By Dr Richard Nevell, Programme Manager for Wikimedia UK
Since 2012, Wikimedia UK has held the UK Wikimedian of the Year Awards to recognise the efforts of people and organisations who contribute to our work as a charity. Volunteers and partnerships are vital to what we do. From supporting new users to addressing Wikipedia’s content gaps, we want to celebrate the collaborative work of our community.
This year’s winners were announced at the online Community Meeting in late November. Thank you to all of the shortlisted contributors, and to everyone who made a nomination. The rewards will return next year, and nominating someone is a great way of making sure they get some recognition.
Partnership of the Year
This prize was won by the Royal College of Nursing’s History of Nursing Forum (HONF) “Nurses in Red”. The forum established an editing group to improve and create content relating to the history of nursing on Wikipedia. So far they have improved more than 200 articles which have been viewed nearly 4.5 million times. The group’s focus is explicitly diversity focused too: nurses have often been from under-represented groups and making their lives and careers more visible on Wikipedia is so important.
Our Honourable Mention was awarded to the Khalili Collections and Dr. Glaire Anderson of the University of Edinburgh. Glaire has supported two classroom projects in which her History of Art students evaluated articles about Islamic Art and Science on Wikipedia, and then improved them. Many of the pages are now illustrated with beautiful 10th/11th century Caliphate images from the Khalilli Collections, which were released on Wikimedia Commons. Prior to this project, the Khalili images were not viewed by as many people, but are now reaching a wider audience on pages with high engagement.
Up and Coming Wikimedian
This prize was won by Heidi Berg, a prolific editor who has updated or created over 300 articles, vastly improving coverage of the Norwegian women’s football team. She also undertook Train the Trainer courses and helped other newbie editors on a regular basis. At monthly Women in Red editathons, she helps others and even lent her own laptop to one forgetful participant!
Our Honourable Mention was awarded to Sophie Whitfield, one of Wikimedia UK’s trainers who has shown incredible dedication over the last year in attending, designing, and delivering open knowledge workshops and projects. Sophie has supported projects at Durham University and Newcastle University, helping Wikimedia UK’s collaborations with higher education.
UK Wikimedian of the Year
This prize was won by Nick Sheppard, a Wikimedia volunteer and Open Research Advisor at the University of Leeds. Nick has advocated for Wikimedia projects within Leeds and in the university sector like few people ever have, and he’s really taken on the values of the Wikimedia movement, not just in his professional life. Nick has also been pushing for the UK Reproducibility Network to include guidance on Wikimedia in its advice to researchers. The Wikimedia Champions project they ran at Leeds has been an unusually successful student project, getting PhD students to contribute to Wikimedia in a variety of ways.
Our Honourable Mention was awarded to Ian Pigott. Ian has been the engine that keeps Women in Red going. He has organised an astonishing 270 editathons over the last eight years. His efforts have inspired others and he has been tireless in helping the Women in Red project, addressing Wikipedia’s gender gap.
These winners were announced at our 2023 UK Community Meeting in November. We were so impressed with every talk and presentation given at the meeting, so to recognise these winners feels like just a small gesture of thanks for the commitment our community has to the Wikimedia projects. To watch the talks and find out ways to get involved in some of the projects, you can view recordings of the Community Meeting in this blog. You can also hear about our projects via our newsletter, or sign up to our membership to help govern the charity.