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WikiIndaba conference 2018/Submissions/Fostering the representation of African cultures in Wikipedia language editions with Wikipedia Cultural Diversity Observatory (WCDO)

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Submission no. 007
Title of the submission
Fostering the representation of African cultures in Wikipedia language editions with Wikipedia Cultural Diversity Observatory (WCDO)
Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, birds of a feather discussion)
Lightning talk (5-10 minutes)
Author of the submission


The Wikipedia Cultural Diversity Observatory (WCDO) project is a research project leaded by Marc Miquel (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), David Laniado (Eurecat), Diego Saez-Trumper (WMF), among others. It is the practical outcome of the PhD research thesis conducted by Marc Miquel with the title "Identity-based motivation in digital engagement: the influence of community and cultural identity on participation in Wikipedia”.

Language of presentation


E-mail address




Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

While it is extremely difficult to change the conditions which would allow editors from all countries to contribute to Wikipedia and therefore improve the cultural diversity of the project, we can certainly spread the existing cultural diversity across language editions and reduce the content culture gap (articles about one culture that exists in their local language but not in others). In this presentation:

I introduce the Wikipedia Cultural Diversity Observatory (WCDO). The content of each language edition of Wikipedia is skewed toward the cultural and geographic context associated with its own language. WCDO aims to correct this underrepresentation, providing focused data and strategic recommendations for cross-language collaboration so that each language edition will have a truly international representation of the world’s knowledge.

I will provide detailed results for the African languages Cultural Context Content (CCC). First, we will the extent of this content in terms of number of articles and their percentage in the language editions, compared to the other Wikipedia language editions. Then, we will see which are the more rellevant topics which define them and their extent (Agriculture, Education, Events, Politics,...). This will allow us to hypothesize and debate about how African Wikimedians relate to their context - whether they are motivated to represent it and find the necessary references. As a solution, WCDO wants to provide specific lists of top priority articles for each language edition that should be in every other language editions.

Finally, I want to talk to you about how I think that in the same way that the gender gap has created a united movement, the cross-language collaboration projects (the Catalan Culture Challenge, Wikimedia CEE, etc.) should do the same in order to be more effective in ensuring content diversity in each Wikipedia language edition.

What will attendees take away from this session?
  • Raise awareness on the importance of cross-language collaboration as a complementary strategy to increase Wikipedia content diversity.
  • Learn about how their peers ready represent their cultural contexts (what topics, how important it is) in the different Wikipedia language editions they contribute to.
  • Discover the extent of the content culture gap for the African languages.
  • Learn more about the current projects that fostering cross-language collaboration and see how they can prioritize for certain content gaps.
Theme of presentation
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes

10 minutes This presentation main goal is to present the WCDO project and some tailored results about the African context. I would be happy to extend it in order to receive feedback from which iniatives may benefit more directly from WCDO.

Will you attend WikiIndaba if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)

I would like everyone to take some time to read about the project https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Project/Wikipedia_Cultural_Diversity_Observatory_(WCDO) .

Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?


Interested attendees[edit]

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  1. Lionel Scheepmans Contact French native speaker, sorry for my dysorthography 12:48, 31 January 2018 (UTC), Very intersting ! 10 min. seams to short for this presentation, but better than nothing.[reply]

Committee decision[edit]