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Grants:IdeaLab/Populate Wikipedia's Days of the Year with links to more women

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Populate Wikipedia's Days of the Year with links to more women
Wikipedia's Days of the Year pages are used by many people to get a snapshot of history on a particular day. The events, births, and deaths listed are disproportionately about men. I propose a project that makes a concerted effort to add the accomplishments and achievements of women.
amount20,000 USD
idea creator
project manager
Natalie Bueno Vasquez
this project needs...
community organizer
created on23:05, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Get more female representation in a popular section of Wikipedia by enlisting the help of editors of any gender to build these segments out in a constructive way.

What is your solution?[edit]

Work with the WikiProject Women's History to add "working on adding women to the Days of the Year pages" as an additional How You Can Help option. This is a very low-skills, low risk but also high visibility task for people to take on who may not be entirely comfortable or confident with adding content directly to Wikipedia.

Would like to do some assessment of before/after to see what we've been able to accomplish.

I've been starting to make these edits and adding DOTY project addition in the notes so I can track my own contributions, fwiw.

@Jessamyn: That's great! Can you put a list of the pages you've edited on the proposal talk page? Natalie Bueno Vasquez (talk) 17:53, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
@Shir-El too: Hi, and thanks! If you've made edits, can you list them on proposal talk page? Natalie Bueno Vasquez (talk) 17:53, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

As for the calendar request, I've added the months template to the proposal talk page as well. Natalie Bueno Vasquez (talk) 17:53, 20 March 2015 (UTC)


  • When we have enough momentum, we'll create an active WikiProject page.

If you want to edit right away, great! Just let us know on the talk page so we can track the progress.

Get Involved[edit]


  • Project manager I'd like to organize tasks and goals, to make it simple for people to say, "Hey, I did this thing and it was easy." Natalie Bueno Vasquez (talk) 03:05, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Project proposal made 3/16/2015: [| Women In Days of the Year]

  • Researcher Fully support and willing to do research. Robinjbr-sau (talk) 20:37, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

-- I'd like to contribute with research information. LorenaBee (talk) 17:13, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Volunteer I would like to propose adding dates to the calendar, if someone would show me how to do it. For Example, the last page I visited was Ruby Keeler on Wikipedia. She was the Candadian born star of one of the most famous musical movies of all time, "42nd Street," as well as the third wife of Al Jolson. Shir-El too 20:38, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Volunteer Can talk people through getting started. Jessamyn (talk) 00:57, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
@Robinjbr-sau: and @LorenaBee:: Hi, and thanks! I've added a calendar to the proposal talk page. There's a section to add famous women who do not appear on days of the year if you don't want to edit pages. If you need assistance with making these additions, please let us know. Natalie Bueno Vasquez (talk) 17:59, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Volunteer Just let me know what you need :) Sistachica978 (talk) 21:52, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
@Sistachica978: Hi, and thanks! Right now we're gathering folks together and starting to gather information on women to be added. We need to spread the word, start researching, and get going.


  • Excellent idea! Agreed that some before/after stats would be really useful. Skud (WMF) (talk) 00:30, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I think this is a great idea, it will begin to address the bias and seems easily actionable without significantly changing Wikipedia Annaqui (talk) 15:04, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Per the comments above: this seems to be a great way to diversify our materials for that section, especially considering how euro-centric and military-political history focused those sections tend to be Sadads (talk) 18:26, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Because it's something that any Wikipedian can do without too much more effort. From now on, each time I visit the page of a notable woman, I'll try to add a date to the calendar. Shir-El too 20:18, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Easily scalable to different languages, good to involve wider community. However, this probably does not need 20K USD project manager, but more likely a bot owner who will generate lists of women related to a particular day of the year for different languages (what links here, search on Wikidata, search in Wikipedia database — e.g. all article that contain "26 March" etc.) — NickK (talk) 02:32, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Expand your idea[edit]

Do you want to submit your idea for funding from the Wikimedia Foundation?

Expand your idea into a grant proposal

Project plan[edit]


I propose initially a six month project, in which we analyze a month of days one month, then edit those days the next month.

It would look like this:

  • April: Analyze May, gather information on notable women.
  • May: Edit May, analyze June
  • June: edit June, analyze July
  • July: edit July, analyze August
  • August: edit August, analyze September
  • September: edit September, analyze progress, report. If there's momentum, analyze October and extend the project.


  • Gather information on women who
  1. are the subject of Wikipedia pages
  2. have listed dates of birth and death
  3. not already listed on a DOTY page
  • Edit days of the year with the births, deaths and sufficiently notable achievements/events of women who meet the above criteria

May-September: Repeat the above, but begin collecting information on the men/women ratio after edits have been accepted.

What analysis would look like

The original idea was two compare and contrast the number of men and women listed on a particular day of the year twice: once before, and then after a few months of edits. We would do this to assess the projects impact.

What I've found is that it's extremely tedious to count these up by hand. I'm looking at ways to automate it, but I don't think this will be a major feature of the project unless someone really has a lot of time on their hands.

For now, I will pick a day and analyze it, probably at the rate of one or two days per week. I'll use the date for promotional and later on as progress reports for spreading the word on the project to attract editors.

The schedule above was only for reference, but it looks unworkable at this time.


Project manager, six months (20 hrs/week): 20,000 USD

Time spent on

  • recruitment
  • organizing people and data
  • liaising with related projects, Women in History, DOTY project
  • analysis

Community engagement[edit]

We'll initially rely on social media and on existing online communities to recruit people who are active online but who may not be active in Wikipedia. We have volunteers who are willing to talk people through simple edits and getting engaged.

We'll provide the online project space where people can discuss the project and enter information to be added to Wikipedia if they are not comfortable editing Wikipedia directly.

Engagement activities[edit]

Recruiting editors and researchers:

  • Contact all who have expressed an interest in this project via their talk pages: finish by 4-10-2015
Done. No replies back yet. Will ping again.
  • Contact related projects, Women's History and Days Of The Year via their talk pages: done, awaiting feedback. If none by 4-13-2015, look at more direct contact of subprojects
  • Publicize the project via personal Facebook and Twitter and other social media: by 4-10-2015
Done, though more could be done in this area. There is no Learning Pattern for utilizing social media. If I learn anything, I may submit content.
    • There are many special interest groups and pages on Facebook and Twitter and other social platforms. I will reach out to the admins to see if they are interested in publicizing the project and/or if they will allow me to recruit.
    • I expect that the response rate will be equivalent to a direct mail campaign: very low. However, interest is interest. People tend to take at least take a look at what their friends are doing in the virtual world as well as the real world.
  • Reach out to Wikipedia Projects to publicize the project via their online presence: by 4-13-2015
Done, got some feedback. Not sure how to proceed further.
This might not be an appropriate post for Projects until it is well underway. Projects FAQ
Organizing work[edit]

There are three major activities:

  1. Finding women to be added
  2. Adding their information to the appropriate places in the Days of the Year
  3. Analyzing the impact of the project

Analysis of impact is the toughest part. I will be reaching out to the WikiProject Council for advice on how to do it better. Simply analyzing two days on Wikipedia took the better part of two hours. I'm not sure how it could be automated except to have some sort of script run on versions accepted at different dates.


Hopefully we'll have built up momentum to keep going through the next six months of the year.

Measures of success[edit]

Each month will be analyzed for the number of women listed before vs after concerted editing by the project participants.

We'll also assess other Wikipedia pages concerned with specific months or days or years for the addition of more women.

Project team[edit]

Natalie Bueno Vasquez: I'm a project manager and technical support manager. I've built private MediaWiki sites for work and I greatly enjoy the simple power and flexibility of the software.

Community notification[edit]

Topic added to Women's History talk page

Topic added to Days of the Year Talk Page

Topic added to the correct DOY talk page

Topic added to WikiProject Council Talk Page [1]

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