Tag: Equality and Diversity

Diversifying Wikipedia for the Festival of Creative Learning 2019

Wikipedia is the 5th most visited website in the world and is an important first stop when looking up any topic – it is truly an incredible resource. But its power can be dangerous. It lacks diversity both in its editorship and its articles. This means that its systemic biases can have a large impact on the way we think. Wikipedia, like most mainstream publishing and media, is very disproportionately white and male. However, unlike traditional information resources, Wikipedia’s users can have a direct positive impact on its content. This is why Information Services held a Diversithon event for the Festival of Creative Learning on the afternoon of 20th February 2019:

“To increase the diversity of voices, genders, and cultures among its contributors and editors, the Wikimedia Foundation has made it a strategic goal to recruit and foster more women, people of colour, and other underrepresented individuals—including LGBT+ populations… the Wikimedia Foundation recognizes that the majority of its Wikipedia contributors and editors are disproportionately male, under 22 years old, and (most likely white and straight) from “the Global North”. They also admit that Wikipedia’s coverage is skewed toward the interests, expertise, and language skills of the people who created it…”— Wexelbaum, Herzog, & Rasberry, “Queering Wikipedia” (2015).

 

The Diversithon was a Wikipedia editing event held in a social and supportive setting to celebrate diversity for LGBT+ History Month 2019 and Black History Month.

This event trained its attendees in the skills required to contribute to and improve Wikipedia – a useful skill for anyone to have – and focused on creating new articles to include notable Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic professionals; LGBT+ professionals; as well as continuing our work to address the systemic gender gap on Wikipedia where only 17.83% of biographies are about notable women.

The Diversithon in a nutshell:
  • 12 new articles were created.
  • 2 more were drafted.
  • 28 articles were edited.
  • 249 edits in total.
  • 15 editors.
  • 9,530 words added.
  • 9,190 articles views.

Our co-hosts for the event, the student support group Wellcomm Kings, kicked off the event.

Rosie Taylor, Wellcomm Kings convenor and Biological Sciences student, kicks off the Diversithon.

Rosie Taylor, a Biological Sciences student and Wellcomm Kings convenor, presented on why we hold  which she had stated she had orientated herself about using Wikipedia. Rosie discussed the history of the Section 28 and the protests against it. This legislation stated that a local authorityshall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. It was repealed on 21 June 2000 in Scotland by the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000,  as one of the first pieces of legislation enacted by the new Scottish Parliament, and on 18 November 2003 in the rest of the United Kingdom. Rosie also provided some context on the Queer Community in Scotland and posed the question as to whether Scotland was indeed ahead of the curve? Homosexuality was, after all, decriminalised 13 years later than in England. She closed by stating there was still a long way to go. Despite the progress being made in some quarters, 1 in 5 LGBT+ people still report to have experienced a hate crime in the past year.

Tom and Henry from the student research project, UncoverEd, tell us what they have discovered about the university’s global alumni.

Tom and Henry from  presented following Rosie’s talk; outlining the student research project they had been involved in, which focused on surfacing the lives and contributions of the University of Edinburgh’s global alumni. The UncoverED exhibition launched 31 January 2019 in the Crystal Macmillan Building.

From the UncoverEd website:

“UncoverEd is a collaborative and decolonising research project, funded by Edinburgh Global, which aims to situate the ‘global’ status of the University of Edinburgh in its rightful imperial and colonial context. Led by PhD candidates Henry Mitchell and Tom Cunningham, the team of eight student researchers are creating a database of students from Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and the Americas from as early as 1700, and writing social histories of the marginalised student experience. The aim was to produce at least one biography each of a ‘notable’ alumnus, leading up to a website and exhibition in January 2019”.

Roger Bamkin, co-founder of WikiProject Women in Red, was also in attendance and helped support the staff, students and members of the public at our Diversithon to create and improve Wikipedia pages over the course of the afternoon. WikiProject Women in Red is the second most active WikiProject on Wikipedia and its aim is to turn red-linked articles about notable women which don’t yet exist into blue clickable links which do.

 

“In November 2014, only about 15% of the English Wikipedia’s biographies were about women. Founded in July 2015, WiR strives to improve the figure, which has reached 17.73% as of 18 February 2019. But that means, according to WHGI, only 284,439 of our 1,604,512 biographies are about women. Not impressed? “Content gender gap” is a form of systemic bias, and WiR addresses it in a positive way through shared values.”

 

The afternoon proved a positive and motivating experience for our attendees and allowed us to make use of Wikipedia’s new PrepBio tool to easily create stub articles from the biographical information stored as structured data in Wikidata. e.g. from the List of missing biographies of nonbinary, trans and intersex people.

Through our combined efforts, over the course of an afternoon, the following pages were produced:

Outcomes

  • Jane Pirie (1779-1833) opened a girl’s school in Edinburgh and was accused of lesbianism with the school’s co-founder Marianne Woods. The story of the court case was the inspiration for Lillian Hellman’s play “The Children’s Hour”.
  • Lisa Middleton is the 1st transgender person to be elected in California for a nonjudicial position. Lisa was included in the 2016 Pride Honors Awards recipients from Palm Springs Pride with the Spirit of Stonewall Community Service Award.
  • Xheni Karaj is a LGBT rights activist and co-founder of the Aleanca LGBT organization. Xheni, together with Kristi Pinderi, were among the first activists to launch the LGBT rights movement in Albania. Translated from Albanian Wikipedia.
  • Clara Marguerite Christian (1895-1964), was born in Dominica and was the 1st black woman to study at the University of Edinburgh. Her university experience speaks to the “double jeopardy” of “navigating both race and gender within whiteness”, embodying “the simultaneous invisibility and hyper-visibility” of being a black woman in Edinburgh during the 1910s”.
  • Jabulani Chen Pereira is a queer South African activist & visual artist. In 2012, Pereira founded Iranti (South African LGBT organisation), a non-governmental organisation focusing queer human rights issues primarily through visual media.
  • Annette Eick (1909-2010) was a Jewish Lesbian writer. During the 1920s, a liberal time period in the Weimar republic, Eick wrote poems and short stories for lesbian magazinesAfter the Nazis came to power in 1933, she had to give up on journalism and started working as a nanny. In 1938, she was granted a visum to live in the UK and fled to London after surviving an attack by Nazis on the farm she was staying at during the Reichkristallnacht. Her parents were murdered in the Auschwitz concentration camp. In London, Eick worked as a nanny and housekeeper and met her partner Getrud Klingel. They moved to Devon, where they opened a nursery and Eick started writing again. Her collection of poems, Immortal Muse, was published in 1984 and turned into a short film called The Immortal Muse by Jules Hussey in 2005. Eick became known to a wider audience through the documentary ‘Paragraph 175’ from 2000, which told the experiences of five gay men and one lesbian woman (Eick) that were prosecuted under the paragraph 175 which criminalised homosexuality. 
  • Elizabeth Kerekere is a scholar, artist & activist within the LGBTQ+ community in New Zealand. Kerekere has been an active member of the Green Party, promoting suicide prevention, anti-violence, healthy relationships and housing for all.
  • Jessica Platt is a professional hockey player and an advocate for transgender rights. She plays for the Toronto Furies in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and was the first transgender woman to play in the CWHL.
  • Cornelia ‘Connie’ Estelle Smith (1875–1970) was a black music-hall entertainer and actress who was a member of the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre. Appearing in theater and film, she was best known for her performances in All God’s Chillun Got Wings (1946), You Can’t take it With You (1947), Kaiser Jones(1961), and as the sorceress Tituba in Arthur Miller‘s The Crucible.
  • Gisela Necker (1932-2011) was an early lesbian activist active in Berlin from the 1970s until her death. She was a leading member of Homosexual Action West Berlin (HAW), co-founding its first lesbian group in the early 1970s. She later helped to found the Berlin women’s centre and the Lesbian Action Centre.
  • Les+ Magazine was started in 2005 by a group of young Chinese lesbians. The slogan of the 1st issue states ‘After the darkness fades away, I’ll be holding ur hand, walking under the sunlight with pride, boldly & happily living our lives!‘.
  • Lala is a non-derogatory Chinese slang term for lesbian, or a same-sex desiring woman. It is used primarily by the LGBT+ community in mainland China, though the term has origins in the Taiwanese term for lesbian, lazi (Chinese: 拉子).
  • NEWLY drafted to Wikipedia: Mala Maña is an all-female vocal group from New Mexico, fusing contemporary & folkloric rhythm of the African diasporas with Latin American music. Can you help finish the article so we can publish it?
  • NEWLY drafted to Wikipedia: Marsha H. Levine is the founder of InterPride, an international organisation for Pride committees. She was Parade Manager of San Francisco Pride from 2000-2018. Can you help finish the article so we can publish?
Diversithon editors at work

If you want to know more about the Diversithon or would like to suggest a Wikipedia event yourself then the Wikimedia residency is a free resource available to staff an students at the university. Message me at ewan.mcandrew@ed.ac.uk

JISC case study – Wikimedia in the curriculum

Addressing the challenges of digital and information literacy, digital scholarship and open knowledge at the University of Edinburgh

Summary

The University of Edinburgh is the first university in the UK to appoint a university-wide Wikimedian in Residence as part of its institutional strategy to develop information and digital literacy skills for staff and students, and contribute to the creation and dissemination of open knowledge.

The role of the Wikimedian in Residence is to work with course teams and students across the University, to demonstrate how learning to contribute to Wikipedia can enhance staff and students’ understanding of how knowledge is constructed, curated and contested online. Editing Wikipedia also provides valuable opportunities for students to develop their digital research and communication skills, and enables them to make a lasting contribution to the global pool of open knowledge.

The residency also focuses on redressing the gender balance of Wikipedia articles and has been hugely successful in encouraging more women to become Wikipedia editors.

A growing number of courses at undergraduate and Masters level have successfully incorporated Wikipedia editing activities in the curriculum, and student societies have also developed their own Wikipedia projects.  The University is also engaging with Wikipedia’s newest sister project, Wikidata, in the context of the growing importance of data literacy and open data initiatives.

A number of other UK universities are learning from the Edinburgh experience, and are developing their own projects with Wikimedia UK, the UK chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation.

A strategy for digital and information literacy

Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, which supports a range of open knowledge projects, of which Wikipedia is the best known. Wikimedia UK fosters engagement with these projects through the placement of Wikimedians in Residence within institutions in the education and cultural sectors.

Having seen the potential of the Wikimedian in Residence model, Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh, identified how such a placement could help improve information literacy and digital skills at the University.

An initial Wikipedia editathon, a facilitated event that brings people together to edit the encyclopaedia, was held at the University in 2015, on the topic of women, science and Scottish history.  This editathon was independently evaluated by Professor Alison Littlejohn of the Open University, in order to establish its impact and explore the value of collaboration with Wikimedia UK. Professor Littlejohn found that both formal and informal learning and knowledge creation took place at the editathon.  In two research papers,[i],[ii]she analysed the formation of networks of practice and social capital through participation in editathons, with sufficient momentum generated to sustain engagement after the event itself, and participants valuing it as an important part of their professional development. She also found that, in becoming an active Wikipedia editor, participants engaged in important discussions about how knowledge is created, curated and contested online, and the positive impact that Wikipedia can have in sharing knowledge and addressing knowledge gaps.

As a research-based institution, this evidence of the benefits of engaging with Wikipedia helped to make the business case for integrating Wikipedia editing as part of the University of Edinburgh’s information literacy and digital skills strategy. The following year, the University appointed a new Wikimedian in Residence, Ewan McAndrew. This was the first residency in the UK with a remit to work right across a university, rather than within a specific area such as a library. Based in the Digital Skills team within the University’s Information Services Group, the Wikimedian in Residence provides a centrally supported service accessible to all staff across the institution. Initially a one-year, part-time appointment, the residency focused on helping colleagues to make connections between their teaching and research and the Wikimedia projects, in order to explore areas of mutual benefit. As a result of the positive response to this service, the Wikimedian in Residence has since become a full-time permanent post.

In addition to providing educational opportunities, the residency supports a number of key institutional missions, including open knowledge and open science; the Scottish Government initiative on creating a data literate workforce; commitments on gender equality including the Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) charter; and public and community engagement. The residency provides opportunities for the University to expand its civic mission, through new forms of collaboration with city-wide and Scottish national bodies.  

The University of Edinburgh and Wikimedia UK – shared missions.

Wikimedia in the Curriculum

Wikipedia is integrated into the curriculum at the University of Edinburgh by engaging students in the creation of original Wikipedia articles, on topics that are not currently covered by the encyclopaedia. These included articles of particular relevance to Scotland, e.g. Scottish women in STEM, often created in collaboration with local external partners, and those of more general interest. Students are provided with training on how to edit Wikipedia and how to undertake relevant research, enabling them to write informed articles that are fully and accurately referenced. Writing articles that will be publicly accessible and live on after the end of their assignment has proved to be highly motivating for students, and provides an incentive for them to think more deeply about their research. It encourages them to ensure they are synthesising all the reliable information available, and to think about how they can communicate their scholarship to a general audience. Students can see that their contribution will benefit the huge audience that consults Wikipedia, plugging gaps in coverage, and bringing to light hidden histories, significant figures, and important concepts and ideas. This makes for a valuable and inspiring teaching and learning experience, that enhances the digital literacy, research and communication skills of both staff and students.

Wikimedia curriculum assignments supported by the Wikimedian in Residence have now been incorporated into a number of different disciplines including:

  • Reproductive Biology Honours
  • Translation Studies MSc
  • World Christianity MSc
  • Online History MSc
  • Data Science for Design MSc
  • Global Health Masters courses
  • Intellectual Humility MOOC
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice.

Discussions are also underway to incorporate Wikipedia editing into the curriculum for postgraduate and undergraduate students at the School of Law, and into Masters courses in Digital Society, Psychology in Action, and Digital Education.

Supporting Equality and Diversity

Another significant remit of the University of Edinburgh’s Wikimedia residency has been to support the institution’s commitment to Athena SWAN.  Many of the editathons facilitated by the Wikimedian in Residence focus on addressing the under-representation of women on Wikipedia and encouraging more women to become editors.  A 2011 survey[3]showed that around 90% of English language Wikipedia editors were male.  Since then Wikimedia has made a concerted effort to improve the gender diversity of its community, however women editors are still a minority. In contrast, 69% of participants at University of Edinburgh editathons are women.

These events also help to address the fact that only 17.73% of English Wikipedia biographies are about notable women[4]. To help combat this systemic bias, a range of editathons have focused on women in science and Scottish history, history of medicine, history of veterinary medicine, history of nursing, women in espionage, women and religion, art and feminism, women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), reproductive biology, Gothic literature, and celebrations of Ada Lovelace Day.

Promoting Data Literacy with Wikidata

In line with new open data initiatives supported by government and research councils, there has been growing interest in working other Wikimedia projects such as Wikibooks and Wikidata. The University of Edinburgh has recently been awarded additional public funding to lead the development of a data-literate workforce of the future over the next ten years, equipping them with the data skills necessary to meet the needs of Scotland’s growing digital economy, and helping the city of Edinburgh to become an international centre for data-driven innovation. In order to support this initiative, the University has been exploring the introduction of Wikidata activities in the curriculum.

This provides students with an opportunity to:

  • Engage with issues of data completeness, data processing and analysis, and data ethics.
  • Learn to make practical use of a large range of tools and data visualisation techniques.
  • Work with linked open data on the semantic web, across disciplines ranging from science to digital humanities and cultural heritage.

Initial curriculum activities have focused on converting existing datasets from the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft (1563–1736) database into structured, machine-readable open data and adding it to Wikidata.  This data is then enriched by linking it with other complementary datasets in Wikidata to help build up a semantic open web of knowledge.

Student reaction: formal and informal learning

“It’s a really good exercise in critical thinking … It’s a motivating thing to do to use the knowledge you’ve learnt, to see how it is relevant to the real world and to contribute … Knowing people are finding the article useful is really gratifying.” – University of Edinburgh Reproductive Biology student, Áine Kavanagh, reflecting on a Wikipedia editing exercise

Wikipedia belongs in education.

 

The vast majority of students have reacted extremely positively to engaging with Wikimedia, seeing it as enjoyable and with the added reward of contributing to the common good. Most students quickly become technically adept at using the new Wikipedia Visual Editor interface, which they described as making editing ‘super easy’, ‘fun’, ‘really intuitive’ and ‘addictive as hell’.  A few felt that Wikipedia editing wasn’t for them, but they too benefited from greater understanding of how knowledge is constructed online, and are now well placed to make informed choices about whether or not to actively contribute to its creation in the future.

Reproductive Biology students who took part in an assignment writing Wikipedia articles for previously unpublished medical terms found it provided valuable training in communicating scientific ideas to a lay audience, something they will have to do in their professional careers. One student wrote an article on high-grade serous carcinoma, one of the most serious and deadly forms of ovarian cancer; this addressed a significant knowledge gap on the encyclopaedia using high-quality scholarly research communicated in non-specialist terms. The high-grade serous carcinoma article, which has now been viewed over 50,000 times, represents a perceptible and lasting contribution to the common good. At the same time, the article has contributed to the student’s professional development, and become a source of lasting satisfaction for them.

The Wikimedia residency has also had a significant impact on students outwith the curriculum. Several student societies, including History, Women in STEM, Law and Technology, Translation, and International Development, have seen the potential for Wikipedia editing to enhance their activities, and have approached the Wikimedian in Residence for help, support and training.  The student History Society held an editathon as part of its programme of activities for Black History Month, adding entries for notable black women not previously represented on Wikipedia.  A key motivator for History Society students was contributing to public understanding of history by improving the coverage of under-represented areas such as social history, women’s history, the history of people of colour, and queer history.

Meanwhile the Law and Technology Society ran a Wikipedia editathon focused on improving coverage of technology law and intellectual property rights. The success of this editathon led to discussions with course leaders at the School of Law, initiated by students themselves, about including Wikipedia editing in the course curriculum as a collaborative exercise involving undergraduate and postgraduate students researching and editing topics related to Scottish law for a lay audience.

Digital skills development

Digital skills that the collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and Wikimedia UK has helped to develop include:

  • Critical information literacy
  • Digital literacy
  • Academic writing and referencing
  • Critical thinking
  • Literature review
  • Writing for different audiences
  • Research skills
  • Communication skills
  • Community building
  • Online citizenship
  • Collaboration

Course leaders experience

Course leaders who have engaged with the University’s Wikipedia in the Curriculum initiatives have found the exercise to be popular with students and successful in achieving desired learning outcomes.  Students learn valuable research and communication skills that contribute to their learning and help prepare them for future careers.  In addition, they are better able to evaluate the quality of Wikipedia articles and the veracity of information they encounter online.

Wikipedia assignments are not presented as an additional overhead for already time-poor course leaders, but rather as an approach that can be used to enhance learning outcomes where they are not being meaningfully achieved by existing course elements.  This has been an important factor in encouraging uptake. For example, the MSc in World Christianity, introduced a successful Wikipedia assignment in place of an existing oral assessment.

Several courses have now run Wikipedia assignments over successive years and the number of departments involved is expanding, in line with the evolution of course planning, and as awareness of the opportunities grows. For academic staff, in addition to the teaching and learning benefits, engaging with Wikimedia has provided useful insight into the editorial process of how Wikipedia pages are created, and information and knowledge is constructed online.

Building sustainability

Sustainability and capacity for expansion has been built into the University of Edinburgh’s Wikimedia residency since its inception.  By focusing on digital skills development and employing a ‘train the trainers’ approach, the Wikimedian in Residence has been able train a large number of staff and students to support Wikipedia editathons and course assignments.  Staff, including learning technologists, digital skills trainers, academic support librarians, digital curators, open educational resource advisors, and deputy directors of IT are now able to lead training across the University.

The Wikimedian in Residence has also developed and curated a wide range of training resources, including:

  • A lesson plan for how to lead a Wikipedia editing workshop, available to download under open licence from TES (https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/how-to-conduct-wikipedia-editing-training-11548391).
  • Over 250 open licensed educational videos and tutorials
  • A growing number of self-directed online tutorials using easy to navigate WordPress SPLOT sites.

The residency is helping the University of Edinburgh to expand and enhance its civic mission, with many opportunities for collaboration with city-wide and Scottish national bodies arising both inside or outside the curriculum.  In order to support growing engagement with Wikipedia in Scotland, Wikimedia UK recruited a Scotland Programme Co-ordinator in April 2018.  Other Scottish institutions that have employed Wikimedians in Residence include the National Library of Scotland, the Scottish Library & Information Council, Museums Galleries Scotland and, most recently, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.  Wales, meanwhile, has a permanent National Wikimedian based at the National Library of Wales.

Lessons learned and wider impact

With interest increasing among academic staff and course leaders in exploring how Wikimedia can be incorporated into their curricula, and appreciation growing of the opportunities Wikipedia offers to engage with the creation and dissemination of open knowledge, the University of Edinburgh’s Wikimedia residency, has successfully demonstrated that engaging with Wikipedia and its sister projects can enhance teaching and learning and benefit the institution’s civic mission.

The residency has also shown how the process of editing Wikimedia can be demystified and made accessible and enjoyable for students through a range of activities and events that provide a variety of opportunities for collaboration and sharing good practice, with scaffolded support and training. Activities such as ‘train the trainer’ workshops expand understanding of how to engage with Wikipedia and support colleagues and students to become editors.

Reaction to the residency has been positive among both staff and students, and has increased understanding of the important role Wikipedia, and increasingly Wikidata, can play in Higher Education and in knowledge creation and sharing more generally.

In order to share their expertise, the Wikimedian in Residence is now developing open educational resources for staff and students that explain quickly and easily how and why to engage with Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.   Wikipedia training is now embedded in University’s Digital Skills training programme, with introductory ‘How to get started editing Wikipedia’ workshops led by staff within the Digital Skills team. This approach fosters greater sustainability in the longer term, and enables the Wikimedian in Residence to deliver more specialised workshops including:

  • Teaching with Wikipedia
  • Introduction to open data with Wikidata
  • Introduction to Wikisource: The digital hyperlibrary
  • Sharing research on Wikipedia and Wikidata
  • Wiki games: Learning through play
  • Histropedia: The timeline of everything.

The success of the University of Edinburgh residency has helped Wikimedia UK to build new collaborations with education institutions across the UK, and has led the chapter to develop its first Wikipedia in the Classroom publication. This forthcoming booklet of UK case studies will help demonstrate how universities can engage meaningfully with Wikimedia projects, to support their institutional missions and enhance learners’ digital skills. Happily, a growing number of universities across the UK have sought to learn from the Edinburgh experience and have begun exploring their own Wikipedia projects with Wikimedia UK.

 

Find out more

Contact: Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh.

Email: ewan.mcandrew@ed.ac.uk

Web: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:University_of_Edinburgh

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:University_of_Edinburgh/Two_year_review#Working_collaboratively_and_building_sustainability

References

[1]Rehm A, Littlejohn A and Rienties B (2017). Does a formal wiki event contribute to the formation of a network of practice? A social capital perspective on the potential for informal learning. Interactive Learning Environments, 26 (3). tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10494820.2017.1324495

[2]LittlejohnA and Hood N (2018). Becoming an online editor: perceived roles and responsibilities of Wikipedia editors. Information Research, 23 (1). informationr.net/ir/23-1/paper784.html

[3]Wikipedia editors study: results from the editor survey, April 2011. wikimedia.org. commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Editor_Survey_Report_-_April_2011.pdf

[4]Figure as of 18 February 2019, WikiProject Women In Red, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Women_in_Red

 

 

Reproductive Medicine Honours undergraduates at the University of Edinburgh (Own work, CC-BY-SA)

 

Attribution

This case study was edited by Lorna M. Campbell, University of Edinburgh, from a case study produced by Jisc in November 2018.  Education consultancy Sero HE was commissioned by Jisc to interview Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian in Residence at the University.

CC BY SA, Jisc, Sero HE, and the University of Edinburgh.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Ada Lovelace Day – 1 month to go!

On Tuesday 9th October 2018, the University’s Information Services team are running an edit-a-thon to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day 2018 which is an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

It’s a little over a month until Ada Lovelace Day 2018 so do pop it in your calendar now and we’ll announce further details about the University’s plans on our Ada Lovelace Day website shortly.

This year the event will have a particular focus on Contemporary Women in STEM and #ALD2018 is to be hosted at the JCMB building (subject to room confirmation) with a evening networking event in the social space at the Joseph Black building (wine and nibbles supplied by the Royal Society of Chemistry).

There will be a range of guest speakers in the morning followed by fun STEM activities in the afternoon (see below for details). Full Wikipedia editing training will be given at 2-3pm. Thereafter the afternoon’s edit-a-thon will focus on improving the quality of Wikipedia articles related to Contemporary Women in STEM! This year we will also be hosting a Women in STEM data hackathon.

Following on from last year’s panel discussion, to close the day there will be a more informal discussion and networking event. Five guest speakers from a variety of career stages have been invited to say a few words to promote discussion inc. Dr. Jenni Garden, Christina Miller Research Fellow at the School of Chemistry and Professor Lesley Yellowlees.

All three events (morning, afternoon and evening) will be free and open to all so taking part in Ada Lovelace Day is as as easy as 1,2,3.

You can book to attend one session, two sessions or all three and booking will open very soon. Watch this space.

Who is your STEM heroine?

A regular activity for Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) at the University of Edinburgh is the Wikipedia editing event or editathon. This year the focus is contemporary women in STEM who do not currently have Wikipedia pages.

Nominate your contemporary STEM heroine for consideration at the Wikipedia editathon Tuesday 9th October. This should only take 5-10 minutes and it will really help us to create new role models for young and old alike on the world’s go-to source for information, Wikipedia.

Submit your STEM heroine nomination (Google Form)

Please note the deadline for submissions is now Monday 8th October.

Assistant Principal Melissa Highton welcoming attendees to Ada Lovelace Day 2017
Assistant Principal Melissa Highton welcoming attendees to Ada Lovelace Day 2017

Draft Programme

Morning session 11am-12:30pm: Talks

Morning of short talks chaired by Anne-Marie Scott.

Confirmed room: Teaching Studio G.07 at Murchison House.

Tea and coffee will be served at 11am.

Talks will commence at 11.15am.

    • Housekeeping and welcome from Anne-Marie Scott, Deputy Director or Learning, Teaching & Web Services.
    • Women in High Performance Computing (HPC) – Athina Frantzana
    • Introduction to the Gender and Equality Images Internship – Francesca Vavotici. This 10-minute talk will explore the role of the Gender and Equality Images Intern and will offer an overview of the Library and University collections. With such wealth of fascinating materials available, the talk will provide insight into the research process and share some of the highlights so far.
    • Women in STEM Society – Charlie and Yvonne.
    • Wellcomm Kings – Rosie and Izzy
    • Knitting Ada – Find out about how Madeleine Shepherd hacked her knitting machine to create a portrait of Ada Lovelace in yarn.
    • University of Edinburgh Physics Society – Olivia Jackson.

The morning session will close with elevator pitches for the drop-in activities in the afternoon.

(Pic from Ada Lovelace Day 2016 at the University of Edinburgh – own work CC-BY-SA).

Activities 12:30pm-5:30pm: Activities

Chaired by Stewart Cromar and James Slack (Information Services)

Confirmed rooms: 

12:30pm-5:30pm: HPC Carpentry: a hands-on introduction to Supercomputing (3211 – JCMB Building)

  • David Henty, Weronika Filinger, Clair Barrass
  • Needs to be pre-registered
  • Edinburgh University hosts the UK national supercomputer, ARCHER, and many other machines available to Edinburgh researchers. This hands-on session will explain what High Performance Computing (HPC )is, what a supercomputer is, how to use it and what you can get out of it. We have run similar workshops previously under the “Women in HPC” initiative in UK and abroad and are keen to repeat the workshop for a local audience.

12:30pm-1:30pm: DIY Film School (Teaching Studio G.07 at Murchison House).

  • Liam Duffy and Stephen Donnelly (Information Services)
  • Introductory talk on DIY Film School and then practising & recording of the below activities

12:30pm-2:30pm: STEM stories (Teaching Studio G.07 at Murchison House).

  • Edinburgh University Women in STEM Society Committee members: Yvonne Anderson, Charlie Simms, Sarah Aitkin, Lyndsey Scott, Serene Messai
  • Aim: To allow students to share and discuss their experiences at university, particularly women in STEM.
  • All participants are given postcards on which they can write a good or bad experience they have had during university to do with equality and diversity.We will have a whiteboard split into good and bad and will get people to put their postcard on the side that applies to them.
  • Outcome: Bringing up subjects such as unconscious bias and making people aware that sexism is a current problem within stem subjects. Focusing on positive stories but also ways of addressing the negative ones.

12:30pm-2:30pm: Cake decorating (Teaching Studio G.07 at Murchison House).

  • Edinburgh University Women in STEM Society Committee: Yvonne Anderson, Charlie Simms, Sarah Aitkin, Lyndsey Scott, Serene Messai
  • Audience given cupcake and bio about a famous women in STEM and decorate their cake to represent her. The aim is simply to educate people on the important female figures within STEM.
Women in Red Wikipedia editing.  Photo by Dr Alexander Chow. CC-BY-SA

Contemporary Women in STEM editathon 2:30pm-5:30pm

Chaired by Ewan McAndrew and Stephanie ‘Charlie’ Farley.

Confirmed room: Teaching Studio G.07 at Murchison House.

    • Create pages on contemporary Women in STEM figures crowdsourced from suggestions from circulating this Googleform.
      • Wikipedia training from 2:30pm-3.30pm
      • Creating new pages from 3.30pm-5pm.
      • Publishing new pages 5pm-5.30pm.
      • Potentially personal/research websites as sources of information
      • Sources for open-access images? Approach repositories
      • Identify if there are books we need to buy into library ahead of time. e.g. Last year Chemistry was their lives proved very helpful
      • Use review articles for sources of bio information.
      • Short activities  can have big results e.g. training to add an image, an info box (5-10 mins), citation (5-10) or data (5-10 mins)

Women in STEM data hackathon 3:30pm-5:30pm

Teaching Studio G.07 at Murchison House.

  • Data on Women in STEM can be provided in an editable table – participants fill in blank columns with missing verifiable information.
    • E.g. Place of study, field of work, notable achievements…

At the end of the Wikipedia and Wikidata workshops we will tweet out the newly created pages and new data visualisations (maps, timelines etc.)

Ada Lovelace
Alfred Edward Chalon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Evening discussion & networking event 5.45pm-7.30pm

Chaired by Dr. Michael Seery, Director of Teaching at the School of Chemistry.

Venue: Social area at the School of Chemistry in Joseph Black building.

Following on from last year’s panel discussion, this will be a more informal discussion and networking event. Five guest speakers from a variety of career stages have been invited to say a few words  to promote discussion inc. Dr. Jenni Garden, Christina Miller Research Fellow at the School of Chemistry and Professor Lesley Yellowlees.

Wine and nibbles provided by the Royal Society of Chemistry,

Previous Women in STEM editathons

Review the Wikipedia articles improved and created at previous ALD editathons:

  1. ALD Wikipedia editathon 2017
  2. ALD Wikipedia editathon 2016
  3. ALD Wikipedia editathon 2015

Ada Lovelace Day 2017 short film

In celebration of International Women’s Day (#IWD2018) watch footage from Ada Lovelace Day 2017 at the University of Edinburgh. Via Media Hopper Create you can watch and download a Creative Commons licenced (CC BY-SA) full HD version for sharing/repurposing/remixing!

Celebrating 100 years of Votes for Women

A photograph of the Great Procession and Women’s Demonstration in Edinburgh in 1909. The image shows crowds of people congregated together to watch the procession. Many of those marching are carrying large banners. There is a brass band marching in front of the banner procession. There are also horses and carts that are carrying men and women. The photograph also shows a long view of Princes Street, which emphasises the amount of people who turned out for the demonstration. CC-BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons – kindly shared by Edinburgh Central Library’s Capital Collections.

To celebrate 100 years since the Representation of the People Act (1918) gave some women the vote, we held three #Vote100 Wikipedia editing events.

34 brand new biography articles have now surfaced on Wikipedia about Scotland’s suffragettes and the Eagle House suffragettes, along with 220 improved pages and items of data so people can discover all about their lives and contributions.

Wikipedia editathon for Processions 2018 at the University of Edinburgh Library. CC-BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons
Students and staff creating new Wikipedia pages about Scottish suffragettes at Processions 2018. CC-BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons.

 

“Annie’s Arboretum” at Eagle House

Eagle House (suffragette’s rest) became an important refuge for suffragettes who had been released from Holloway prison after hunger strikes. Many major people from the suffragette movement were invited to stay at Eagle house and to plant a tree to celebrate a prison sentence — at least 47 trees were planted between April 1909 and July 1911, including by Emmeline Pankhurst, Christabel Pankhurst, Annie Kenney, Charlotte Despard, Millicent Fawcett and Lady Lytton.

Read more in the Histropedia timeline (external website).

Suffragettes Annie Kenney, Mary Blathwayt and Emmeline Pankhurst, Eagle House, Batheaston 1910. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The Scottish suffragettes

New Wikipedia pages have been created about: Maude Edwards slashing the portrait of King George V at the Royal Scottish Academy and her defiance at trial; the force-feeding of Frances Gordon and Arabella Scott at Perth Prison by the doctor who was “emotionally hooked” to Arabella Scott and offered to escort her to Canada; the attempted arson conducted by pioneer doctor Dorothea Chalmers Smith; the Aberdonian suffragette & organiser, Caroline Phillips, being sacked by telegram by Christabel Pankhurst; and the “energetic little woman from Stranraer” Jane Taylour who was a firebrand lecturer on Women’s Suffrage touring up and down Scotland and England.

Read more in the Histropedia timeline (external website).

Bessie Watson – suffragette aged 9 years old.
In 1909, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) staged a march through Edinburgh to demonstrate “what women have done and can and will do”. Bessie Watson had played the bagpipes from an early age and at the age of nine she was asked to join the WSPU march and play the pipes. The march had a big impact on Bessie and she became involved in the suffragette movement. This involved playing the pipes outside the Calton Gaol to raise the spirits of incarcerated suffragettes. Playing the pipes led Bessie to do remarkable things and she became one of the first Girl Guides in Edinburgh and was seen by the King. The Capital Collections exhibition includes images of Bessie and the 1909 march as well as pictures of Calton Gaol. CC-BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons. Kindly shared by Edinburgh Central Library’s Capital Collections.