photo documentation walk was well organised and all our time was well utilized. The talk by archaeologist Dr. Suraj Pandit was also very informative. During the cultural programme we enjoyed a lot. In future, kindly try to organise the workshop for a week so that we can go through each and every points about the various Wikimedia projects.
A2K Requests page
A2K maintains a Requests page to support the Wiki-activities and events conducted by the Indic Wikimedia communities This support includes financial, non-financial & Technical requests from the communities. The request page is open throughout the year for community members but due to COVID-19, it was closed from 13 March 2020 till further notice.
The request page was open to all the Indic Wikimedians from 1 July 2019 to 13 March 2020, due to COVID-19, support for on-ground event was stopped in the month March following the instructions given by the Wikimedia Foundation. This programme year we have received 13 financial and one non-financial requests.
- Wiki Loves Monuments 2019 in India: West Bengal Wikimedians User group organised the Wiki Loves Monuments 2019 in India (WLM) for the second year in a row. Since WLM is an International level event, it is important for the Indian community to take part in it. As the initiative was taken by West Bengal Wikimedians to provide an opportunity for Indic Wikimedians to be part of this, CIS-A2K supported them financially to provide gift cards and T-shirts for the top ten contributors of the event. This was one of the major events where 6,371 images were uploaded on Wikimedia Commons.
- Tamil Wikisource Edit-a-thon for School students: Tamil Wikimedians organised Wikisource proofreading events for the School students of Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu. Total of 26 students took part in the event and contributed to Wikisource with the help of experienced contributors. This event was a direct output of the Wikimedia Education SAARC conference held in 2019.
In March–April 2020, during the lockdown in India, we conducted online edit-a-thons on Kannada Wikipedia and Punjabi Wikipedia. The theme of the edit-a-thon was COVID-19 and related topics and the objective of the event was to create and improve content related to the pandemic in Indian languages. The Kannada-language edit-a-thon ran for 15 days and 80 articles were created or improved. 16 Wikimedians participated in the Punjabi-language edit-a-thon and 56 articles were created/improved.
Impact made: We believe the initiative helped to bring more content related to the pandemic on Wikipedia in Indian languages for the readers.
Follow-up plan: We do not have plan to conduct a second iteration of COVID-19 pandemic, however we'll continue to conduct/support edit-a-thons om various topics and themes.
Photo-documentation in Maharashtra
We have worked on photo documentation by arranging activities like photowalks. Collaborative efforts with various organisations and individuals were taken to document thematic content on Wikimedia Commons. Photo documentation themes included – women’s issues, floods, science & technology, diminishing handicrafts, monuments and heritage places. Various thematic events were conducted in different places like Pune, Satara, Nashik, Sangli, Pabal, Ichalkaranji, Uttan and Rajgurunagar.
CIS-A2K facilitated institutional partner Vigyan Ashram’s initiative to document the science and technology-related content in their campus. The training of new Wikimedians was done by experienced users.
- Photothon at Vigyan Ashram Fab Lab
- Photothon at Vigyan Ashram Tissue Culture laboratory
- Women History Month Photothon on Science & Technology at Vigyan Ashram, Pabal
- Face shields production during the COVID-19 pandemic at Vigyan Ashram
CIS-A2K conducted two innovative events to document the skills and lifestyles of coppersmith and fisherman communities. One event was conducted in Pune with active participation of two Wikimedians. All the participants of TTT2020 documented the activities of the fisherman community around Uttan beach.
- Photo Documentation of fisherman community in Uttan, Mumbai
- Photo Documentation of Coppersmith community in Tambat Aali, Pune
Three women Wikimedians from Pune worked on documentation of GLAM institutions and heritage structures.
As a part of the Women's History Month events, Jnana Prabodhini documented women at work in rural & urban areas. Another organisation working in flood affected areas uploaded images of the flood in Sangli district of Maharashtra.
These thematic photo documentation projects created valuable and diverse content on Wikimedia Commons. This concept has motivated the Wikimedians involved to take up more of such focused projects.
Women's History Month
A2K facilitated various events lead by women in the month of March. A total of 46 women Wikimedians actively contributed to three Wikipedia events and two photo documentation events. The events were conducted at Pune, Satara and Pabal.
The active women Wikimedians in Maharashtra state took the initiative to organise these Wiki events. The thematic workshops were conducted after sufficient preparatory work on articles and listing. Organisations like Lek Ladki Abhiyan, Saptahik Vivek, Samuchit Enviro-tech & Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited extended support by providing reference material and resources to the Wikimedians during the event. Event pages on Marathi Wikipedia may be seen at:
- Women's biography writing workshop
- Women's workshop on Climate change
- Women's workshop on 'Laws for women'
The books uploaded by Lek Ladaki Abhiyan may be seen here.
The events were important efforts in terms of bridging the gender gap related to content as well as participation on Wikimedia. The organisations have now adopted this open knowledge creation activity as a standing feature of Women's History Month events. This has made this activity sustainable and self-sufficient. As women are leading the events, more and more women have expressed their readiness to contribute in various areas. Hence, there was diversity in themes e.g. Science & Technology, Climate change etc. apart from gender issues.
Events lead by women invite more participation of women. Women not only wish to contribute content related to gender, but a variety of issues.
When I first came to know about the very low participation of women in the Wikipedia project in general, and Wikipedia Marathi project in particular, I felt that this needs to be rectified. I had also noticed that environment and climate change are topics that do not have much resources in Marathi Wikipedia. Therefore I proposed that we should do a women lead effort to increase the content on Climate Change specifically. It was great to have the support of MKCL for this one day workshop. It was a bit challenging as majority of the participants had a lot of enthusiasm, but no experience of contributing to Wikipedia. There were a few experienced Wikipedians, and a few occasional ones, like myself! We tried to help each other and a few articles have been added as a result. I think more importantly several potential women wikipedians got an initial exposure to the process. We were hoping to do a follow up workshop focused mainly on the technical aspects of writing Wikis, but unfortunately, COVID-19 and lockdowns have interfered in that plan.— Dr. Priyadarshini Karve, Director, Samuchit Enviro Tech
Wikiorientation at G. R. Damodharan college
A Wiki-orientation was conducted at Dr. G. R. Damodharan College of Science at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, on 6–7 December 2019. The session was attended by 350 students from the Arts and Science department of the institution, 50% of which were women. The participants were introduced to projects on Wikimedia which have focused on content by/about women viz., Women in Red Women In Red, WikiLoves Women, Wiki Women for Women Well Being (WWWW) etc. This session was part of "Hour of Code", an International event celebrated across the globe to encourage students to develop their knowledge of Computer Science. The main objective of the session was to create awareness among students about the areas of Wiki they can work on and also to gather feedback on the research study on bridging the gender gap on Wikimedia which is currently in progress.
- No follow-up activity has been planned with this institution as of 30 June 2020.
Revenues received during this period
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 ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan WMF INR 15,167,040 98,70,927.70 - 52,91,569.30 - 15,162,497 213,551.9 213,487.95
- CIS-A2K received 100% funding as per the recommendation of FDC. However, INR 1,025,965.70 was unspent in the previous grant period that amount we added in the Q1.
- INR 4,543 was charged by the bank as bank transaction fees.
* Provide estimates in US Dollars
Table 2 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ 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 Volunteer support INR 108,000 - 26,000 - 48,000 74,000 1,520.6 1,041.9 Travel & Stay INR 90,000 - 70,000 - 16,000 86,000 1,267.2 1210.8 Event organisation and logistics INR 112,200 - 33,500 - 109,500 143,000 1,579.78 2013.4
* Provide estimates in US Dollars
Spending during this period
- Spreadsheet: An excel/spreadsheet file with expense details may be seen here (the file is hosted on Google Docs)
- Utilisation certificate: Please find the signed Utilisation Certificate here.
Is your organisation compliant with the terms outlined in the grant agreement?
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.
- No changes from the grant agreement.
Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".
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".
Once complete, please sign below with the usual four tildes.
- This includes only the state languages where CIS have offices. It definitely does not mention the language communities we are serving. CIS promotes diversity and inclusiveness, and respects all languages of the country.
- This list does not include "supported events" venues.
- Pabal is in the neighbourhood of Pune city, however it comes under a separate administration, and is not a part of Pune city, that's why we have counted it as a separate footprint.
- A Wikimedian who edits or contributes to Wikisource