Grants:Project/Rapid/USF SOLIS 2017 WikiEquality Series/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2016-17 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/USF SOLIS 2017 WikiEquality Series.
  • 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.

The 2017 USF SOLIS WikiEquality Series (stylized as WikiΞquality) is a series of Wikipedia edit-a-thon events hosted by Student Organizations for Library & Information Science (SOLIS), a graduate student organization at the University of South Florida consisting of student chapters for the American Library Association and the Special Libraries Association.


The goal of USF SOLIS’s 2017 WikiEquality Series was to edit and add content to Wikipedia with a special focus on human rights, social justice, equality, and diversity, and this goal was accomplished through the three grant-funded spring-semester Wikipedia edit-a-thon events. Since USF SOLIS was relatively new to planning edit-a-thons, organization officers were unsure of how to sufficiently project anticipated outcomes, but in the end everyone was happy with the results. With the help of librarians, academics, and several others, USF SOLIS successfully hosted three themed events—for Black History Month, Art+Feminism, and World Book Day respectively—to raise awareness of the need for representative content on Wikipedia and an increasingly diverse editorship.


Google Forms was used to gather data and measure the success of USF SOLIS’s Spring 2017 WikiEquality events.

Project metrics[edit]

Target outcome Achieved outcome
# of events 3 3
# of participants 15+ 22
# of new editors 5 6
# of new articles 9 8
# of repeat participants 10+ 7

Metrics by event[edit]

Event #1 Event #2 Event #3
Theme Black History Month Art+Feminism

(Women’s History Month)

World Book Day
Type of place Public library Community college library Public library
Day/time Friday evening Tuesday evening Sunday early afternoon
# of participants 10 5 7
# of new editors 4 0 2
# of new articles 4 2 2

Articles created[edit]

Event #1: Black History Month

Event #2: Art+Feminism

Event #3: World Book Day



Overall, the events were a success and proved to attract people that wanted to make a social or political impact, particularly as a result of the currently highly divided political climate. The majority of participants were previous editors of Wikipedia; however, several were not, and this led to potential issues in the editing process. Having a Wikipedia administrator and member of Florida Librarians of Wikipedia, Rob Fernandez, assist with the events was extremely helpful due to his knowledge and ability to assist others, specifically new editors.

Participants were encouraged to edit related content or add new content, and most of the time, even new editors opted to add something new. This backfired in a few instances, resulting in a few pages being flagged for speedy deletion within minutes of being published. One example was an article created by a new editor for Evita Robinson, a black woman notable for her role in defining the urban travel movement. This page was created prematurely and was immediately flagged for speedy deletion as a result. USF SOLIS Vice President Paul Flagg went back to reformat the page and make sure everything met Wikipedia guidelines; however, a panel of Wikipedians ultimately determined that the page should be deleted. In response to this discouraging instance, the page was recreated at a later date with additional sources and supplemental information for USF SOLIS’s following edit-a-thon. Prior to this instance, the event organizer was unaware of the Wikipedia guideline page for “assuming good faith,” but this has been identified as a useful tool to include on Talk pages of new articles in the future.

Survey Results[edit]

Each event had a Wikipedia Meetup page, which made it easier to track who was participating and what articles were being created and/or worked on. After each event, an event evaluation survey was sent via Google Forms to acquire more qualitative data, which yielded the following information:

  • Having themed events made the edit-a-thons more unique and identifiable, and participants enjoyed working on content with the event themes in mind; these included Black History Month (February), Art+Feminism (for Women’s History Month in March), and World Book Day (April 23).
  • The Projects section on each of the Meetup pages seemed constructive for the event organizer but was not widely acknowledged by participants.
  • Food was a great incentive and kept participants at the events longer than they likely would have stayed otherwise. Pizza, chips, crackers, cookies, water, and sodas were provided as refreshments during the events.
  • Marketing efforts included print and digital fliers; social media updates; emails to LIS-related student organizations, local professional organizations, and listservs; Facebook Ads; event announcements in the campus-wide USF Note-a-Bull weekly newsletter; a local radio appearance; and strategic placement of promotional materials throughout USF campus (in the main Tampa-campus library, USF Writing Studio, and the School of Information) and select branches of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library.
  • Word-of-mouth and email notifications yielded the greatest results for event attendance. Library student and organization listservs seemed to be the most effective in drawing people to the events, as did participants simply bringing a friend (four separate instances).
  • Investing in Facebook Ads was rather fruitless; they stimulated social media interaction leading up to the events but did not yield any additional participants.
  • New editors felt discouraged by Wikipedians hastily reverting edits and marking pages for speedy deletion. Resistance regarding new and diverse editorship on Wikipedia is an issue that has been noted multiple times throughout the edit-a-thon event series as well.


Grant funds spent[edit]

USF SOLIS WikiΞquality, Pt. 1: Black History Month—2/10/2017
Date Cost Place of purchase Purchase for Add'l notes
1/26/17 $23.30 Amazon Wikipedia Game (2) For prizes
2/8/17 $28.80 Target Dry snacks + soda Chips, cookies, soda as food incentive
2/10/17 $10.64 Wal-Mart Ice + cooler
2/10/17 $25.00 Jimmie B. Keel Library Meeting Room Food Fee
2/10/17 $33.49 Pizza Hut Pizza 3 pizzas + delivery (food incentive)
2/28/17 $16.52 Facebook Ads Facebook advertising 2 posts for event advertised from 2/8-2/10
TOTAL $137.75
WikiΞquality, Pt. 2: Art+Feminism—3/21/2017
Date Cost Place of purchase Purchase for Add'l notes
3/11/17 $50 Facebook Ads Facebook advertising Promotion 3/11-3/21
3/20/17 $21.56 Target Dry snacks + soda Food incentive
TOTAL $71.56
WikiΞquality, Pt. 3: World Book Day—4/23/17
Date Cost Place of purchase Purchase for Add'l notes
4/11/17 $5 USF Printing Printing fliers Promotional fliers
4/23/17 $50 Facebook Ads Facebook advertising Promotion 4/9-4/23
4/23/17 $28.53 Publix Dry snacks + soda Food incentive
4/23/17 $35.64 Domino's Pizza Pizza Food incentive
4/23/17 $3.20 Walgreens Plates
4/23/17 $25.00 HCPLC Room fee Meeting room food fee
TOTAL $147.37
WikiΞquality Event Series

Remaining funds[edit]

President Kirill Lokshin of Wikimedia District of Columbia approved funding for USF SOLIS’s 2017 WikiEquality Series and through the necessary forms has reimbursed expenses following submission of receipts after each edit-a-thon. Since grant funds were not originally disbursed in the full amount of $450, the remaining funds of $93.32 have not been collected by USF SOLIS, and, therefore, will not need to be returned. Further financial support for Wikipedia edit-a-thons will likely be requested in the future by SOLIS, as this grant has had a significant impact in ensuring the success of these WikiEquality events.

Remaining funds from this grant have been returned to WMF in the amount of $93.32 USD.

Relevant links[edit]