Submissions:2016/Guide to editathons at cultural institutions

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Type of submission
Dina Herbert & Dominic Byrd-McDevitt
E-mail address,
w:User:DinaHerbert & w:User:Dominic
National Archives and Records Administration
An editathon is an ideal first step in beginning a collaboration between Wikipedians and a knowledge institution. Starting small with an editathon can open up a whole world of opportunities to collaborate around topics related to collections, exhibits, research, or other types of institutional knowledge. An editathon also allows an institution to bring its expertise to Wikipedia and allows for subject experts to share their knowledge with editors. Hosting an editathon at a GLAM institution allows for staff who might be skeptical about the use of Wikipedia to learn more about the resource.
The National Archives has held numerous editathons in multiple facilities over the past years, especially at the National Archives Building’s Innovation Hub in Washington, DC. This session is your chance to hear from National Archives experts on editathons, with the hope that you will leave with the practical skills necessary to host such an event. The talk will sketch a typical editathon and answer beginners’ questions such as “What is it? (and what is it not?)” and “Why do we do it?” In discussing rationales and the value of editathons, we will also touch on how to talk about editathons to institutions (or, for professionals, how to get buy-in at your organization). This presentation, coming from experienced editathon organizers who are also GLAM staff, aims to be a resource for (1) Wikipedians organizing editathons with institutional partners (or looking to), (2) institutional staff interested in editathons, (3) anyone organizing such events with or without institutional partners.
Examples, especially from successful NARA editathons, will support a step-by-step guide to planning and executing an editathon. Along with tips and tricks for measuring success, including Wikipedia’s quantitative analytics tools, we will also consider ways of extending the editathon concept to other activities (scanning, photographing, transcribing) and Wikipedia’s sister projects (Wikidata, Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons). This session will not only share the positive outcomes from editathons but also will highlight some of the lessons learned and early failures so you can learn from our mistakes.

Length of presentation
30 min.
Special schedule requests
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