Grants:Project/KellyDoyle/Engaging Academic Librarians and Sororities to Address the Gender Gap/Final

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Project Grants This project is funded by a Project Grant

proposal people timeline & progress

final report

Report accepted
This report for a Project Grant approved in FY 2017-18 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the grantee's project.

Part 1: The Project[edit]


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.

  • Service Learning projects indeed have potential as scalable models for success in introducing students to Wikipedia, editing outside of the classroom for credit. However, working with student groups specifically and not depending on too much administrative support is an easier route. Consider also the viability of this model with graduate students vs. undergraduate students.
  • As we know, there is a large appetite from universities and academic librarians for Wikipedia trainings and leaderships. However, this does not always translate to student based approaches or trainings from said academics. It’s important to target each group specifically and strategically as the needs, desires, and outcomes will be different.
  • Most successful at WVU and harder to implement as an “outsider” at other universities where I wasn’t physically based or acclimated -- having administrative support is seemingly key here
  • Scope of grant may have been too wide ie creating elaborate training materials, establishing programming at three new universities, gaining trust from administrators at those universities, and training their librarians to be Wikipedia competent and/or editors
  • Shared WiR activities needs shared buy-in

Project Goals[edit]

Please copy and paste the project goals from your proposal page. Under each goal, write at least three sentences about how you met that goal over the course of the project. Alternatively, if your goals changed, you may describe the change, list your new goals and explain how you met them, instead.

1) We plan to build flexible training materials that Wikipedians and other campuses can learn from and consider adopting to support, create, and develop Wikipedia editors in a gender equitable manner both inside and outside of the classroom. Training materials for instituting this work have been created and can be found here. It is my hope that these can be used and reworked for a variety of contexts and purposes and I believe they are flexible but also information rich in how to institute programming at an academic institution. These materials focus heavily on closing the editor and gender based gaps on Wikipedia English.

2) These materials will cater to students, librarians, professors, and academic administrators who support editing, teaching, and understanding Wikipedia, and we will provide advocacy support for creating buy-in across campus. These materials will be made available through CC licensing and will be designed by our WiR and the head of Curriculum and Instruction at WVU Libraries. Two sets of documents were created - one for students or novice editors to understand Wikipedia literacy and editing and another for Wikimedians or organizers to institute service learning projects at an institution. They are available here.

3) We will create a rubric for assessing the amount of service credit earned for Wikipedia contribution based on content quality. This will support future efforts to work with sororities and other student life efforts aimed at students becoming volunteer editors. This rubric has been created and is fluid in that edits are interpretive and differ in terms of time spent per individual person. However, it does function as a good baseline for new and intermediate level editors and edits. It is by no means meant to be a standard but is a working document that successfully allowed service hours to be assessed during this project.

4) The testing of these materials on other campuses will also help us scale partnerships with sorority students who receive service credit for editing articles about women on Wikipedia and expanding to additional institutions in conjunction with library partnerships. Travel and training provided by our WiR in order to build infrastructure at other institutions will support the advocacy materials through learning a variety of barriers and concerns that might prevent adoption of Wikipedia support on campuses. Not as much testing of the documents was completed as the grant went the first 6 months - however, these materials do encompass almost 3 years of my experience as a WiR and I believe they are ready for use and remixing.

5) We hope to have Wikipedia contribution become an integral part of librarians' instructional repertoire during information literacy orientation, training, and instruction throughout the WVU system, including partner and satellite institutions. Wikipedia literacy has been introduced to ULIB101 at WVU Libraries. This is a one credit course journalism students are required to take - however other students within the WVU system do take this class as well. So far, this class, with Wikipedia instruction added in, has been taught four times with the librarian instructor differing with each section so a wider swath of WVU librarians are teaching this course and learning more about Wikipedia through the process. Sample instructional materials can be found here.

6) We wish to establish libraries as leaders in ongoing support for, and advocacy of contribution to, and use of, Wikipedia in the academic community. We anticipate that robust support for, and development of, volunteer contributors in this context will lead to increased numbers of editors – some of whom are involved because of the ongoing work on campus, and who might wish to remain engaged throughout their lives. Libraries are well known as Wikipedia advocates and our instructional programming can be an extension of that through these training materials. As I continue to speak at conferences about my Wikimedia experiences and work within the GLAM space through my volunteer work with Wikimedia District of Columbia, I will continue to advocate for the use of these materials and make relevant stakeholders aware of them and how to use them. I’m also available to speak with anyone interested in remixing them who may have questions or feedback.


  1. In the first column of the table below, please copy and paste the measures you selected to help you evaluate your project's success (see the Project Impact section of your proposal). Please use one row for each measure. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please include the number.
  2. In the second column, describe your project's actual results. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please report numerically in this column. Otherwise, write a brief sentence summarizing your output or outcome for this measure.
  3. In the third column, you have the option to provide further explanation as needed. You may also add additional explanation below this table.
Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
Actual result Explanation
Creation of training documents You can find training materials and documents here As the grant term ended at the midpoint, these are not fully developed
Creation of sample assessment rubric for Wikipedia editing You can find the assessment rubric here As the grant term ended at the midpoint, these are not fully developed
Identifying barriers to wider adoption of project Completed - see Story and Grantee Reflection sections of this report As the grant term ended at the midpoint, these are not fully developed
Surveys Surveys were not completed The project did not go the full 12 months


Looking back over your whole project, what did you achieve? Tell us the story of your achievements, your results, your outcomes. Focus on inspiring moments, tough challenges, interesting anecdotes or anything that highlights the outcomes of your project. Imagine that you are sharing with a friend about the achievements that matter most to you in your project.

  • This should not be a list of what you did. You will be asked to provide that later in the Methods and Activities section.
  • Consider your original goals as you write your project's story, but don't let them limit you. Your project may have important outcomes you weren't expecting. Please focus on the impact that you believe matters most.

This project achieved confirmation that service learning programming geared towards university students is a workable and sustainable model for reaching new editors and closing content and editor based gaps on Wikipedia. I’m pleased that this grant offered the opportunity to explore this possibility and how this programming can be feasible in future iterations within our movement. I’m proud of the young women I’ve worked with who felt empowered by their experiences editing Wikipedia - this is something important to share and grow. I’m exceedingly happy about the moments in which I was able to share this work widely through publications, conference presentations, or other speaking opportunities. The ability to spread this work at national and international venues has been reinvigorating in times of doubt and also integral in helping to move the work itself forward by creating knowledge about its existence and help needed for it to expand and succeed in meaningful ways. I’ve found that external communication through these avenues (presentations, publications, networking) has been one of the most useful because they yield unexpected avenues of support and opportunities to spread 1) the problem 2) the project and 3) how to get involved or start their own project around Wikipedia’s gaps.

There have been challenges to this project as well, a large one being a fear of harassment of the young women I’m recruiting to join Wikipedia and my inability to 1) have knowledge of any given harassment related event if it’s not reported to me and 2) find solutions to the systemic problems around harassment, editor and content based gaps, and our communities rejection of new users that isn’t useful in terms of advancing our shared mission of a global knowledge repository. Because of the nature of this project, editing is done at students leisure and not in an edit-a-thon type setting, therefore, I’m not physically available if problems are encountered and thus might not be notified if the student is experiencing harassing behavior. (For the purposes of this project, I’m qualifying harassing behavior as ranging from immediately taking down good content added by new users up to aggressive comments and behavior.) This situation also makes it difficult to accurately understand retention. If students feel unwelcome on Wikipedia itself, they may stop participating in the project, and this is again a larger systemic issue which we as community members need to continue to track and find solutions for.

Some other challenges have simply been time; this grant was expansive in its goals and perhaps difficult to manage all simultaneously without firm buy-in from each institution at the administrative level. This is especially true when considering 1) the unique bureaucratic systems that need to be learned at each institution as an outsider, 2) that buy-in in the success of the grant wasn’t built in to incentivize continued participation of the institution, and 3) that while sorority students make sense because of the opportunity for gender based gap closures, graduate students may be a more sustainable model in the future because of their academic skill level and their commitment to academia / the university as a whole. Similarly, graduate students, especially PhD candidates, are on campus for 5 years and need to complete service learning credit as well. I would urge those considering a remix of this project to approach graduate student government organizations to find steps forward. As an aside, there are graduate students who have participated in this project at WVU with great success and enjoyment.

Overall, I’m exceedingly pleased with the work that’s been completed in the last 6 months and furthermore, over the last almost 3 years as my time as the Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity at West Virginia University Libraries. There are so many positive learnings about the academic approach to and understanding of Wikipedia through my time at WVU that deserve further reflection and publishing beyond the scope of this report. The concept of having an academic WiR to find sustainable and scalable models is one that I’m proud to have been involved in and one that I believe has yielded multitudinous avenues for growth and exploration. I’d also like to acknowledge my experiences as a non-Wikipedian, Wikipedian in Residence, approaching this role through a community organizing lens. I’m pleased that over time, I’ve been welcomed in to the Wikimedia community as a trusted ally, but this came with great effort and time, especially since I’m not a prolific editor. However, through this work and organizing of regional conferences, international conferences, and events, I’ve found new avenues for what we consider a true member of this movement that I’m happy to be a part of. I think there’s still work to be done in how our movement as a whole accepts new editors, new community members, and new leaders within our movement - taking what has worked historically in our great movement with the expertise of those who can help us continue to move forward. I wholeheartedly envision this possibility as reality and I know there is a place for me, my learnings, and my skills within this community moving forward.

Methods and activities[edit]

Please provide a list of the main methods and activities through which you completed your project.

  • Coordination with interested universities to get Wikipedia approved as a service learning option
  • Work with student sorority groups to gain interest in the project, editing Wikipedia, and how to practically edit (and for what purpose)
  • Travel to each university once (during first 6 month period)
  • Checking on student edits and approving time as necessary
  • Discussions with librarians and administrators about the project for continued support
  • Presentations at conferences (library and Wikimedia) to gain support, help, and advice about project growth

Project resources[edit]

Find all Service Learning Model documentation, training materials, slidedecks, etc. here


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[edit]

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[edit]

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.

  • Not creating enough buy-in and stake in the success of the grant for partners made it difficult to get coordination needed to project to take off the way we had anticipated.
  • The scope of the project may have been too much to take on: working with librarians, service learning departments, student groups, and Wikipedians for coordination. Scaling down the project to focus on just student groups might have been a better approach - especially for those looking to rework this type of programming in the future.
  • Sorority / undergraduate students can be busy and less motivated than other types of students. Working with graduate students could be a more sustainable model moving forward

Other recommendations[edit]

If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please list them here.

  • Consideration of supporting projects which help tackle some of the systemic problems which are impediments to community growth (rejection of new users, harassment, etc.)
  • The feasibility of a shared model without shared successes / risk / financial contribution, etc. from each institution or partner

Next steps and opportunities[edit]

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 absolutely possibilities for this project to be remixed and scaled up successfully. For example, as I’ve already mentioned, graduate students are a model that is ready to be explored more seriously as a possibility for scaling a project of this nature. Graduate students will edit Wikipedia in their area of expertise, for service credit, and Wikipedia will gain this content and editor but will also gain future professors who understand Wikipedia and it’s value and carry that with them into positions of power in academia to further the use and understanding of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects within academia. The potential impact of this is extremely powerful and something we as a community should consider seriously as a step forward to wider acceptance into academic departments and thus to students and student success in terms of research and information literacy skills.

Part 2: The Grant[edit]


Actual spending[edit]

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.

Category Description Total Amount (USD)
Travel Estimated travel; costs including mileage, costs for 9 trips to 3 campuses @ different rates. (Figure based on WVU per diem rates and two nights each trip. Also, prorated meals day of travel and day of return) - Three trips total occurred $0
Travel Incidentals (parking, Metro tickets, other)(rates for Columbus, Pittsburgh, Washington DC) $0
Travel Attend four conferences. Two library conferences, CNI 2018 and LOEX 201. Two Wikimedia conferences, WikiConference North America 2017 and Wikimania 2017 --- Two conferences were actually attended during the 6 month grant term: ALA Summer 2018 (WVU Library funds) and Wikimania 2018 (grant funds). $1,994.71
Salary 75% of Salary for WiR @ $50,000.00 $18,700.12
Salary Fringe $5,515.17
Total $26,210.00

Remaining funds[edit]

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.

  • No

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:

  • N/A


Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grantsadmin(_AT_), according to the guidelines here?

Please answer yes or no. If no, include an explanation.

  • Yes

Confirmation of project status[edit]

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?

Please answer yes or no.

  • Yes

Is your project completed?

Please answer yes or no.

  • Yes

Grantee reflection[edit]

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what this project has meant to you, or how the experience of being a grantee 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 Project Grant experience? Please share it here!

I feel privileged and inspired to have worked towards finding scalable models towards gender related issues on Wikipedia for the duration of this grant and during my Inspire Grant period from 2015-2016. This project specifically has provided a great deal of learnings that I hope I can continue to share with the Wikimedia community in creating buildable models and inspiring buy-in with partners and key stakeholders.

If I were to restart this grant project from the beginning, I would rethink the possibility of a shared Wikipedian in Residence around a topic area as being possible only if funding is also shared institutionally. Furthermore, I would ensure that each institution, student group, or faculty / librarian group had a stake in the success of the grant. Without a personal stake in it’s success, the cooperation needed wasn’t always a priority to partners, and this is something I understand intimately in my volunteer capacity, but will be needed in future projects hoping to scale a project of this size with several partners and many moving parts. Universities and libraries, as we already know, desire partnerships with Wikipedia and to deepen their understanding of our community and how to participate. However, there will need to be cooperation at the administrative levels of universities and libraries for students, professors, and librarians to feel empowered and at ease to explore their involvement in our movement. At times, this lack of full support was an impediment to my ability to fully realize the potential of this idea and project.

What worked best and continues to work is the student service model of the project. If you exclude the bureaucratic complications of administration and wrangling staff and faculty, students are interested in editing Wikipedia and especially interested to do so for service learning credit (which is required outside of coursework requirements). I can imagine many ways in which this can be harnessed from alternative angles which could work more smoothly and effectively and which would serve as a workaround to some of the complications I’ve faced. For example, working with student government associations, both at the undergraduate and graduate level who can self-advocate for Wikipedia to be added to the list of approved service learning options. Furthermore, working with graduate students could be a better model entirely, as they are generally more focused and reliable -- not to mention that more service hours are required of them. From there, trainings can be done either in person or virtually by interested volunteer Wikipedians.

I deeply believe in the power of this model to scale not just gender gaps on Wikipedia, but many others on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects.