“Wikipedia is a big resource for science and I think we need to recognize that. There’s value in making sure the science on Wikipedia is as good and complete as possible.” – Neil Thompson, MIT
The Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN) is partnering with Wiki Education to run a 6-week course for its members to learn how to add high-quality, evidence-based nutrition policy research to Wikipedia. 20 NOPREN members will participate in an in-depth, structured training on how to create and/or update existing nutrition-focused pages, with an emphasis on policies and programs that are most impacted by COVID-19, that promote equity, that contain outdated or false information, and that are most widely viewed – thus creating the most impact by updating. Wiki Education will facilitate collaborative work among participants, providing guidance as they improve content related to food and nutrition-relevant policy topic areas, such as food security, federal, state and local nutrition assistance programs, early childhood nutrition, safe drinking water, school wellness, healthy food retail, food service guidelines, food policy councils, and rural food access.. Our writing group will meet once per week via Zoom.
The instant availability of knowledge on your desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, or personal digital assistant has revolutionized how humans learn about the world around them. When you Google a topic or ask Alexa a question, the answer you get often comes from Wikipedia, the long-form encyclopedia, or Wikidata, the structured open data repository for facts. This content receives more than 15 billion page views each month, making it the world’s go-to source for information.
In 2020 alone, more than 335,000 readers came to Wikipedia to learn about food security. Did they find digestible, comprehensive information based on science? Wikipedia represents a powerful opportunity, perhaps only comparable to the creation of public libraries, for getting high quality knowledge out to the public. It combines high sourcing standards with a platform that allows for unprecedented reach. Sometimes the knowledge you get from Wikipedia is great. But in important topic areas like nutrition science, information can be unreliable, outdated, incomplete, or missing entirely.
Join the movement!
Join us as we inform millions of readers by improving Wikipedia’s coverage of critical nutrition policies and programs.
NOPREN Wiki Scientists will emerge with a deeper knowledge of how we maintain Wikipedia and the skills to add scientific information. Participants will develop the technical skills and Wikipedia know-how to disseminate research to the public. Plus, we’ll have fun along the way!
- Course dates: May 31st – July 9th (6 weeks). Meeting time will be determined by applicant availability.
- Application deadline: May 7, 2021
- Time commitment per week: One 1-hour meetings per week; 3 additional hours of independent work.
- Cost: free for NOPREN members ($500 value)
- Goal: Each participant will leave the course having created or updated a Wikipedia page with evidence-based, policy-relevant scientific information.
- Accepted applicants will be notified between May 17-21st.
Expectations of participants
- Qualified applicants are members of NOPREN.
- No experience with Wikipedia is required or expected.
- Available for virtual meetings on Zoom, weekly for one hour.
- Participants commit a minimum of 4 hours/week, including a one-hour weekly class and independent work.
- Participants will make significant contributions to at least one Wikipedia article 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.
“I was not expecting to find happiness through editing a page on pandemic testing alternatives, but that’s exactly where the Wiki Scholars experience took me, back to being a happy nerd. And the best thing is, I can keep on doing it! I hope each one of us has a silver lining to this pandemic, and we all find a way to share our skills to make the world a tiny bit better.” Read more…
“Seeing your article has been improved – by other people you’ll never meet or know! – is a really joyful experience. Knowing that you’ve contributed to something that will grow and be improved by others (and that you can come back to it and improve it yourself) really makes writing for Wikipedia feel worthwhile.” Read more…
“By the end of the course, I was incredibly proud to have written Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities. I was both dismayed but unsurprised to find a paucity of information on the topic, but I’m hopeful that my article sparks others to think about how COVID has affected populations already at high risk for a host of physical, emotional, and socioeconomic disadvantages.” Read more…
“Meet the public where they are. This is simple, profound, and my biggest takeaway from the Wiki Scholar experience. Contributing to Wikipedia directly responds to the public’s existing digital habits and browsing patterns….As I continue to reflect on the potential of digital exhibits and rethink what a digital history experience can look like, Wiki Education offers a compelling model for how historians can engage with the public.” Read more…
If you’re interested in buying out a similar, customized virtual course for members of your institution, contact Director of Partnerships Jami Mathewson at email@example.com.
Please fill out the form below to contact Wiki Education about course opportunities. Direct any questions here or to firstname.lastname@example.org.