Next steps on Wikimedia Space

Last year, Wikimedia Foundation launched Wikimedia Space to experiment with new ways to connect volunteers, increase movement participation, and showcase community stories. While we remain committed to this important goal, based on lessons learned through the Space prototype, the Foundation has decided to close Discuss Space. The Space blog, which continues to fill a need to share news for the movement by the movement, will continue in a new home. 

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Simplifying your research needs: The Wikipedia Library launches new technical improvements and partnerships

Encountering a paywall when looking for reliable sources can be a frustrating, limiting roadblock during the editing process. Especially during the ongoing pandemic, finding a local library or institution with the right subscriptions can be a real challenge. The Wikipedia Library, a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, provides solutions for editors by offering free access to content from many of the world’s leading publishers and aggregators, including more than 100,000 unique periodicals, books, archives, and other collections.

Today, we are excited to announce new technical improvements to the Library Card platform that will make most content accessible using just your Wikipedia login. Additionally, editors can now qualify for instant access to some collections with no application needed through the Library Bundle. We are also making six new publisher partners available, including Springer Nature (on a one-year pilot) and ProQuest. Log in now to see if you qualify for access, and read on for more information!

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Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available.

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Join the Wiki Global Check In this Saturday, May 16 at noon. #WikiCheckIn

Do you have a photo that encapsulates your experience during the pandemic? Help build a #COVID19 time capsule (and join an edit-a-thon, while you’re at it!). Share your experience with other Wikimedians this Saturday, May 16. Sign up on Meta-wiki.

Turkish Wikipedians and Jazz-lovers Unite to celebrate International Jazz Day

International Jazz Day Edit-a-Thon April 30, 2020, Turkey. CC BY-SA 4.0

On April 30th, a group of wikipedians and jazz-lovers in Turkey stopped worrying about the pandemic, their jobs, schools or domestic tasks and celebrated the International Jazz Day.

There were about 50 participants who came together in a video-conference session to unite their forces for editing Wikipedia articles about Turkish jazz musicians. Some of them were long-time Wikipedia editors, but most were those jazz lovers, musicians, music managers, music magazine writers, festival organizers who discovered the “Edit” button for the first time during that session.

What brought this group together was a partnership between Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts – the organizer of Istanbul Jazz Festival – and the Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey. The original plan was to meet at a venue in İstanbul where some jazz history books and documents will be available, with a program including some music, a presentation and an editing workshop. The plan had to change when pandemic have started and forced everyone stay at home. But how this could stop jazzlovers from celebrating the jazz day?! Instead of physical meeting, a video conference was organised and the list of online sources were compiled. The lists of missing articles and the articles needs to be improved were prepeared. And best of all, selected photos from the archive of Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts were uploaded to Commons to be used in the Wikipedia articles.

And finally on the Jazz Day, after half hour presentation about how to edit Wikipedia, the work have begun. When they had difficulty, first time editors were sharing their screens to get help; Wikipedians had opportunity to ask their questions on jazz terminology to experts. It was surprising to see many participants remained in the session from beginning to the end during the four hour event. During those four hours and the following weekend, 904 edits was made by the participants. 36 new articles were created and 74 articles were expanded. This was a good step to fill a content gap in Turkish Wikipedia: Content on Turkish jazz musicians.

But not only that, it was also an attempt to close the gap between the people from music world and the Wikipedians. When someone from the music world edits an article about a musician, many miscommunication problems and misunderstandings come out when pillars of Wikipedia such as notability and neutrality are not known well by the contributor. Sometimes contributions of music professionals made in good faith were considered as self-promotion and the process ends up with deleted articles, missing information.

The jazz day edit-a-thon provided an opportunity to explain the pillars of Wikipedia, better understand different concerns and work together. And this was what Wikipedia is all about, a collaboration built by volunteer contributors to learn and understand.

A proposal for a new Wikimedia project to have more knowledge in more languages

Wikipedia is an amazing success. And yet, it has great gaps in knowledge in many of its languages. Our movement has contributors all around the world, and we all work together on creating the world’s most consulted encyclopedia. But many people are locked out from accessing large parts of that knowledge, because of language barriers. More than half of Wikipedias only have ten or fewer active contributors. It is challenging to create a current and comprehensive Wikipedia with so few people. But if you think that’s only an issue for the smaller communities: almost half of the articles in the German Wikipedia do not have a counterpart in English.

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Punjabi Wikisource gifts non-traditional sources to Wikipedia through #1lib1ref

Punjabi Wikisource community after a 1lib1ref event. Photo by Shubham, CC BY-SA 4.0

Have you ever stumbled onto a “Citation needed” tag on Wikipedia? It is one of the most commonly used tags on Wikipedia, highlighting that the tagged content might not be verified. And for communities in the Global South, citation needed statements remind us how important it is to integrate non-digital sources from local cultural heritage and indigenous knowledge systems into Wikipedia.

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Recognizing new Wikimedia Affiliates for March 2020

I’d like to take a moment and mention that since the start of the new year a few groups have been recognized by the Affiliations Committee. Congratulations to all involved!

Les sans PagEs User Group

Project: Meta-wiki

The group aims to be a community effort and an association for users who work on issues related to women and gender issues and more generally to diversity (territorial, cultural, linguistic, generational, gender, attitudinal and ability, etc.) within the French speaking Wikimedia movement.

Myanmar Wikimedia Community User Group

Project: Meta-wiki

The scope of the group, which can be found on their meta page, is “to promote Wikimedia projects to people living in, interested in or connected to Myanmar and also its relations/connections to the neighboring countries and around the world.”; and

Wikigrannies User Group

Project: Meta-wiki

The scope of the group, which can be found on their meta page, is “to promote the Social adaptation of the elderly, their involvement in Wikimedia projects. to popularize Wikiprojects among rural residents with a limited circle of contacts, and their involvement in Wikiprojects.”

Wikimedians of Turkic Languages User Group

Project: Meta-wiki

The scope of the group, which can be found on their meta page, is “to promote and participate in the projects offered by the Wikimedia Foundation and to organize the Turkic community. One of its core missions is to aid and encourage people to collect, develop and disseminate knowledge and other educational, cultural and historic content in the public domain or other licenses that allows everyone to freely use the knowledge, and to distribute and modify said content for free. Also, our main goal is to develop Wikimedia projects in Turkic languages, as well as to help and encourage Turkic-speaking users and communities.”

Wikimedians of United Arab Emirates User Group

Project: Meta-wiki

The scope of the group, which can be found on their meta page, is “to support people interested in various topics related with United Arab Emirates, across all Wikimedia projects in all languages. And also — group for all wikimedians who a lives in the region.”

Wikimedia Community User Group CEE Spring

Project: Meta-wiki

The scope of the group, which can be found on their meta page, is “an annual event organised by Wikimedians and Wikipedians who joined the Central and Eastern Europe collaboration with an aim to support article creation about every country in the region on every Wikipedia. Wikimedia CEE Spring aims to join local forces of free knowledge to accumulate and distribute information about history, culture, traditions and people in every corner of the region to support mutual acknowledgement and understanding and to increase the quantity and quality of free knowledge available about the CEE region globally.”

Wikimedians for Sustainable Development

Project: Meta-wiki

The scope of the group, which can be found on their meta page, is “to work on all topics related to sustainable development, including in particular the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They aim to partner with organizations that are actively working towards a world with sustainable development whether they are NGO’s, academic institutions, public bodies of different levels or even perhaps companies in order to create, collect and curate knowledge.”

Recognition of Wikimedia Community of Kazakh language User Group

Project: Meta-wiki

The scope of the group, which can be found on their meta page, is “to increase the collaboration between the members and other organizations outside of Wikimedia who are interested in sharing the knowledge, to create meetups, contests and other activities related to the Kazakh language.”

Thanks to Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight and Dumisani Ndubane for sharing these announcements on wikimedia-l.

A dialogue on Open Access with Indian Artists: Looking back on the 2019 Access to Arts Conference

File:Access to Arts Conference(15).jpg
File:Access to Arts Conference(15).jpg by Benipal hardarshan / CC BY-SA

In July 2019, over 80 Artists from North India gathered in Chandigarh, India to discuss Commons and the free licenses that come under it. Here is what became of it.

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Wikiexpedition Lower Silesia illustrates 550 articles

Wikiexpedition Lower Silesia was a four-day wiki-photographer event in Lower Silesia, Poland to illustrate Wikipedia with photographs and advocate it as a good resource of information. Five photographers from the Czech Republic traveled in July 2019 to the site to support the hard work of local Wikimedians. The event was organized thanks to the financial support of Wikimedia Polska.

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