Submissions:2021/Engaging subject-matter experts during a national emergency: Wiki Education and COVID-19

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2021.


Engaging subject-matter experts during a national emergency: Wiki Education and COVID-19


Global & Local, Relationship Building & Support, Depth & Breadth for Newer Editors

Type of session:



In 2020 and early 2021, Wiki Education undertook a campaign to improve the quality of information related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over several months, Wiki Education ran a series of courses affiliated with our Wikipedia Scholars & Scientists program. To our knowledge, this initiative was the first effort ever to engage subject-matter experts during a national emergency to systematically improve Wikipedia’s coverage of a topic crucial to the general public. In this presentation, we'll review what we learned about running multiple courses in the same topic area, how we engaged subject-matter experts to improve both local and global information about the pandemic, and how their specialized backgrounds helped improve Wikipedia's coverage of impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Jami Mathewson, Ian Ramjohn, Will Kent

E-mail address:,,

Wikimedia username:

Jami (Wiki Ed), Ian (Wiki Ed), Will (Wiki Ed)

Affiliated organization(s):

Wiki Education

Estimated time:

30 minutes

Special requests:

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

No, but we published an evaluation report on Meta

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)

Probably not enough time in a lightning talk; possibly unconference