Wikimedians in Residence
A Wikimedian in Residence is a Wikimedia editor who takes a position as resident Wikimedian within a GLAM institution in order to develop cooperations between the institution and Wikimedia projects. Activities can run the gamut of GLAM cooperations including a residents activities to:
- Facilitating Discovery / Facilitating Photographs (e.g., visits, guided tours, back stage passes)
- Content Release Partnerships (e.g., image, multimedia, or other document/text releases under open license)
- Digitization (e.g., uploading or scanning GLAM content to liberate documents and images)
- Article Improvement drives (e.g., Improving articles of GLAM collections, referencing Wikipedia articles with GLAM content Writing contests, Edit-a-thons
- Wikipedia Content Displays (e.g., QRpedia, Wikipedia articles in exhibitions)
- Capacity Building (e.g., Wikipedia/Wikimedia training for GLAM staff and volunteers; GLAM-Wiki conferences directed at professionals; GLAMCamps to foster the exchange / improve the coordination among Wikimedians)
See GLAM Activities and Model Projects
The first Wikimedian in Residence, which was called a Wikipedian in Residence, took place in 2010. Wikipedia editor Liam Wyatt spent five weeks as an official volunteer at the British Museum. Later in 2010, Lori Phillips became the second at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and as of the writing of this report, continues in her residency duties there. According to the WIR page on Outreach Wiki, there have been 93 Wikimedians in Residence across six continents as of October 2015, 31 of which were active.
Residence Length and Commitment
Residencies lasted between 1 and 64 months (5.3 years), with an average of 7 months. Wikimedia UK found that residencies were more effective if they lasted more than 6 months (for smaller institutions) to 9-12 months (for larger institutions), among the WiRs in the UK. Residencies may be more effective if they are part time over a longer period, if institutional cultural change is part of the goal, in order to give the institution time to adjust.
Different goals and styles of residencies led to different levels of participation. Goals include assisting in appropriately licensing and uploading media or initiating an ongoing GLAM partnership. Some residencies may involve training staff or inviting Wikipedians for an editathon to digitize and upload content. See evaluation of GLAM for some broad goals and exemplars on this work.
Thirty-one residencies were supported in part by a WMF grantee's programatic work, but we do not know how many residencies were funded or unfunded over all.
The data on outcomes across different WIR programs is not easily attainable, so we do not describe the different results in this report. We present the data reported and mined in the appendix. In addition, last year Wikimedia UK reported a retrospective of WIR programs in which they had participated, including formats and possible impact.