Wikimedia CH/Micro Grant/Concorso GWMAB

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Please provide the following information for your micro-grant request:

Your Username: Alexmar983, Epìdosis

Your Country of residence: Italy

Amount requested: 500 CHF

Planned activity:

Prelimiary description[edit]

The GWMAB group (GLAM Wikidata group for Italian-speaking stakeholders) is using its resources to slowly map all researchers in Italy in open access on Wikidata, as can be verified by viewing the social media channels of the platform in Italian (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) where many posts or tweets about all related IDs have been published since September 2021. Additionally, they are developing a parallel project in Switzerland (this one) that aims to map out at least all researchers active in the scientific fields in Swiss institutions.

These projects will take some time to complete and they typically run in the background: the Italian project is addressing one university at a time, and the Swiss project was more fragmented mostly testing different fields, but it is projected to see a surge in activity in the Ticino region during 2023, with the number of linked items to the canton's research institutes and universities likely to triple from the current level of approximately 200 (see the query)

The Swiss project utilized certain manually modified spreadsheets from the e-mail campaign of the Wiki Science Competition 2021 which were imported using OpenRefine, in stark contrast to the Italian method which only used continuous and accurate manual labor. As a result of this, the data related to Swiss researchers may be less accurate than those of Italian researchers, and a smaller number of individuals outside of the scientific and technical field are included in the database. Furthermore, people from Italy who work in Ticino and have IDs linked to Italian universities (which is commonplace due to their education and past employment) would benefit from the work done on the other side of the border, thus creating a quality discrepancy since Swiss people do not work or study often in Italy.

The GWMAB group is also committed to encouraging data-a-thons, including competitions with small prizes. A possible strategy could therefore be to set up one of such competition aimed at the refinement and improvement of items of researchers in universities of Ticino, taking advantage of an established expertise.

Proposed steps[edit]

We can create a standard description page in the architecture of our project pages, like the previous one-month competitions linked above, but bilingual. We will include queries, set up a dashboard, promote the event with posts on our social media (with WMCH logo instead of the WMI one, also written both in Italian and in English), leave a message on the local project tagging all registered users. The rules are usually a set of points suggested for different actions. For example the import of the Swiss project completed before the data-thon will miss some items in any case, so ex novo creation of missing researchers is possible and will be given some points, while adding statements and sourcing them will be also considered as a necessary tasks to promote. The addition of all possible IDs related to academic databases (ORCID, SCOPUS, ResearchGate, Google Scholar) but also Swiss databases (for example SNSF person ID), as part of our long-term literacy effort, will be encouraged as well. We could do the same event for the whole country, but this is a test and since it's mostly rooted in an Italian-speaking environment, focusing on Ticino is probably a good starting point. In the future, we could organize something bigger on the national level on other pages, if WMCH likes the idea.

Since we expect 4-5 top participants with much better skills, our strategy when prizes are involved is to usually offer small prizes for more users, so 50x10=500CHF, that is 10 prizes. Our biggest practical question mark (the only one) is how to offer them: we usually promote gift cards, but we have no ideas which is the best policy for WMCH. Transferring money is always problematic because of taxes, so goods on online platforms are probably the best option; any suggestions from WMCH will be appreciated.

People involved
(e.g. How many people can benefit from the micro grant you request): The organizers are User:Alexmar983 and User:Epìdosis. Data-a-thons with small prizes were already organized in the past; we have the necessary skills and we can manage dashboards and queries, and all the architecture of pages on Wikidata.

We are aiming to bring in at least a dozen participants (that's the background level of every data-a-thon with "benefits") and to open the competition up to users in Switzerland, who may understand Italian. The proposed work is quite linear, so that even Wikidata users with a basic understanding of Italian can take part without having to put in too much effort. However, we will also provide a translation into English on the data-a-thon page. All involved users will gain expertise on such items.

Please explain what influence your activity will have on Wikimedia Projects
(e.g. quantitative: number of new pictures uploaded to commons, no of new articles created / qualitative: strengthen the community of german-speaking wikipedia authors etc,):

GWMAB Wikidata edit-a-thons were created as a way to increase literacy and spread awareness about good practices and ongoing projects. Few people may realize how the coverage of Wikidata items concerning researchers is becoming increasingly detailed in certain areas. This is not only due to vast imports of items from archives (full of under-connected items and duplicates), but also because of the quality of the work of volunteers, which is constantly increasing its standards. The data-a-thon are an effective way to increase the quality of a group of items, while demonstrating that considerable human resources can be tapped into in order to reach certain standard relatively quickly.

Such competitions are also (thanks to feedbacks) an effective way to refine operative guidelines that can be used by other activities for example related to other areas of Switzerland. Quality is not only measured by the number of items produced, but also by the sourced statements and identifiers they include.

Completing the coverage of researchers of a given canton is in the end an effective message, since it looks more promising for stakeholders when a completed portion of the work with a certain quality can be shown. In Italy, we can demonstrate the progress showing at meeting how we are completing the mapping of researcher one university at the time; in Switzerland, the full coverage of Ticino (and not just one of its university or research centers) could be a fitting example of how a task can be completed in an organized and efficient manner with limited resources. it would be completed to be presented also to local authorities.

Please notice that Italy is putting in a continuous effort to get a full coverage of active researchers on Wikidata. Switzerland has been much slower in this regard, which is a pity since it has fewer researchers and the task could probably be completed faster. In addition to that, Switzerland is at the center of much more intricate transnational academic networks than Italy. If it can be shown that a good coverage of items concerning researchers in Switzerland is possible, starting a large-scale operation, it is probable that many other European academic systems will be positively influenced by it.

In case of Tessin, we expect at least 500 items of researchers to be revised or created ex novo during the month of the competition.

Please provide links to your contributions after your project or activity ended:
Please provide the links to the categories on Wikimedia Commons, to the articles on Wikipedia or any other contributions on Wikimedia projects:

It's done using a query and a dashboard. We usually keep track of outputs of our competitions, as you can see in the links provided above.


After discussion by email, I conform that the grant is accepted and it will be under innovation programme. --Ilario (talk) 17:46, 5 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Important: AFTER having submitted your request, please write an eMail to with your contact details (at least: Name, Surname, Email address)

Results Not sure if this is the right format but basically all metrics can be summarized in this page on Wikidata. We have given the prize to three users and since we have budget we have increased the amount. Ilario already suggested to do so.

The accounting department of WMCH will receive three requests of 200 CHF, 100 CHF and 50 CHF respectively, a total of 350 CHF within the budget.