Become a Visiting Scholar

Become a Visiting Scholar

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.


Open positions

We currently have open positions at four institutions:

Deep Carbon Observatory

The Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) is a ten-year initiative that is exploring the quantities, movements, forms, and origins of carbon deep within Earth. It is an interdisciplinary community of about 1,000 chemists, physicists, geologists, and biologists from 35 nations, who have come together in four distinct science communities that study various aspects of deep carbon: Deep Life, Deep Energy, Reservoirs and Fluxes, and Extreme Physics and Chemistry.

The DCO Engagement Team is committed to disseminating knowledge about deep carbon with the broader science community and with the public. As the place most people look first for information, Wikipedia is an invaluable medium for science communication. The Engagement Team would like to facilitate the improvement of Wikipedia’s coverage of topics relevant to deep carbon science by forming a relationship with a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar who will work closely with the Engagement Team, beginning with an all expenses paid visit to the University of Rhode Island — if/when convenient for the Scholar.

The Visiting Scholar will be given full remote access to the University of Rhode Island’s library databases and resources for the duration of the relationship, as well as 9,000 DCO-specific publications.

For more information, see the Deep Carbon Observatory Visiting Scholars page.

Temple University

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.