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May 24 / Christine Illichmann

Edit-A-Thon Sparks Wikipedia Wednesdays

This post comes to us from SIS Student Jodi Coalter. Jodi is President of the Wayne State Student Chapter of ASIS&T and was the driving force behind the university-wide Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon in celebration of the sesquicentennial.

On March 22nd, the Wayne State University Libraries and the School of Information Sciences hosted a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon. The event focused on removing the promotional materials that made up the bulk of the Wayne State Wikipedia article, as well as creating new pages for schools and departments that didn’t have one. Overall, the event made changes to over 10,000 bytes of data, and added 6 new pages to Wikipedia.

As many librarians know, Wikipedia is one of the more popular tools to gather information. Over the past decade, Wikipedia has earned a place in the top 10 most frequented sites on the internet. This makes using Wikipedia in libraries not only useful, but effective; patrons are learning on a platform that they are already familiar with. Teaching information literacy, citation checking, and information assessment becomes easy and useful when using Wikipedia.

Because of this ease of use, and because the Edit-a-Thon was a success, starting in the fall semester, ASIS&T@Wayne will be hosting monthly “Wikipedia Wednesdays”. These events will continue to focus on improving the Wayne page, with the hope of branching out into other areas of interest. More importantly, it will be an opportunity for future librarians and students, staff and faculty in general to get together, share ideas, and have fun while contributing to this great resource. We encourage anyone interested in attending or helping to contact ASIS&T@Wayne president, Jodi Coalter (gc3846@wayne.edu).

As always, we encourage everyone to edit Wikipedia whenever they want to improve an article! The Edit-a-Thon libguide is still up and will be edited for use as a general editing guide. Stop by for tips and tricks on how you can contribute to Wikipedia! Remember – “Be Bold”!

2 Comments

  1. Christine Illichmann / Jun 1 2018

    Thank you for your comment! Our students worked hard to develop an edit-a-thon that would improve the quality of information available about Wayne State and that has grown. There was a lot of planning on their part to make sure that correct information was on Wikipedia. They are champions of all aspects of the information ecosystem and have done an excellent job of fact-checking and editing Wikipedia. We are proud of them.

  2. Lonnie Sorrells / May 31 2018

    What a great idea. I like the idea of branching out. One of the pursuits that would be useful for academic libraries to assume is the vetting of a site like Wikipedia. Those of us who fondly recall the utility of Britannica, World Book and other references source, recall the painstaking work of vetting the information was done so that we could confidently rely on it as a starting off point as well as source for reports for school in all subject areas. On the internet, there is no definitive source for vetted facts and information and that is a huge loss for a generation that turns to the internet first for information. One book and one site should never be the relied on for all of your information but it is nice to have a trusted place to turn in a world inundated by information and much of it is fabricated or skewed. Plus Information Science students should have some experience in fact checking and editing. Good job.

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