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Wikimedia UK

Open knowledge for all

Wikimedia UK is hiring – We are now accepting applications for a Membership, Fundraising and Operations Assistant

Latest News

Help shape Wikimedia UK’s delivery plans for 2017 – 18

Wikimedia UK evaluation panel, June 2016. Photo by Wolliff (WMUK) CC BY-SA 4.0

Wikimedia UK will soon be applying to the Wikimedia Foundation for an Annual Plan Grant (APG) in 2017 - 18. Longstanding volunteers, members and other stakeholders will be familiar with this process but for those of you who aren’t, an APG enables affiliated organisations around the world - including country ‘chapters’ of the global Wikimedia movement, like Wikimedia UK - to access funds raised by the Foundation through the Wikipedia banner campaign.

The deadline for proposals is 1st October and we will need to submit our draft delivery plan for next year as well as the proposal itself. On Saturday 24th September we will be holding a day of meetings to discuss and develop our proposal and our delivery plans for next year alongside the wider Wikimedia UK community. These include a meeting of the Evaluation Panel in the morning followed by a discussion focused on education from 12 - 3pm and a Planning Lab from 3 to 5pm.


#Internaut Day – can we learn to stop worrying and love the internet?

This NeXT workstation (a NeXTcube) was used by Tim Berners-Lee as the first Web server on the World Wide Web - Photo by user:geni GFDL CC-BY-SA 4.0

The public internet turned 25 today, which means it’s on its third unpaid internship, still living with its parents and has become a cynical nihilist with little hope for the future of humanity.

‘The Web took off without regard for borders at all’, said Tim Berners-Lee on the 25th anniversary of the idea for the Web’s conception in 2014. In fact, for the pioneers of the public internet, this liberation from state control (especially coming just after the end of the Cold War) was part of the great promise of the internet, a promise that it has not always been able to live up to.

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

— John Perry Barlow, "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" (1996)


Access All Areas: how can Wikimedia contribute to increasing Open Access publishing?

Benefits of Open Access -Image by Danny Kingsley & Sarah Brown, CC BY 4.0

It used to be a normal part of an academic’s duties to be asked to peer-review papers for academic journals. They would do this as part of their salaried position at a university. Equally, publishers wouldn’t even pay the academic who had written the article, as Hugh Gusterson explained:

‘I get paid nothing directly for the most difficult, time-consuming writing I do: peer-reviewed academic articles. In fact a journal that owned the copyright to one of my articles made me pay $400 for permission to reprint my own writing in a book of my essays.’

Academic journals used to not make much money, but in recent years have been taken over by for-profit companies like Elsevier, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley-Blackwell. These companies now make very good profits, as they are in a position to charge a lot for access to their content. Erik Engstrom of Elsevier is the third highest paid chief exec in the FTSE100. He earned £16.18m last year.


Pride in London – photographer Katy Blackwood on working with Wikimedia UK

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Pride organisers - photo by Katy Blackwood CC BY-SA 4.0

My name is Katy Blackwood. I’m a music photographer, fledgling photo-journalist and writer that has been published in print, worked as a professional and, on Saturday, donated her time and photographs to Wikimedia UK in the name of knowledge and free content.

The event was Pride in London, an occasion surely close to the heart of anybody that values equality, inclusivity and solidarity, whether they are LGBT or not. In such a divisive week for the United Kingdom, it brought together an estimated one-million people to celebrate humans of all cultures and sexualities, highlighted by a triumphant parade.

Working with Wikimedia UK, I attended as a member of the media in order to create high-quality photography of the parade and its build-up. These photos, including some by John Lubbock, have now been released under a licence that allows them to be used, for free, by anyone.


Supporting our community to create open content: we want your ideas!

Spain winning the UEFA Euro 2012 Championships, CC BY-SA 3.0.

As the summer rolls around, there are so many important cultural events which the Wikimedia community can engage with and create content about. The European Football Championships start this week, and the Olympics aren’t far away either. The festival season is already beginning, and there are hundreds of other cultural events taking place across the UK and the world, from religious ceremonies to elections, the London Comic Con, Pride, or any other kind of commemoration or anniversary events.

Wikimedia UK is hoping to support people who want to cover any notable events to create high quality images available under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license. We have grant funding available for photographers who know how to take great photographs which could be used across Wikimedia projects. We would also be interested to support people who would like to add other content besides photographs. If you are going to particular events, we also may be able to liaise with the organisers to get you accreditation.


Share your photos of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves on Wikipedia to inspire the world

A European bee-eater in Ichkeul National Park and Biosphere Reserve, Tunisia. Photo by Elgollimoh, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Yesterday was World Environment Day, the United Nations’ designated day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

Many of us know the world faces unprecedented pressure from human activities. The United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Outlook reports:

'The state of global biodiversity is continuing to decline, with substantial and ongoing losses of populations, species and habitats. For instance, vertebrate populations have declined on average by 30 per cent since 1970, and up to two-thirds of species in some taxa are now threatened with extinction.'


2016 Strategy Consultation

Volunteer strategy gathering, Brimingham, 2014 - CC BY 3.0 Brian McNeil

Wikimedia UK are currently going through a strategic planning process for the next three years and welcome input from our members, volunteers and other stakeholders.

Please take a look at the page for the 2016 Strategy Consultation and the linked documents laying out the draft strategic framework and accompanying notes from a board planning session. If you have any suggestions or other feedback, please add comments to the talk page or email our Chief Executive on the email address provided. Thank you!

The Shiver: communion with the past in a digital age

Divinity School Interior 3, Bodleian Library, Oxford, UK - Diliff.jpg

Bodleian Wikimedian Martin Poulter says that although the digital world finds it hard to capture the intimacy of being in the presence of historical objects and texts, it can play an important role in adding value to the collections of museums, libraries and galleries which do provide that experience.

While working at the Bodleian, I’ve experienced what I call ‘the shiver’ many times. I had it when I realised I was reading Charles Darwin’s handwriting, or when shown a book that had been studied by Henry VIII. I saw it happening at the Marks of Genius exhibition when people encounter a Gutenberg Bible or a First Folio of Shakespeare.

The shiver is a realisation of a tangible connection to the past. It comes from authenticity, physicality and uniqueness. As such, it may seem irrelevant to digital information, which is endlessly reproducible and independent of physical location. However, when we think of how libraries can involve more people in that authentic experience, that digital world turns out to be crucial.



About Wikimedia UK

The Wikimedia projects are special: they are written and curated by thousands of volunteers. They are also supported by voluntary donations, through Wikimedia UK, the Wikimedia Foundation and other international chapters.

Wikimedia UK is a charity registered in England and Wales that supports and promotes Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects such as Wikimedia Commons. Our mission is to help people and organisations create and preserve open knowledge, and to help provide easy access for all. We do this by supporting volunteer editors and contributors ('Wikimedians'), by working in partnership with cultural and educational institutions, by hosting training sessions and editing events, and by acting to advocate the benefits of open knowledge generally.

There are several ways to get involved in the charity's work. You can become a member for just £5 per year. You can volunteer to work with us in a variety of ways, both online and offline. You can also make a donation (and if you're a UK taxpayer, we can claim Gift Aid). Subscribe to our Friends' Newsletter to stay in touch. Click the buttons below to learn more.

Contact us

General inquiries:

You can follow us on Twitter (@wikimediauk) or Like us on Facebook (WikimediaUK).

You can also sign up to the email discussion list for the Wikimedia community in the UK.

More contact details

Upcoming events

Get Involved

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Join Wikimedia UK

Members play a key role in shaping the future of the Chapter. Membership is open to all and costs just £5 a year.

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We organise dozens of events each year, including meetups, editing events, "Backstage Pass" events at museums, workshops and conferences.

Icon from Font Awesome by Dave Gandy -, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0


Participate in one of our ongoing outreach projects, working with the cultural and education institutions of the UK.

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Project grants

Request a project grant to help you with your editing or outreach activities on any Wikimedia project.

Icon from Font Awesome by Dave Gandy -, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Donate to Wikimedia UK to keep Wikipedia running free from advertising and support our work getting more people and institutions working with Wikipedia and its sister projects.

We are always interested to hear from new volunteers. If you have an idea you'd like to help make happen, or time and skills you would like to offer Wikimedia UK, please get in touch on

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