Wikimedian in Residence

About the residency

Information on the Wikimedian in Residence.

What is a Wikimedian in Residence?

The Wikimedia residency is a free resource available to all staff and students interested in benefitting from and contributing to the free and open Wikimedia projects.

This work of the last eight years has culminated in the first ever booklet dedicated to Case Studies of Wikimedia in UK education

Our Wikimedia in the Curriculum activities bring benefits to the students who learn new skills and have immediate public impact in addressing the diversity of editors and diversity of content shared online:  

  • Masters in Public Health (MPH) students add 180-200 words to global health related articles. Their edits to the Wikipedia page on obesity, for example, are viewed on average 3,000 times per day. 
  • Digital Sociology MSc students engage with how sociology is communicated and how knowledge is created and curated online through an introductory workshop each year, a response to the recent ASA article (Matthewson & McGrady, 2018).
  • A Reproductive Biology Honours student’s article on high-grade serous carcinoma, one of the most common forms of ovarian cancer, includes over 60 references and specially created diagrams and has been viewed over 100,000 times since September 2016. 
  • Each semester Translation Studies MSc students gain meaningful published practice by selecting a high quality Wikipedia article in one language and translating 1,500-2,000 words to a different language Wikipediaensuring knowledge is shared between languages to help build understanding globally. 
  • World Christianity MSc students undertake a Wikipedia literature review assignment to make the subject much less about White Northern hemisphere perspectives; creating new articles on Asian Feminist Theology, Sub-Saharan Political Theology and more.  
  • On the Design Informatics MA/MFA, Wikidata affords student learners the opportunity to work practically with research datasets, like the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Database, in the Linked Open Data Cloud and explore the direct and indirect relationships at play in this semantic web of knowledge to help further discovery.

Our number of collaborations keeps growing and we increasingly support online courses.

  • Global Health Challenges Postgraduate students worked collaboratively online to improve short stub articles on Natural Disasters and improved them by over 1,000 words as part of a group assignment over the course of a 4 week assignment.
  • In January 2019, as Wikipedia turned 19, Digital Education MSc students at the University of Edinburgh collaborated to publish a new, vastly better article. They wrote the page on Information Literacies.

We also work with student societies and have held events for Ada Lovelace Day (celebrating Women in STEM), LGBT History Month, Black History Month, The Festival of Samhuinn, Robert Louis Stevenson Day; and celebrated Edinburgh’s Global Alumni; working with the UncoverEd project, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. 

Students are addressing serious knowledge gaps and are  intrinsically motivated to communicate their scholarship because of this. They benefit from the practice academically and enjoy doing it personally because their scholarship is published, lasting long beyond the assignment and does something for the common good for an audience of not one but millions.

Wikimedia in teaching and learning video

Wikipedia is about making connections, wiki-linking from one subject to another, disappearing down the rabbit hole of knowledge. And that’s what the residency at the University of Edinburgh has been about, delivering workshops and creating resources which allow colleagues across the whole university, staff and students, to see the connections between their work and the work of the free and open Wikimedia projects. 

Video: Wikimedia in Teaching and Learning - the Wikimedia residency at the University of Edinburgh
A video about Wikimedia and teaching.

© Ewan McAndrew and Hannah Rothmann, University of Edinburgh, 2020, CC BY-SA 4.0, unless otherwise indicated.