Expanding the APS Wikipedia Initiative

This weekend, Wiki Education is attending the Association for Psychological Science’s (APS) annual meeting here in San Francisco. In our ongoing efforts to communicate science to the public, we are at the conference to promote the APS Wikipedia Initiative. APS has partnered with Wiki Education over the last three years to highlight Wikipedia as the first—and often last—stop the general public makes when searching for information about psychology. APS believes psychologists should contribute their expertise to Wikipedia in order to disseminate high-quality knowledge to the world.

In the three years of this partnership, nearly 1,500 psychology students have added more than 1 million words to Wikipedia. That’s 1 million words about psychology, cited to scientific journals that are often restricted and live behind a paywall. In Dr. Cody Christopherson’s Spring 2018 course at Southern Oregon University, students expanded the article on panic attacks to add information about short-term stressors, neurotransmitter imbalances, lifestyle changes to reduce panic attacks, and medication available for treatment. The article is viewed, on average, 1,800 times per day. Through the APS Wikipedia Initiative, the public now has more comprehensive health information about anxiety that they or their loved ones may experience. Another student in Dr. Greta Munger’s Spring 2018 course at Davidson College vastly expanded and rewrote the article about comic book therapy. This form of therapy encourages people to express their experiences through comic books and graphic novels as a therapeutic tool. By sharing this interesting information on Wikipedia, others may apply this to their own lives and find solace during the creative process.

We’re excited to replicate this kind of great student work with new APS members who are interested in joining the Classroom Program or our new Wikipedia Fellows program, where they can learn to edit themselves! If you’re in San Francisco at the APS meeting, stop by the exhibit hall and learn how you can join this initiative to increase access to important psychology research. You can visit our website at teach.wikiedu.org or email contact@wikiedu.org.

Image: File:The Bridge (August 2013).jpgFrank Schulenburg, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.


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