Wellcome Library editathon

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New and experienced Wikipedians hard at work in the Wellcome Trust's Darwin Room

The Wellcome Library hosted an editathon on Wednesday 26th February 2014, to improve Wikipedia articles about medicine and health in the widest sense, including the history of medicine. This free public event was supported by the partnership between Jisc and Wikimedia UK and was led by Martin Poulter, the ambassador between the two charities.

The Wellcome Library holds one of the world’s richest collections of physical and digital resources relating to medical history, contemporary medicine and biomedical science in society. The editathon itself is took place in the Gibbs Building next to the library. This in central London, opposite Euston Square tube but within easy walking distance of three other tube stations.

The event will take place from 11am to 4pm, with lunch provided. We will go through basic wiki training before lunch, then work directly on Wikipedia, with experienced Wikipedians and Wellcome Library staff on hand.

See the event's page on Wikipedia for more details.

Contact the office if you are interested in attending a similar event or hosting one in your workplace.


See Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Wellcome Library editathon 2014


The cover of a medieval manuscript of Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna)'s Canon of Medicine, held at the Wellcome Library

Nineteen evaluation forms were collected. Three of these were from supporting trainers (I wanted to give them an anonymous opportunity to comment on the workshop) and their numerical ratings are excluded from the averages below.

"Please rate the workshop in general" (1 = Not satisfying/useful; 5 = Very satisfying/useful)
  • Mean: 4.8/5. All ratings were 4 or 5.
"Please rate the trainers"
  • Mean: 4.9/5. All ratings were 4 or 5.
"Please rate materials available"
  • Mean: 4.8/5. 15 out of 16 were 4 or 5.
"Your understanding of Wikipedia before today"
  • Mean: 2.6/5. 1 put 4 or 5.
"Your understanding of Wikipedia now"
  • Mean: 4.4/5. All put 4 or 5.
"Your confidence to edit Wikipedia now"
  • Mean: 3.6/5. 10 put 4 or 5.
"How likely are you to continue editing Wikipedia?" (1 = Very unlikely; 5 = Very likely)
  • Mean: 4.1/5. 12 put 4 or 5
"Tell us one thing you liked most about this workshop."
  • Step by step instruction; interactive; no bias
  • Friendliness, informality of facilitators yet very professional.
  • Relaxed and informal yet extremely informative & friendly with it. I feel Wikipedia editing is an accessible activity now.
  • How to create and editing content plus learning wiki's functions *
  • Getting hands on with the editing & being shown how to do it. *
  • Good mix of formal and informal activity, and good to discuss topics & editing with other participants.
  • Approachability of trainer. Helpfulness of Wellcome staff
  • Different presenters showing expertise for different areas; Very instructive/ supportive
  • Great venue and good wifi; Good talks
  • Great insight (practical & theoretical) into a resource I have used for years
  • Learning to edit with our user page first: much better than just being told how to do things; The arrangement of the tables: small clusters was good for meeting other people & offering support
  • The basic-bottom-up approach really worked. And it was nice meeting people from a range of different disciplines.
  • Strong links between using wiki and large readership, online archive for people to read information and do what they want with it.
  • Speaker Jacob De Wolff - inspiring to see his dedication
  • The mix of hands-on practice & hearing from experienced editors about the way Wikipedia works.
  • Understanding more about how Wikipedia works + listening to the speakers
  • Speakers very good and great mix
  • Vegan sandwiches
  • It's overall great. I appreciated the step-by-step guidance.
"Tell us at least one thing that would have improved this workshop for you."
  • More spacing between instructions, application of tasks and next task, i.e. a little slower. It was excellent, thank you!
  • none
  • slower pace *
  • less talking at the start, getting into the editing quicker *
  • Can't think of anything
  • All good. :) Thank you very much - really enjoyed it and learnt lots.
  • A way to make the coding more visually simple
  • Biscuits! I thought this was a well-run workshop & the setup worked well.
  • I think that having a list of articles marked for editing would be helpful, as for most participants, this was their first time editing Wikipedia.
  • Using/ editing wiki quickly on iPad/iPhone etc.
  • Laptops could have been set up & tested beforehand **
  • Not about this workshop but a general criticism of Wikipedia: needs to be more visual (and thereby more accessible to a broader audience). Editing process is a bit bloated.
  • [7 left blank]

Asterixed comments are those that the commenters do not want used in publicity materials.

    • A laptop that I borrowed from the WMUK office had an unreliable wifi connection. I fed this information back to the office staff.
This page has been created as part of the 2013-14 partnership between Jisc and Wikimedia UK
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