Volunteer with Wikimedia UK
|Welcome to the Wikimedia UK volunteer portal! Volunteers are at the very heart of the Wikimedia projects and the global Wikimedia movement. This portal is a resource for all of our volunteers, whether you're an experienced Wikimedian or are new to the movement.
This portal offers you everything you need to know about volunteering with us. As the UK chapter of the international movement, we support and assist those who are working in a way that benefits the Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata and Wikinews. You'll find information about editing the projects, and our events and programmes. There are experienced Wikimedians on hand to help you so don't be nervous about asking for help.
There's a virtual library where you can download our publications, such as guides to editing and wiki mark-up, our annual reviews, and booklets about our outreach work with education and GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums).
You'll find interesting case studies of work undertaken by our volunteers to inspire you. You can read the stories behind some of our projects, such as Wikipedia Takes Coventry, EduWiki and GLAM-Wiki. Whether you're interested in large conferences or small and informal meet-ups, there's an event for you. You can also discuss upcoming volunteering opportunities and ideas for projects to collaborate on with others, as well as learn about other activities that volunteers are working on.
For those newcomers who aren't members of the charity, why not consider joining? Membership costs just £5 per year and you can find all of the information you need here. You can also subscribe to our newsletter and learn more about the charity's staff and board of trustees here.
Finally, a big thank you for getting involved in the Wikimedia projects. Your contributions - whether editing, helping at events, donating money or anything else - are helping to make the sum total of all human knowledge available to all. That's a really powerful thing and something you can be genuinely proud of.
If you'd like to learn more about how to volunteer with Wikimedia UK, or learn about any aspect of the charity and its work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been a contributor to Wikimedia projects
||If you're already a contributor to the Wikimedia projects but new to the work of the chapter - welcome!
Wikimedia UK exists to support and promote the Wikimedia projects. We do this by working with volunteers to help them deliver projects that improve the content of Wikipedia and its sister sites. We help them to deliver events, to gain access to cultural and educational materials, and to find new ways to make good use of the projects, such as in higher education. We deliver training sessions for people who would like to learn about editing the projects, and we work closely with GLAM institutions (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) to provide access to cultural materials that can improve the content of the projects.
We encourage the use of open licenses for cultural and educational materials so that they be freely shared. We also offer project grants to members of the chapter, to help pay for equipment, source materials and other resources that will help them with their editing or outreach work.
Experienced Wikimedians are always welcome and we are always grateful for your input and suggestions. If you're interested in volunteering on a specific project that's already established, or you have an idea for a project you would like the chapter to support, please do get in touch via email on katie.chanwikimedia.org.uk.
- John Cummings is an experienced Wikipedia editor and event organiser who started the Monmouthpedia project in 2011 and was more recently the Wikipedian in Residence at the Natural History Museum and Science Museum, in London.
I first got involved with Wikimedia UK when I attended TedX Bristol in 2011. Roger Bamkin and Steve Virgin were there talking about the project that had been done at Derby Museum - where QRpedia codes linking to articles had been placed on exhibits. I wanted to reuse and expand upon their idea for my hometown of Monmouth in Wales. The project grew to become MonmouthpediA.
I realised very quickly that Wikipedia wasn't something you could break easily. One of my first edits was accidentally deleting all the content of the worldwide list of projects that Wikimedians are working with Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums! After a short panic I went to the history page and undid my error; one of the first things I tell people when I'm teaching them how to edit Wikipedia is you can't break it.
I became a volunteer because Wikimeda were doing something amazing - and I didn't need permission to join in. Wikimedia UK were very welcoming. I had previously done some volunteer work with WYSE International (a youth leadership charity) but they organise two week residential courses, and it only takes an hour or so to learn how to contribute to Wikipedia.
It's easy to organise a Wikimedia event with a host organisation. In my experience, they'll get in touch in one of two ways: people from the organisation come to a Wikipedia editing event, it's a great way to meet Wikipedia volunteers and understand more about the movement. Or, the host organisation has contact the Wikimedia UK office and they'll include you in discussions with the organisations, this happens with many volunteers who are keen to share their experience and make open knowledge more widespread. Having said that Wikimedians are very welcome to initiate projects themselves - it's what I did in Monmouth. Once a host organisation understands the ubiquitous nature of Wikipedia (Wikimedia projects get 21 billion page views per month) and that they are able to make it a richer resource it becomes a very easy conversation to have.
I have received lots of support from Wikimedia UK, like advice on how to run events and projects, loans of equipment, funding for projects and desk space in their office when I need it!
A recent event I organised was the "Wonder Women of Natural History" edit-a-thon at the Zoological Society of London, where participants improved coverage of some of the most remarkable women who have helped shape our understanding of natural history.
If I could offer advice to people who want to run an event, it would be to try to attend an event before you run one yourself, and to teach someone you know before trying to teach strangers, maybe friends or family, try to pick people with different levels of computer literacy. And most importantly, be specific about what you want to achieve running an event.
- John can be contacted on his user talk page.
I am new to Wikimedia projects
|If you're new to Wikimedia projects then you're in good company. You're joining the estimated 75,000 people around the world that regularly contribute to the largest reference work the world has ever seen. As one of the 14,000 new editors new to Wikimedia projects, there's a variety of ways that you can become involved in sharing the world's knowledge. Whether you are simply interested in editing Wikipedia, or you're an expert in education looking to support the development and utilisation of open educational resources in formal education settings we can help you to enjoy contributing in a way that suits you.
Do you want the chance to improve Wikipedia science coverage? Would you like to find out more about, and discuss, the issues surrounding women in science? We are running a two-part event, consisting of a Wikipedia editing session and an evening panel discussion. You can choose to participate in both, or just one of them, on Tuesday 13th May 2014 at the University of Liverpool.
Working with Wikimedia UK and the Medical Research Council, the University of Liverpool is organising a Women in Science-themed editing event. This event builds on the success of the first such event run by the Royal Society in October 2012, and now also features the MRC. Event attendees will be helping to create or add to the Wikipedia articles about female scientists (who tend to be under-represented on Wikipedia), and attract more female editors to the project.
In addition we are pleased to announce that there are 90 places available for an evening Women in Science reception and panel discussion to serve as a forum on women's experiences in science (5:00 – 7:30pm). This includes a talk by Professor Dame Julia Higgins, who will be accompanied on the panel by Professor Sue Wray, Professor Tara Shears, Professor Ian Greer (TBC) and two MRC Fellows, Dr Lauren Walker and Dr Sarah Skeoch. Come along to discuss how women can be better represented in science and hear how female scientists' careers have flourished.
The events are open both to people who are new to Wikipedia and experienced Wikipedia editors alike. Female would-be editors are particularly encouraged to attend.
Attendance is free, but booking through EventBrite is essential. Find out more about the event here.
Featured volunteer project
The Wikipedia voice intro project is a project by Wikipedia editor Andy Mabbett to make audio recordings in which Wikipedia subjects - whether they are celebrities like Stephen Fry, or those notable for other activities like scientists or artists - speak their name and introduce themselves in a short segment lasting around ten seconds or so. The recordings are then uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and shown on the subject Wikipedia article, so that readers know what the person sounds like and how to correctly pronounce their names.
Aside from Stephen Fry, contributors to the project so far include lunar astronaut Charlie Duke and British peer Jim Knight. You can find all of the voice recording made for the project so far on this Wikimedia Commons category.
A related project that Andy has been working on is the BBC voice project where the corporation is releasing hundreds of audio snippets of notable people talking recorded on some of their radio programmes over the years. At an event at New Broadcasting House on 18 January 2014, over three hundred suitable clips were identified by volunteers, which the BBC are in the process of reviewing, processing, and uploading to Wikimedia Commons. Examples of clips that have been uploaded and used on the English Wikipedia include that of World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.