Wikipedia Visiting Scholars are experienced Wikipedians who connect with academic institutions to improve Wikipedia. Scholars receive free remote access to library resources and agree to use them to improve articles in topic areas related to the library’s areas of specialization.
Who can become a Visiting Scholar?
- Visiting Scholars are experienced Wikipedians capable of improving the quality of articles to B-class or better.
- Visiting Scholars are editors in good standing with the Wikipedia community.
- Numeric data has limited importance, but a Visiting Scholar should have at least one year of editing experience and/or 1,000 edits.
The role of a Visiting Scholar
Wikipedia Visiting Scholars tap into your university’s digital resources (such as special collections, research databases, ebooks, or paywalled journals) to write high-quality Wikipedia articles in a topic area of mutual interest.
- Scholars are given an institutional account to access library resources from anywhere.
- Scholars are volunteer editors.
- Scholars improve the quality of articles in one or more broad topic areas.
- Scholars are given access for a particular length of time, usually 6–12 months.
- Scholars and sponsors work out a schedule for checking in (for example, via phone calls, Skype, or Google Hangouts).
- Scholars may offer a remote presentation to report on their work, for example, at the end of a term or their sponsorship.
How to become a Visiting Scholar
Review the openings below to see if your interests overlap with the topic areas specified by the sponsoring institutions. If so, head to the Visiting Scholars application. It will ask you to specify which position you’re interested in, explain why you’re a good match, and about your editing experience in general.
If there aren’t any openings, or if none are a good fit for you, you can still apply to be a Visiting Scholar. If you indicate on the application that you are not applying for one of the open positions, it will ask you to talk about your editing interests and goals. When we find a library or academic institution that makes a good match, we’ll make the connection and get in touch with you.
We currently have open positions:
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as “The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” Brown is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges established before the American Revolution.
The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University is invested in education, research, and public engagement initiatives to connect individuals and communities to art, history, and culture. It has built a strong reputation for programs that connect university humanities expertise with broader audiences, community-based arts and humanities, and in training students for work in a broad range of cultural organizations. It is institutionally tied to Brown’s American Studies department and works closely with its faculty and students.
Brown University and the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage would like to work with an experienced Wikipedian to improve topics related to ethnic studies. Examples include, but are not limited to diaspora, migration, social movements, and/or political economies of social inequality and racial formation. They would also be interested in supporting the improvement of articles about literary and historical figures important to understandings of Native American, Latinx, and Asian-American cultural histories.
For more information, including an overview of library resources, see the Brown University Visiting Scholars page.
Founded in 1870 as a teacher’s college for women, Hunter College is one of the oldest public higher educational institutions in the United States. More than 23,000 students currently attend Hunter, pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 170 areas of study. The school’s mission is to provide students from all backgrounds, and particularly the underserved, including first-generation college students, with the opportunity to receive an outstanding undergraduate education and, in select areas, professional, master’s and doctoral training, that prepare them to thrive and lead in a technology-driven, diverse, competitive, and changing world. In recent years, the Princeton Review has rated Hunter one of the nation’s “Best Value” Colleges, reaching the top ten twice (2010 and 2011) in the past 5 years, and second in the nation in 2010. In US News and World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges,” Hunter’s academic standing continues to rise among the 572 public and private institutions in its category, moving from 82 in 2003 to 38 in 2013.
Hunter College and Hunter College Libraries are looking to work with an experienced Wikipedian to improve biographies of women and/or topics related to women’s education.
For more information, including an overview of library resources, see the Hunter College Visiting Scholars page.
San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University (SFSU) is a public comprehensive university in the California State University system. It was founded in 1899 as a normal school and today has an enrollment of more than 30,000 students across six academic colleges.
Historian and activist Paul K. Longmore founded the Institute on Disability at SFSU in 1996. When he passed away in 2010, the university created an endowment for the Institute and renamed it in his honor. It undertakes projects that work to challenge prevailing notions and stereotypes of disability by showcasing disabled people’s strength, ingenuity, and originality. Its public education and cultural events connect the Bay Area’s vibrant disability communities and the general public with faculty and students at SF State to fight disability stigma with disability culture.
San Francisco State University and the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability would like to support an experienced Wikipedian interested in disability studies. Definitions of disability are often cast in medical terms, failing to incorporate the role of structures of power and culture in shaping experiences of disability. This Visiting Scholar would focus on the non-medical aspects of disability and important historical moments in disability history within or beyond the United States.
For more information, including an overview of library resources, see the San Francisco State University Visiting Scholars page.
Temple University is a state-related higher education institution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1884 when lawyer and minister Russell Conwell started tutoring members of the community’s working class in the basement of his Baptist Temple. It quickly grew, with 600 students by the time it was chartered just four years later. Today it is a research university (R1) with 17 colleges, including a law school and medical college, and 38,000 students.
Temple University Libraries would like to give an experienced Wikipedian remote access to its resources to improve articles on the history of Philadelphia, the history of African-Americans in Philadelphia, and/or the history and study of the Holocaust.
The Visiting Scholar would have access to a full range of Temple University Libraries resources, including extensive collections on the history of Philadelphia, a collection of work by Holocaust scholar and educator Franklin Littell, and several relevant photography collections including John Mosley’s documentation of African-American life in Philadelphia between 1930-1960.
For more information, including an overview of library resources, see the Temple University Visiting Scholars page.
University of North Carolina
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) was founded in 1789, making it one of the oldest public universities in the United States. One of the original Public Ivy schools, it consistently ranks among the best universities. It is committed to making the best quality education and information available to the widest audience possible.
The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience was founded (as the Department of Psychology) in 1921. Its mission is “to engage in psychological research and scholarship of the highest quality and to provide excellent teaching and service, informed and enhanced by our efforts to discover, synthesize, and transmit knowledge.” The department is rated as one of the nation’s best by U.S. News and World Report, with the Clinical Psychology program in particular ranking #2 for 2017.
UNC and the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience would like to work with an experienced Wikipedian to improve articles about clinical psychological science, with a possible emphasis on evidence-based assessment (especially open access/public domain tools, rather than commercial products).
For more information, including an overview of library resources, see the University of North Carolina Visiting Scholars page.
University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco (USF) is a Jesuit Catholic university in San Francisco, California. The city’s first university, USF was founded in 1855 as St. Ignatius Academy, a one-room schoolhouse with three students. Today its main campus spans 55 acres between the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park, with more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. It strives to educate leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world. An urban university with a global perspective, USF offers students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons and professionals, and the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and women for others.
The Gleeson Library/Geschke Center shares in the university’s mission to distinguish itself as a diverse, socially responsible learning community of high quality scholarship and academic rigor sustained by a faith that does justice. The library plays a key role in the university’s core value to create, communicate and apply knowledge to a world shared by all people and held in trust for future generations.
The Gleeson Library would like to work with an experienced Wikipedian to improve articles in one or more of the following topic areas:
- Social justice reformers and reform movements/projects in the Jesuit Catholic tradition
- Social justice reformers or social reform movements and initiatives related, but not limited to the health sciences, library and information sciences, or the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Lesser known social justice reformers or social justice reform movements
- Ignatian/Jesuit educational traditions (e.g. humanism) and spirituality
For more information, including an overview of library resources, see the University of San Francisco Visiting Scholars page on Wikipedia.