ARKive project

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In the Summer of 2011, Wikimedia UK and the charity Wildscreen were collaborating on a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on threatened species. This collaboration involved using some of the text content from Wildscreen's ARKive project on Wikipedia, and community outreach through online and offline events. This involved a fixed-period in-residence role that we are calling Wikipedia Outreach Ambassador. Andy Mabbett, known on Wikipedia as User:Pigsonthewing, has been appointed to this role, starting on 11 July 2011.

Background[edit]

ARKive[edit]

ARKive is an initiative of the charity Wildscreen which aims to promote the protection of threatened species using the emotive power of wildlife films and photographs.

ARKive is an unique global initiative, gathering together the very best films and photographs of the world's species into one centralised digital library, to create a stunning audio-visual record of life on Earth.

The award-winning project has the support of the most famous names in wildlife filmmaking and photography, with more than 5,000 media donors from around the world contributing. The videos and photographs provided by these donors are freely accessible to all, from scientists and conservationists to the general public and school children, via ARKive's award-winning website.

Wikimedia UK[edit]

Wikipedia is an online collaborative encyclopaedia published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Licence. The website is operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a Florida-incorporated charity.

Wikimedia UK is an independent not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, recognised by the Wikimedia Foundation as a local Wikimedia "chapter". Wikimedia UK was established with the objective to aid and encourage people to collect, develop and effectively disseminate knowledge and other educational, cultural and historic content in the public domain or under a licence that allows everyone to freely use, distribute and modify said content. As part of this mission it develops partnerships in the UK between the Wikimedia community and cultural institutions.

The Ambassador[edit]

Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing) is a highly experienced Wikipedia contributor, with more than 90,000 edits since he opened an account in 2003. He leads Wikipedia's microformats project, and is the author of the species microformat (used among others by Wikipedia and the BBC) for marking up the names of living things. He has recently begun a freelance career, having been a manager of larger websites in local government since 1994. His lifelong interest in wildlife conservation includes currently being a trustee and webmaster for the West Midland Bird Club; and a volunteer warden for the RSPB. He's written a blog post about the role.

Andy will have in-person access to Wildscreen for advice and support during the summer of 2011. Wikimedia UK will provide support throughout the period.

The role[edit]

The role involved internal tasks of improving content and liaising with the Wikipedia and Wikiproject communities. Internal tasks included:

  • Improving the target articles using text and references from an agreed selection of ARKive's fact-files. This includes both extending and improving the content of the articles and increasing the number of helpful wiki-links between articles.
  • Adding external links from target articles to relevant ARKive pages, on a wide range of specific species.
  • Informing other language Wikipedias of relevant articles in English, where this is not already being done by Wikipedia's processes.
  • Keeping relevant Wikiprojects informed of the improvement work.

During the post, the partners jointly organised two events:

1. an externally facing event (to be agreed) bringing together experts and volunteers to work on improving the target pages.

2. an online event aiming to engage volunteers from both ARKive and the Wikimedia community to work on improving the target pages.

Further details may be found on The Wikipedia project page.

Event[edit]

Wikimedia UK hosted a "Wiki Wildlife" event on Thursday 15 September 2011 at The Watershed, Bristol. It ran in two sessions, each of which Andy Mabbett was the host and trained the audience to edit relevant Wikipedia articles, after initial presentations by Ellie Dart and Helen Roddis from the Wildscreen charity and Martin Poulter of Wikimedia UK. Steve Virgin of Wikimedia UK was live-tweeting the event: see selected tweets below.

Publicity

Contact[edit]

The Wikimedia UK contacts for this project are Martin Poulter, martin.poulteratwikimedia.org.uk and Steve Virgin, steve.virginatwikimedia.org.uk .

The ARKive contact is Ellie Dart, Online Outreach Manager, Ellie.Dartatwildscreen.org.uk .

Andy Mabbett may be contacted via http://pigsonthewing.org.uk/contact

Press release[edit]

Wildlife educational charity connects with Wikipedia
"Bristol- based wildlife charity Wildscreen is trialling a partnership with Wikimedia UK. The partnership aims to help Wikipedia editors improve text articles on endangered species by consulting Wildscreen’s ARKive project – an award winning online educational resource profiling the world’s endangered species."