Final Report on Women of Wikipedia Pilot Program

10 Feb, 2016

Final Report on Women of Wikipedia Pilot Program

The final report for the Individual Engagement Grantee/Women of Wikipedia Project has been published on Wikipedia's Meta-Wiki! The WOW! Editing Group created a pilot program with the goal of creating a nurturing, safe, and fun environment for new Wikipedia women editors, by using a variety of stratagems such as placing high school and college women in small editing clusters, giving each group a college-age mentor with research experience, and hosting fun editing socials where participants could check in and connect with their peers and address editing challenges. Additional training and ongoing support was provided by Britta Gustafson (aka user Dreamyshade), an experienced Wikipedian.

WOW! hosted one information session and four editing sessions, which involved 26 high school mentees from Bishop O’Dowd, College Preparatory School, Berkeley High, Albany High, and 10 mentors from UC Berkeley. The Editing Group also established relations with Oakland Technical High School, and fostered an online community of new Wikipedia editors using a private Facebook page, onto which participants posted various articles they had edited. This community assisted participants in researching and editing Wikipedia articles that reflected their interests. Participants featured approximately 30 of their favorite articles they had edited on the private Facebook page, including articles on Margaret Johnson, punk-rock band Bikini Kill, women in Sikhism, and political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. This collection of articles featured on the Facebook page was just a sample of the 100+ articles participants have contributed to overall.

The IEG/WOW! program has helped educate, shape, and encourage a group of young women editors on the culture and practices of Wikipedia, which will hopefully create a generation of editors who feel comfortable editing articles they are passionate about on a regular basis.

In a final survey sent out to WOW! participants, participants expressed their appreciation of the program and its outcomes:

"Both my mentor and I are into computer science and I love learning from her. She is so informative and is doing some amazing things. It's great that she mentors me not just on how to edit wiki articles but also on one of my interests."

"I enjoyed meeting new people and delving into material we all collectively shared a passion about. Personally, I feel like I'm very locked into the routine I have - go to school, see those people, go to dance, see those people. WOW provided a great way to break out of that routine and to bond with others."

A final report on the WOW! Editing Group project can be found here.