3000 new articles added to the Welsh Wicipedia

  • February 8, 2018

Volunteers at the National Library of Wales have been translating important health articles from English into Welsh – image by Jason Evans CC BY-SA 4.0

By Jason Evans, National Wikipedian for Wales

Improving health related content on the Welsh Wicipedia

The Welsh language Wicipedia is the most viewed website in the Welsh language, and articles about health related issues are among the most frequently viewed. And yet only around 2% of Welsh articles cover this subject, compared to more than 6% in English.

Welsh speakers deserve access to quality health information in their native tongue, but currently hugely important topics such as cancer, mental health and medical treatments have very little coverage. So, in July 2017 the National LIbrary of Wales, with Welsh Government funding and Wikimedia UK support, embarked on a 9 month project to improve this content. The project was called Wici-Iechyd (Wiki-Health).

A series of edit-a-thons and translation projects has already lead to the creation of over 250 hand written articles. Many have been translated from English articles prepared for use in other languages by the WikiMed project. Other are derived from text released on an open licence by project partners including the British Lung Foundation, WJEC and the Mental health information service Meddwl.org.

The big news this month is the creation of 2700 articles about human genes. The articles were created using information from Wikidata and PubMed and images from Wikimedia Commons. Since all articles about genes follow a similar format it was possible to generate and upload the 2700 articles en mass. The articles include information about the location and structure of the genes as well as synonyms. All include a bibliography with the 5 most recent publications about each gene. Wikimedia UK were involved in producing a Wikidata Infobox which pulls in an array of data, images and citations. Naturely time was also spent ensuring Wikidata had Welsh labels for items which were likely to be called on by the infobox.

Members of the Royal College and Nursing improving content at an edit-a-thon in Cardiff – image by Jason Evans CC BY-SA 4.0

It is hoped that many future improvements to health related content will link to these articles about genes giving a greater depth of information on the subject.

This upload alone represents a 2.8% increase in the total article count for Welsh Wikipedia, however with more articles being prepared, on diseases, drugs and medical pioneers we could see close to a 5% increase by the end of the project. It is likely that health related content as a percentage of the total article count will be comparable to, or better than the ratio in the much larger English Wikipedia.

The project is funded until the end of March, but it is hoped the Wici-Iechyd will continue to thrive as a Wiki project on the Welsh Wicipedia.

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