Grants:Project/Engaging Academic Archivists, Librarians and Students to Address the Historical Gender and Racial Gap of Western Pennsylvania through the University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Engaging Academic Archivists, Librarians and Students to Address the Historical Gender and Racial Gap of Western Pennsylvania through the University of Pittsburgh Library System
summaryWithin Wikipedia, there exists a gap in content describing many non-majority groups in Pittsburgh and the western Pennsylvania region, particularly those that fall in gender and race categories. Similarly, while historical and notable content exists, it has not been incorporated into Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. For example, out of the 120 articles in the “History of Pittsburgh” category, only six are about women (four of these were created by the applicant). Moreover, no content can be identified on the English Wikipedia related to Native Americans in Western Pennsylvania with the exception of a mention in the article on William Penn and in census figures. Despite the significant amount of content added to Wikipedia (122 articles) by the University of Pittsburgh’s Wikipedia Visiting Scholar and applicant during the past two years, there remains more archival content that has yet to be incorporated into Wikimedia projects which could address these troubling omissions.
targetEnglish Wikipedia, Wikidata, Commons Wikipedia, Women in red WikiProject
type of grantoffline and online programs and events
amount$53,000.00
type of applicantindividual
granteeBarbara (WVS)
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created on13:15, 25 September 2017 (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.

  • Within Wikipedia, there exists a gap in content describing many non-majority groups in Pittsburgh and the western Pennsylvania region, particularly those that fall in gender and race categories. Similarly, while historical and notable content exists, it has not been incorporated into Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. For example, out of the 120 articles in the “History of Pittsburgh” category, only six are about women (four of these were created by the applicant). Moreover, no content can be identified on the English Wikipedia related to Native Americans in Western Pennsylvania with the exception of a mention in the article on William Penn and in census figures. Despite the significant amount of content added to Wikipedia (122 articles) by the University of Pittsburgh’s Wikipedia Visiting Scholar and applicant during the past two years, there remains more archival content that has yet to be incorporated into Wikimedia projects which could address these troubling omissions.
  • Most librarians and archivists in the University Library System (ULS) remain untrained and do not contribute regularly to Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects. In Barbara Page’s past role as a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar, the intention was to create content and not to train others. However, she was still able to participate in several local edit-a-thons. As a volunteer, Barbara is not able to devote the time necessary to incorporate archival content that exists in the ULS into Wikimedia projects and to train those who can.
  • Very few of the thousands of students attending the University of Pittsburgh and surrounding universities can be identified on the English Wikipedia as contributors. And for those that can very few are women.
  • Since there are very few community and student contributors, a regional group of Wikimedians continues to coalesce and work towards promoting the building of the encyclopedia and other Wikimedia. Participation is minimal at this time.

What is your solution?[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.

  • Work with WikiProjects and use their assessments in identifying those articles that need to be improved or created. Train new and experienced contributors to assess these content areas. Consult with and engage the WikiProject Women in Red, WikiProject National Register of Historic Places, WikiProject Women's History‎, WikiProject Women artists, and others for assistance in identifying these topics and missing articles.
  • Initiate the training of librarians, archivists and student interns in the ULS to equip them to add to Wikimedia projects to invite them to improve or create content related to those topic areas identified as important to this project. Engage departments and colleges at the University that have the interest in these topic areas and provide training to new contributors. Engage and provide training to student organizations who also have an interest in adding content. Cooperate with the University's Community Service and Engagement Office of PittServes to offer the training needed for those students who wish to learn how to add content to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
  • Recruit librarians, archivists, students, faculty, staff and members of the University of Pittsburgh and surrounding educational communities to become active contributors to Wikimedia projects.
  • Organize meet-ups, contests, social media, and edit-a-thons to solidify local Wikimedians and recruit new contributors.
  • Connect with other Wikipedians-in-Residence who have faced the same challenges and work to incorporate their successful strategies into the efforts of the ULS and Wikimedia.
  • Work to solidify and bring together Wikimedians in the Pittsburgh area.
  • Leverage the resources within the ULS Archives & Special Collections department to expand articles or create new ones on the topics mentioned above. This department comprises archival and manuscript content largely documenting the growth and development of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania through the immigrant workforce, the rise of benevolent societies and institutions to address the increasing disparity in the life of laborers, and the rapid and uncontrolled growth of businesses and industries pertaining to coal, iron and steel. In addition, the Archives and collections housed by the ULS contain materials, documents, and images that will improve content related to these under-represented groups and their history.

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.

First goal[edit]

Work with WikiProjects and use their assessments in identifying those articles that need to be improved or created. To use their lists of topics, categories, templates, missing topics and articles related to women, minorities and ethnic groups in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania history. Subsequently, train contributors to address these omissions and Project-identified needs and provide training in using the ULS Archives & Special Collections department and in other regional repositories. This will benefit contributors by providing the resources and training in accessing library and archival content.

Second goal[edit]

To conduct regular training sessions and one-on-one sessions for ULS librarians, archivists, student interns, student groups, and part-time student assistants. The applicant would also attempt to reach out to surrounding educational communities and make them aware of training opportunities if there is an interest in learning how to contribute to Wikipedia.

Third goal[edit]

To increase participation in editing/creating content in Wikipedia by librarians, archivists, students, faculty and other members of the University of Pittsburgh and surrounding communities.

Fourth goal[edit]

To conduct regular meet-ups, contests and edit-a-thons for the purpose of training of contributors and adding content to Wikimedia projects. Incorporate one-on-one contact to those with great interest in contributing. Provide a "space" where new contributors can come and receive assistance and have access to reference materials during normal university hours.

Fifth goal[edit]

To learn and apply the techniques and knowledge from other Wikipedians-in-Residence who have developed educational materials and methods in training librarians and archivists.

Sixth goal[edit]

Actively make contact with local Wikimedians to offer organizational guidance and contacts from other groups to assist and encouragement a more active chapter.

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 (e.g. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

First goal[edit]

Work with WikiProjects and use their assessments in identifying those articles that need to be improved or created. To use their lists of topics, categories, templates, missing topics and articles related to women, minorities and ethnic groups in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania history. Subsequently, train contributors to address these omissions and Project-identified needs and provide training in using the ULS Archives & Special Collections department and in other regional repositories. This will benefit contributors by providing the resources and training in accessing library and archival content.

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • With consultation from WikiProjects, contributors will be trained and encouraged to address the content areas that are underrepresented and can be improved or created with ULS archives and collections. The use of ULS resources and the skills needed to identify sources that will provide appropriate referencing will be covered. Participants will be trained to use web-based, print-based and historical documents as sources for their content creation.
  • This goal will have future impact because:
    • This missing content and content that needs to be improved and identified by WikiProjects will provide a clear and focused path for future contributors; it will give new contributors a starting point.
    • New and experienced contributors can continue to identify missing content during the project. This activity will be sustained by encouraging contributors to join WikiProjects where they can submit their input.
    • Contributors will be trained to participate in appropriate WikiProjects to find missing content and content that needs to be improved.
    • During edit-a-thons, group and one-on-one training, archive and other library resources will be available for references to support content added by contributors. Though hard to measure, learning to add quality references should impact current content

Second goal[edit]

To conduct regular training sessions and one-on-one sessions for ULS librarians, archivists and students. The applicant will also attempt to reach out to surrounding educational communities and make them aware of training opportunities if there is an interest in learning how to contribute to Wikipedia.

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Schedule one hour training sessions with archivists, librarians, and student interns.
    • Offer one-on-one training as ULS staff and students get more comfortable with their editing ability and begin to focus on specific topical areas.
    • Schedule one-on-one training that best meets the availability of the trainee, especially if they are interested in contributing, but can’t make the other training sessions.
    • Initiate contact with educational institutions in the area.
  • This goal will have future impact because:
    • It results in trained contributors who will then be able to train future contributors.
    • It results in the sustained contributions by archivists, librarians, and others to the sum of human knowledge as represented on Wikipedia.
    • It may result in the formation of student editor organizations and edit-a-thons at other educational institutions

Third goal[edit]

To increase participation of librarians, archivists, students, faculty and members of the University of Pittsburgh and surrounding educational communities.

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Provide regular feedback, recognition and encouragement for those who continue to contribute to Wikimedia projects.
    • Seek out new opportunities with community organizations, such as the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Heinz History Center, and Carnegie Mellon University, and provide training for them.
    • Provide a place where new contributors can come and receive assistance and have access to reference materials during normal university hours.
  • This goal will have future impact because it establishes a dedicated ‘space’ on campus where contributors can receive help and spend time editing alongside the Wikipedian-in-Residence and then eventually other experienced contributors during set hours. It can be considered an ongoing resource with printed manuals that promote continued training, reference materials that are on-hand, an easily accessible space for instant or spontaneious edit-a-thons. As more experienced contributors take ownership of the project, they can also use the space for the training of new contributors. This will result of the dedicated space lasting beyond the time of this project (sustainability).

Fourth goal[edit]

Conduct regular meet-ups, contests and edit-a-thons for the purpose of training of contributors and adding content to Wikimedia projects. Incorporate one-on-one contact to those with great interest in contributing. Provide a "space" where new contributors can come and receive assistance and have access to reference materials during normal university hours.

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Schedule and promote meet-ups, contests and edit-a-thons.
    • Schedule one-on-one meetings with potential contributors.
    • Provide guides and links to digital and analog materials for research.
  • This goal will have future impact because:
    • It will create a pattern of sustainability for activities that can easily be transferred to local Wikimedians to continue these initiatives.
    • The ‘space’ will become a more permanent location overseen by the ULS. One impact that can be expected is the constant exposure students, faculty and staff to Wikimedia projects. Though hard to measure, library patrons will eventually 'know' the existence of the space and project. One exciting possibility to promote the space on the monitors located throughout the library is to display information in other languages. Undoubtedly, this will attract the attention of international students who then can be trained.

Fifth goal[edit]

To learn and apply the techniques and knowledge from other Wikipedians-in-Residence who have developed educational materials and methods in training librarians and archivists.

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Request the training materials they have developed for librarians.
    • Schedule opportunities to meet with other Wikipedians-in-Residence.
  • This goal will have future impact because:
    • It transfers the training materials and techniques to the ULS to train new librarians, archivists and students.

Sixth goal[edit]

Actively make contact with local Wikimedians to offer assistance, encouragement, and the willingness to meet to help build an active local Wikimedia Chapter.

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Consult with other Chapters to adopt their best practices.
    • Schedule regular meet-ups in interesting places.
  • This goal will have future impact because:
    • It will help to develop a more active, local chapter of enthusiastic Wikimedians.
    • It will foster socialization between contributors and those interested in contributing to Wikimedia projects so that contributions will continue into the future.

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. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Metrics[edit]

The goals are described in the previous sections, but overall improvements will be made to a variety of Wikimedia projects, not to mention building a community of contributors at the University of Pittsburgh, the City of Pittsburgh as well as the surrounding communities. The ULS desires to continue to incorporate sharing open license content on Wikimedia projects. For example, through this project the ULS has an opportunity to upload thousands of digital images from its own collections to make available to other Wikimedia projects. The history and past performance between the ULS and the Wikipedia Visiting Scholar program is only a small glimpse into the potential that awaits further collaboration between the Wikimedia Foundation and the ULS. In addition, the Wikipedian-in-Residence has the extensive experience to not only train new users, but to increase the skill level of regular contributors. This means that not only can the amount of content be increased from this project, the quality of content added can also be expected to improve.

The success of this project will have a lot to do with the skill level and experience of the Wikipedian-in-Residence. In particular, Barbara Page has experience editing and contributing in a variety of WikiMedia Projects and already been involved in training other contributors. She is familiar with article creation, article referencing, image uploads, article translations, and collaboration. She is experienced in training other contributors in advanced editing skills. Transferring these skills through training will significantly improve a variety of Wikimedia projects. Her experience includes working with:

  • WikiEd
  • Simple Wikipedia
  • Haitian (Creole) Wikipedia as an administrator
  • English Wikipedia – most contributions have been made here
  • Minor contributions to the French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese Wikipedias
  • ULS image uploads to Commonswiki
  • Editing experience on Wikidata, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, MetaWiki, WikiSpecies, and one edit to Wikivoyage
  • Collaborative relationships with other experienced contributors.

New and experienced Wikimedia contributors will be trained to incorporate ULS archival and library content. All goals in the project are built around participation and content.

First goal measures[edit]

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Working with other Wikimedians, the ULS Wikipedia-in-Residence will help contributors identify 25 diverse individuals or events that impacted Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania history with consultation with existing WikiProjects.
    • The utilization of existing WikiProject lists of articles that need creation and improvement. Documentation of these activities will be described in a narrative by January 31, 2018.
    • The list will be made public and available to other WikiProjects and the Wikimedia Foundation by February 15, 2018.
  • The positive impact of this goal will be assessed with questionnaires and interviews obtained from event participants. Wikiproject members will be invited to supply feedback for their assessments of the 'missing content'. During scheduled and less formal meetups, wikimedians will be asked for their narratives regarding missing content. These assessments can be performed early in the project and further into the project follow-up assessments can identify the impact.

Second goal measures[edit]

To conduct regular training sessions and one-on-one sessions for ULS librarians, archivists and students. The applicant will also attempt to reach out to surrounding educational communities and make them aware of training opportunities if there is an interest in learning how to contribute to Wikipedia.

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Schedule training sessions with archivists, librarians, and student interns.
      • Schedule six training sessions during 2018. Document these sessions.
      • Have five librarians or students register to attend each training session. Document attendance.
    • Schedule one-on-one training that best meets the availability of the trainee, especially if they are interested in contributing but can't make the other training sessions. Document the training.
    • Initiate contact with educational institutions in the area.
      • Document the list of contacts with a narrative by the end of December 2018.
  • The positive impact of this goal can be evaluated by follow-up questionnaires and narratives from archivists, librarians and students. Sustainability can be assessed by following up with those contributors who have 'advanced' to point of being able to train other, new contributors.

Third goal measures[edit]

To increase participation of librarians, archivists, students, faculty and members of the University of Pittsburgh and surrounding educational communities.

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Of those who attend training sessions, 50% will edit at least five articles, 30% will edit 10 articles, and 25% will edit 10 or more articles. Archivists and librarians who attend training will add at least five references to content. Provide regular feedback, recognition and encouragement for those who continue to contribute to Wikimedia projects.
    • Content will be developed for the 30 newly identified “missing” topics of importance. Added content will be documented.
    • Seek out new opportunities with community organizations and provide training for them.
    • At least two new community organizations will be identified and contacted to engage them in training sessions by December 31, 2018.
    • At least 25% of these new Wikimedians will edit at least one article in Wikipedia. New Wikmedians and created content will be documented.
  • The positive impact of this goal will not only include metrics of 'counting' the improvements and articles created, but also explore the reasons for participation and the decision to cease making contributions. Information gathered from participants can help identify obstacles that interfere with continued contributions. This information will help guide following editing activities to remove such obstacles. The impact of these assessments should result in the improvement of the 'experience' of contributing. When such obstacle-identification begins, contributors who move on to training others will be able to benefit from the 'lessons learned' to sustain positive experiences for contributors.

Fourth goal measures[edit]

Conduct regular meet-ups, contests and edit-a-thons for the purpose of adding content to Wikimedia projects.

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Schedule and promote meet-ups, contests and edit-a-thons.
      • Sponsor three edit-a-thons, one contest, and three meet-ups over the course of the project. Document these events with a date and narrative.
    • Schedule one-on-one meetings with potential contributors. Document these meetings.
      • Meet with at least 40 librarians, archivists, staff and students within the ULS.
    • Create a “space” on campus where contributors can come and edit. Identify "space" by February 15, 2018. Publicize space via University publications by March 15, 2018
    • Work with the ULS administration to designate a “Wiki Space” in Hillman Library. To be completed by December 31, 2018.
  • The impact of personally interacting with contributors with follow-up will be seen when such contacts result in increased participation. As more responsibilities are assumed by local wikimedians, they will recognize the value of maintaining such relationships and sustain the practice of maintaining personal contacts with those they train. In the course of a year, the sustainability of the project can be assess by documenting the participation of contributors who move on to training others.

Fifth goal measures[edit]

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Build relationships with three other Wikipedians-in-Residence and record their names and dates of conversation.
      • Share the notes taken with ULS staff that result from the contacts.
      • Provide narrative to WMF.
  • Establishing such contacts with other Wikimedians in Residence will impact the success of all those involved. Undoubtedly, one WiR will provide insight and advice that will make this project more successful. The impact of shared knowledge should result in improving this project - which will be shared with the WMF. Such ongoing communication, if successful, will increase the sustainability of future WiRs because they will be able access the past experiences and 'lessons learned' from other successful WiRs.

Sixth goals measures[edit]

  • This goal will be achieved by the following:
    • Consult with two other Wikimedia Chapters to adopt their best practices.
      • Share content and successful strategies. Document dates, subject matter and contact information.
    • Schedule three regular meet-ups in interesting places.
      • Share with ULS what happened at the meet-ups and motivate them to attend a future one. Document this event with a narrative.
  • Other existing WM chapters will have an impact on this project helping to avoid possible mistakes and unsuccessful activities. Because of their position in setting examples to wikimedians in this region, they will help guide and teach new local projects. Once an active group forms in this region, we can help impact and 'found' other groups. This model of group formation can sustain the formation of new groups. With the large academic population in this area, the potential for student-led groups is good.

Goals around participation and content[edit]

Do you have any goals around participation or content? 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 metrics, if applicable. Remember to view the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

The goals and metrics are described in the previous sections, but overall improvements will be made to a variety of Wikimedia projects, not to mention building a community of contributors at the University of Pittsburgh, the City of Pittsburgh as well as the surrounding communities. The ULS desires to continue to incorporate sharing open license content on Wikimedia projects. For example, though this project the ULS has an opportunity to upload thousands of digital images from its own collections to make available to other Wikimedia projects. The history and performance between the ULS and Wikipedia Visiting Scholar Program is only a small glimpse into the potential that awaits further collaboration between the Wikimedia Foundation and the ULS. In addition, the Wikipedian-in-Residencehas the extensive experience to not only train new users, but to increase the skill level of regular contributors. This means that not only can the amount of be increased from this project, the quality of content added can also be expected to improve.

The success of this project will have a lot to do with the skill level and experience of the Wikipedian-in-Residence. In particular, Barbara Page has experience editing and contributing to:

  • Simple Wikipedia
  • Haitian (Creole) Wikipedia as an administrator
  • English Wikipedia - most contributions have been made here
  • Minor contributions to the French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese Wikipedias
  • ULS image uploads to Commonswiki
  • Editing experience on Wikidata, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, MetaWiki, WikiSpecies, Incubator, Meta and one edit to Wikivoyage
  • Colaborative relationships with other experienced contributors who can help encourage and develop new contributors
  • Exceptional skills at finding, formatting and adding references to medical, biological and historical topics.

New and experienced Wikimedia contributors will be trained to incorporte ULS archival and library content. All goals in the project are built around participation and content creation.

Project plan[edit]

Activities[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?

January 2018 Document the number of historical articles related to women, women's labor movements, minorities, African Americans,
and ethnic groups in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania in preparation for
organized editing activities for new and experienced contributors. Develop the training materials that will equip new
and experienced contributors in using existing templates and categories established by WikiProjects

Locate or develop training materials to teach contributors how to create templates and categories to link topics
together. Obtain or develop training materials that will aid contributors in finding
'missing articles.’ Begin scheduling of Wikimedia events at Pitt and community groups. Begin to build and
develop relationships with ULS archivists, librarians and student interns.

February 2018 Continue consulting WikiProject article assessments and lists of tasks if necessary. Contact other Wikipedia
projects to solicit input and to include them in the effort to address content weaknesses.
Communicate the availability of training for librarians. Schedule first meet-up with local Wikimedians. Contact other
Wikimedians and Wikipedians-in-Residence to coordinate efforts and utilize the training materials they have created.
Conduct first meet-up with consultation with other local chapters.
March 2018 Conduct a group-training session for ULS archivists, librarians, student interns and other interested contributors.
Begin to schedule one-on-one training as necessary. Conduct second meet-up with consultation with other local
chapters. Schedule and promote first edit-a-thon. Follow up on participants with email and other personal communications.
April 2018 Follow and assess progress in adding content. Initiate online editing contest. Conduct first edit-a-thon. Follow-up with
Edit-a-thon attendees. Continue to refine calendar of training and events. Conduct a group-training session for
librarians and other interested contributors. Schedule one-on-one training with librarians, staff, and summer students
on contributing to Wikimedia projects. Refer interested instructors to WikiEd and possible scheduling of WikiEd personnel
for a presentation for University Instructors if appropriate. Follow up on participants with email and other personal communications.
May 2018 Conduct a group-training session for librarians and other interested contributors. Schedule one-on-one training with
librarians, staff, and summer students on contributing to Wikimedia projects. Refer interested instructors to WikiEd and
possible scheduling of WikiEd personnel for a presentation for University Instructors. Continue training
with library personnel. Follow up on participants with email and other personal communications.
June 2018 Follow and assess progress in adding content. Conduct a group-training session for librarians. Continue
one-on-one training with library personnel. Follow up on participants with email and other personal communications.
Conduct second meet-up. Follow up with meet-up participants with email and other personal communications.
July 2018 Conduct a group-training session for librarians. Continue one-on-one training with library personnel. Follow up on participants
with email and other personal communications. Train summer interns in adding references and archival content.
August 2018 Attend student and faculty events to recruit student contributors. Promote fall training workshop sessions. Reach out
to area libraries and universities interested in receiving training.
September 2018 Follow and assess progress in adding content. Continue working with library personnel. Follow up on participants
with email and personal communications. Conduct second edit-a-thon. Follow-up with Edit-a-thon attendees.
Begin training for those contributors who show interest in translations.
October 2018 Continue working with library personnel. Follow up on participants with email and personal communications. Personally meet
with student contributors.
November 2018 Follow and assess progress in adding content. Continue working with library personnel. Follow up on participants. Conduct
third edit-a-thon. Follow up with email and personal communications.
December 2018 Continue training with library personnel. Follow up on participants. Generate report for Wikimedia Foundation and the
University of Pittsburgh. Conduct meet-up. Follow up with email and personal communications.

Budget[edit]

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!

Category Description Total Amount (USD)
Travel Attend up to three conferences, one of which will be WikiConference North America 2018.
Will select a library conference too such as CNI 2018 or LOEX 2018.
$5,000.00
Salary 75% of salary for Wikipedia-in-Residence @ $42,000 $31,5000
15% of salary by University of Pittsburgh Library System contributed in-kind ($10,000)

Fringe Benefits (39.2%)
$16,500
Total Wikimedia Foundation grant request $53,000.00

Community engagement[edit]

Community input and participation helps make projects successful. 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 during your project?

The University of Pittsburgh website, the ULS website, Pitt blogs, ULS and Archives blogs, Pitt Magazine, Pitt’s student newspaper, faculty contacts, information tables at student events, Wikimedia talk pages, the Wikimedia meta page for grants and projects, mailing list, conference presentations are just some of the ways that the community will learn about this project.

Archivists and librarians are being specifically targeted because they have the experience and wherewithal to engage in lasting ways to contribute to the ‘sum of human knowledge’. Libraries are interested in the advancement of information literacy – contributing to Wikimedia projects helps meet these goals. In addition to having this project close the gender and race gaps in Wikipedia, ULS archival content is available as sources for the creation and improvement of the topics of the history of Pittsburgh, African-American history in Pittsburgh, women’s history in Pittsburgh, European-American culture in Pittsburgh, and Native Americans in Pennsylvania. Much ULS archival content has yet to be incorporated into Wikimedia projects that could address these troubling omissions.

Through the help of academic librarians, specific college departments at the proposed universities can be engaged as time allows. With the assistance of library personnel, the Wikipedian-in-Residence will reach out to selected faculty in academic departments (such as history, English, Women’s studies, etc.) to provide further orientation and instruction within individual academic departments to expand institutional participation at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh community at large.

Community engagement can also be initiated by contacting the many college and universities with Women's and gender studies departments in this region. For a more complete of potential institutions that exist, see the discussion page. Please note that some relationships have been initianted and established by the grantee with Community College of Allegheny County and Carnegie Mellon University. Funding this project will result in continued community engagement.

Get involved[edit]

Participants[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.

The following currently hold positions in the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

Community notification[edit]

Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. 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. Need notification tips?

The following groups of contributors have been notified via their talk pages.

Endorsements[edit]

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).

  • Support Support - There is a real need and desire to train Pitt library staff/students to edit/create new Wikipedia content while addressing the gender and racial gap in Pittsburgh/WPA history. Kirkcudbrightshire (talk) 11:57, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - All efforts aimed at making Wikipedia's scope a more diverse and representative collection of knowledge is beneficial for addressing the gaps in our collective history which tend to ignore women and minorities. Having trained participants who understand article basics and have access to materials to verify article content will fill a need and help reach those goals. SusunW (talk) 15:17, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I have witnessed first hand the difference Barbara has made to the visibility of our archival collections at the University of Pittsburgh. Having her working with Pitt for a one-year period would broaden the number of individuals who will be able to update Wikipedia pages using our collections, and those of other institutions in the Pittsburgh region. In particular, we look forward to having minorities better represented through our unique collections. 130.49.162.210 17:53, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - This sounds like an excellent opportunity to work with GLAMs to facilitate engagement with Wiki, and it looks as though Barbara has extensive experience that would help to make the project a success. Zeromonk (talk) 12:26, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support This kind of focused work will improve the balance of coverage in English Wikipedia. - PKM (talk) 18:50, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Barbara taught me how to edit Wikipedia much better than I knew before. This expanded program would be a boon to Wikipedia work in the area for editors and users alike. | Barbara heeft me geleerd om Wikipedia beter te bewerken. Ik denk dat ze kan mijn collega's leren ook! TheLeaper (talk) 20:14, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support I think the most important thing with Wikipedians-in-Residence at universities is that instructors and librarians take an interest in the work (otherwise no one will come to edit-a-thons!). It looks like the University of Pittsburgh is really interested. Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 16:10, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support This is a complicated proposal. There are some parts of this which are easy for me to support and some parts which Wikimedia community grant funds do not usually support. I can confirm that the university applying for the grant has an ongoing history of Wikimedia engagement. I can also confirm that Barbara, the proposed project lead here, has a history of productive Wikimedia contributions. The project is worthy of someone doing it. However, it is my opinion that there is no precedent for Wikimedia community funding sponsoring a project like this. Barbara has visited Wiki NYC to discuss collaboration between the university and that Wikimedia chapter. In a chapter partnership, Wiki NYC could review her work, the way she does outreach, the way she calculates metrics, and support her in various ways as is usual for the chapter. An aspect of this project which is beyond my ability to decide are the global budgeting of Wikimedia funds which historically has not funded staff at institutions except in token amounts. I am at hand to talk with Barbara or anyone in her institution about Wikimedia community norms. I wish there were some way to get this project funded to some extent in a way that makes sense. I certainly want the project outcomes and can support the work. It is beyond me to comment on the circumstances under which the Wikimedia Foundation grants team can consider staffing projects like this. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:00, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support I support this project as described.  It’s about building a self-sufficient community of productive Wikipedians.  The gaps in coverage are real.  The research community in Western PA has deep knowledge of the content in question and a strong desire to share it, but I am afraid that without help and a coordinated effort, that content will never make its way into Wikipedia. Barkchip (talk) 17:14, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - I support this project for all of the reasons above. There is a tremendous learning curve for many of us who use wikipedia and the research community in Western PA would greatly from wikipedian in residence. KmHaines (talk) 19:18, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - I wholeheartedly support the project as it is described. I believe that there are a number of topics relating to the history of the African-American performing arts in Pittsburgh in our collections that can help improve Wikipedia's content.Wcdst3 (talk) 14:13, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - agree with SusunW and look forward to seeing the fruits born of this endeavor. Hmlarson (talk) 17:05, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - An interesting and worthy project. I would love to see more opportunities for experienced editors to be able to throw themselves into big, important projects like this via the Wikipedian-in-Residence model. I primarily know Barbara through her participation in the Visiting Scholars program, which I work on with Wiki Education. Visiting Scholars is based on the idea that Wikimedians who already contribute will take full advantage of resources which allow them to contribute in more or better ways, to the benefit of Wikimedia projects and public knowledge. Since gaining access to the research resources at Pitt (an institution which has shown a long-term commitment to Wikipedia projects), Barbara has been prolific, and has demonstrated that she is an experienced, capable, and innovative contributor, making excellent contributions to a wide range of often complicated subjects. I would be excited to see what she could accomplish with this project. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:23, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - I wanted to create a Wikipedia page for an individual and could not have done it without Barbara's help. I also got to know her personally and she is an ambitious talented woman with a deep respect for libraries and information. I support her totally on this project.SharonSBlake (talk) 19:39, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - Wholeheartedly per application. I agree with all the other supporters, including their caveat. I will leave it to the check cutters to decide on the appropriate grant amount. Cheers! Checkingfax (talk) 07:01, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

Objections[edit]

It looks like a proposal to be a salaried developer of Wikipedia and a supervisor of editors. The first goal of the proposal includes, as the very first sentence:

"To develop a comprehensive list of topics, categories, templates, missing topics and articles related to women, minorities and ethnic groups in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania history."

That's the same type of activity that the list, index, and outline departments do without getting paid. Creating topic lists is content production -- it's part of building the encyclopedia. Building topic lists is also a step in planning within WikiProjects of the encyclopedia's coverage. I don't think we should be paying people for these activities. If that was to be the case, some remuneration to editors who have put in the most time developing the encyclopedia over the years would be nice. It would be better to pay the ones who have already contributed, rather than hire people to take their place.
According to Individual Engagement Grants eligibility requirements:

Content-creation is not directly funded.
Projects should foster conditions that encourage editing by volunteers (e.g. editor recruitment campaigns), not replace volunteer action by funding someone to edit articles, upload photos, etc.

Topic lists are articles. See w:Portal:Contents/Outlines, w:Portal:Contents/Indices, and w:Portal:Contents/Lists. All these list types are also key tools used within WikiProjects (to be found on many WikiProject subpages) to plan development of the encyclopedia. These are not activities we outsource to private contractors.
Paying for the rental of a hot air balloon to help Wikipedians take aerial photographs is okay. Paying Wikipedians to actually take those photographs is not okay. The same thing applies to lists, which are Wikipedia content, including being a major component of Wikipedia's navigation systems. A grant for setting up a server to help editors create lists would be okay, but not paying people to create the lists. Also, planning of Wikipedia should stay within Wikipedia, and not be controlled in any way by the Wikimedia foundation through paid WikiProject coordinators. According to Grants:Project/Learn#Project Grants Guidelines and criteria, "participation that is tied to paid work is not eligible for funding." Topic list creation and planning topic coverage are Wikipedia community activities. The Transhumanist (talk) 23:10, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Thank you so much for your comments. I believe that the proposal was written with the provision of training as an assumption. I see that more explicit explanations have been necessary and I have added these for clarification. I did not consider the posting of lists of missing articles on notable people and events as adding content but now realize that yes, indeed, the creation of a list is inappropriate in this role. In addition, it is apparent that this task has already been accomplished by the work of other volunteer contributors who are active and who have identified many if not most of the missing content already. So creating such a list is actually unnecessary since it has already been done. Training new and experienced users on locating these lists will be part of the training during edit-a-thons and other editing activities. Contributors with skill and interest will be instructed on how to more fully engage with the WikiProjects of their choice and related to their own interests. As they are trained and choose to become more active, they will be the ones who help identify topics that should be in the encyclopedia. I am already a trainer of contributors at the University and in the community. At this moment, I am also an active contributor to many Wikimedia projects and WikiProjects and fully appreciate the time that others more active than I am, sacrifice their time to contribute to the 'sum of human knowledge'. I have observed that 'supervising' editors is unnecessary. When contributors are 'supervised' they quickly lose their enthusiasm. The lists for which you have provided links are impressive and can be used to alert contributors to the content omissions that exists through these outlines.
Best Regards, Barbara (WVS) (talk) 21:21, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
I created thousands of articles and wrote many good articles (in French), and I never received training to edit Wikipedia. Could you explain why training is necessary? Why those people can't learn like the majority of, if not all, the most productive contributors did? Thanks, Amqui (talk) 13:21, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
Though many people do teach themselves how to contribute (myself included), training gives others the tools and methods that will make their experience more productive and rewarding in a shorter time. Your experience is extensive and so is mine. I teach editing by code and by Visual Editor. If someone wants to contribute archival material, open access resources, media, diagrams, tables, lists, ideas for incubator projects, images, notes about their 'voyages', a quotation, a dictionary entry, an article, a translation, wikidata, templates or even apply for a fast grant I can train them and have trained them.
I continue to get more requests for training than I can provide. Training puts a 'face' to Wikipedia and strengthens a connection with a new contributor. Yesterday, I trained one new editor at an edit-a-thon and by the end of the event they had created three new biographies aided by the tools I trained them to use. It took me months to create my first major article. If I had been trained, it may have only taken me a week. Another skill that is helpful to new editors is the skill of finding sources/references. It took me ten years to develop these skills. A contributor must know how to find sources - a skill that can very difficult to learn on their own. Unreferenced content is often removed and creates a dis-incentive for further contributions. If I had been trained, who knows how much more content would now exist? Your comments are thoughtful and thank you for responding to this grant proposal. Best Regards, Barbara (WVS) (talk) 01:56, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
Wouldn't the resources of the Wikimedia movement be better used by developing didactic material like professional video tutorials or online courses like MOOC that can be re-used all around the world and translated to many different languages rather than providing training on a one-time basis to people that may or may not become contributors. You cite successful story where "one" person created three articles during the first training session, but how many others we spent energy on, and now resources through this grant, that never edited a Wikimedia project in a meaningful way afterwards? I'm not saying that there is no merit or no result in this type of training, but I am thinking cost benefit wise, the ratio of resources invested versus the results, may be higher and better serve the community with a different approach.
Second point, this proposal is to develop the skill set of the librarians and archivists of the University of Pittsburgh Library System, so your point about teaching how to find references is not applicable, because honestly if those librarians don't know how to find references, there is a greater problem in the hiring process of this library. However, this is not my main point, what I want to say is that this proposal is to develop the skills of people that will use them in their professional capacity, finding references, sharing knowledge, etc are all part of the work of librarians and archivists, so I think it should be financed by the University of Pittsburgh Library System itself, not with resources of the Wikimedia movement, since it's purely professional development for them. The grant proposal itself stipulates "Libraries are interested in the advancement of information literacy – contributing to Wikimedia projects helps meet these goals.", showing that it is fulfilling "their goals". It almost looks like, with this grant, that we want to finance the hiring of a staff for this library system or the procuring of a service with the funds from donors to the Wikimedia movement. If the library sees a need to have a trainer about contributing to Wikimedia projects like you, then they can hire your services as a consultant or something like that the same way they do for any other skill development. I don't think it's up to the donors to pay for that. Thanks, Amqui (talk) 17:29, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Hi, Amqui, I disagree with your reading of this grant proposal. The role described is less of a trainer (as you say, librarians don't need to be trained to find references) and more of an advocate, both for the library (and its librarians) and Wikimedia in working in partnership with the community. I've seen Barbara (WVS) "train", and more than showing the way to edit, she shows why it's important and the possibilities that open up for education, teaching, and learning. Let's all discuss more on the talk page if you have questions or ideas about how to best document a project's success. Cheers, TheLeaper (talk) 17:39, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

(See the discussion page for additional and detailed responses)