“I got into museum and archival work because I’m interested in the accessibility of information, particularly in relation to diverse and historically underrepresented groups. Editing an open resource like Wikipedia is an excellent way to further contribute to the accessibility of information, while also developing my skills as a historian, archivist, and writer.”
– Tony Pankuch, LGBTQ+ Wiki Scholars course alumnus
In celebration of Pride Month, Wiki Education is hosting a Wiki Scholars course focused on expanding Wikipedia’s coverage of notable LGBTQ+ people. Through this project, Wiki Education will train a diverse group of academics, scholars, and university students how to contribute content to Wikipedia and better represent influential LGBTQ+ figures to the public. We are seeking participants, especially faculty or graduate students in the LGBTQ+ community, to join us in making Wikipedia more representative.
In the 2021 LGBTQ+ Wiki Scholars course, participants added more than 20,000 words to Wikipedia about historically excluded LGBTQ+ people and institutions. In under a year, their work has reached 4 million readers!
“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.”
Wikipedia celebrated its 21st birthday in January 2022, marking more than two decades of pursuing its vision of giving every single person on the planet free access to the sum of all human knowledge. In those 21 years, the volunteer community that ensures Wikipedia’s quality has made over 1 billion edits to more than 6 million topics. Despite these impressive accomplishments, Wikipedia still suffers from content gaps, especially regarding its collection of biographies.
Only 22,359 biographies on English Wikipedia—out of 1.9 million—identify the subject as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. That’s barely 1%. Wiki Education aims to bring more diverse voices and content to Wikipedia, helping the encyclopedia truly represent human history and knowledge. This course presents an opportunity to increase public awareness of LGBTQ+ contributions while bringing more diverse voices to Wikipedia.
About the course
We will meet virtually via Zoom for one hour per week. Wiki Education’s Wikipedia experts will guide participants through the process of editing Wikipedia. Participants will spend time outside of class selecting a missing or underrepresented notable LGBTQ+ figure, researching their lives, and adding their biography to Wikipedia. Wiki Education’s team will be there along the way to guide them as they face challenges or need support.
Accepted applicants will be notified by May 31st if they have been selected to participate.
Expectations of participants
- No experience with Wikipedia is required or expected.
- Available for virtual meetings on Zoom, weekly for one hour.
- Commit a minimum of 3 hours/week, including a one-hour weekly class and independent work.
- Make significant contributions to at least one Wikipedia biography by the end of the course.
- Have access to the internet and a computer.
- Fill out a short survey at the end of the course.
- Select participants will get the opportunity to be featured on Wiki Education’s blog.
“Taking a course that was geared specifically at educating queer and trans* folks meant that everyone involved shared a particular cultural context that allowed us to communicate and work more effectively.”
– Cara Tierney, LGBTQ+ Wiki Scholars course alumnus