Grants:Project/Rapid/Wiki Universitarios + Wiki UANL + Wiki FaPsiUANL 2020/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2019-20 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 third wiki event we have organised with the support of the Wikimedia Foundation. Our scope has grown since the first editathon, with only 21 participants at a single university. This time, four higher education institutions were involved: the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL, by its acronym in Spanish), the University da Vinci (UDV, fully online university), La Salle University (ULSA, Oaxaca campus) and the University of Guadalajara (UDG). We organised several talks on open knowledge, trainings on Wikipedia editing and editathons. These activities were organised in different locations or online, with the help of several volunteers.

Coordination was complex. We also had to cope with unforeseen circumstances, such as a key volunteer dropping out of this project. Also, one of the institutions was quite unfamiliar with open knowledge. They agreed to participate without having a clear idea of what it entailed. It was an interesting learning curve for them. The support of the Wikimedia Foundation was key to surmount these challenges. Moreover, the COVID19 pandemic was just starting to be heard of in the country. We were able to have the face-to-face sessions before it became unwise to do so. This has been quite a ride!

In spite of the difficulties, I am satisfied with the results. We exceeded our original expectations and received positive feedback. Some participants were teachers; they agreed to share with their students information about open knowledge and how to contribute to Wikipedia. The impact of this event will continue beyond the grant's timeframe.

Some blog posts about the events (in Spanish) are available at:


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
14 (4 talks about openness and Wikipedia, 4 training sessions, 4 editathon sessions, 1 planning session, 1 wrap-up session) 16 events (4 talks about openness and Wikipedia, 4 training sessions, 4 editathon sessions, 1 planning session, 3 wrap-up sessions) We had sessions both online and face-to-face at the participating institutions. We had more wrap-up sessions than originally planned to discuss the specific experience of some organisers/volunteers. 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 Wikipedia and open knowledge, a video explanation of the editathon, and reviews of the editathons (in Spanish).
100+ participants 120+ participants We had 132 registered unique participants. We counted 66 in the face-to-face talks at UANL, UDG and ULSA, 43 in the virtual talk hosted by UdaVinci, 80 in the face-to-face editathons, 20 in the virtual editathon. We were 4 main organisers (one per institution), but we each had the support of others.
80+ new editors +100 new editors One hundred and nine registered participants reported not having any previous experiences editing Wikipedia.
100+ articles created or improved +100 articles created or improved We had 100 people attending the editathon sessions (face-to-face or online). We calculate that in each session, everyone contributed to at least one article. Some worked on two or more. We received some messages of people who attended the virtual talk on openness and contributed to Wikipedia at home, without also connecting to the editathon online session. We unfortunately do not have enough data to assess how often this was the case.


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 well?
Something particularly nice was how people from the different institutions contributed to the events. UDV created a logo for everyone to use. Zanzamar7, who is a lecturer at UDG and an edutuber, created a video about Wikipedia and open knowledge. She even added English subtitles to reach a wider audience. This helped our online participants.

All institutions shared their events online and posted them in the Open Education Week platform. I particularly value the participation of ULSA. This was their first experience with open knowledge. They were quite supportive, even when uncertain as to how an editathon works. Moreover, at ULSA, we had participants who speak indigenous languages. Some of them were part of the university; others belonged to external groups. They seemed quite excited with the idea of documenting knowledge in their own languages. I found their interest inspiring.

We replicated successful practices that we had had in the past (for more info, see our previous report). For example, at UANL, 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 has worked quite well. We used the same spaces again. We also started all editathon sessions with a quick training for everyone and had resources available to help people (video explanations, slides and a help sheet with FAQs).

At the face-to-face editathons, we asked participants to put on a sticker of the color that best described them:

  • Green - experienced editors
  • Yellow - non-experienced editor but generally techie
  • Red - Newbie

We then encouraged more experienced participants to help the newbies.

Mensa Mexico, a group that joins people with a high IQ, donated some books for participants at UANL. This was a kind gesture.

What was improved?
Last time, we incorrectly understood the concept of outstanding volunteers. We fixed this mistake. This time we had a mini-contest at each institution. We asked participants to provide their Wikipedia username, so we could see what their contributions were. Organisers could not participate. Since Wikipedia offers you points for each contribution, we added them to identify outstanding volunteers. The most prolific participant had 63,277 points. She contributed to 10 articles, by creating them, enhancing them or translating information from English to Spanish.

We also had a better communication between organisers. I think it helped that we are friends. While we did face some problems, we coped.

What did not work so well?
At ULSA, we had no one knowledgeable in Wikipedia who could help with the event. The original plan was for us to train someone who is originally from Oaxaca but studied at UANL, so she could go there to help in person and also deliver a talk on openness. We bought tickets two months before the event, planned her trip, and then she had a personal situation that required her to withdraw her participation. This was stressful. I had to make some strategic decisions. I decided to visit ULSA myself. However, logistics changed. I couldn't find a flight as cheap as the one I had bought, my schedule wasn't as flexible, I had fewer options available, etc. Fortunately, the Wikimedia Foundation accepted the request for additional funding. I am extremely grateful for it.

Another challenge at ULSA was that we found out that there is a limit to the number of people who can create a new Wikipedia account from the same IP. Some participants couldn't edit Wikipedia directly during the editathon. We encouraged them to work on the articles of their preference and do the edits from home. This was not ideal. I did have with me a portable wifi device, which we bought for a previous editathon. However, it did not work.

What would you do differently next time?
We will ask participants to create their Wikipedia account at home before the event. I will definitely check the portable wifi device before the event. It worked normally last time I used it (months before the editathon). I assumed it would still work. That was a mistake.


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 = 7,323.20 MXN | 376.26 USD
  • Travel from Monterrey to Oaxaca to support an editathon and deliver a talk on openness= 14,486.77 MXN | 749.38 USD
  • Book gift cards to recognize exceptional volunteer contributions (winners of mini-contests) = 2,000 MXN | 105.97 USD
  • Miscellaneous supplies (name tags, markers, paper, etc.) = 2,020.94 MXN | 103.17 USD

Total = 25,830.91 MXN | 1,334.77 USD

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?
No. Initially, we asked for 17,000 MXN (883.13 USD at the time of request). We had to cope with an unforeseen situation and got the support of the Wikimedia Foundation. An additional budget of 341.70 USD (6708.39 MXN) was approved on March 3rd. With this, our budget was 23,708.39 MXN (1,224.83 USD). We spent 25,830.91 MXN (1,334.77 USD). Since this was an individual grant, I, BrendaPadilla3, am covering the difference.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?
Some editathon participants speak a language that is not in Wikipedia (Zapotec). We found a handbook to request a new language and some other documentation, but most of it seems to be solely in English. We would need to translate it to Spanish first and then tell participants about it. It is hard to guide them, as this is also new for us (the organisers). We are a bit unsure about the steps to follow and the time required to follow this through. But it is an interesting possibility, if not in the short term, maybe later.