Submissions:2016/Wikipedia Organizations on Campus: Case Study and Guide

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Presentation slide deck available here
Advocacy & Outreach
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
Kevin Payravi, Maria Rimmel
E-mail address
Wikipedia Connection and Ohio Wikimedians User Group
Wikipedia student organizations at colleges and universities present a unique opportunity for student Wikipedians to engage their higher-education setting and perform effective Wikimedia outreach. A student organization can reach students and faculty alike, and oftentimes has access to resources and a network that a conventional independent Wikimedia organization does not have.
This presentation will first briefly cover the history of Wikipedia-related student organizations in the higher education setting, including efforts in Michigan, New York, and China. We'll then cover the history of Wikipedia Connection, a student organization at the Ohio State University that was created in Spring of 2015. The student-run organization, with the support of library faculty, has hosted edit-a-thons, weekly workshops, a photo event, and more on-campus.
We'll cover some of the pros of running a Wikipedia-related student organization, including:
  • Connecting existing young editors to the broader Wikimedia community.
  • Introducing students and faculty to editing Wikipedia and understanding how it functions ("is Wikipedia reliable?").
  • Connecting librarians, academics, and other university staff to the project and community.
  • Bettering students' research skills through their participation on Wikipedia.
Wikipedia-related student organizations can be difficult to sustain and success, with Wikipedia Connection probably being the most long-lived and successful student organizations in the United States. In addition to sharing the type of work the student organization engages in, we'd also like to generalize what Wikipedia Connection's organizers have learned from running their Wikipedia student organizations, and describe the key ways to remain sustainable. Some of the key topics that will be covered are:
  • What are the necessary ingredients to run a successful Wikipedia student club?
  • What are the key challenges to running a Wikipedia student organization, compared to other Wikimedia groups and affiliates?
  • How does a student organization attract and retain student editors?
  • What sort of resources does a university student organization have that other Wikimedia affiliates may not have access to?
  • What are the differences between running an edit-a-thon for students vs. running a general public edit-a-thon?
Length of presentation
20 minutes
Special schedule requests
Cannot present late Sunday or Monday
Preferred room size
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  1. --Pine (talk) 14:05, 21 August 2016 (EDT)
  2. The Ohio State University group has been the most successful Wikipedia student organization to date in terms of engagement over time. I am excited for this talk. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:00, 22 August 2016 (EDT)
  3. KellyDoyle (talk) 18:52, 30 August 2016 (EDT)
  4. Add your username here.