Grants:IEG/Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity/Final
Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the Individual Engagement Grantee's 6-month project.
Part 1: The Project
In a few short sentences, give the main highlights of what happened with your project. Please include a few key outcomes or learnings from your project in bullet points, for readers who may not make it all the way through your report.
- Throughout this year, I’ve identified areas in which university students, professors, and librarians can work towards closing the gender gap on Wikipedia. The most exciting of which, is the idea of engaging 1) women in sororities and 2) graduate students to write Wikipedia articles in exchange for service credit, which is required of them by their institution.
- In this new model, students who edit Wikipedia full a need for service credit, but more importantly, they learn information literacy, awareness, writing and research skills while improving Wikipedia
- Throughout this year I’ve tested this model on both groups with success, indicating the ability for future success and the scalable nature of this concept.
- In doing so I’ve been able to increase the number of participants, particularly new and women editors, while increasing and expanding a number of articles about women from West Virginia through the events I organized.
Methods and activities
What did you do in project?
Please list and describe the activities you've undertaken during this grant. Since you already told us about the setup and first 3 months of activities in your midpoint report, feel free to link back to those sections to give your readers the background, rather than repeating yourself here, and mostly focus on what's happened since your midpoint report in this section.
- Since the midpoint, I’ve hosted 6 edit-a-thons, lectured in 5 classes, and had 4 campus-wide speaking events. Also since the midpoint, I attended the GLAM Bootcamp, spoke at the Diversity Conference, served as an organizer and a speaker of WikiConference 2016, and gave a presentation about my work at the WMF Headquarters in San Francisco.
Outcomes and impact
What are the results of your project?
Please discuss the outcomes of your experiments or pilot, telling us what you created or changed (organized, built, grew, etc) as a result of your project.
- There are many professors and groups on campus interested in incorporating Wikipedia in their classroom.
- During the Spring 2017 semester, I helped organize two events during International Open Access Week WVU, which brings awareness to the work that I and others are doing in this area.
- We have several active student groups with a stated focus on social justice, and it has been exciting to reach out to these groups to help them see how writing for Wikipedia relates to their mission.
- Since the midpoint of this grant, a large area of my focus has been the service component of my work. Since many students, including undergraduates involved in Greek life and graduate students with fellowships, have mandatory service requirements, Wikipedia is a natural place for these students to volunteer.
- As such, I’ve recruited students from sororities to write articles about women on Wikipedia to much success. These students have a built in community of support within their sorority and can do this activity together which improves their writing and research skills, increases their knowledge of the gender gap and social issues, and allows them to feel protected in this online activity in the face of potential harassment. Similarly, graduate students are able to focus their volunteer work with Wikipedia by producing high level content that relates to their field of study while conducting research for their dissertation.
- I have been pleased with the level of campus engagement around Wikipedia and am excited to see how these projects will continue to grow.
Progress towards stated goals
Please use the below table to:
- List each of your original measures of success (your targets) from your project plan.
- List the actual outcome that was achieved.
- Explain how your outcome compares with the original target. Did you reach your targets? Why or why not?
|Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
|Increase number of editors writing about women in West Virginia||350 editors||Our goal was to increase editors as much as possible, I have accomplished this within the realistic limitations of one year.|
|Increase number of women editing about women in West Virginia||275||Our goal was to increase editors as much as possible, I have accomplished this within the realistic limitations of one year.|
|Increase number of new editors writing about women in West Virginia||300||Our goal was to increase editors as much as possible, I have accomplished this within the realistic limitations of one year.|
|Increase number of return editors writing about women in West Virginia||30|
|Increase number articles improved or created about women in West Virginia||50||The number of existing articles about women from West Virginia has increased. See below regarding meeting goals.|
Think back to your overall project goals. Do you feel you achieved your goals? Why or why not?
Throughout this project, I do feel that I have achieved many of the initial goals set forth in the grant, in working towards finding a scalable model to close the gender gap on Wikipedia by harnessing the student and librarian population on college campuses. I have focused on changing cultures, bridging cultures, and engaging students, professors, and librarians to use Wikipedia at various levels. While content creation is an important aspect of my work and advocacy, so is dedicated time to discuss the place of Wikipedia in higher education before content creation can occur. For example, if a reference librarian is reluctant to editing Wikipedia, but is open to instruct students who stop at the reference desk about Wikipedia and how to locate resources cited on a particular page in our library, I feel that this is a success because a student is place Wikipedia within the context of his or her academic work and life. Capturing and engaging people first, and content second, as a means of identifying dedicated Wikipedia users and editors, is the way move forward. Creating legitimacy for this new role and Wikipedia in academic departments through campus wide discussions, class visits, and tutorials is the beginning in a continuum of engagement with Wikipedia and editing Wikipedia by these partners.
Furthermore, these results are consistent with that of others within the Wikipedia community looking to both find a scalable model to engage new editors and/or work towards closing the gender gap. Art + Feminism has similarly found that building relationships, which takes more time on the front end of a project, results in increased content production as the project goes on.
We are trying to understand the overall outcomes of the work being funded across all grantees. In addition to the measures of success for your specific program (in above section), please use the table below to let us know how your project contributed to the "Global Metrics." We know that not all projects will have results for each type of metric, so feel free to put "0" as often as necessary.
- Next to each metric, list the actual numerical outcome achieved through this project.
- Where necessary, explain the context behind your outcome. For example, if you were funded for a research project which resulted in 0 new images, your explanation might be "This project focused solely on participation and articles written/improved, the goal was not to collect images."
For more information and a sample, see Global Metrics.
|1. Number of active editors involved||30|
|2. Number of new editors||300|
|3. Number of individuals involved||400||This includes the number of individuals involved that I may or may not have recruited (mentors, administrators, etc.)|
|4. Number of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages||<10||Images were not the main focus of this project. However, we were able to add a few relevant images from our holdings and look forward to adding additional photos.|
|5. Number of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects||50||The number of existing articles about women from West Virginia has increased. See above regarding meeting goals.|
|6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects||Bytes were not tracked||Bytes were not tracked|
- Learning question
- Did your work increase the motivation of contributors, and how do you know?
Indicators of impact
Do you see any indication that your project has had impact towards Wikimedia's strategic priorities? We've provided 3 options below for the strategic priorities that IEG projects are mostly likely to impact. Select one or more that you think are relevant and share any measures of success you have that point to this impact. You might also consider any other kinds of impact you had not anticipated when you planned this project.
Option A: How did you increase participation in one or more Wikimedia projects?
Option B: How did you improve quality on one or more Wikimedia projects?
Option C: How did you increase the reach (readership) of one or more Wikimedia projects?
- I increased the readership of WikiProject Women in Red by encouraging students, professors, and librarians to use this project to 1) to view the gaps on Wikipedia (not just related to West Virginia) 2) to locate relevant articles to write about 3) to find a sense of community for support and retention purposes and 4) to more closely align my work with the mission of this project. My project and WikiProject:Women in Red are natural allies and I tried to facilitate collaboration as much as possible.
Please provide links to all public, online documents and other artifacts that you created during the course of this project. Examples include: meeting notes, participant lists, photos or graphics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, template messages sent to participants, wiki pages, social media (Facebook groups, Twitter accounts), datasets, surveys, questionnaires, code repositories... If possible, include a brief summary with each link.
Social Media: I primarily used these accounts as a means of communicating with the campus population regarding upcoming events, photos, relevant articles about Wikipedia. I was also able to repost much of this information on the WVU Libraries social media accounts as well for even wider readership.
The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you took enough risks in your project to have learned something really interesting! Think about what recommendations you have for others who may follow in your footsteps, and use the below sections to describe what worked and what didn’t.
What worked well
What did you try that was successful and you'd recommend others do? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.
What didn’t work
What did you try that you learned didn't work? What would you think about doing differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.
- Outreach efforts to librarians didn’t work as well as I had hoped they would. I found librarians still somewhat skeptical of Wikipedia. That being said, I have many partners within our library system who are using Wikipedia at various levels (instruction, research, Commons) and this work has potential to move others forward.
- As I move forward, I think the best way to is to bring in the expertise and knowledge of respected librarians who are already involved with Wikipedia as a resource when speaking about ways to work with Wikipedia. This could be done through video lectures, phone calls, campus visits, or simply modeling the work that these librarians have done with librarians here.
If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please list them here.
Next steps and opportunities
Are there opportunities for future growth of this project, or new areas you have uncovered in the course of this grant that could be fruitful for more exploration (either by yourself, or others)? What ideas or suggestions do you have for future projects based on the work you’ve completed? Please list these as short bullet points.
There are many venues for growth based on my findings from the past year in this role. Two major pathways for future success are: 1) Recruiting women in sororities around the country to write Wikipedia articles about women, effectively closing the gender gap state-by-state if we can place infrastructure in large universities, 2) Recruiting graduate students in the book list and dissertation phase of their PhD to write for Wikipedia to fulfill their volunteer requirement to the university, which is usually forty hours per semester. Those graduate students may go on to teach with or write about Wikipedia, potentially influencing a new generation of editors. In the future I want to consider, as a community, ways in which we can begin to embrace community advocates as levers to create change, regardless of their edit count and/or editor standing. My experience demonstrates that community advocates can make an impact even with little or no prior Wikipedia-specific training and editing.
Part 2: The Grant
Please copy and paste the completed table from your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed the actual expenditures compared with what was originally planned. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided to explain them.
|Expense||Approved amount||Actual funds spent||Difference|
|WiR Salary Proportion from WMF Funds (to April 30, 2016)||$27,100||$13,550||$13,550|
|WiR Salary Proportion from WMF Funds (to October 2016)||$27,100||$13,550||$0|
Do you have any unspent funds from the grant?
Please answer yes or no. If yes, list the amount you did not use and explain why.
If you have unspent funds, they must be returned to WMF. Please see the instructions for returning unspent funds and indicate here if this is still in progress, or if this is already completed:
Please answer yes or no. If no, include an explanation.
Confirmation of project status
Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?
Please answer yes or no.
Is your project completed?
Please answer yes or no.
We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what this project has meant to you, or how the experience of being an IEGrantee has gone overall. Is there something that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed, or that you’ll do differently going forward as a result of the IEG experience? Please share it here!
This experience has been an overwhelmingly positive one both for myself, WVU, and I believe for the Wikipedia community. I am hopeful that the work that I have done will continue and can be replicated at other institutions by both current Wikipedians and newcomers alike. The overall objective was to develop a model that can be easily replicated to solve the gender and diversity issues on Wikipedia as they concern editors and content, specifically on college campuses. I’ve enjoyed the ability to work with a wide array of people and institutions, and the freedom that has been provided by both the Wikimedia Foundation and WVU to explore various models for potential success. As the WMF thinks about future grant proposals and strategic planning, I think that this freedom should be pursued for grantees in order to find these potential models as this has proved invaluable for myself and this role. I appreciate the hard work of my mentors, both at WVU and within the WMF and the Wikipedia community. These built in mentors have helped greatly in bridging the cultures of each institution in order to make my work as effective as possible. I absolutely think that built in mentors for grantees is a successful model and can help bring even more editors and ideas into this great community.