Grants:Project/Rapid/Érica Azzellini/Wikidata Lab/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2018-19 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Project/Rapid/Érica Azzellini/Wikidata Lab.
  • You may still comment on this report on its discussion page, or visit the discussion page to read the discussion about this report.
  • You are welcome to Email rapidgrants at wikimedia dot org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?

The WikidataLab series were proposed with four main goals in mind: 1. Increase skills for existing editors, specially those already engaged with Wikidata in the brazilian and portuguese speakers community; 2. Add or improve content; 3. Promote integration between Wikidata and other Wikimedia projects; and 4. To train wikimedists in skills and tools related to Wikidata. All of them were met during the period proposed for this Rapid Grant, according to the established metrics for evaluating its success.


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
Number of events: 5 4 WikidataLabs on the original format (presentation + practical activity) and 1 discussion + collective creation WikidataLabs were organized from June to September, each one with different themes, speakers and activities. The fifth (WikidataLab XX) had to be rescheduled due to the speakers agenda, but we decided to substitute the previously planned event for a collective creation of presentations for WikidataCon. We ended up having a very productive day with the brazilian community members!
Number of participants: around 10 participants by edition WikidataLab XVI: 10 attendees (82 views on YouTube) * WikidataLab XVII: 9 attendees (76 views on YouTube) * WikidataLab XVIII: 11 attendees (136 views on YouTube) * "WikidataLab XX": 7 attendees (wasn't broadcasted live) The metric proposed was based on previous events. None edition had less than 7 participants. Beside that number, we can include the lab staff that take part on the events and people watching online the presentation live broadcast on YouTube. The videos are a great way of including more people on this initiative :)
Number of new editors: we expect to engage at least 2 new editors Five new wikimedians were engaged with the event, two presentialy and other three online Considering that Wikidata is a more specific project than Wikipedia and it's more challenging to engage new editors, specially in this activity that have been going on for more than 10 editions now, I expected to engage at least two new editor for the event at the University of São Paulo. We invested on printed material to attract more people from the university to the event, but surprisingly we could engage more people participating online than in person. Was a nice outcome!
Number of repeat participants (for projects that include a series of events): 10 participants around 8 participants by edition We were successful on maintaining the local community interested and engaged with the WikidataLabs! Is worth mentioning that since the presentations were broadcasted live, people from other locations (including outside Brazil) were able to participate in more than one WiidataLab edition, even though they weren't properly subscribed at the dashboard.


Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:

  • What worked well?

To summarize, the event format, chosen themes and practical activities, presenters, venue, live broadcast logistics, attendees and moments to mingle and discuss all worked very well on the WikidataLab series!

The event format

As we’ve been doing since 2017, the event format remains working very well. The morning sessions with presentation have a durantion of an hour and a half, which is not too tiring for the particopants and is enough time to delve into the proposed theme. People can really learn from other wikimedians experience on different Wikidata related topics and have time to discuss. Then we have a break for lunch that always end up being a great opportunity to talk one-on-one about the WikidataLab topic or other recent Wikidata experiences (and of course, to just mingle and have fun!). The practical activities are usually very adequate for the level of engagement of the participants on Wikidata and people often help each other while the activities are running. The strategy of taking GLAM and other projects developed by the user group as the object of the activity is also an important factor for engaging the participants during and after the event since they get to also know what we’re up to beside the WikidataLab. On a minor scale but not last important, the planned activities also provide more data or data improvement on Wikidata!

The venue

The venue is fantastic, perfect for this kind of activity. We are at the core of the University of São Paulo and NeuroMat infrastructure is welcoming and appropriate for the event format with staff and resources for the live broadcast on YouTube. We have there enough room for many people to take part of the morning presentations and a lab with computers and internet access, beside different rooms for lunching and interacting.

The content and the chosen presenters

We always try to bring different themes for the WikidataLabs that can support discussions and technical training for the community. For this series, we planned:

We try to blend people from the local and the global community in order to have different perspectives on Wikidata related subjects. For this series, we had 2 editions with brazilians and 2 with members from other communities.

Wikiprojects were presented by Ederporto and GiFontenelle, two members of the brazilian group that have been working with GLAM Wiki projects and they shared a lot of insights on how to structure projects based on their experience and how to measure the technique quality adopted for this projects.

And the other brazilian presenter was one of the most recent “acquisition” for the brazilian group - Myxomatosis0 is a Computer Science student that have been participating of WikidataLabs and that for a few months now is member of the brazilian group. She presented on scrapping techniques, which was a very important topic for teaching and recalling this important skill for anyone dealing with data.

Then we had Sandra Fauconnier from the Wikimedia Foundation to talk about the news on Structured Data on Commons, so it was an important session for the group to be updated with this important functionality.

Next, we had Denny Vrandečić, one of Wikidata creators itself, discussing with us how to deal with knowledge diversity on Wikidata. We talked about daily challenges we face on modeling conflicting data on Wikidata and reflected on the idea he calls “abstract Wikipedia” that is quite related to a Wiki Movement Brazil UG project that I’m personally deeply involved in called Mbabel tool. It was super exciting!

Finally, the last WikidataLab we planned was focused on Wikidata and Education with Shani Evenstein due to her expertise on the subject and the interest of our group on developing more education programs using Wikidata. Since we had to postpone this WikidataLab, we replaced the event for an activity that allowed the participants to mingle and we discussed which topics should be brought to the global community on the Mbabel tool presentation and collaboratively worked on the presentation about using Wikidata for structuring GLAM Wiki projects. Even though we didn’t follow the WikidataLab planned structure, the event brought together active members of the community to meditate about our achievements on Wikidata and the results can be seen on the WikidataCon videos below:

The activities planned for the other WikidataLabs and its metrics on improving/adding content are available on each wiki event page above.

Fraternization moments and people involved

Maybe as a consequence of the event format and its recurrency, I think it’s worth highlighting the participation quality of the attendees that have straightened the brazilian user group on its efforts to contribute to the Wikidata community on a larger scale. Also the virtual participation of people from different locations have surprised us positively. On the presential aspect, the group is developing some really nice traditions and sharing a meal with wikimedians is always fruitful. Also, talking about food, for this grant I tried to use the resources to support local business so we ordered food from a japanese family business at university campus and for the last activity we ordered food from a syrian refugee starting her business in Brazil. It was all delicious! With all those elements, WikidataLab have become a very friendly and productive event!

  • What did not work so well?

It was challenging to bring new participants to our monthly activities even though we invested on printed material to use on the university site. Probably because we’re already reaching the 20th edition of WikidataLabs and people can feel a bit timorous to show up on an event so far in advance about a not very known yet platform as Wikidata. I believe we can think of a better strategie for bringing new people to this events, mainly for people to participate online and for people that already know something about Wikidata.

We had to adjust with on a short time an activity to replace the last WikidataLab planned for this Rapid Grant so as many people were interested in attending anyway and the venue was already reserved, we decided to gather and collaboratively work on the presentations the brazilian team would do on the next week at WikidataCon. I consider that a really cool alternative for that specific time slot and ended up being quite meaningful for the team to think more carefully about what kind of contribution we wanted to bring to the international community, but I’m pointing this detail on this “didn’t work so well” section because unfortunately we couldn’t include the broad community that currently participate online on this particular dynamic as we’ve been trying to do for the last year.

But overall, the events occurred as planned and with a positive result!

  • What would you do differently next time?

I’d focus on the after event when it comes to providing more content for the community in general, such as the portuguese presentation translated to english and vice versa, an effort to maybe subtitle the YouTube videos, or a simple report with a resume of the presentation and the practical activity. With this, people from other communities can be inspired by our events and maybe even have suggestions and insights on how to train students, researchers and wikimedists in general in Wikidata tools and its related abilities. We realized over the last months that our activities have a strong outreach part and we can improve it even more!


Grant funds spent[edit]

Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.

date description value (R$) total remaining document
May 29 total received 7289,05 7289,05 1
May 29 IOF 27,70 7261,05 1
May 29 tax 90,00 7171,35 1
June 11 venue rent 4257,00 2914,35 2
June 13 WikidataLab XVI meal 292,00 2622,35 3
June 13 WikidataLab XVI meal 43,65 2578,70 4
July 11 WikidataLab XVII meal 329,00 2249,70 5
July 11 WikidataLab XVII meal 36,89 2212,81 6
July 11 WikidataLab XVII meal 24,46 2188,35 7
August 8 WikidataLab XVIII meal 361,00 1827,35 7
August 8 WikidataLab XVIII meal 25,31 1802,04 9
August 26 banner 240,80 1565,24 11
September 2 graphic material 80,00 1481,24 11
September 10 WikidataLab XIX meal 294,00 1187,24 12
September 10 WikidataLab XIX meal 39,24 1148,00 13
September 18 graphic material and banner 437,00 711,00 14
September 20 printing 320,00 391,00 15
October 17 WikidataLab XX meal 335,00 56,00 16
October 17 WikidataLab XX meal 38,84 17,16 17

Remaining funds[edit]

Remaining funds have been used or will be used for other approved mission-aligned activities. This use has been requested in writing and approved by WMF.

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

There's little remaining of 17,16 BRL (less than 5 USD) that I intend to use on future WikidataLabs to provide beverages, printed materials or other possible contribution for the event.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

The WikidataLab series were awarded at WikidataCon on the Outreach category!
WikidataCon Award Ceremony video is available here (Outreach category from minute 35:30)

Right after the last event planned with the Rapid Grant resource, four members from the brazilian community (including me) participated of WikidataCon 2019 in Berlin in which the WikidataLab series were awarded at WikidataCon Award on the Outreach category - which meant a lot for us! The recognizement of the initiative by the international community made us really proud of the hard work we’ve been developing in Brazil and it was a nice opportunity to realize the impact of our initiative, specially in light of our current context of lack of investments on education, science and culture by the government.

According to Wittylama, incharged hosting the award ceremony, the jury have recognized:

  • The consistency of this Outreach activity that have been running for (almost) twenty editions now.
  • The practicality of the project as an attempt to discuss and train skills to people in this particular language community
  • The involvement of students, researchers, GLAM and wikimedians in general
  • That although the events occur in São Paulo, the outreach occurs across the community on several countries.
  • WikidataLabs have a special part on the acceptance of Wikidata across the portuguese community
  • The creation of resources that can be used for people in other communities
  • The focus on bringing people from different Wikimedia projects and how Wikidata can ve helpful for them
  • The origin of the project on a Global South community with people engaged on a volunteer basis instead of people on office

The full WikidataCon Award Ceremony video is available here (WikidataLab from minute 35:30).

Over the last months, I realized (and the award sure highlighted that) how important it is to keep carrying out such initiative on a regular basis in order to learn and share knowledge and how important it is to have time and space to connect with wikimedians and discuss projects, techniques and experiences on Wikidata. This kind of event is crucial for strengthening the community and build partnerships. Wikidata is an amazing platform with a lot of use potential for communities in different social contexts and I'm proud to be part of one particular group that have been strongly advocating its use and outreach for the local and the broad community!