Grants:Project/Astronomy Outreach and Translation with Wikipedia

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statusnot selected
Astronomy Outreach and Translation with Wikipedia
summaryThis project aims at translating and reviewing astronomy-related content on Wikipedia to improve the number of Wikipedia editosr, the language availability of astronomy-related content as well as the quality of scientific information on Wikipedia. This project will be led using the Astronomy Translation Network (an International Astronomical Union Office for Astronomy Outreach project) team of managers and volunteers.
targetAstronomy-related content on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects (Wiktionary, Wikisource, etc)
amount67,500 USD
advisor• [[User:Lina Canas: Assistant Outreach Coordinator for the OAO

Advisor for the Astronomy Translation Project Community Manager, Project Manager, Astronomy & Geophysics background, Science Outreach, Astronomy Education|Lina Canas: Assistant Outreach Coordinator for the OAO Advisor for the Astronomy Translation Project

Community Manager, Project Manager, Astronomy & Geophysics background, Science Outreach, Astronomy Education]]
Hidehiko Agata: OAO’s Supervising DirectorYukiko Shibata: Founder of the Astronomy Translation Network and former Project Manager, International Outreach Officer for the OAOHaruka Suzuki: OAO intern in graphic designSze-Leung Cheung, International Outreach Coordinator for the OAO
contact• eurastride(_AT_)•
organization• IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO)
this project needs...
created on14:03, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

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

What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Wikipedia is one of the first tool used worldwide to acquire fast and comprehensive information for any given subject, including astronomy and astronomy-related fields. As the “first window to knowledge”, Wikipedia is not only used by the general public but can also be an important resource for science teachers and educators as well as science students.

However the quality control of Wikipedia content, especially when perceived by experts, is still an issue -- being sidelined and sometimes disregarded as a truly reliable source. Yet scientifically precise, accurate and up-to-date information on the latest theories and discoveries in science, specifically in astronomy and space science, are of use not only to improve astronomy education but also to enhance outreach with communities all around the world. Ensuring clear and trustworthy information for the Wikipedia audience can be a useful tool to push back against the sensationalization of science news, which can in turn fuel misconceptions and misunderstandings among the public.

Additionally this valuable information is available worldwide mostly only in English, impairing non-English speakers researchers, teachers and students around the world from having access to high-quality material in their native language. A part of the world population is therefore not only left behind in terms of access to astronomy knowledge, but also in terms of awareness of the resources that exist online (Wikipedia and other Wiki-related contents for example).

One of the focus area of the IAU 2020-2030 Strategic Goals is science education. As a project endorsed by the IAU, having the opportunity to translate Wikipedia content will not only improve awareness of Wikipedia as a resource in student communities all around the world but will also improve fair and global access to astronomy educational material in native languages, which has been proven by multiple studies to be an effective way to get students more active and interested in STEM fields, and even more specifically with female students.

While this project will focus on these two key issues (with insistence on improving the first one), we are also aware of the impact that our project can have on other “satellite-problems”, one of which is the issue of inclusivity and diversity in science and in astronomy. Still today, women and minorities are misrepresented in all fields of science. This problem is not only one of unfair representation and injustice, but can also have great impacts on economy, sociology, and research.

What is your solution to this problem?[edit]

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

The two main issues listed above will be solved by recruiting volunteers to carry out scientific review and translation tasks.

These volunteers will be gathered with the help of the Astronomy Translation Network (ATN), a volunteer project endorsed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).

The ATN project was launched in 2016 with the goal of harnessing volunteers efforts to meet the needs of the community in terms of translated resources in astronomy.

Currently working with more than 300 volunteers in 50 languages, the ATN volunteers translate high-quality resources from partners and the extended community, such as astroEDU (tested and peer-reviewed astronomy educational activities), the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP), Universe Awareness, the Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE), the International Dark Sky Association, etc.

Following a three-step translation workflow, ATN's translated resources are: (1) selected by educators in need (and reviewed by peers for relevance); (2) translated (and proofread) into the target languages and (3) reviewed by scientists/science educators for terminology in translated languages.

The Astronomy Translation Network has not only consolidated a base of active volunteers but also benefits from the IAU network, which represents more than half a million people around the world. These networks, coupled with the ones of our many partners and supporters, will help us build a community of volunteers interested in participating in our project.

To solve the problem of quality control, we will tap into our network of professional and amateurs astronomers, astronomy teachers, educators and communicators as well as astronomy students. By reviewing articles, assessing their accuracy and correcting them if needed, our volunteers, credited reviewers with an astronomy background, will ensure that the information inputted respects high-standards quality. These volunteers scientific reviewers will be trained to edit Wikipedia pages or Wiktionary entries through e-training workshops given by one of the Project Manager who is herself a Wikipedia editor.

The problem of language availability will be resolved by assigning volunteers translators and proofreaders, organised in language teams, to provide multiple versions of articles on Wikipedia in more languages. Language teams will be composed of at least two volunteers (one translator and one proofreader) to ensure that the quality of translations is always respected. They will follow an established workflow, similar to the one we are already using on the ATN.

Finally, translating Wikipedia content in as many different languages as possible will help diversifying the Wikipedia audience and users, bridging the gap between non-native English speakers and English resources and offering more people access to a wider variety of resources. Providing all of our volunteers with inclusive writing guidelines and tips in relevant language, we will encourage them to use these guidelines when translating to improve inclusivity in astronomy and science.

Project goals[edit]

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Our goals for this one year project include a number of concrete deliverables as well as some broader goals.


  • To translate and scientifically review between 3000 to 5000 Wikipedia pages and articles (equivalent to an average of 10 pages per volunteer for 500 volunteers)
  • Increase the scientific accuracy of astronomy-related Wikipedia articles by reviewing and improving content through our network of editors and scientific reviewers
  • Increase the number of Wikipedia editors by on-boarding volunteers from our translation network
  • Train the skills of our current and future volunteers (translation, proofreading and scientific review)
  • Tackle issues of diversity and equity in science through the use of inclusive writing and language as one of the solutions

Broader goals:

  • Raise awareness about Wikipedia as a reliable source of scientific information.
  • Promote awareness of and use of Wikimedia projects around the world, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere where there is great potential to improve Wikipedia access and usership via our existing communication channels within the astronomy outreach community which are very active in areas of world where use of and trust in Wikipedia is comparatively low
  • Foster partnerships between the Wikimedia Foundation and like-minded organizations though this project, which already has institutional support from the International Astronomical Union and National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, as well as support from our network of teaching and outreach professionals
  • Communicate the importance and relevance of Wikipedia to decision makers and stakeholders within the astronomy community through face-to-face participation in conferences, workshops, and talks, and online through our communication channels (see Community Engagement section below)
  • Grow and support the community of active volunteers both on WIkipedia and within astronomy communication

Project impact[edit]

How will you know if you have met your goals?[edit]

For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (i.e. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

We identified the following solutions to reach our goals:

1. Output

  • To increase the number of Wikipedia editors and to raise awareness about volunteering for Wikipedia, we will hold global and international e-training workshops with our volunteers. These workshops will also include a “chapter” on diversity, equity and inclusive writing, to raise awareness about this issue. We plan to reach about 500 volunteers through registrations.
  • We also plan on conducting a survey at the end of the project and assess how many documents were edited using inclusive writing guidelines. We expect that, in the relevant languages, at least 90 percent of the documents will be inclusive.
  • Considering an average of between 5 to 10 documents translated and reviewed per volunteer, we have set the target of between 3000 to 5000 translated and reviewed documents on Wikipedia. The pages will be carefully chosen according to their relevance for the scientific community and suggestions from our volunteers and partners.
  • To ensure that our project can be used in the future, we will produce a book of best -practices and guidelines on leading international and global e-workshop trainings with multicultural teams, which we will make available freely online.

2. Outcomes

  • We will support the community by producing an online document on best-practice on outreach, e-training and inclusive writing.
  • After our project, we predict that at least 50% of our volunteer will continue editing Wikipedia documents, both to translate them in their native language but also to review the scientific accuracy.
  • To increase awareness of Wikipedia and to assess its usage, we will survey our volunteers about the evolution of their usage in the following three months after the end of the project.
  • At the end of the project, we will survey our volunteers for feedback on how the project has improved their professional skills and to understand their motivation in participating in future Wikipedia projects.

Do you have any goals around participation or content?[edit]

Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable. With our current number of volunteers on the ATN Project and considering the evolution of our networks, we predict that:

  • An average of 500 volunteers (translators, proofreaders and scientific reviewers) will register to be part of this project. This metric will be calculated through volunteer registration forms.
  • All of these volunteers will be newly registered users, and we predict that at least 50% of them will still edit Wikipedia content 6 months after the project.
  • Between 3000 and 5000 Wikipedia content pages will be created (translation and scientific review) and edited (scientific review). We will assess this metric by asking each volunteer to provide us with a complete list of documents they have worked on.

Project plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

The two Project Managers will work in parallel with their specific skills to ensure that the workflow for this project is smooth and time-efficient.

In the preliminary phase, the Project Manager in charge of translations, Berenice, will launch a recruitment campaign, reaching volunteers through our different networks. Simultaneously, the Project Manager in charge of Wikipedia editing workshops, Hannah (Brinacor (talk)) will prepare the training content and schedule to ensure that each volunteer can participate.

List of Tasks
Berenice Hannah
Launch recruitment campaigns on ATN, IAU-OAO channels and with partners Build e-workshops training
Create a project timeline and workflow Organise implementation globally in different time zones
Create media content for outreach and news dissemination

The first phase of the project will consist of carrying out these e-workshops, training volunteers on how to edit Wikipedia content. At the same time, with the help of the scientific community, relevant Wikipedia content pages will be identified for translation and scientific review. The last step of this first phase will be assessing the success of volunteers enrollment and organising language teams to start translation.

List of Tasks
Berenice Hannah
Organize volunteers to participate in e-workshops Carry out workshops internationally to on-board new editors and provide continuing support throughout the duration of the project and beyond
Create a pool of resources on translation Create a pool of resources on Wikipedia editing
Organise language teams and manage communication platforms for each language group Assess and communicate workshop success (participation, relevancy for volunteers, challenges and lessons learned)
Identify relevant Wikipedia content for translation and scientific review
Create a strong social media oriented campaign to reach all of our volunteers
Communicate on a constant basis with our partners and our volunteers

The second phase of the project will be to carry out the translations and scientific review of identified Wikipedia content pages. The two Project Managers will also advise volunteer with translation and editing tips. Keeping in mind that the project relies on volunteers efforts and involvement, and that we serve the community that we work with, we are planning on handing volunteer certification to those volunteers who have participated effectively in the project (translated and/reviewed more than 2 documents for the project)

List of tasks:

  • Manage volunteer activities
  • Assist and support volunteers in their translation tasks
  • Manage Wikipedia editing requests

To follow-up with people involved in the project, we will use Basecamp, a free online managing platform that we are already using for the IAU-OAO ATN project.

List of tasks after the project:

  • Distribute Volunteer Certifications (Berenice)
  • Distributing, collecting and analyzing surveys (Berenice and Hannah)
  • Drafting the best practice guidelines (Berenice and Hannah)


How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!

The budget requested will be used as a monthly salary for one full-time Project Manager (Berenice) and one part-time (Hannah) for one year and has been calculated as follows:

  • Average annual salary for Junior Project Manager: 45,000 USD
  • Average annual salary for Junior Part-Time Project Manager: 22,500 USD
  • Total requested budget: 67,500 USD

All material to carry out the project (computers, software, equipment, etc) is generously provided by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, who is hosting the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach since 2012.

Community engagement[edit]

How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve at various points during your project? Community input and participation helps make projects successful.

We are targeting professional and amateurs astronomers to increase both Wikipedia visibility in the astronomy community as a tool for research and the Astronomy Translation Network visibility as a tool for accessibility and astronomy outreach. We will keep the community engaged and aware of the project through our various announcements and campaigns during the projects.

Our communication tools and channels as well as the numbers they represent are listed below:

ATN website:

Communication channels and reach
Platform and purpose Reach
Announcements and recruitment campaigns on OAO Facebook and Twitter Facebook: 2031 followers
Twitter: 6423 followers
IAU Astronomy Translation Network Newsletter (released once a month) 337 subscribers
IAU OAO newsletter (released twice a month) 4571 subscribers
ATN volunteers mailing list 337 members
IAU members mailing list and extended network Reach of half a million people across the world
OAO National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) mailing list and network Representatives in more than 100 countries
Basecamp for ATN volunteers 265 members
Basecamp for NOCs 100 members

Get involved[edit]


Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.


  • Berenice Himmelfarb : Master in Translation and Intercultural Communication from ISIT school in Paris, Intern Project Manager of the ATN from June to November 2018
    • Skills : Translation, Communication and Project Management, Intercultural Management


  • Lina Canas: Assistant Outreach Coordinator for the OAO, Advisor for the Astronomy Translation Project, Community Manager, Project Manager, Astronomy & Geophysics background, Science Outreach, Astronomy Education
  • Sze-Leung Cheung: International Outreach Coordinator for the OAO
  • Yukiko Shibata: Founder of the Astronomy Translation Network and former Project Manager, International Outreach Officer for the OAO
  • Hidehiko Agata: OAO’s Supervising Director
  • Haruka Suzuki: OAO intern in graphic design

Community notification[edit]

You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc.--> Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


IAU Astronomy Translation News subscribers

IAU OAO newsletter subscribers

IAU and OAO staff mailing list

IAU members list

IAU OAO Facebook and Twitter subscribers


Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • A few centries ago, the nobility of your birth was biggest barrier to the knowledge. and few decades ago, it was physical distance. Now, we can get raw informations from anywhere and everywhere due to the internet.
  • Finally, Language is the last key to the lock that holds as a barrier between cultures and knowledges. English has made itself the most commonly used laguage, but still, this raises mixture of many former problems. Physical hurdle if a person is in a place not very convenient to learn such language, or nobility of your birth, since leaning english is expenditure that only few can spare in 3rd world countries. However, by doing this, accessibility will be greatly raised.
  • I fully endorse this project, and i am proud as a human being that this finally has came to this point, where the last barrier of the knowledge is being dismantled by pure valuntary movement. 14:21, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Uttermost importance of such delicate ambitions lies in minutia. Whilest which shall not be a measurement of fruition but of strategy. i.e. written form of such concept must conjecture vicissitude of development.
  • In sense of such, idea is plausible, solution is logical, goal is attainable, impact is judiciously depicted. 23:36, 1 December 2018 (UTC)