Wikipedia Science Conference/Submissions/Changing the Way the Stories are Told

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Personal details

Your name
Melissa Highton

University of Edinburgh

How can we contact you?
Melissa Highton on

Where will you be travelling from to attend this conference?

Currently available on both days

Session details

Conference themes

Which conference themes does your session address? Delete as appropriate. Follow the link for more details and links.

  • Wikipedia and/or Wikimedia as platforms for promoting informed public discussion
  • Under-represented groups in STEM subjects
Type of session

Indicate the session format by deleting as appropriate:

  • Presentation (20 mins + 10 mins questions)
    • This format is suitable for reporting on substantial work in the area defined by the conference themes, or taking an overview of work done.

Further details

In this 20 minute presentation we will tell the story of an editathon organised at the University of Edinburgh to improve the articles related to the 'Edinburgh Seven'. The herstory of the first few women to study medicine in the UK is an engaging topic. Our editathon brought us into contact with the university senior management, university museums and archives, communications and marketing, the university medical school and attracted interest from students, alumni and local media. We will touch upon the conference themes of exploring platforms for promoting informed public discussion of scientific topics and providing role models for STEM subjects in higher education. Additionally, we will explore how women-in-science editathons may play a role within institutions for staff development of digital skills, helping colleagues to situate their work within the wider context of contributing to an open knowledge society and reflecting on gender equality.

The ‘Women, Science and Scottish History editathon‘ series of events in Innovative Learning Week at University of Edinburgh was a great success. We ran sessions on 4 days, had plenty of new students, staff and friends join us, edited more than 30 articles and trained dozens of novice wikipedia editors. Each day, the one-hour introduction to editing Wikipedia focused on offering tips and insight into different approaches as well as practical training. Participants were welcome to  attend as many days as they would like: everyday we  added something new. Our Wikimedia trainers (principally Ally, the Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Scotland)  was on hand  to provide assistance, and our librarians ( Marshall, Gavin and Grant)  provided specialised materials focusing on the subjects covered. Knowledge was shared openly. Articles  were created or improved. Networks of connections were made and  shared topics of interest explored.   [ Copious cake and cookies were eaten, and a fun time was had by all].

The hashtag was #ILWeditathon.

Thank you for your proposal.