Successes and learnings from the Year of Science

In 2016, Wiki Education kicked off the largest targeted content initiative ever undertaken in the Wikimedia world: the Wikipedia Year of Science. When the year wrapped up in December, our programs for the initiative had added nearly 5 million words of content to the English Wikipedia. More than 6,300 students edited more than 5,700 articles on STEM and social science subjects on Wikipedia, and improved biographies of 150 women scientists. The amount of content added during the Year of Science is impressive: nearly 5 million words fills 3.5 full volumes of the last print edition of Encyclopædia Britannica.

But simply touting our numeric successes isn’t enough. As part of Wiki Education’s commitment to the Wikimedia movement, we also wanted to evaluate our work — and document and share our learnings.

We’ve published our Year of Science evaluation on Meta-Wiki, the community wiki about Wikimedia projects. The report highlights what we did as part of the Year of Science in the Classroom Program, the Visiting Scholars Program, and other projects, as well as indications of what worked, what didn’t, and what we learned from the Year of Science. Our goal in publishing this report is to enable other groups considering creating a large-scale content initiative like the Year of Science to be able to learn from what we did.

I encourage anyone who’s interested to read the detailed report, or for a TL;DR version, check out the green “Learnings” boxes. We welcome questions on the talk page of the report, via comments on this blog post, or at Wikimania 2017 in Montreal, where I’ll be presenting on the Year of Science initiative and what we learned from it.


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