Submissions:2019/Wikipedia at Boston University: Creating a Community of Editors and Teachers

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2019.


Wikipedia at Boston University: Creating a Community of Editors and Teachers


Relationship Building & Support
+ Inclusion and Diversity
+ Editor Recruitment & Retention

Type of session:



Wikipedia at Boston University: Creating a Community of Editors and Teachers

Boston University Libraries (BU Libraries) has been leading a campus initiative to incorporate Wikipedia into the Boston University community. We began our Wikipedia journey with one small event in 2015. We will discuss how a few librarians at a university of over 28,000 students incrementally built a Wikipedia community that now spans two campuses in Boston.

After we share the timeline of our grassroots movement at the Libraries, instructor Malavika Shetty will discuss her experience collaborating with WikiEdu and Boston Libraries on Boston University’s first undergraduate course. Through BU Libraries’ support of Malavika’s course, now in its third semester, the Libraries has firmly established its role as a partner in faculty support for Wikipedia in the classroom.

Laura Jenemann, Boston University Libraries, will discuss building outreach at BU, beginning with smaller projects and growing the Wikipedia community by organizing editathons, welcoming new editors, and collaborating with faculty. Jenemann will speak on the empowering nature of Wikipedia’s edict to be bold and ‘go for it’ as experienced in an academic setting.

Rachel Dwyer, Boston University Libraries, will speak on efforts to address gaps in coverage of Africa; both in the subject coverage and Wikimedia African language content. She will also share her experiences and the challenges of assisting student editors and some of the particular opportunities and challenges of editing Wikipedias with under 100,000 articles. She reflects on how introducing Wikipedia to new editors has encouraged her own efforts to ‘be bold’ and become a more engaged, involved editor.

Malavika Shetty, College of Arts and Sciences, Writing Program, Boston University will discuss how she decided to teach with Wikipedia, how her collaboration with librarians has led to her using Wikipedia to teach for three semesters, and her experience with using Wikipedia in the classroom.

The goal of this panel is to empower library staff and faculty who are at large universities and considering using Wikipedia and also to demonstrate how a partnership between libraries and faculty can be productive .

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Rachel Dwyer, Laura Jenemann, Malavika Shetty

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:

FuniHistory, Xplorecre84give, Mettysh

Affiliated organization(s):

Boston University

Estimated time:

45-60 minutes

Preferred room size:

Special requests:

projector, hdmi hookup for PC & Mac

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

NO. Dwyer presented previously (African Language Teachers Association, April 2019) on slightly related topic, reflecting on her experience using Wikipedia for a student project. Panel: Language Projects with a Purpose. Paper:I-Wikipedia yokufunda ulimi Language learning with Wikipedia

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)