Grants talk:PEG/SMarks/Pollard Memorial Library and UMass Lowell Wikipedia Edit-A-Thons/Report
Hi Librarygurl. Thank you for this report and for organizing all of the editathons! We're happy that your first events were a positive experience and hopefully folks will continue to engage. We have a few questions/comments below and look forward to your responses:
- Thank you for your thoughtful responses to lessons learned section -- all are very useful!
- It's great to see that all the new editors were women and that a number of local editors came to multiple events. Do you think this was mostly due to the topic area?
- The theme, while helping people find entries to work on, did not seem to be a specific attraction to participants. Most seemed generally interested in editing Wikipedia regardless of the topic. We recognized that, aside from the first session, most attendees came because of our direct outreach to them, we were able to target them for promotion of future sessions. We did feel the topic made editing more approachable as it was easy to identify how someone could participate. In our guide we tried to identify what articles could use for improvements (grammar, citations, or expanded information for example) and what sources were available to help find information.
- Considering you had 6-8 people at each of the 4 events, we would have expected more than 20 articles improved/created. Can you provide more insight on to why this might be? Was the majority of time spent on training?
- We found that most people spent the session working on 1 or 2 articles. This work was in-depth editing of content. They spent time searching through sources and adding correct citations. The newest editors started with some copy editing on suggested entries, but some people said they didn't feel comfortable with that task. We encouraged participants to work the way they were most comfortable even if it didn't translate into volume. The individual entry edit data, which we can provide, suggests that major edits with large data changes, were more common than smaller, minor edits. For example, ZenAlpaca (a new, local editor) spent her day working on one entry and after one save she had added 2676 characters to the entry. This was fairly common and we can provide that data for each editor during the four sessions if you would like to see.
- Did you create event pages for the editathons? It would be great to know what articles were worked on under this grant.
- We had 4 event pages on Wiki that were not used by most participants. We also use the University of Massachusetts Lowell LibGuides subscription to create a guide that worked better for us. The links are as follows:
- Our LibGuide
- Wikipedia Meet Up Page: Session 1
- Wikipedia Meet Up Page: Session 2
- Wikipedia Meet Up Page: Session 3
- Wikipedia Meet Up Page: Session 4
- What type of follow-up have you done with participants since the events? We've seen newsletters, on-wiki check-ins, emails, or social media to be good avenues to keep people engaged.
- As of this point we have not had an opportunity to do much follow-up. The students started finals and left campus within a few weeks of the end of the fourth session. We had not considered a formal follow-up plan either. We have been thinking of what to do moving forward, but are still working out the details. We would like to run more edit-a-thons and plan of promoting them to those who came to these 4 sessions, especially the local editors.