Information Services

Digital Volunteering with Wikipedia

Wikipedia editing as part of The Edinburgh Award.

Editing Wikipedia has never been easier using the new Visual Editor interface which makes editing Wikipedia as easy as using Microsoft Word or Wordpress blogs. Now you can undertake Wikipedia editing as part of The Edinburgh Award and receive accreditation for developing important digital research skills and applying these to improving the knowledge freely available online. 

Learn more at the introductory workshop

This first workshop is aimed purely at introducing the how and why of Wikipedia editing; including:

  1. Why should you edit Wikipedia?
  2. How to create your user page
  3. Mastering the Visual Editor – Headings, bold, links
  4. Mastering the Visual Editor – Citations
  5. Mastering the Visual Editor – Drafting your 1st article in the Sandbox

By the end of it you can then decide if you would like to undertake this Edinburgh Award and consider the subject area(s) you are interested in: be it Scots Law, Gothic Literature, Citizen Science projects, Climate Change, Covid-19 research, International Development, Women in STEM, Black History, LGBT history or anything else that appeals to your head and heart.

You can then work individually, in pairs, or groups from November to March and even look to host your own Wikipedia editing events to encourage others in your school or college to get involved and thereby improve awareness of how knowledge gets online locally and understanding of your discipline globally.

The introductory events were 24th and 29th November 2021. More events will be scheduled for next year's award in academic year 2022/2023.

Register your interest or find out more

The closing date for expressions of interest  for academic year 2021/2022 was 30th November 2021.

You can also email if you want to learn more or enquire about the award for academic year 2022/2023.

Please note: the session dates are flexible depending on your interest/availability. I am looking for an interested, committed group of students who can work work individually but form part of a team of editors to support one another.


What is involved

The Award encourages you to view your skills development as a three-step process:

  1. Identify the subject area(s) you wish to research (and improve Wikipedia's coverage of).
  2. Develop Wikipedia editing skills, copyright literacy, academic referencing and more through self-directed learning,  workshops and group work.
  3. Learn how to write for different audiences through publishing new and improved pages to Wikipedia.
  4. (optional) Stage fun & impactful editing events to encourage others in different schools, student societies to participate in an open knowledge community.

Working towards the Award will help you:

  • Increase your awareness of your strengths.
  • Make the most of your strengths, identify areas for development, and work on your individual action plan to develop these skills.
  • Confidently demonstrate what you have to offer to others.
  • Achieve a positive and lasting impact in your subject area(s).

Timeline for the Edinburgh Award

NB: These dates are flexible and subject to change, depending on student interest and availability.

24 November 2021  Introduction workshop 1 

29 November 2021

  Introduction workshop 1 

30 November 2021

   Deadline for registration of interest

2 December 2021

   Group Session 1

9 December 2021

   First reflection exercise deadline

26th January 2022 

   Group Session 2

2nd February 2022 

   Second reflection exercise deadline

30th March 2022

  Group Session 3

6th April 2022

  Final reflection exercise deadline


Activities required to complete the Edinburgh Award:

  1. Learn how Wikipedia editing works and consider a subject area you want to work on (24 November) - (1.5 hours)
  2. Participate in three group sessions (December, January and March)
    • The group sessions offer an opportunity to create and action plan for your development, reflect on your progress, and celebrate your progress with others. Engagement with all three Edinburgh Award inputs – (4 hours).
    • Submission of a skills self-rating at each Input and submission of reflection on skills development at Inputs 2 and 3 (4 hours).
  3. Undertake a Wikipedia editing project (December – March) 
  4. Reflect and present on your progress (March)
    • Reflection is a key element of the Award, and you are asked to write a short piece after each group session to explore your progress.
    • In the final group session you are asked to share what you have learned throughout your Award journey, and how you would sell your experience to future employers.

NB: The expectation is you would undertake 55 hours or more from November to March and attend the four in-person sessions in this time: initial workshop at end of November and start of December, mid point review in January and End of Award session in March.

Why this is important?

  • Quick facts about Wikipedia at 20
  • A recent survey by Yougov found that around two thirds of the British public trust Wikipedia more than traditional news outlets including the BBC, ITV, the Guardian and the Times.
  • One of the most visited websites worldwide, and now one of the most trusted, Wikipedia is a resource used by most university students. Increasingly, many instructors around the world have used Wikipedia as a teaching tool in their university classrooms as well.
  • Indeed, as the drive for scholarly research to become ever more Open Access gathers pace, Wikipedia will increasingly become the digital gateway to this research.