Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learning from the first half of the grant period.
In a few short sentences or bullet points, give the main highlights of what happened with your project so far.
We have had the pleasure of reaching some of our major milestones throughout the first half of our project by starting to develop the main infrastructure needed to create sustained scholarly editing practices:
- We created WikiProject Writing!
- We are offering two monthly editing workshops tailored to expert academic editors along with office hours and drop-in editing sessions.
- We have begun a library of advice and help resources for expert academic editors and those interested in supporting expert academic contributions to Wikipedia.
- We have initiated collaborations with CCCC member groups: the Asian/Asian American Caucus, Global & Non-Western Rhetorics (GNWR) Standing Group, Feminist Caucus, Standing Group for Disability Studies, and Transnational Composition Standing Group.
Throughout the first half of our project, we have proactively learned more about the distinctive experiences and challenges facing scholars who wish to contribute to Wikipedia as a form of public scholarship, as well as those not yet thinking about the impact and value of Wikipedia as a key knowledge-broker between academia and the public sphere. We aim to continue learning and refining our current project accomplishments (i.e. WikiProject Writing, library of advice, and workshops) with attention to knowledge equity in order to create a more just and connected future on Wikipedia.
Methods and activities
How have you setup your project, and what work has been completed so far?
Describe how you've setup your experiment or pilot, sharing your key focuses so far and including links to any background research or past learning that has guided your decisions. List and describe the activities you've undertaken as part of your project to this point.
We’ve hired a Wikimedian-in-residence (WiR) to train and support our contributor base, serving as a liaison between our academic community and the Wikimedia community. The WiR has worked closely with the chair of the CCCC Wikipedia Initiative Committee to develop synchronous and asynchronous training, collaborative spaces, and help/advice resources. The chair and committee behind the CCCC Wikipedia Initiative have focused on outreach within the CCCC, seeking input on our focus and direction from a range of member groups in the interest of better representing the significant diversity of our academic expertise. Our focus in training and programming has been on addressing issues of knowledge equity within both general interest and academic topics related to our areas of expertise on Wikipedia.
Developing skills & understanding
- Two online workshops hosted monthly:
- One-on-one and group virtual office hours hosted weekly
Creating community support structures
- Created WikiProject Writing:
- Resources catered to the expert-editing experience
- Crowdsourced lists of articles in need of edits & creation
- Goals positioned to promote articles to good or featured article status
- Created a central CCCC Wikipedia Initiative Meetup Page to organize event outreach.
- Started to develop a community resource directory catered to the expert-editing experience.
- Collaborated with five CCCC member groups to define and address content gaps related to their subfields of writing studies:
- Asian American Caucus
- Feminist Caucus
- Global & Non-Western Rhetorics (GNWR) Standing Group
- Standing Group for Disability Studies
- Transnational Composition Standing Group
- Initiated outreach to five additional member groups.
What are the results of your project or any experiments you’ve worked on so far?
Please discuss anything you have created or changed (organized, built, grown, etc) as a result of your project to date.
Community support outcomes
- Created WikiProject Writing to coordinate collaboration with other Wikipedians, prioritize vital and high impact articles, organize editing efforts, and sustain ongoing content improvement in writing, rhetoric, literacy, and language studies.
- Developed a basic training curriculum, training materials, and resource collection designed to support academic editors.
- Run five (5) online training workshops focusing on issues of knowledge equity for faculty members and PhD students with expertise in writing, rhetoric, literacy, and language studies.
- Created a central CCCC Wikipedia Initiative Meetup Page to organize outreach and share curriculum, materials, and resource collections for anyone to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute.
Participation & content outcomes
- 118 registered editors with the CCCC Wikipedia Initiative Campaign out of a target of 250+ editors by the end of our project.
- 283 tagged and assessed articles under WikiProject Writing, exceeding our original goal of 200+ articles.
- 600+ references added to articles predominantly related to significant scholarship from underrepresented groups and international communities (as documented through our 2020 & 2021 editing activity programs), exceeding our original goal of 500+.
Please take some time to update the table in your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed all approved and actual expenditures as instructed. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided there to explain them.
Then, answer the following question here: Have you spent your funds according to plan so far? Please briefly describe any major changes to budget or expenditures that you anticipate for the second half of your project.
Following a September consultation with our WMF program officer, we restructured the role and responsibilities of the CCCC Wikimedian-in-Residence, transitioning the position from full-time (40 hours/week at $4,000/month) in August, September, and October to part-time. This included a two month provisional period (10 hours/week at $1,000/month) for December and January increasing to half-time (20 hours/week at $2,000/month) starting in February. We aim to keep the WiR at half-time capacity for the duration of the project.
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 are taking enough risks to learn something really interesting! Please use the below sections to describe what is working and what you plan to change for the second half of your project.
What are the challenges
What challenges or obstacles have you encountered? What will you do differently going forward? Please list these as short bullet points.
- The importance of contributing to Wikipedia as a form of public scholarship is not apparent to many academic experts. We plan to make this abundantly clear in our messaging moving forward.
- There is not a lot of advice out there for academic editors. Particularly in creating pages about minoritized scholars, we noticed that existing notability guidelines do not directly address issues of particular relevance to academic topics and figures. We would like to develop help pages with input from the Wikipedia community.
- As we continue to train academic experts to write on Wikipedia, we’ve found it difficult to create sustained editing practices. Now that WikiProject Writing is up and running, we wish to foster a sense of collaboration through incremental changes, encouraging shared authorship, and creating easy to access monthly tasks and events that can be picked up throughout the month.
What is working well
What have you found works best so far? 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.
Next steps and opportunities
What are the next steps and opportunities you’ll be focusing on for the second half of your project? Please list these as short bullet points.
- Improve the categorization of articles within the subfields of writing studies by creating properly linked Wikidata items for articles within the scope of WikiProject Writing.
- Implement monthly WikiProject Writing topic focuses and editing sprints in collaboration with CCCC member groups in order to further diversify perspectives from and on the expertise offered by our discipline.
- Finalize and announce our new CCCC Wikipedia Initiative website as a space to share our work broadly, including access to all our events and resources from a single site and a blog offering monthly reporting posts, editor spotlights, and other news.
- Expand outreach and continue to offer weekly opportunities for training and support with better promotion through social media and increased use of WikiProject Writing invitation and welcome templates.
- Continue to build our library of help and advice documentation tailored to the needs of expert academic editors in collaboration with the Wikipedian community.
We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how the experience of being an grantee has been so far. What is one thing that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed from the past 3 months?
We have enjoyed developing workshops and help resources for the scholarly editing community. It has been exciting to see how varying research areas across the subfields of writing studies can inform a range of both vital, general interest articles and high-traffic field-specific articles.
These workshops, as well as one-on-one office hours, have afforded the CCCC WiR a greater understanding of the unique concerns facing humanities-based scholars and the larger work needed to create a sustainable infrastructure for increased scholarly engagement. Working with a diverse group of academic experts within writing studies has not only expanded our lists of articles in need of edits and creation, but allowed for a larger sense of action and collaboration on a national level.
Developing WikiProject Writing has shown us how much potential there is to grow this project to an international scope, but also how much ongoing support is needed to make it thrive on a day-to-day basis. Getting experts to edit articles to good or featured status first involves getting them comfortable making small edits on Wikipedia and then keeping them engaged. We have done a lot of the groundwork and are just scratching the surface in improving articles to good or featured article status on Wikipedia.
We are excited to continue growing the CCCC Wikipedia Initiative and working toward a time when more experts feel prepared and excited to contribute to Wikipedia as a form of public-facing scholarship.