Submissions:2018/Calling All Subject Experts: Training the Next Wikipedians

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2018.

Calling All Subject Experts: Training the Next Wikipedians
Theme (optional)
Editor Recruitment and Retention
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
Will Kent and Ryan McGrady
E-mail address
Wikimedia username
Will (Wiki Ed)
Affiliation(s) (optional)
Wiki Education Foundation

Despite a wider acceptance of Wikipedia within academia, scholars, scientists, and experts are still skeptical of Wikipedia's quality in their area of expertise. They don't understand how we build the encyclopedia, and the few who try contributing content without learning how the system works experience challenges and barriers they don't know how to overcome. Yet experts are eager to make Wikipedia more comprehensive, have the context to identify significant content gaps, and have mastered the research and writing skills necessary for editing Wikipedia.

This year, Wiki Education started a program geared toward training experts to be Wikipedians—channeling their enthusiasm for improving Wikipedia and their unique skillset into real outcomes. These experts have engaged with Wikipedia consistently for three months, and several have contributed beyond the structured program. On this panel, the Wiki Education staff who have trained more than 100 experts to become Wikipedians in 2018 will join past participants to share their experiences as new editors in our community. We will share insights into how we have recruited and retained new editors. We will examine how to have these editors dive in to evaluate the missing content in their areas of expertise, how to cultivate an inclusive and supportive environment for the participants, and how we have helped change their negative perceptions of Wikipedia.

Two subject experts and panelists, Amy Dye-Reeves and Zoe Brigley Thompson, will share their experience participating in the Wikipedia Fellows program during the summer of 2018. They will detail their role in the program, motivation for getting involved, content contributions, and how the program could scale to include hundreds of experts in the near future. Wiki Education Program Managers Ryan McGrady and Will Kent will share details of training sessions' weekly curriculum, tools we use to manage and scale the work, and best practices for introducing new editors into the Wikipedia community.

Amy Dye-Reeves is a Research and Instruction Librarian at Murray State University and is Liaison to the College of Arts & Humanities: History, Psychology, Political Science and Sociology

Zoe Brigley Thompson is an Assistant Professor in English and Sexuality studies at the Ohio State University.

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  1. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:19, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  2. LingLass (talk) 23:25, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  3. Samantha (Wiki Education) (talk) 17:04, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
  4. Gamaliel (talk) 18:54, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
  5. RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:46, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
  6. Minh Nguyễn 💬 06:34, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
  7. Jami (Wiki Ed) (talk) 21:47, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
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