Wikimedians in Residence Exchange Network/mission

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The Wikimedians in Residence Exchange Network supports individual Wikimedia professionals in taking staff positions at knowledge-based institutions for the purpose of sharing free and open content in Wikimedia projects.

As a community of practice, we advocate for the following:

  1. knowledge-sharing of best practices in community and technology
  2. peer support network of members
  3. supporting free and open access to knowledge
  4. collaborating with the wiki community
  5. Establishing ethical guidelines

A Wikimedian in Residence is a professional Wikimedia editor who shares the knowledge and media of their institution in Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, and the other Wikimedia projects. For most Wikimedians in Residence, their primary objective is to deliver the most valuable information from an organization to the largest available audience of Wikimedia readers who want this content. Organizations which commonly employ Wikimedians in Residence include medical organizations, universities, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics institutes, cultural partners such as libraries and museums, and organizations in government and policy.

Organizations which hire Wikimedians in Residence typically position these roles in their outreach efforts, similar to social media coordinators who post content to Facebook, Twitter, and the organization’s own website. Wikimedia projects get a billion unique users in a year, making it a concentrated platform for reaching a global audience which is seeking reference information on topics of their own choice. In the same way that organizations do outreach to small audiences in their social media channels, those organizations can increase access to the larger audience seeking information in their own field of expertise by sharing content in Wikimedia projects.


Knowledge sharing[edit]

The Wikimedian in Residence role has the goal of communication. A person in this position delivers information to an audience seeking knowledge.

  • Providing links to articles in references on Wikipedia articles where possible
  • Advocating within our institution to digitize and make open-access things like university-published journals, student theses and dissertations, etc. (has anyone done this?)
  • Advocate for digitized images in the public domain to be freely downloadable, or to make them freely downloadable through mass upload projects to commons

Peer support[edit]

WREN convenes a forum where people in Wikimedian in Residence roles can meet, discuss, and collaborate with each other.

  • formally through presentations within our organizations and to larger communities, including wikiconferences and academic gatherings (conferences, retreats, workshops, etc.)
  • through on-wiki documentation and participation in discussions
  • Peer support network of members (seems like part of knowledge sharing?)
  • through online meetings and social media (Facebook, Slack, etc.)
  • through messages on talk pages and discussion pages
  • engaging cross-disciplinary approaches across sectors

Free and open content[edit]

WREN advocates for the sharing of free and open content as a key strategy by means of which to share knowledge.

  • developing models for expert-to-expert information sharing and content building
  • Requiring content experts to become Wikipedia experts is inefficient and establishes a high barrier to participation - Wikimedian in Residence roles address this

Wikimedia collaboration[edit]

WREN advocates for the Wikimedia Movement for the philosophy, community, technology, and communication platform which it provides to enable knowledge-based organizations to achieve their communication goals through a Wikimedia partnership.

  • Using professors’ and students’ expertise to provide metadata to foreign-language holdings in an archive
  • Geospatial data for photographs
  • Using knowledge of tools to mass upload photos to commons, then using uploaded photos on pages in Wikipedia
  • Including research from multiple disciplines in writing pages about broad subjects?
  • We observe Wikipedia policies and guidelines to guide editing projects
  • We try to “mediate” between communities and GLAMs(?)

Establishing ethical guidelines[edit]

WREN curates and develops ethical guidelines to provide stability to collaborations between the Wikimedia Movement and institutional partners.

  • Diversity of paid roles
  • This seems fairly self-explanatory. I (Rachel) have been collecting job information on positions that come up but so far I only have a few descriptions.
  • Unpaid roles?
  • Seems like Wikipedia already has COI guidelines--would other editors see this statement as one where we’re deviating from Wikipedia guidelines?
  • What about surveying all Wikimedia projects that happen to have COI guidelines and see how those differ from en.wp?
  • In an ideal world, what changes would you make to the current COI guidelines?
  • Right now it suggests using the “request edit” template… I’ve never used it but it seems like a band-aid