Friends' Newsletter/2018/Issue 02
- 1 Welcome to the Summer Newsletter!
- 2 Wiki Loves Monuments is back!
- 3 Celtic Knot 2018
- 4 International Wikimedia events roundup
- 5 Amnesty International and Bloomberg events
- 6 EU Copyright Directive voted down will be reconsidered in September
- 7 Scotland Update
- 8 Updates from Wales
- 9 Dr Jess Wade recognised by media for her contribution to closing the Gender Gap
- 10 What is open knowledge?
Welcome to the Summer Newsletter!
Time flies when you're creating open knowledge! We are past the middle of the year already and have done a lot in the past few months, including holding our AGM, the Celtic Knot coference and making a lot of progress with many of our partnerships. At the AGM, Elin Griffith & Eiri Angharad, who set up Cardiff user group Wici Caerdydd won our Wikimedian of the Year award, and the University of Edinburgh winning Partnership of the Year. You can read more about all the winners here.
The theme of the AGM itself was 'data'. We had a keynote address from Corey Stoughton, director of campaigns at Liberty, on the threats mass data holds for individual liberty and privacy. Helen Hardy and Laurence Livermore introduced the complexities of the Natural History Museum's Open Data project, and Gareth Morlais spoke on the digital survival kit for minority languages. You can watch the recorded livestream of Gareth's talk here (as well as talks from Daria Cybulska, Derek Chan and others), Corey Stoughton's talk here, and the Natural History Museum talks here and here.
We have lots of projects in the pipeline which we are hoping to tell you about soon, but we are very much looking forward to Wiki Loves Monuments in September and the 6th anniversary of Wikidata in October. You can see all our upcoming events on the Events page. We would also like to hear from our community if you're doing any Wikimedia projects, and always encourage you to write for our blog, as well as to look at the Volunteering page.
Wiki Loves Monuments is back!
Recording the UK’s listed buildings and scheduled monuments
During September the annual Wiki Loves Monuments photographic contest returns to the UK for the fifth time, and we have a smart new website that now looks good on mobile devices as well as on desktop. The contest is open to absolutely everyone, and participation is completely free. You’ll have a chance of your images being featured on Wikipedia, and there are also cash awards of up to £250 for the best entries. The 10 UK winners will compete against the winners from 50 or more countries for the top international prizes.
This year we want to encourage diversity, and we have a special prize for the photographer who fills in the most gaps in our holdings - ie who photographs the most sites that are missing an image on Wikidata. We also have prizes for the best regional images from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Submissions are accepted from 1st September. Photos taken before that date are eligible - so get out and start shooting now, while the sun’s still shining (in most places…)
Any questions, do please ask on the competition’s FAQ page.
Celtic Knot 2018
This year's Celtic Knot at the National Library of Wales (NLW) in Aberystwyth was a great success. The conference was spearheaded by Jason Evans, the National Wikimedian at the NLW and was attended by an international contingent of Wikimedians representing the Breton, Basque, Catalan and Sami Wikipedias as well as some of the UK minority language Wikimedians from Wales, Cornwall and Ireland. Eluned Morgan, Minister for Welsh and life long learning, gave the opening speech of the conference, demonstrating the Welsh Government's support for Wikimedia UK's efforts to develop the Welsh Wikipedia and advocacy for open knowledge.
Robin Owain spoke after the Minister for Welsh, and Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh ran a translation workshop. Lea Lacroix from Wikimedia Deutschland also ran some workshops. Aaron Morris of Wici Môn addresed the impact of his work with school children and Koldo Biguri of the Basque Wikimedia user group spoke on the Basque version of Wikipedia for children, ‘Txikipedia’. You can see more about the speakers and workshops by reading Jason Evans' blogpost on the NLW website and you can see the full programme of talks on the Celtic Knot site.
Delphine Dallison, Wikimedian in Residence at the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC), has already published blogposts about the conference on the SLIC blog and on the WMUK blog, which you should check out if you want to understand some of the useful things that came out of the event.
International Wikimedia events roundup
At the end of May, the annual Hackathon was held in Barcelona, while Wikimania 2018 was held during July in Cape Town, South Africa.
Programme Manager Daria Cybulska attended Wikimania and was selected to the Working Group on Resource Allocation as part of the 2030 strategy consultation. A big concentration of this year's Wikimania was on diversity within the context of the new strategy, with a lot of talk around minority and underrepresented languages and cultures. See for example this presentation on Bhutan and Knowledge Gaps. 'I came thinking that we were the leaders in this field, but saw that many other groups were doing good work in this field', Daria said.
Wikimedia Poland was highly praised for a project working with ethnographers on minority languages in the South of Poland, and other projects working on recording languages, with the French chapter doing good work with Lingua Libre, and another project called WikiTongues. There is also interest in creating a Kurdish user group, potentially in Germany, which has a large Kurdish community.
Another big strand of the conference was on Fake News and media literacy. Governments across the world are being asked to do something urgently, and while this means there is the potential for hasty and problematic legislation, Wikimedia is being seen as one potential solution to the crisis.
The organisation Whose Knowledge? is trying to work on unrecorded knowledge, especially outside the Western conception of what knowledge is. One Native American attendee related that the knowledge of her culture was being fractured, but that Wikipedia was allowing it to be pieced back together.
All the keynote speeches were filmed, and you can see them all here, as well as a presentation on the coolest projects the global community is working on.
In June, some of our Wikimedia community from the UK also attended the Wikimedia Hackathon, which was held in the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona without any funding from major corporations, and brought together developers and coders from around the world to work on tech projects to improve the user experience of Wikimedia projects.
You can read more about the event on our blog, and if you are a developer in the UK, we would love to hear from you about any projects you are currently working on. We give small grants for projects in the UK if you have travel expenses or other costs, so please do get in touch..
Amnesty International and Bloomberg events
Wikimedia UK partnered with Amnesty International in May to hold editathons in London and Glasgow to mark the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. The Glasgow event was held at the (Art Fund Museum of the Year Runner-Up) the Glasgow Women's Library, and saw the creation of articles for Cambodian lands rights activist , Honduran journalist , and founding Glasgow Girl , amongst others.
We have been doing a lot of work to promote understanding of the #GenderGap on Wikimedia projects, which have far fewer female editors than male editors. Women globally have less access to power, wealth and education, so the gender bias of Wikipedia editors is not a huge surprise. However, since the community has begun to work on the issue, we have managed to increase the proportion of female biographies on the English language Wikipedia from around 14% to around 18%. Amnesty held a day of events to mark the centenary of Women's Suffrage in their London office, and we helped to run an editathon with guest speakers talking about their advocacy work. We trained dozens of female editors to create new articles on notable women human rights defenders and the day was finished with a comedy performance featuring a lineup of all female comics including Shappi Khorsandi.
We also partnered with Bloomberg and the Mayor of London's office to host an editathon at Bloomberg's big London office. This was also to engage female students from London schools in learning to edit Wikipedia and creating pages on notable women from London. This was part of the Mayor of London's contribution to London Tech Week, addressing concerns about the lack of inclusion of women and black and minority ethnic groups in the tech sector, as well as on Wikipedia. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wrote about the editathon in the Telegraph, while the Mayor's head of technology stated in an interview that the event was the best thing he had done so far in his role:
‘The best project I’ve been involved in is sitting with young school kids from inner city schools doing Wikipedia pages to write successful women back into history that predominantly male Wiki editors never put in in the first place.’ - Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer at City Hall
The event was also covered by the Washington Times and The Bookseller profied one of the women who had a Wikipedia page made for her during the event. We also made a short video so you can see what the event was like:
EU Copyright Directive voted down will be reconsidered in September
On July 5, the EU Parliament rejected a new Copyright law that contained provisions requiring automatic filtering of content on internet platforms and a 'link tax' that would see companies like Google and Facebook having to pay to link to press articles. Wikimedia UK wrote to all UK MEPs to argue against Articles 11 and 13 of the law, which would have taxed links to copyrighted material like news articles, and forced internet platforms to automatically filter content to reject copyrighted material.
Copyright holding bodies such as music industry representatives and news organisations like AFP were backing the proposals as they seek to turn around business models which have seen their profits slump as the internet makes it easier for people to consume content in new ways. Wikimedia charities came out strongly against the proposals, with Wikipedia going dark in countries like Italy and Estonia. On the English Wikipedia, banner advertising ran for a few days prior to the vote, warning users about the potential problems the new law could cause for Wikipedia and its sister sites.
Copyright-holding groups were not particularly pleased about Wikimedia joining the fight against the law, with some trying to claim that opposition to the law was part of an orchestrated campaign by Google, who already have copyright filtering systems on sites like YouTube. One music industry representative in discussion with Jimmy Wales on BBC Radio even called for the nationalisation of Wikipedia. No, we don't know how that would work either.
While the law specifically included a caveat stating that 'non-commercial' platforms like 'internet encyclopaedias' would not be covered by the law, the Wikimedia charities did not feel that a specific exception for Wikipedia was good enough. Another problem is that the content on Wikimedia projects, while published on Creative Commons licenses, is not 'non-commercial' because it can all be used for commercial purposes. So content would not be covered while on Wikipedia, but could be removed by copyright filters the moment it was uploaded to a different platform.
In the end, the law was rejected by 318 to 275 votes. It will go back to the drawing board and will be reconsidered in September, hopefully with changes that protect the legitimate sharing of content online. In the meantime, Wikimedia UK is continuing its advocacy to MEPs to try to help them understand how the bill can be modified so that it doesn't pose a threat to a free and open internet.
The University of Edinburgh residency
Ewan McAndrew is the Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh. Recent Edinburgh residency events include: the Portobello Library editathon led by the University's digital curator, Gavin Willshaw; the Re(making) Middlesbrough editathon at Teesside University; the #Vote100 and Women in Medicine editathon(s) with Alice White from the Wellcome Library; the EAHIL conference 'micro' editathon led by Academic Support Librarian, Marshall Dozier; the Data in the City events at the Informatics Forum; and presenting on Wikidata and WikiCite at Repository Fringe 2018.
The University of Edinburgh's Library and University Collections has now included Wikimedia work in its new digitisation strategy while WikiProject Women in Red editing has been included in the university's new four-year Athena SWAN plan. Ewan has also helped to create a new site on How to run a Wikipedia Translation workshop. Ewan ran a training session at the Celtic Knot Conference 2018 to encourage other attendees to run their own Wikipedia translation workshops, especially in education contexts with a view to supporting underrepresented Celtic and Indigenous languages.
Ewan attended events like the Amnesty International Still Marching event in Glasgow on May 19, a meetup of open educators at the University of Coventry on April 17, and delivered 3 presentations at the annual Open Educational Resources conference in Bristol on 18-19 April including: a lightning talk on Wikidata in the Classroom and the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft database project; Stories of Student Empowerment: a video compilation of student feedback on the Edinburgh residency; and the EdTech Wikipedia editathon. Ewan also delivered Wikipedia training to Teesside University students, staff and members of the public on 27-28 April in collaboration with Sophie Nicholls, Head of Humanities at the university. Scotland Programme Coordinator for Wikimedia UK, Sara Thomas and Ewan did a joint presentation on Wikimedia Scotland collaborations at the Edinburgh Local Showcase event at St Cecilia's Museum, the first purpose-built concert hall in Scotland.
Queen's University Belfast held a webinar on 3rd May where Ewan described the work of the Wikimedia residency at the University of Edinburgh, and some of the ways that Wikipedia and its sister projects are used to help students develop information literacy, data literacy and digital research skills. See a video here. New video tutorials have also been published demonstrating: the process of article creation in 3 minutes, how to move an article from the sandbox to the livespace and two new 'how to edit Wikipedia' and 'how to edit Wikipedia (abridged)' tutorials .
"A piece of illumination enlarged – using OER for access and activism in cultural heritage" was presented by Anne-Marie Scott at the 2018 Open Educational Resources conference in Bristol on 19 April was also added to the University of Edinburgh's Media Hopper video channel on an open licence. The case study explained how lessons learned using open licenses and Wikipedia in a University context are now being applied to make a physically closed listed building accessible through the creation of new digital OER and covers why openly licensed resources are particularly suited to facilitating awareness raising and activism, as well as supporting scholarship. The Arts and Crafts artist Phoebe Anna Traquair painted three significant mural schemes within Edinburgh. The first of these, for, remains the least well known and least accessible. In an 1899 interview Phoebe Traquair considered this to be her “finest piece of work”. The murals are also the sole survivor of around 20 commissions instigated by Patrick Geddes’ Edinburgh Social Union to improve the everyday environment through the artistic decoration of public buildings. However, this mural scheme faces an uncertain future. With the relocation of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children to a new building in 2018, the existing site has been sold for commercial development. One of the problems with public awareness is the location of the Mortuary Chapel murals. They have remained largely inaccessible for over 100 years as they form an integral part of an intimate and moving place. Generating widespread support and interest in their future is heavily dependent on accessibility; as works of visual culture they have most impact when they are seen. The most obvious way of making the chapel and murals more accessible, without being intrusive, is to make good quality images available online under open licenses. Until recently the only images that exist belong to NHS Lothian or Historic Environment Scotland. They are not digital and do not use open licenses. This case study covers the commissioning of a new set of digital images; open licensing and distribution via Wikimedia Commons; and the development of associated written materials. The talk covers why Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia were used, including the practicalities of working on these platforms and the broader benefits for education and scholarship. It also details how the relationship between Wikipedia and Google search can be used to particular advantage when considering discoverability of OER, access and awareness raising.
27 new images of the murals by noted artist Phoebe Anna Traquair have now been added to Wikimedia Commons. Ewan has also helped to improve coverage of Women Human Rights Defenders, Suffragettes and Middlesbrough on Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedian and MA student at the University of Stirling, Lucy Rodgers (User:LMRodger) has also helped create a new article on Stirling District Lunatic Asylum and linked it to 23 other psychiatric hospitals in Scotland through the creation of a new Psychiatric hospital navbox by Ewan.
Law undergraduate student and Digital Skills intern, Jemima John, worked with Ewan and led the Law and Technology Society Wikipedia editathon focused on articles on intellectual property law. Jemima John then initiated a meeting with School of Law course leaders, Rachael Craufurd-Smith and Hector MacQueen, on 7 June 2018 to discuss how a Wikipedia in the Classroom assignment could be implemented in the Law curriculum for postgraduate students, undergraduate students (or both) to better support the students' digital research and communication skills. Wikipedia in the Classroom courses are planned in for September 2018 in Reproductive Biology Hons. (4th iteration) and Translation Studies MSc (5th iteration) while further events are being planned for more Vote 100 editathons, Ada Lovelace Day, Robert Louis Stevenson Day, Mental Health Awareness and Wikidata's 6th birthday.
Ewan has recently co-authored a JISC case study and discussed the Wikimedia residency at the University of Edinburgh and offered guidance to those exploring collaborations with Wikimedia at the American University in Cairo, Teesside University, Coventry University, Queen's University Belfast and other institutions. This year we are also seeing an increasing number of colleagues run their own Wikipedia editing sessions to help build sustainability. Support was given to Gavin Willshaw to lead Library & University Collections editathons, Anne-Marie Scott to co-lead the EdTech editathon at the OER18 Conference making use of a resource to demonstrate how anyone can run an editathon quite simply; see the OER18 EdTech editathon SPLOT resource. He also supported Academic Support Librarians Marshall Dozier, Ruth Jenkins and Donna Watson to help prepare for their first editathon at the EAHIL Conference in July to encourage other health information librarians from around the world to run their own Wikipedia editathons using their own EAHIL micro editathon resource.
The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) residency
Meanwhile, Sara Thomas, our Scotland Manager has been meeting with Stirling University and Library about developing a partnership and Inverclyde Libraries to talk about changing their licensing policy. Sara attended meetings and gave talks at the newly launched Life in Data project, spearheaded by University of Stirling, around data literacy, Scottish Higher Education Libraries’ AGM, CILIPS Summer Conference and the Edinburgh Local Showcase and Forum,
Scottish Libraries and Information Council Wikimedian in Residence Delphine Dallison has held successful talks with GSA Library about moving books held on Internet Archive to Wikisource/Commons. The National Library of Scotland are also working towards moving a large number of images from CC-BY to CC0/PD.
The SLIC residency has now reached its 1 year mark, and the handover between Sara and Delphine of the role of SLIC Wikimedian in Residence is now complete. Delphine, who has volunteered with Wikimedia UK for the past 5 years and has attended our Train the Trainer programme, has started to organise editathons with library workers across Scotland, such as this one at Dunfermline Carnegie Library.
"From a pilot project led with public libraries across 4 local authorities, in the past three months, there has been an additional 43 librarians trained across 18 out of 32 local authorities in Scotland, bringing the total number of local authorities with public libraries engaged in the SLIC residency to 21", Delphine says in her12 month review of the residency.
She estimates that "by the next quarter report 11 different local authority libraries will be engaged in long-term Wikipedia projects". Beyond public libraries, there has also been interest from some school libraries and organisations that work in close partnership with libraries such as the Scottish Book Trust and the Carnegie UK Trust.
83.5% of the new editors trained during these sessions for library workers were female and a new train the trainer programme is in development to give librarians the necessary skills and confidence to run their own Wikipedia events. Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire and Dunfermline are currently setting dates to undergo this training.
We are very pleased with the development of the SLIC residency, especially during the handover - the first that we know of for a residency - between Sara and Delphine. The residency is proving that Wikimedia and libraries can have an effective and inspiring partnership that gives library professionals new digital skills and mainstreams the use of Wikimedia projects throughout libraries in Scotland.
Scotland Programme Coordinator
As reported in our first Friends' newsletter, the new role of Scotland Programme Coordinator has been taken up by Dr Sara Thomas, previous Wikimedian in Residence at Museums Galleries Scotland and the Scottish Library and Information Council. Over the past three months, Sara has been working on supporting and developing existing and new partnerships in Scotland, including holding the first #ScotWiki partners meeting at the University of Edinburgh, bringing together some of those individuals and institutions who have supported GLAM and WiR work in Scotland over the years (and who are planning to in the future) for the purpose of knowledge-sharing and networking. She is supporting the development of more work at the University of Stirling's Library and Archives, has taken up a seat on the SLIC Residency Steering Group, met with staff from the SCVO to discuss joint working with WMUK, presented at the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities Summer School, and was absolutely delighted to receive an honourable mention for Wikimedian of the Year.
Updates from Wales
Robin Owain, our Wales manager has been working with Welsh-language broadcaster S4C, who have started to change their licensing policy on some videos on their YouTube channel. Preparations have also begun for Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 in Wales, and Robin has started a new Twitter account for the Welsh part of the competition. Robin has also secured the release of Eisteddfod’s archive of biographiess for at least the last 10 years (around 240 biographies)
A new Wikiediting group, ‘Wici Pontardawe’ has been organised for 11 July 2018 in conjunction with Tŷ'r Gwrhyd Welsh Centre at Swansea University. Robin gave a talk at Maynooth University’s Academia and Wikipedia Conference in Dublin, and with Aaron Morris (WiR at Wici Mon), was involved in the organising of the Celtic Knot conference.
Meanwhile, Jason Evans, the National Wikimedian at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth has uploaded 4891 portrait images to Commons. These are pre 1880 portraits, mainly of British interest. The collection contains prints, engravings, paintings, photographs and more. You can explore the collection here. Following on from this, 5200 Wikidata items were created; one for each portrait on Commons plus a number of items for sitters and artists in the collection.
40,000 statements were also added to Wikidata for Welsh Portraits and 350,000 Welsh bibliographical records (The sum of all Welsh literature) have been passed to Wikidata visiting Scholar Simon Cobb and are being prepared for upload to Wikidata. The Wikidata Visiting Scholar has created Wikidata for many Welsh newspapers and Journals using data provided by NLW. He will now begin to explore creating Wikidata for ALL Welsh books with associated printers, publishers and authors. You can find out more about Simon's work here.
Jason was interviewed by Radio Cymru discussing Wikipedia and the Celtic Knot conference and spoke at the Europeanna Tech Conference in May. He is also collaborating with CILIP Wales to create Wikidata for every Library in Wales. Jason also co-authored a chapter on engaging volunteers in libraries with Alex Stinson of the Wikimedia Foundation, for 'Leveraging Wikipedia', a book editied by Merrilee Proffitt, which has now been published. Lastly, Jason has been working with Europeana to trial the use of their new impact playbook in a Wikimedia based project. It will be one of 5 case studies Europeana publish later this year.
Dr Jess Wade recognised by media for her contribution to closing the Gender Gap
Dr Jess Wade, a physicist at Imperial College London who has taken part in numerous events with Dr Alice White, Wikimedian in Residence at the Wellcome Library, has been recognised for her tireless commitment to writing articles about notable women on Wikipedia. A flurry of articles have appeared following a profile in The Guardian about her work, after she wrote more than 270 Wikipedia pages about women scientists within a year. Pieces on her work also appeared in Dazed Magazine, CNN, Huffington Post, HuffPost France, La Repubblica, ScienceAlert, Daily Caller, ABC and El Pais. She was also featured on the Wikimedia Foundation blog.
Wikimedia UK is really pleased that Jess has helped to raise the profile of the Gender Gap issue on Wikipedia, and showed how there are many people including female scientists themselves, who are working hard to address the problem and encourage others to do so. The Guardian also published a short piece talking about the other structural biases that exist on Wikipedia, following their article on Jess.
It's clear that Dr Wade's example has already inspired other scientists and especially women working in STEM disciploines to consider going to or setting up their own Wikipedia workshops so they can learn to edit and help to reduce the Gender Gap. We strongly encourage anyone who would like to follow in Jess's footsteps to check out our Events page for upcoming events in your area, or to contact Wikimedia UK if you would like help organising an event in your institution or area of the UK.
What is open knowledge?
By John Lubbock, Communications Coordinator
One of our main strategic goals at Wikimedia UK is to promote 'open knowledge'. Open knowledge is the catch all term for content published on Open Licenses like the Creative Commons licenses used on Wikipedia and its sister sites. However, it can be quite difficult to promote something when a lot of people don't quite know what it is or why it's useful. A few months ago I thought it would be useful to make a short video explaining the history of Copyright, based on the History section of the Copyright Wikipedia article. Having written this out, it became clear to me that you can't understand how open knowledge came to be an important idea without understanding how is has become a reaction to the limiting control of commercial copyright on what you are allowed to do with others' content. A lot of content is not made to be commercially saleable, but because copyright is applied automatically, this can create problems. 'Orphan works' for example, that were not created for commercial purposes, are off limits for reuse until the copyright has expired, which is usually 70 years after the death of the author. If the author is unknown, however, as in the case of orphan works, nobody knows when they are technically out of copyright. Archives can continue to hold such content and charge money for their reuse, long after they may have become out of copyright.
So please enjoy this short history of copyright, and feel free to reuse it, as it's completely Open Licensed. It's also available on YouTube here.