Grants:Project/Rapid/Wiki Universitarios + Wiki UANL + Wiki FaPsiUANL/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.


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

Yes! This is the second wiki event we have hosted at the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL, by its acronym in Spanish). Our scope has grown since the first editathon, which took place solely at the Faculty of Psychology and had only 21 participants. This time, the Faculties of Psychology, Medicine and Sports Organisation of UANL got involved, as well as the University da Vinci, an online institution. We organised several talks on open knowledge, trainings on Wikipedia editing and editathons. We also had a wrap-up session to share lessons learned. These activities were organised in different locations or online, with the help of several volunteers. Coordination was complex. We also had to deal with uncertainty and some criticism. Time management and communication were key. In spite of the difficulties, I am satisfied with the results. We exceeded our original expectations and received positive feedback. The support of the Wikimedia Foundation meant a lot, as it is not common in our institution to obtain this type of grant.

A more detailed story of the editathon is available in ALT's blog:
A version in Spanish is available in our institutional blog:


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
10 events (3 talks about openness and Wikipedia, 3 training sessions, 3 editathon sessions, 1 wrap-up session) 11 events (3 talks about openness and Wikipedia, 3 training sessions, 4 editathon sessions, 1 wrap-up session) We had sessions both online and face-to-face at the participating faculties. Some materials and info (in Spanish) of the sessions are openly available, including help sheets for participants, slides for the talk on openness, introduction to the editathons, a video explanation of the editathon and a review of the editathon in Spanish and English.
50+ participants 70+ participants We had 64 registered participants. However, we counted 10 people in the initial training session for staff, 10+15 in the two face-to-face talks about open knowledge and Wikipedia, 18 in the online talk and training, 35+15+12 in the three face-to-face editathons with trainings, 7 in the online editathon, and 5 in the wrap-up session.
40+ new editors 50 new editors Fifty registered participants reported not having had any previous experiences editing Wikipedia.
50+ articles created or improved 70 articles created or improved We had 69 people attending the editathon sessions (some were repeat participants). We calculate that in each session, everyone at least contributed to one article. Some worked on two or more.


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?
  • What did not work so well?
  • What would you do differently next time?

What worked
In the Psychology Faculty, we had two rooms available during the editathon, one with food and one with computers. Participants could work on Wikipedia, or relax for a bit and chat with others while having a snack. This worked quite well. I like this setup and plan to use it for other events.

As we were all doing this for the fun of it in addition to our regular workloads, the book gift cards were a nice thank you for volunteers who helped with the organisation. They were unexpected and greatly appreciated.

Mensa Mexico, a group that joins gifted people, donated some books for participants. This was a kind gesture too.

What was improved
This is our second editathon. We tried to fix the problems we encountered before.

Last time This time
We had a separate session for training and a 5-hour long editathon. We had a detailed, separate training session for staff and several 2-3 hour long editathons that began with a brief training.
Some participants struggled to understand how to edit Wikipedia. Editathons started with a quick training for everyone. Participants from the first editathon helped the newbies. We created resources to help people (a video explanation, slides and a help sheet with FAQs).
We struggled with the the techology, particularly with the wifi. We reused materials and equipment (extensions and voltage converters) we got for the first editathon. We changed the location of the sessions to ensure functional infrastructure. We got a portable wifi device as a backup. This worked quite smoothly.

What was challenging
Each participating faculty faced its own challenges. One of them felt overwhelmed with all that was required and backed out on the week of the event (and later backed in!). Another had to deal with criticism, as a senior staff member strongly questioned the value of the editathon and recommended it to be cancelled. His reaction affected negatively the mood of the volunteer organisers. There is still work to do in terms of the acceptance of open knowledge.

We got confirmation of our proposal for funding once the event had started. We decided to take a calculated risk and buy the supplies needed for the event. We reused as many supplies as possible from our last wiki event. Fortunately, our proposal was approved!

What should be done differently

Next time, we will apply for the grant at least two months in advance to ensure we have enough time to go through the whole process.

Improving communication between organisers can potentially help us prevent problems before they appear (eg, offering advice on time management and coping with criticism).


Grant funds spent[edit]

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

  • Food & drinks = 5,252 MXN = 273 USD
  • Electronic equipment (portable wifi) = 1,829 MXN = 95 USD
  • Book gift cards to recognize exceptional volunteer contributions = 2,400 MXN = 125 USD
  • Miscellaneous supplies (name tags, markers, paper, etc.) = 549 MXN = 28 USD

Total = 521 USD

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

No. We asked for 9,652 MXN (500 USD at the time of request). We used 10,031 MXN (521 USD on April 1st 2019).

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

We are working on a study on participants' acceptance of open knowledge and Wikipedia, and their transition from knowledge consumers to knowledge creators.