Improve information about regional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wikipedia

Improve information about regional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wikipedia

This is not only a public health crisis; this is an information crisis.

APPLY HERE

Due to overwhelming interest in our May course, we’re opening registration for a similar course starting the week of June 15th through July 24th, 2020. Apply by Friday, May 29th.

Why Wikipedia?

When Wikipedia is a first stop for individuals interested in learning more about the current COVID-19 pandemic, isn’t it important that that information be complete and accurate?

Policy makers, healthcare practitioners, journalists, and individuals consult Wikipedia to be more informed before taking action. Wikipedia’s medical content gets more pageviews than the World Health Organization, the Mayo Clinic, WebMD, or the National Institutes of Health.1 And in the last month, the page about the COVID-19 pandemic has received an average of 850,000 pageviews every day.

But quality of content varies widely across Wikipedia, due to the fact that all content is contributed by volunteers. The majority of pages related to the COVID-19 pandemic need significant improvement.

 

How can I help?

We’re inviting you to join us in improving Wikipedia pages about state and regional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Wikipedia may be the most neutral way people receive information about their state’s guidelines, actions they’ve taken, and data regarding documented cases of COVID-19. And for regions that are not represented in national news coverage, Wikipedia offers a localized place to organize information that is most relevant to an individual. Information can also be updated in real time as state requirements and responses change. Your help researching and writing these pages will be essential in making them as accurate and complete as possible.

We recognize that there are unprecedented challenges in all of our professional and personal lives. As always, we prioritize the public’s access to high-quality information through Wikipedia. To stay connected during this socially distant time and to continue inviting experts to improve Wikipedia, we are waiving our tuition fees and offering this virtual training course for free. Join us in networking with other scholars eager to make this crucial information accessible to the public, and let’s rally behind a common purpose.

 

Why a course?

Newcomers to the Wikipedia community typically face a variety of barriers to inclusion: from not knowing the mechanics of adding content to being unaware of content standards and editing norms. Our staff is here to invite you in, help you navigate the Wikipedia editing community, and answer any questions that come up through the process.

These seats are open to folks working in Academia, political science, public policy, journalism, or any other individual who feels they could positively impact articles about state or regional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Selected applicants will participate in an in-depth, structured Wikipedia training over 6 weeks.

 

Expectations of participants

  • No experience with Wikipedia is required or expected.
  • Available for virtual meetings on Zoom, weekly for one hour.
  • Participants commit a minimum of 5 hours/week, including a one-hour weekly class and independent work.
  • Participants will make significant contributions to at least one Wikipedia page by the end of the course.
  • Participants must have access to the internet and a computer.
  • Participants will 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.

 

Course details

Apply by Friday, May 29th, 2020

Wiki Education will accept applicants based on course capacity, individuals’ availability for synchronous meetings, and to diversify the regions and states applicants will cover on Wikipedia.

  • Course dates: May 4th – June 12th (FILLED)  Due to overwhelming interest in our May course, we’re opening registration for a similar course starting the week of June 15th through July 24th, 2020.
  • Meeting time: To be determined via the registration form based on registrants’ shared availability.
  • Time commitment per week: 1 hour virtual, collaborative meeting; ~4 additional hours of independent work
  • Cost: The full cost of enrollment in this course is waived by Wiki Education. 
  • Goal: to improve Wikipedia articles about US state and local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

APPLY HERE

Wiki Education staff will review applications and notify all applicants of acceptance status by Friday June 5th, 2020.

 

Questions?

If the above course time doesn’t work, please fill out the form below to receive updates on future course opportunities. Direct any questions here or to samantha@wikiedu.org.

 


Header image by en:Siouxsie Wiles, en:Toby Morris (cartoonist) (CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons).