CIS-A2K introduced the research component in the APG 2019-20, based on feedback received from the foundation on building different capacities within the team and diversifying areas of work. This is also an effort to draw on the skills and expertise available in other research programmes at CIS. The research work is structured in the form of short-term studies on topics of interest identified by individual team members. These include:
This year, the research work is aimed at identifying knowledge gaps in content creation and participation, developing a better understanding of systemic issues in different language communities, and working towards recommendations and best practices to address the same. The thematics of the research are closely tied with continuing areas of work, like the gender gap in Indian Wikimedia communities, and efforts in open access and online learning in multilingual classrooms, apart from projects such as GLAM and Wikidata, and challenges with content creation in specific language communities. These themes find resonances with work being done in other programmes at CIS, specifically the researchers@work programme which has ongoing work on digital humanities, and the creation of a multilingual internet that is accessible to all. Over the last six months, team members have identified topics of interest and formulated research questions, methodology and expected outputs. Some projects have also begun fieldwork in the form of interviews and short surveys. The remaining time will be utilized to analyse the data collected and present learnings in the form of final outputs.
Given the focused and small scale of the research work this year, there have also been some challenges. The process of working on the concept notes has been a learning process, given the diverse contexts in which the projects are located and interests of the researchers themselves. The studies have therefore tried to use various methods, including interviews, literature reviews, data visualisations, focused group discussions and comparative analyses in an effort to capture the scale and diversity of work being undertaken in different Indian language communities. Capacity-building for team members has been done largely through close supervision and collaborative work. The aim is also to look at short term impact, through best practices and recommendations that may be developed through the research studies. In facilitating better access to the work, most if not all research outputs will be available as translations in the languages of their study/contexts of enquiry.
Bridging Gender Gap Research
This research seeks to understand the gender gap and bias prevalent in content creation and participation in Indian language Wikimedia communities. The methodology for this study includes interviews with prominent women contributors on Wikimedia in Indian language communities and English, apart from focussed group discussions and other forms of community engagement.Over the last six months, the methods of study were finalized, and interviews with 11 women contributors from eight Indian and English language Wikimedia communities were conducted.
Mapping GLAM institutions in Pune
This research project aims to document offline and digitised collections, technical infrastructure and human capacities in selected GLAM institutions in Pune district, Maharashtra. Methods of study include data collection through field visits and questionnaires, and a detailed case study of one institution. A brief literature survey on GLAM related documentation online was completed, followed by selection and orientation of Wikimedia volunteers, and finalisation of questionnaires. Three Wikimedians - Username:ज्ञानदा गद्रे-फडके, Username:आर्या जोशी & Username:कल्याणी कोतकर completed 6 field visits till December, uploaded the images on Commons, and added/expanded 5 related articles on Wikipedia - राजा दिनकर केळकर संग्रहालय, पुणे नगर वाचन मंदिर, सार्वजनिक वाचनालय, राजगुरुनगर, आपटे वाचन मंदिर. An observation is the lack of awareness about Wikimedia projects among GLAM institutions, which necessitated several visits for documentation. The detailed case study of Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is expected to be completed in February, alongwith the remaining field visits, followed by a final report.
Case Study on Wikimedia in Education
The A2K team has been working with the Department of languages at Christ (Deemed to be University) to help the students enhance their digital skills, do a critical evaluation of information, and understand consumption and creation of open knowledge resources as part of the Wikimedia in Education programme. This case study is an effort to document and understand the challenges and learnings from this programme.The method of study includes interviews with students, faculty and community members, and analysis of documentation and learnings from work with the University. So far the research questions, concept note and method of the study have been finalised. Two interviews were conducted with faculty members who have been working with the Education program. There were some logistical challenges with scheduling and conducting interviews such as locating the students who have graduated and time constraints due to the academic calendar. The remaining interviews will be conducted over the next few months, followed by analysis of data and preparation of a final report.