Submissions:2019/What’s good for GLAM is good for STEM? Editor recruitment and retention at NIOSH

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2019.


What’s good for GLAM is good for STEM? Editor recruitment and retention at NIOSH


Editor Recruitment & Retention

Type of session:



Many of the Wikimedia community’s outreach structures, such as Wikipedian-in-Residence positions and edit-a-thons, were devised in the context of GLAM and academic institutions. But what are the challenges of recruiting and retaining editors within the unique context of a government science laboratory? Over three years of being a Wikipedian-in-Residence at NIOSH, the U.S. federal institute for health and safety research in the workplace, I have applied these structures and tried to discern whether and why they work effectively in a government research context.

These activities include public and internal edit-a-thons, internal trainings through both in-person workshops and webinar series, and one-on-one mentoring of staff and student interns. These resulted in several new articles on health and safety topics being written and featured in the Did You Know section of the Main Page, as well as expansions of existing articles. Topics for discussion include the differences between in-person and remote trainings, and between group and one-on-one interactions. The outcomes of a webinar training series to teach scientists and program staff how to contribute to Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata will be featured.

Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

John P. Sadowski

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:

John P. Sadowski (NIOSH)

Affiliated organization(s):

U.S. National Intitute for Occupational Safety and Health

Estimated time:

Preferred room size:

Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)