Submissions:2023/WP:WELW Women Electronic Literature Writers Project editathon or round table

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This submission has been noted and is pending review for WikiConference North America 2023.


WP:WELW Women Electronic Literature Writers Project editathon or round table


Community Initiatives, Equity / Inclusion / Community Health, Languages, Technology

Type of session:



The Women's Electronic Literature Writers Project stands at a cross roads regarding its ability to continue Wikipedia editorial work. We are an intersection of numerous challenges to increase visibility and exposure on Wikipedia to this valuable field. CHALLENGES 1. Challenge 1. Notability. The traditional wikipedia requirements for "notability" may need to be addressed to showcase important accomplishments and works within the emerging electronic literature field. These works are often in new forms that are not published in traditionally citable methods (hosted on authors' personal websites, digital zines, etc.) However, these works are acknowledged as notable canon in the field, taught in universities, reviewed, etc. In fact, these publications are ephemeral as well. For example, the Iowa Review web is no longer in existence, but the Iowa Review paper is. These are just as notable, but difficult to cite.

2. Challenge 2. Gender equity. The paucity of women editors and works within Wikipedia has long been acknowledged and need not be mourned again here (see references). And just as often, as women practitioners' accomplishments in a technological field may go unnoticed, vandalized (Gamergate), appropriated, and unattributed (Hidden Figures). We need inclusive editing and notability policies to recuperate, recognize, disseminate, and celebrate these writers' coding achievements. Wikipedia results are the first results in search engines and these articles should be as accurate and as comprehensive as possible to represent all of electronic literature.

3. Challenge 3. Access and technological obsolescence. These works often are almost akin to performance art as the mediums we rely on for our art shift from HyperCard to Director to Flash to HTML 5 to Twitter and TikTok. The commercial drive for new software means that the artistic works based on these softwares become inaccessible quickly. Many of the seminal works in the field are no longer accessible. Therefore, archival curations and descriptions become vital to our understanding of the field. Just as the fragments of Greek plays that we have are essential to understanding the history of dramatic plays, a description of these works in Wikipedia is critical to understanding electronic literature. Furthermore, these works should be acknowledged even as we acknowledge the cultural significance of ephemeral flash mobs, plays, etc.

4. Challenge 4. Emerging field. This field has evolved over the last few decades and has even gone through multiple generations. While digital literature, new media literature, electronic literature, is being taught in universities and written about in scholarly monographs, there is not yet a defined canon. It becomes difficult to evaluate importance and influence using traditional media channels. For example, many works are hosted on the author's personal website, yet are accessed by thousands of readers and are considered vital to the field. Moreover, publications in this emerging and yet technologically obsolete field go out of existence, so the only continuity is on a personal website. We acknowledge that publishing on a personal site is too low a bar for notability. However, hosting on a personal website should not be a barrier in and of itself to notability. While personal sites should not be the only criterion for notability, many other scholarly and popular citations can distinguish notability.

EDITATHON: ACTIONS TO ADDRESS CHALLENGES This editathon will concentrate on several women writers who need articles. Previous drafts about these notable writers have been written and rejected. We will concentrate on determining the reason for these rejections and address these shortcomings. This editathon will help educate the 30 plus active volunteers in this project about Wikipedia standards to create effective and acceptable wikipedia articles.

REFERENCES Collier, B. and J. Bear, 2012. Conflict, criticism, or confidence: an empirical examination of the gender gap in wikipedia contributions. ACM 2012 Proceedings, page 383-392.

Ramírez-Ordóñez, D., N. Ferran-Ferrer, and J. Meneses. 2022. Wikipedia and gender: The deleted, the marked, and the unpolluted biographies. In Wiki Workshop 2022: A forum bringing together researchers exploring all aspects of Wikimedia projects. Held virtually at The Web Conference 2022, April 25-26, 2022, Online, hosted by London, UK. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 4 pages.

Wikipedia 2023. Gender bias on Wikipedia.,women%20are%20less%20well%2Dcovered. Accessed

Author name:

Deena Larsen

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

Estimated time:

We will take anything we can get. But an hour would be ideal.

Special requests:

Handicap accessible room with internet access and zooming capabilities. We will have our volunteers in a concurrent zoom meeting at the same time so that we can all learn from the Wikipedia experts to provide better instructions to avoid further rejections.

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

Planned presentations: Electronic Literature Organization Coimbra, Portugal July 12, 2023; Society for the History of Technology October 25-29, 2023.

Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

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)