I encourage librarians, scholars, practitioners, and anyone knowledgeable about Africa to contribute, edit, improve and enhance Wikipedia articles. It’s one of the 10 most popular destinations on the internet and the new VisualEditor tool makes it easier than ever to jump right in (though it’s a good idea to get a sense core policies and principles first).
Many people around the globe use Wikipedia (available in 288 languages) as a starting point to answer questions, satisfy curiosity, and begin research. It has biases, shortcomings, and imbalances to be sure, but these are some of the best reasons to get involved and improve its contents.
For librarians and archivists, Wikipedia also represents a way to improve the online research experience indirectly. Because search engines such as Google use it to rank search results, improving its external links to relevant and reliable online (or printed, archival, and other) resources is a public service that enhances the general online research experience.
Last month I was a panelist for a webinar that was recorded and is available for open access online. Feel free to listen to what we had to say!
View on YouTube [http://youtu.be/GiO90sXkXJs]
Download (.mp4) [http://www5.oclc.org/downloads/research/webinars/20141208-improving-wikipedia-webinar.mp4]
View webinar slides on SlideShare [http://www.slideshare.net/oclcr/improving-wikipedia-show-and-tell]
Download webinar slides (.pptx) [http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/research/presentations/proffitt/oclc-research-improving-wikipedia-webinar-2014.pptx]
Mary Elings, UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library: Adding links to Wikipedia articles to Bancroft resources
Andra Darlington, Getty Research Institute: Adding links to Wikipedia articles to Getty’s finding aids.
Daniel Reboussin, University of Florida: Writing and editing Wikipedia articles to improve scholarly access to primary sources in the African Studies Collection. [YouTube min. 25:18 to 36:45].
Mairelys Lemus-Rojas, University of Miami: Using the RAMP (Remixing Archival Metadata Project) tool to create Wikipedia articles from finding aids for the Cuban Heritage Collection
Liz McCarthy, Oxford University, Bodleian Library: ?Hosting edit-a-thons
Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC Research: Some general tips on pitfalls, and how to become a good citizen on Wikipedia.