What is an editathon?

An editathon can be anything you want it to be!

“An editathon is an organized event where people come together at a scheduled time to create or edit Wikipedia entries on a specific topic. Participants engage in all kinds of collaborative activity around the creation of wiki pages, aided by information specialists including librarians, archivists and ‘Wikimedians in residence’ (professionals employed to carry out all sorts of tasks associated with Wikipedia).

Editathons are underpinned by two broad intentions; first to contribute to Wikipedia by creating or editing content, and second, to support people in developing the knowledge and expertise needed to act as Wikipedia editors. Participation is voluntary, with individuals determining the nature and level of their engagement, and activities include offline and online actions.” – Becoming an online editor: perceived roles and responsibilities of Wikipedia editors (Littlejohn & Hood, 2018)

Editathons are typically a half-day event. Wikipedia editing training takes approximately 60-90 minutes. We have a lesson plan and video tutorials to help there.

Minimum requirements:

  1. an internet connection and some computers.
  2. a few pages to create/edit.
  3. a few quality sources
  4. a few would-be editors.


  • Choose a subject theme for the event
  • Book a room with WiFi & a projector
  • Create an event page – e.g. using the Wikimedia Outreach Dashboard
  • Start publicising the event about 4-6 weeks in advance to recruit interested volunteers to do the editing
  • Refreshments – Tea, coffee and snacks attract attendees and help people stay for longer!
  • Supplies from Wikimedia (stickers, How to Edit booklets, pens, etc.)
  • A trainer or experienced editors to lend support
  • Provide a hit list of articles and materials to support writing those articles (e.g. books from the library, links to obituaries, etc.)
  • Signup sheet – Here is an example of a registration form used by Wikimedia UK used to add people to the Wikimedia community email distribution lists: signup form

Q: How should an editathon be structured?

  • Introduction including a short/long guest talk from someone else about why we’re here, or a visit to somewhere interesting (ie a Backstage Pass event)
  • Basic editing training, including any pertinent policies or guidelines.
  • Edit! (at least a half day)
  • Wrap up and follow up – update your event page, send sign in sheets to your region’s Wikimedia office (e.g. for the UK info@wikimedia.org.uk)

Q: How do I publicise an editathon?

  • Decide on a sign up method for the event.
  • Share the event page
  • Advertise to relevant (existing) volunteer or student groups
  • Decide if your event will be public or non-public
  • If you have a regional or national Wikimedia organisation, be sure to link in with them, e.g. add event page link to Wikimedia UK events page

Q: How do I create an event page?

Use the Programs and Events Dashboard for preparing and managing your event.