- Application or grant stage: grant in progress
- Applicant or grantee: Wikimedia Community Ireland
- Amount requested: 41,479.53 EUR + 2074 EUR contingency funds (47,000 US (+ contingency))
- Amount granted: 43,554 EUR (41,4780 EUR + 2074 EUR contingency) (49,000 (includes contingency))
- Funding period: 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020
- Application created: 1 March 2019
- Recommended application date: 1 March 2019
- Midpoint report due: 15 October 2019
- Final report due: 30 April 2020
Link to these documents, for the upcoming funding period, only if you have them.
- Link to your organization's staffing plan, for the upcoming funding period. 2019 Staffing PlanTestimonials
- Link to your annual plan, for the upcoming funding period. *
- Link to your strategic plan, which includes the upcoming funding period. *
Please describe any changes to your programs for the upcoming funding period, including the addition of new programs or any programs you are no longer doing. Include your rationale for any major changes to your programs here.
Please use the templates provided to add information about each program you are planning for the upcoming funding period.
Wikimedia Community Ireland Direction
Since its inception in 2014, Wikimedia Community Ireland (WCI) has worked towards its mission statement:
- To aid and encourage people to collect, develop, and disseminate educational, cultural, and historic content in the public domain, or under a license, that allows everyone to freely use, distribute, and modify that content.
- To encourage public and private, galleries, libraries, archives, and museums on the island of Ireland to make their holdings more broadly and freely available, and to collaborate with these institutions in an effort to preserve the heritage of Ireland.
- To educate people in the use of free, open source information resources, in any form, for the advancement of education.
- To encourage the development and release of these materials in the languages of the island of Ireland; including, but not limited to English and Irish.
As a user group which is celebrating its 5th birthday in 2019, there are a number of strategic strands that have emerged that inform our activities which coincide with overall Wikimedia movement strategic planning.
From an Irish perspective, three strands have been developing for WCI within our own context:
Developing and promoting critical digital skills, and information literacy, in both Irish and English
The lack of digital skills and information literacy is something that has been noted within Ireland. An Irish Department of Education plan, Ireland’s National Skills Strategy, is targeting this deficit by encouraging both critical thinking skills alongside digital skills at numerous points throughout the education system. Ireland was ranked as having one of the lowest rates of basic digital skills in the EU in 2018, making it a priority for all of those working in this sector in the country.
- Work with educators at all levels to use Wikimedia projects as tools to teach digital skills and information literacy
- Partner with educators and advocates to promote the use of Wikimedia projects within critical digital skills modules at secondary and tertiary levels
Advocating for knowledge equity within Ireland
As digital literacy increases in Ireland, we feel it is important that access and participation in the development of Wikimedia projects should be universal. Demystifying the editing of Wikipedia and contributions to its sister projects through presentations and workshops is the first step. In particular this engagement aimed at creating, improving, and expanding coverage of Irish topics, inclusion of the Irish context in relevant articles, and the continued work on the Irish language Vicipéid.
- Collaborate with Irish speakers to ensure greater and more comprehensive coverage of content relating to the specific culture and heritage of the Irish language in Ireland and beyond, on both Wikipedia and Vicipéid
- Partner with groups that represent minority groups in Ireland, such as the Irish Traveller community and the the Immigrant Council of Ireland to improve the representation and development of relevant content
- Work with cultural institutions to identify and utilise unique resources or collections that can improve and illustrate the diversity of experience, culture and heritage in Ireland on Wikimedia platforms
Participating in the emergent conversations around open policies within Ireland
As well as the conversations happening within education, increasingly our group is being invited to speak to different professionals about how they could think about incorporating an open philosophy into their work. In the past two years this has included discussions with a body representing Irish photographers, and a session for GLAM employees working with cataloguing, data and digitisation.
- Represent the goals and mission of the wider Wikimedia Movement in Ireland at relevant forums, discussions, and consultations
- Advocate, in partnership with institutional partners, for more Irish GLAMs to publish images and other resources under Creative Commons licences
- Develop and deliver workshops which demonstrate the benefits of uploading media, data or other resources to platforms such as Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata
Within our community outreach, WCI will foster meaningful and productive relationships with various communities in Ireland. The goal of this work is to improve understanding of and contributions to Wikimedia projects from those in Ireland, while empowering individuals to find their niche within those projects. Over the past two years, the importance of Vicipéid within the ecosystem of Irish language speakers and promoters has become apparent. Not only has the importance of a body of open licence material in Irish been widely accepted, for both speakers and learners as well as for applications such as machine learning, but also how such an open platform can aid with both formal and informal learning of the Irish language.
Essential to this work with Vicipéid is the continued support and development of the platform itself. Having implemented some tools in the past year, we have noted that increasing localisation has positively impacted on how editors approach and rate their experience on Vicipéid. We want to work with editors to ensure that any English language ”creep” on Vicipéid is kept as minimal as possible, and that we support them as much as we can in achieving this.
Most importantly, WCI cannot achieve the broader goals of improving critical digital skills, digital literacy, knowledge equity, and understanding of openness within Ireland alone. Through the work of the last two years, the group has begun to foster important and fruitful relationships with individuals in partner institutions and communities. These have allowed for our Project Coordinator to be invited to present or to take part in discussions on topics relating to our wider and more strategic goals. These relationships with our “allies” is vital to WCI remaining a participant in these broader conversations within Irish society. Especially in relation to international trends and movements such as the Wikimedia movement.
Insure that our work is inline with the needs and wants of the existing Irish Wikimedia community
In 2016, and in collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation, WCI surveyed editors in Ireland in both Irish and English. The results of which we used to inform our first Simple APG and much of our activities in that first year in particular. Given the time that has elapsed and how the group has grown, we believe it is time to revisit this survey. We intend to expand on that initial work that was done. This is integral to WCI delivering on one of the key areas of the emerging Wikimedia Movement Strategy, which is to serve our community to the best of our ability. To do this we view the survey as key to active engagement and a key metric to understanding their needs. In 2016, the survey was promoted through a banner on Wikipedia and Vicipéid and was geo specific to Ireland. In this next survey, it will be promoted in a similar manner, but we will endeavour to push for a banner on Commons and Wikidata, as well as on our social media.
- Measure our impact on the community
- Assess the community's needs
- At least 100 respondents to the survey
- At least 20 Irish language respondents
Work to develop engagement with Vicipéid as informal learning
Vicipéid is being used within education in an ad-hoc manner. We are working to promote the utilization further within our education outreach (see below.) We have come to learn that it is a potential key resource to engage under-served Irish speaking educators and students. With Vicipéid at secondary and third levels, utilization within informal settings needs awareness and support for general acceptance.
An example, in secondary schools (post-primary education of pupils aged 12-18), there is the Gaelbhratach flag scheme. The flag is awarded to schools who foster more activities through the Irish language or that promote Irish culture through the language. The activities take place outside of the classroom, and are more extracurricular in nature. The scheme is run by Gael Linn, an organisation which promotes the use of the Irish language as part of Ireland's living heritage. WCI have had preliminary discussions about how editing or contributing to Vicipéid could become one of the activities promoted to schools as a potential activity for students to engage. We will work to make those discussions more formal over the coming months, with the aim to pilot student editing in late 2019 or early 2020.
With third level students, we will continue to work with Irish language groups such as Conradh na Gaeilge and university Irish language officers to deliver Vicipéid events to interested groups of students. Most third level institutions in Ireland have an Irish language student society, and our aim is to offer Vicipéid editing events to them as an event for their society members. Further to this will offer to mentor them to run their own events, as well as support them in larger events they may wish to run as part of national events such as Seachtain na Gaeilge (Week of Irish).
- Develop a programme for use of Vicipéid with Secondary school students
- Provide training for educators, as necessary, to run this programme
- Engage with Irish language societies in third level educations to promote the use of Vicipéid
- Assist Irish langauge societies with organising and running Vicipéid events
- Have 10-20 Secondary school students complete 50 hours of instruction and editing in Vicipéid. The programme will be evaluated after this first cohort
- Engage with Irish language societies at 3 Universities/Colleges
- Assist with 5 events run by Irish language societies
Respond to the needs of the Vicipéid community on Wiki
Through our continued work with members of the Vicipéid community, a theme has emerged in their feedback of the platform. They repeatedly express a frustration and disappointment at the level of English that still persists within it. From template content on the front page, to tools not being fully translated, there is still a large amount of English language “creep” on Vicipéid, to which users are sensitive. They have expressed a desire to assist with increased localisation of Vicipeid. The feedback indicates that Vicipéid would be considered more seriously as a teaching tool by educators if this work was done.
As a smaller and more under-resourced Wikipedia, Vicipéid has not benefited as much for the increased tooling and other developments. These enhancements have been shown to have helped in the increased participation on other languages. We have made progress in getting more tools enabled and improved over the past 2 years, and want to further this work. This has two immediate benefits, decreases frustrations of existing editors and makes it easier for new editors to start contributing. The latter is particularly important in light of the work we have targeted towards secondary school students. We would aim to have as few barriers for entry as possible within the editing environment.
Community members’ participation in Celtic Knot was particularly key to continued support and development of the Vicipéid platform. Attendance of the conference meant Irish editors had one-to-one access to specialised knowledge of other Wikimedians and Wikimedia developers. We found that the ability to work with those experts from across the Wikimedia movement in person, at the Celtic Knot, was the most expedient and immediately rewarding way to improve the Vicipéid editing experience.
- Engage with the Vicipéid community to develop tools
- Engage with developers of other small language Wikipedias for assistance with developing Vicipéid
- Host a virtual or physical hackathon to concentrate Vicipéid editors on improving the platform over a day
- Create/enhance 3 tools on Vicipéid
- Have at least 2 community members attend Celtic Knot conference
- Host Hack your Vicipéid event, either virtual, physical or both
Create more meaningful relationships with our event partners and foster more allies to our community
Within our group, we have noticed that there are two forms of engagement: firstly there are the core volunteers, mostly active editors who have come into the group. The second form of engagement comes from what we call “allies.” These are people for whom editing is not a core personal activity, but who actively advocate and encourage editing or other contributions to Wikimedia projects through either their paid or voluntary work. These people are primarily educators, but they are increasingly those who work in GLAMs such as the Hunt Museum, the National Gallery of Ireland, and more recently local libraries.
From the first group, the active editors, they have begun to self-start and create their own projects and outreach which is then supported by the Project Coordinator. Examples of this are Dr Teresa Lynn, Meghan Dowling and Abigail Walsh, all of whom are engaging and promoting Vicipéid within their own professional practice. Other editors are fostering collaboration between other communities and Wikipedia, such as through an event held at an Irish Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention, Octocon, in October 2018.
The allies operate in a slightly different way. They may not engage in active editing or contributing themselves, but within their own work will advocate for Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects. This will lead to them then hosting Wikimedia events in partnership with WCI, or inviting the Project Coordinator to meetings, seminars or workshops. In this way the allies are ensuring that not only is there a positive view of Wikipedia is represented, but it also works as a method for further allies to be fostered in sister organisations through mutual interest and interaction. Simply put, by inviting a Wikimedia representative to events it allows for them to make face-to-face connections with other potential partner institutions or organisations. This has grown organically out of the last 2 years of WCI activity, and we feel is the most sustainable and robust model for us to follow as we foster and grow our movement in Ireland.
We have seen this in action with our monthly events at the Dublin TOG hackerspace. The regularity of the event means that a wide variety of people attend, and often will use it as an informal setting to get feedback on an idea they have for further Wikimedia projects or collaboration. Also, being set within an existing hacker community, when that community is offered an opportunity to engage in outreach, WCI gets invited along as part of that outreach. We have seen this as part of both the Dublin Maker Faire and Culture Night.
- Provide support and guidance to active editors in creating and expanding projects
- Attend events run by allies to promote community and Wikipedia projects
- Hold community events to introduce editors and allies to the community and our project base
- Assist 5 editors to develop and run Wikimedia projects/events
- Attend 10 events run by allies
- Hold 15 events to target new editors and allies
Use Wiki Loves Monuments as a vehicle for increased engagement with Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia
In 2018 saw a marked increase in participation in WLM after two years of decline. This seems to have been due to the large increase in the number of sites added, the majority of which had no photograph identified on Commons. 2018 saw 35% of all images uploaded were of monuments which had no photograph on Commons previously. There is still ample scope for participation given the number of structures still awaiting a photograph on Commons.
Current coverage of Monuments:
- Leinster: 647 photographed, 2008 no photograph - 32% coverage
- Munster: 479 photographed, 2100 no photograph - 22.8% coverage
- Connacht: 310 photographed, 830 no photograph - 37% coverage
- Ulster: 170 photographed, 941 no photograph - 18% coverage
Currently we are exploring the idea of awarding prizes for engagement with WLM in other ways. This could include a prize for the most useful images uploaded of sites with previously no photo, or a prize for editors using images to create or illustrate articles on Wikipedia or Vicipéid.
- Increase coverage of Irish monuments on Commons
- Increase participation in WLM
- Increase coverage of under represented Irish monuments on Commons
- Increase amount of WLM images being used to illustrate articles on Wikipedia/Vicipéid
- Target the areas in Ireland that have a lower percentage of monuments represented on Commons (Ulster and Munster)
- 40% of the photos uploaded will be of monuments with no photo
- Increase coverage of photographed monuments in Ulster and Munster by 10-20% to bring them in line with Leinster and Connacht
- Increase of articles using images from WLM by 50%
- Increase of participants by 20%
As the profile of Wikipedia in education grows internationally, our group is benefiting from an overall better appreciation of how Wikipedia can be used as a teaching tool at a number of educational levels. With this backdrop, when we meet educators at events or conferences, they are already aware of Wikipedia as a teaching tool but did not know that our group exists and can aid them in using it in their teaching practice. This has lead to a slow but steady snowball effect, where we are invited to more education events, meet more people, whom we can then connect with as potential partners in the future. Within third level education (university and college), we find that they generally don’t need as much intensive help and are often happy with light support from our Project Coordinator to get started. However, we anticipate that it is our new connections with secondary school teachers that will demand more time in the coming year. Their need for more support can be for a variety of reasons, lack of technical support within their schools, a skepticism towards Wikipedia in the classroom by their teaching peers, or the desire to ensure that a trial use of teaching with Wikipedia is as supported as it can be to ensure success. Thus our strategy is to develop meaningful and sustainable relationships within secondary schools, shaping modules that are suitable for teachers to incorporate into their curriculum in either English or Irish.
Expand the use of Wikipedia and Vicipéid in secondary schools
2018 saw the first pilot workshops run with secondary school students, using Wikipedia editing to introduce them to the concept of referencing and citations. These students were from a year known as Transition Year (TY). This year is designed to sit between the first Irish state exam, the Junior Certificate, and the beginning of preparations for the final state exam, the Leaving Certificate. TY is intended to give space to students to develop skills outside of classroom learning, and to learn more social or interpersonal skills, as well as engage with work placements and group learning activities. In response to feedback from universities and colleges, TY will now incorporate a module on introducing students to the concepts of referencing and citations, to prepare them for academic writing at third level. This is something that is still being developed as part of the curriculum, and it is our intention to work with both individual schools and teachers, but also the body for professional development for teachers, to offer Wikipedia or Vicipéid modules geared towards these learning outcomes.
A module for secondary school students will be developed in partnership with educators, using Wikipedia to deliver three key learning outcomes:
Digital literacy broadly looks to improving the students’ ability to successfully navigate, evaluate, and utilise digital resources; both in their education and personal lives. As Wikipedia is one of the main sources of information readily available to students, their ability to successfully use the platform and to be able to use it critically is essential skill for them to develop.
Whilst learning about and engaging with Wikipedia, the students can also learn more critical digital skills. Some of our members have been involved in developing a module for 1st year university students on critical skills using Wikipedia, and we believe that a variant of this can be offered to secondary school students.
- Developing young people’s understanding of citation and referencing skills
This is ultimately the goal of all modules relating to using Wikipedia or Vicipéid in the classroom. By guiding students on how to find and then properly use source material to add to articles and to reference them fully, the first two objectives are achieved. The ability to understand and use referencing is the concrete outcome of the module, with the two other learning outcomes being integral to getting to that point.
- Develop Transition year modules for use of Wikipedia and Vicipéid
- Develop training for educators for the Transition Year modules
- Provide training to educators, as necessary
- Roll out module into 3 secondary schools
- Adapt and localise documentation and training materials for educators for both Wikipedia and Vicipéid
Create and expand partnerships with Universities and Colleges
Since 2017, we have been steadily increasing the number of third level institutions educators that have incorporated Wikipedia into their modules. 2018 saw the first known use of Wikipedia as a teaching tool in Northern Ireland, in Queens University Belfast (QUB). With the help of library and e-learning staff in QUB we are looking to expand this into more schools in Queens, and to work with contacts we have established in the University of Ulster to start developing modules with their staff.
There are still a number of large third level institutions that we have yet to engage. We intend to target them in the coming year, such as the 12 Irish technical colleges. This includes the newly established Technical University of Dublin (TU Dublin). Many of these institutions have library staff that have interacted with our outreach activities in the past, we will build on that initial contact to make a more established connection with them.
A key to developing these relationships will be building on the work that Meghan Dowling has been spearheading in Dublin City University with student editing of Vicipéid. This incorporation of Vicipéid editing into the teaching of Irish can now be used as a case study on how to use the Outreach Dashboard, and further bolstered by the student’s experiences and learning outcomes. TU Dublin, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Mary Immaculate College Limerick, and Waterford Institute of Technology are examples of third level institutions teach Irish as part of their degrees. Offering a sample module that would incorporate Vicipéid editing is a different way to engage with these teaching communities.
A second thread is a lower barrier of entry by engaging third level students and educators through Irish language student societies, and university Irish language officers. We have begun to make contact with some of these through the organisation Conradh na Gaeilge. We have had conversations about how editing and contributing to Vicipéid could be offered as a more social event, through editing or hackathons on campus with staff and students. Particularly, these events could be held during Seachtain na Gaeilge (Week of Irish), as part of an institutions overall Irish language activities.
We firmly believe that our work with the Irish language community is essential to the strategy on knowledge equity, as it is only through our work with the Irish language that we can represent the full diversity of the Irish experience.
- Create new partnerships with universities and colleges
- Expand on existing partnerships
- Expand partnerships targeting Irish language students
- Create partnerships with 3 new universities or colleges
- Run or assist in 10 events held in universities or colleges
- Assist with 5 events run by Irish language societies
Expand the reach of Wiki Science
In 2019, we will build on the previous two years of Wiki Science to partner with Irish institutions and organisations to promote the use of open licences through this competition. We did notice a slight drop in participation in 2018, but this can be attributed to the lack of an international competition last year. It may be that we should follow the pattern of the international competitions and do Wiki Science every two years, rather than annually. We will use our experience in 2019 to make that evaluation.
Through exhibiting the winning images at the conference on science communication, SCI:COM, we have been able to have face-to-face conversations with a number of people engaged with other science advocacy organisations and events in Ireland. These initiatives, such as the SciFest, have expressed interest in partnering to promote not only Wiki Science, but engagement with Wikimedia projects in general within their own community.
- Increase participation in Wiki Loves Science
- Engage with scientific organisations to promote Wiki Loves Science and Wikimedia projects in general
- Increase of participants by 10%
- Increase in photos uploaded by 10%
- Partner with 3 scientific organisations
Much like our work within education, we are increasingly invited to take part in events and conversations around opening up cultural collections under CC licenses. We have joined in discussions of how GLAMs could work with Wikimedia projects within their own practice. Now that less of our time and resources needs to be spent in reaching out to GLAMs and making the case to consider working with Wikimedia, we can develop specific working relationships as well as more Irish specific case studies, documentation and policies.
Continue partnership with the Hunt Museum
The Hunt Museum has become our key partner regarding its new approach to an open ethos, since the appointment of its director, Jill Cousins. In 2018 the Hunt Museum was the first Irish institution to donate images directly to Wikimedia Commons. These images were a small collection relating to the work of an Irish fashion designer, and were uploaded using Pattypan, which was also a first for Ireland. As of January 2019, collaboration with WCI through Wikipedia is part of the Hunt Museum’s new strategy from now until 2025. This strategy also confirms their plans to publish all images and 3D renderings of their objects under a Public Domain or CC0 licence. As part of our collaboration, our Project Coordinator will continue to work with the staff to upload more media to Commons, and will help in training the staff to both incorporate editing into their own work, but also how to facilitate editing workshops themselves.
- Consult with Hunt Museum about digital collections
- Hold upload events at Hunt Museum
- Training of staff to enable upload of digital collections
- Run or assist in 3 upload events at Hunt Museum
- Host 3 public editing events at or in collaboration with Hunt Museum staff
- Partner with the Hunt Museum to host a training event for GLAM professionals from across Ireland on Wikimedia projects such as Commons and Wikidata
Formalise training relationships with GLAM partners
As our relationship with the National Gallery of Ireland has developed over the past two years, we have become more strategic in our partnering. Rather than working with each other on an ad hoc basis, in 2018 we were invited to work with their TY students who were taking part in work placements within the Gallery. As a pilot, our Project Coordinator worked with a group of 15 students, and over the course of a morning they were introduced to Wikipedia editing and made edits to a selection of pages relating to the collections or artists associated with the Gallery.
Numerous GLAMs in Ireland have both interns and work placements that they facilitate throughout the year. Along with this student module, our Project Coordinator has started conversations with other institutions on how they could incorporate editing or Wikipedian in Residence type activities into their internships. This is an emerging area within Ireland, but it is planned that by late 2019 we would have one intern within a cultural institution with WiR activities specified as part of their duties.
- Provide training documentation to assist GLAMs to incorporate editing and WiR activities into internships
- Expand intern partnership to other GLAMs
- Have 1 intern within a GLAM with WiR activities as part of their work
- Create training documentation
- Have intern partnerships in place with 2 GLAMs
Advocate for the adoption of open licencing by other Irish GLAMs
Members of our community across Ireland, as well as our Project Coordinator, are continuing to advocate for more GLAMs to be involved with Wikimedia projects and to explore the use of open licensing in their outputs. This includes our continuing work with a large cultural institution to open up their collections under a CC licence, as well as working with an industrial archive to guide them in how to assess their collections for such open publication and access. It is planned that by working with these institutions that these can serve as Irish context specific working case studies for other institutions in Ireland. In having these case studies, both members of the WCI and those we are collaborating with can then look towards developing outputs for conferences and seminars, such as the presentation given by Chelsea Canavan from the Hunt Museum at Irish Museum Associations Education and Outreach Forum in 2018.
- Expand work with GLAMs to publish digital collections on Commons
- Partner with fellow open license organisations
- Work with 2 new GLAMs to publish digital collections on Commons
- Partner with 2 open license organistions to promote open licensing
- Run 3 events in GLAMs about open licensing
Staff and contractors
Please describe any changes to your staffing plan for the upcoming funding period. These should include increases in staff or contractor hours, new staff positions, or staff positions you are removing. Include your rationale for any staffing changes here.
For each new staff or contractor position, please use the template provided to add information about each new staff or contractor you are planning for the upcoming funding period (or to describe significant increases in hours or changes in job descriptions for existing staff). You are not required to provide this information for existing staff where no changes are required.
Budget and resource plan
Link to a detailed budget for the upcoming funding period. This budget should include all of your organizations expenses. Please specify which expenses will be covered from your APG.
- 2019-2020 Budget
Since 2017 there has been a distinct change in how Wikimedia Community Ireland is operating within Ireland. As mentioned in the above sections, we are increasingly finding that people are generally aware of the possibility of working with Wikipedia either as part of their professional practice or in their spare time. This heightened awareness of Wikipedia, Vicipéid, and other Wikimedia projects, means that potential partners are coming to us to start a conversation, rather than us having to seek them out. This meant that in 2018, we had anticipated hosting a large promotional event with a large amount of printed materials, in an attempt to encourage people to join as volunteers or allies. As the year progressed, it became apparent that such an event was not the best use of our time, and that we were finding such allies and partners in more organic ways.