We are happy to share that our first event, a Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon (#TSPNWikiEdit18), was a huge success. #TSPNWikiEdit18 took place on Saturday September 22nd at the University of Toronto Inforum library, where over 30 event attendees came out and collectively added over 6.45 thousand words to Wikipedia!
The event began with an introduction about Toronto Science Policy Network by TSPN president Ellen Gute. Next, Farah Qaiser, a TSPN Executive, gave an informative overview of Wikipedia, including the reported gender and racial biases within the encyclopedia. This was followed by a crash course on editing Wikipedia.
Event attendees then broke away into pairs to begin copy-editing and expanding current Wikipedia pages during the first hands-on session of the day. Both Farah and Guita Lamsechi (a University of Toronto iSchool student and intern with University of Toronto’s Information Technology Services) were available to guide event attendees through the world of Wikipedia editing.
During lunch, Heather Buchansky, Student Engagement Librarian at University of Toronto Libraries, offered event attendees insight into finding reliable secondary sources for Wikipedia pages. Participants then continued to expand pages, and then moved on to creating new pages.
Here at TSPN, we would like to thank the University of Toronto Libraries and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information for use of the Inforum Library as the event space and for their generous financial support. We also want to give a special shout out to the following student groups: Women in Chemistry Toronto, Green Chemistry Initiative, University of Toronto Coders, and Women of Colour in STEMM Canada for helping to support this event.
Lastly, thank you to all those who attended! Together, we made a difference in addressing pages dedicated to scientific research, policy and communication on Wikipedia.
By Farah Qaiser, Ellen Gute, Sivani Baskaran, and Molly Sung
Photo Credits Alex Moravek