Did you know that that sociologist, feminist, and campaigner for lesbian and gay rights Mary Susan McIntosh was deported from the U.S. in 1960 for speaking out against the House Un-American Activities Committee?
Yesterday this ‘Did You Know‘ fact was on Wikipedia’s front page. The front page is viewed, on average, 25 million times a day.
While her page has only been live on Wikipedia for two months, Mary’s page has now been viewed in excess of 7000 times because a) editors were motivated to address Wikipedia’s gender gap problem where less than 15% of editors are female and less than 17% of biographies are of notable women and b) we felt Mary’s story was important enough that it should be shared on Wikipedia’s front page and introduced to an audience of up to 25 million.
Did you know you could do that? Nominate a page newly created in the last seven days, or significantly expanded on, to be included on Wikipedia’s front page in this way?
View the guidelines for Did You Know here.
The Wikimedia residency at the University of Edinburgh has been as much about demystifying the largest reference work on the internet as anything else so here are some other things I feel are worth knowing in the spirit of ‘did you know‘?:
- Did you know that Wikipedia works with Turnitin to address issues of plagiarism and copyright violation using the Copyvio tool and that the Dashboard for managing assignments now offers Authorship Highlighting of students’ edits thereby making it easier to visualize and evaluate student work.
- Did you know that Wikipedia does not want you to cite it? It is a tertiary source; an aggregator of articles with facts backed up from reliable published secondary sources. You can’t cite Wikipedia but you can cite the references it uses. In this way it is reframed as the digital gateway to further research sources.
- Did you know that Wikipedia editing teaches source evaluation as a core skill hence Wikipedia education assignments help students combat fake news?
- Did you know that Dr. Alex Chow at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Divinity has developed a script to help assess the word count of Wikipedia articles for use with student assignments?
- Did you know that only 7% of edits to Wikipedia areconsidered vandalism and that research has found that, unlike other parts of the internet, Wikipedia editing actually de-radicalises its editors of partisan political leanings?
- Did you know you can learn:
- how to edit Wikidata in 2 minutes?
- how to work with Wikipedia’s new Content Translation tool in 3 minutes?
- how easy it is to work with Wikipedia’s Visual Editor interface in 5 minutes?
- how to create visually dynamic timelines using Histropedia in 7 minutes?
- how to manage assignments using the Project Dashboard platform in 10 minutes?
- how to construct a data-driven map & timeline of female University of Edinburgh Alumni with different language labels in 15 mins?
- Did you know that you can upload openly-licensed longer texts to Wikisource (the free content library) which are transcribed into 100% searchable HTML so that works such as Thomas Jehu’s digitised PhD thesis can be linked to, one click away, from his Wikipedia article or out-of-copyright texts such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s book on ‘Edinburgh’ (1914) can be enjoyed by new audiences?
- Did you know that Wikidata, Wikimedia’s repository of structured open data, now has 3 million linked citations added to it which can be queried using the new Scholia tool – a tool to handle scientific bibliographic information? (The Scholia Web service creates on-the-fly scholarly profiles for researchers, organizations, journals, publishers, individual scholarly works, and for research topics. To collect the data, it queries the SPARQL-based Wikidata Query Service).
- Did you know that you can now add automatically generated citations to millions of books on Wikipedia? Wikipedia editors can now draw on WorldCat, the world’s largest database of books, to generate citations on Wikipedia thanks to a collaboration between OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) and the Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikipedia Library program.
- Did you know that the latest estimates by Crossref show that Wikipedia has risen from the 8th most prolific referrer to DOIs to the 5th. And this is thought to be a gross underestimate of its actual position?
- Did you know that Altmetric include Wikipedia citations in their impact metrics and that Altmetric automatically picks up on citations through Wikipedia’s citation generator?
- Did you know that Wikimedia has received a $3 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to make a ‘Structured Commons’ to make freely-licensed images accessible and reusable across the web?
- Did you know that releasing images through Wikimedia Commons can result in a huge increase in views with detailed metrics about the number of views these images are accruing? E.g. Images released by the Bodleian Library have accrued 218,460,571 views to date.
- Did you know about the WikiCite initiative? Tidying up the citations on Wikipedia to make a consistent, queryable bibliographic repository enhancing the visibility and impact of research.
- Did you know that thanks to the new I4OC initiative (April 2017) there exists a collaboration between scholarly publishers, researchers, and other interested parties to promote the unrestricted availability of scholarly citation data? Before I4OC started, publishers releasing references in the open accounted for just 1% of citation metadata collected annually by Crossref. Following discussions over the past months, several subscription-access and open-access publishers have recently made the decision to release reference list metadata publicly. These include: American Geophysical Union, Association for Computing Machinery, BMJ, Cambridge University Press, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, EMBO Press, Royal Society of Chemistry, SAGE Publishing, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley. These publishers join other publishers who have been opening their references through Crossref for some time.
- Did you know that thanks to Wikidata you can now query, analyse & visualise the largest reference work on the internet? You can also add your research data to combine datasets on Wikidata.
- Did you know that the University of Portsmouth have been running a Wikipedia assignment called Human Geography for the last five years where each student is assigned a different short stub article for a village in England and Wales, and asked to expand it to provide a rounded description of the place and, in particular, an account of its historical development?
- Did you know that, so far, they have left Scotland untouched and so there will be many villages and towns in Scotland ripe to have articles created and improved?
- Did you know that Wikivoyage is Wikipedia’s sister project and a Lonely Planet-esque travel guide? Students can write articles about their hometown area with bullet-pointed sections on ‘Things to do’, ‘Things to See’, ‘Things to Buy’, ‘Places to stay’ with Open Street Maps included and images added from Wikimedia Commons.
- Did you know how students and staff at the University of Edinburgh have reacted to the Wikipedia in the Classroom assignments we have run this year? You can view a compilation of their feedback in this video.
- Did you know that students can create entire textbooks, chapters of textbooks, on Wikipedia’s sister project, Wikibooks?
- Did you know that every September the world’s largest photography competition takes place, Wiki Loves Monuments? Participants are encouraged to photograph and upload images of listed buildings and monuments to document our cultural heritage.
- Did you know that the WikiShootme tool helps identify notable buildings in your area that require an image uploading?
- Did you know that taking part in Wikimedia activities does not always require a heavy time component and that short, fun activities can also help: adding a citation through the Citation Hunt tool (“Whack-a-mole for citations”), playing the Wikidata game, adding images through WikiShootMe and FIST; taking part in fun Wiki Races (6 degrees of separation for Wiki links between articles).
- Did you know that you can become a Wikipedia trainer with our new lesson plan and slide deck (available on Tes.com)?
- Did you know that you can learn how to edit at our 90 minute training sessions and how to become a trainer at our 3 hour Train the Trainer events?
- Did you know that I can deliver presentations and training as you require; be it on Wikisource (the free content library), Wikidata (the free and open respository of structured data), Wikimedia Commons (the free media respository), the Wikicite initiative, WikiVoyage (the free travel guide), writing articles for Wikipedia, adding your research to Wikipedia or something else entirely?
If you would like to find out more then feel free to contact me at email@example.com
- Want to become a Wikipedia editor?
- Want to become a Wikipedia trainer?
- Want to run a Wikipedia course assignment?
- Want to contribute images to Wikimedia Commons?
- Want to learn more about Wikisource?
- Want to contribute your research to Wikipedia?
- Want to contribute your research data to Wikidata?