Wikimedia and universities: contributing to the global commons in the Age of Disinformation

Abstract:  In its first 30 years the world wide web has revolutionized the information environment. However, its impact has been negative as well as positive, through corporate misuse of personal data and due to its potential for enabling the spread of disinformation. As a large-scale collaborative platform funded through charitable donations, with a mission to provide universal free access to knowledge as a public good, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world. This paper explores the role of Wikipedia in the information ecosystem where it occupies a unique role as a bridge between informal discussion and scholarly publication. We explore how it relates to the broader Wikimedia ecosystem, through structured data on Wikidata for instance, and openly licensed media on Wikimedia Commons. We consider the potential benefits for universities in the areas of information literacy and research impact, and investigate the extent to which universities in the UK and their libraries are engaging strategically with Wikimedia, if at all.

Wikimedia and universities: contributing to the global commons in the Age of Disinformation

Abstract:  In its first 30 years the world wide web has revolutionized the information environment. However, its impact has been negative as well as positive, through corporate misuse of personal data and due to its potential for enabling the spread of disinformation. As a large-scale collaborative platform funded through charitable donations, with a mission to provide universal free access to knowledge as a public good, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world. This paper explores the role of Wikipedia in the information ecosystem where it occupies a unique role as a bridge between informal discussion and scholarly publication. We explore how it relates to the broader Wikimedia ecosystem, through structured data on Wikidata for instance, and openly licensed media on Wikimedia Commons. We consider the potential benefits for universities in the areas of information literacy and research impact, and investigate the extent to which universities in the UK and their libraries are engaging strategically with Wikimedia, if at all.

New wiki project – Abstract Wikipedia – will boost content across languages – Neowin

“Wikimedia Foundation has announced a new project that proposes a new way to generate encyclopedic content in a multilingual fashion. Abstract Wikipedia will allow more contributors and more readers to share more knowledge in more languages.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an American non-profit organization founded by Jimmy Wales as a way to fund Wikipedia and its sibling projects. This is the foundation’s first new project in over seven years.

The project was first proposed in a 22-page paper by Denny Vrande?i?, founder of Wikidata, earlier this year. He had floated a new idea that would allow contributors to create content using abstract notation which could then be translated to different natural languages, balancing out content more evenly, no matter the language you speak.

He suggested a project that could be used by anyone in the world to enter information as abstract notation, and then a tool called Wikilambda would host a collection of functions that could turn the notation into natural language text. Per him, the project wouldn’t require a major breakthrough in current knowledge of natural language generation or lexical knowledge representation….”

New wiki project – Abstract Wikipedia – will boost content across languages – Neowin

“Wikimedia Foundation has announced a new project that proposes a new way to generate encyclopedic content in a multilingual fashion. Abstract Wikipedia will allow more contributors and more readers to share more knowledge in more languages.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an American non-profit organization founded by Jimmy Wales as a way to fund Wikipedia and its sibling projects. This is the foundation’s first new project in over seven years.

The project was first proposed in a 22-page paper by Denny Vrande?i?, founder of Wikidata, earlier this year. He had floated a new idea that would allow contributors to create content using abstract notation which could then be translated to different natural languages, balancing out content more evenly, no matter the language you speak.

He suggested a project that could be used by anyone in the world to enter information as abstract notation, and then a tool called Wikilambda would host a collection of functions that could turn the notation into natural language text. Per him, the project wouldn’t require a major breakthrough in current knowledge of natural language generation or lexical knowledge representation….”

A Quantitative Portrait of Wikipedia’s High-Tempo Collaborations during the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

Abstract:  The 2020 coronavirus pandemic was a historic social disruption with significant consequences felt around the globe. Wikipedia is a freely-available, peer-produced encyclopedia with a remarkable ability to create and revise content following current events. Using 973,940 revisions from 134,337 editors to 4,238 articles, this study examines the dynamics of the English Wikipedia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic through the first five months of 2020 as a “quantitative portrait” describing the emergent collaborative behavior at three levels of analysis: article revision, editor contributions, and network dynamics. Across multiple data sources, quantitative methods, and levels of analysis, we find four consistent themes characterizing Wikipedia’s unique large-scale, high-tempo, and temporary online collaborations: external events as drivers of activity, spillovers of activity, complex patterns of editor engagement, and the shadows of the future. In light of increasing concerns about online social platforms’ abilities to govern the conduct and content of their users, we identify implications from Wikipedia’s coronavirus collaborations for improving the resilience of socio-technical systems during a crisis.

 

A Quantitative Portrait of Wikipedia’s High-Tempo Collaborations during the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

Abstract:  The 2020 coronavirus pandemic was a historic social disruption with significant consequences felt around the globe. Wikipedia is a freely-available, peer-produced encyclopedia with a remarkable ability to create and revise content following current events. Using 973,940 revisions from 134,337 editors to 4,238 articles, this study examines the dynamics of the English Wikipedia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic through the first five months of 2020 as a “quantitative portrait” describing the emergent collaborative behavior at three levels of analysis: article revision, editor contributions, and network dynamics. Across multiple data sources, quantitative methods, and levels of analysis, we find four consistent themes characterizing Wikipedia’s unique large-scale, high-tempo, and temporary online collaborations: external events as drivers of activity, spillovers of activity, complex patterns of editor engagement, and the shadows of the future. In light of increasing concerns about online social platforms’ abilities to govern the conduct and content of their users, we identify implications from Wikipedia’s coronavirus collaborations for improving the resilience of socio-technical systems during a crisis.

 

View of Editing for equity: Understanding instructor motivations for integrating cross-disciplinary Wikipedia assignments | First Monday

Abstract:  Advances in both research and advocacy have demonstrated how Wikipedia-based education, as a movement, has grown exponentially in the last 10 years. As a result, academics know a lot more about specific learning outcomes that Wikipedia assignments might enable and are more familiar with issues of social equity (e.g., systemic biases related to gender) in the encyclopedia. Despite these advances, little scholarship has focused on instructor motivations for utilizing Wikipedia assignments. This paper reports on a survey of over 100 instructors engaged in Wikipedia-based education practices in order to contribute a cross-disciplinary picture of instructor motivations. Our findings suggest that instructors take up Wikipedia-based assignments for a number of reasons beyond learning objectives: including social influence (being inspired by others), providing students an opportunity to contribute to public knowledge, and motivations related to addressing social equity, among others. Participants who are directly motivated to address issues of social equity rationalize their pedagogy as opportunities for activism or advocacy, professional identity, and critical pedagogy. Finally, this paper provides recommendations to Wikipedia Education stakeholders in regards to the finding that instructors’ professional identities play a significant role in their motivation to address issues of social equity.

 

View of Editing for equity: Understanding instructor motivations for integrating cross-disciplinary Wikipedia assignments | First Monday

Abstract:  Advances in both research and advocacy have demonstrated how Wikipedia-based education, as a movement, has grown exponentially in the last 10 years. As a result, academics know a lot more about specific learning outcomes that Wikipedia assignments might enable and are more familiar with issues of social equity (e.g., systemic biases related to gender) in the encyclopedia. Despite these advances, little scholarship has focused on instructor motivations for utilizing Wikipedia assignments. This paper reports on a survey of over 100 instructors engaged in Wikipedia-based education practices in order to contribute a cross-disciplinary picture of instructor motivations. Our findings suggest that instructors take up Wikipedia-based assignments for a number of reasons beyond learning objectives: including social influence (being inspired by others), providing students an opportunity to contribute to public knowledge, and motivations related to addressing social equity, among others. Participants who are directly motivated to address issues of social equity rationalize their pedagogy as opportunities for activism or advocacy, professional identity, and critical pedagogy. Finally, this paper provides recommendations to Wikipedia Education stakeholders in regards to the finding that instructors’ professional identities play a significant role in their motivation to address issues of social equity.

 

Is it Safe to Use? – Guidelines for re-using images from Wiki sites — Naomi Korn Associates

“When searching for images for commercial use we often turn to Wiki sites as first port of call, but are all the images safe to use for commercial purposes?  Not everything posted in the Commons or Media sites or used on a Wiki page is in fact open access. Some images (particularly in WikiPedia), are there with an explanation that they are used on the site because they are all over the web and nothing else could be found or the licence holder could not be found.  Not everything that says it is “Public Domain” or “Creative Commons 0” actually is, depending on where you live.

It is easy to scroll down to the rights section below the image, and open the blue “More Info” button to check what kind of licence the image carries. There are various types of “CC” licence and the letters after CC tell you whether any restrictions apply. Importantly, you may not be allowed to change the photo (eg crop it or incorporate it into another work (ND) or you may not be allowed to use it commercially (NC). Explanations for the various letter codes can be found here https://creativecommons.org/licenses/.

The issues I will consider fall roughly into two categories: works of art and contemporary photographs of landscapes and architecture. …”

Is it Safe to Use? – Guidelines for re-using images from Wiki sites — Naomi Korn Associates

“When searching for images for commercial use we often turn to Wiki sites as first port of call, but are all the images safe to use for commercial purposes?  Not everything posted in the Commons or Media sites or used on a Wiki page is in fact open access. Some images (particularly in WikiPedia), are there with an explanation that they are used on the site because they are all over the web and nothing else could be found or the licence holder could not be found.  Not everything that says it is “Public Domain” or “Creative Commons 0” actually is, depending on where you live.

It is easy to scroll down to the rights section below the image, and open the blue “More Info” button to check what kind of licence the image carries. There are various types of “CC” licence and the letters after CC tell you whether any restrictions apply. Importantly, you may not be allowed to change the photo (eg crop it or incorporate it into another work (ND) or you may not be allowed to use it commercially (NC). Explanations for the various letter codes can be found here https://creativecommons.org/licenses/.

The issues I will consider fall roughly into two categories: works of art and contemporary photographs of landscapes and architecture. …”