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The Wikipedia Library/Newsletter/September-October 2023

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The Wikipedia Library
Books & Bytes
Issue 59, September–October 2023

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In this issue we highlight the anti-disinformation repository, library access methods, and, as always, a roundup of news and community items related to libraries and digital knowledge.

Spotlight: Introducing a repository of anti-disinformation projects

This spotlight is excerpted from a post on Diff.

During the confusing first months of the COVID-19 global pandemic, reliable sources of information about the disease were hard to find, and even reporting from major news media showed inconsistencies and contradictions. Conspiracy theories, false information, and disinformation campaigns were rampant. A group of Wikipedia volunteers organized task forces; they collated, curated, and fact-checked COVID-19-related information in a single location; they worked in multiple languages, across the world and around the clock. WikiProject COVID-19 was launched at record speed, its first edits dated 16 March, 2020—i.e., a month and a half after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern. Through WikiProject COVID-19, the Wikimedia community helped to ensure that readers across the globe had access to timely, trustworthy, and accurate information that was essential for their health and well-being. Without this public interest volunteer effort, people worldwide might have more easily fallen for disinformation, falsehoods, and conspiracy theories that could have cost their loved ones and them their health and, even, their lives.

Wikimedia volunteers work daily on the front lines of the search for reliable, trustworthy information, to counter the swath of mis- and disinformation growing online and offline, to reduce knowledge gaps, and to promote and increase knowledge equity. Many Wikimedia communities address these challenges and goals systematically, and have developed initiatives and projects that can provide valuable tools and resources to other communities. However, until now, information about these important projects has not been collected in one place to show the breadth and depth of activities happening across the Wikimedia communities. The response is the new Anti-Disinformation Repository, with almost 70 projects, aimed to help the hundreds of thousands of volunteer editors contributing to the projects to curb false and misleading information.

The purpose of this repository is to provide Wikimedians all over the world with access to different communities' projects, more ideas and tools, and details to contact others who can support them with their work to create and share trustworthy information. It is intended to help scale some of these projects, as well as trainings, research, and community operations. Last but not least, it provides a picture of just how much work our communities do for trustworthy information: one that helps explain why the Wikimedia communities and projects are an antidote to disinformation.

Tech tip: Library access methods


Most of the library's resources are accessed via proxy. However, some partners use an alternate access method:

  • Accounts are set up directly by the publisher and sent to users via email
  • Users receive an access code via email to enter at the publisher website
  • Users receive a specific URL via email which they will use to register their account

For these methods, there can be a delay between your application being approved and your access being available. Be sure to keep an eye on your email (including your spam folder) for updates.

Bytes in brief


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