Women, Science and Scottish History editathon series

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Women, Science and Scottish History on Wikipedia: University of Edinburgh 2015 Innovative Learning Week editathons

Where? M2b, Appleton Tower, 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE

When? Monday 16 February - Friday 20 February, 14:00-17:00

Point of contact: Ally Crockford NLS Wikimedian in Residence, Marshall Dozier, Academic Support Librarian, University of Edinburgh

Twitter: Follow updates via the #ILWeditathon hashtag and stay in touch if you're a distance learner joining in!

Cost: Free

How do I sign up? Register via the Eventbrite booking pages for each day: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

About the event

Have you ever wondered why the information in Wikipedia is extensive for some topics and scarce for others? During the University of Edinburgh's 2015 Innovative Learning Week, the University's Information Services team will run a series of four Wikipedia 'editathons' with the support of the School of Literature, Languages and Cultures, the Moray House School of Education, EDINA, and the National Library of Scotland. Each editathon will focus on improving the quality of articles about women in Scottish history, such as 'the Edinburgh Seven', the first women to study medicine at UoE and who caused a riot by doing so.

Working together with archivists, academic colleagues and Wikimedia experts, we will provide training on how to edit and add information and participate in an open knowledge community. We will explore how writing Wikipedia articles develops digital literacy and academic writing skills. Participants will be supported to develop articles covering women in science, Scottish women in history, Edinburgh as the birth place of medicine, The Edinburgh Seven, University history, distinguished Edinburgh alumni etc.

This series of events will run over a series of afternoons with focused topics. Participants can attend just once or on multiple days, and can select topics that engage them and which need development on Wikipedia. Training, technical support and subject area advice will be provided throughout. Each workshop is open to all: campus-based students, distance learning students, all staff and members of the public who are interested in the topics we are working on.

Workshop schedule

This series of events will run over a series of afternoons. Each day, the one-hour introduction to editing Wikipedia will focus on offering tips and insight into different approaches as well as practical training. Participants can attend as many days as they would like: everyday we will we will cover something new! A Wikimedia trainer or trainers will be on hand all afternoon to provide assistance, and we will also provide specialised materials focusing on the subjects covered in the articles to edit section below.

To register for an event, please click on the links provided in the description below. You can register for as many days as you would like!

Monday 16 February - Editathon: People
  • Learn how to create or improve biographical articles on Wikipedia before putting your skills into practice! In addition to showing you how to edit a Wikipedia article, we will also cover important guidelines for writing neutral biographical articles on Wikipedia. We will show you how to determine whether a person is notable enough to warrant an article, and how to show that when you're writing; we'll also look at what kinds of sources are valuable, and what you should avoid. Did you know that writing a biography for a living person is different than writing about a historical figure? We'll show you how to do both! Once the training is complete, we will provide support and resources from the University of Edinburgh Library and Archive to help you improve or create Wikipedia articles about important Scottish women, specifically involved in the history of medicine and science, and Edinburgh Alumni. Leave your mark on the world's largest online encyclopaedia by helping to close Wikipedia's gender gap! Register now!

Join us this Innovative Learning Week as we help make Wikipedia better!
Tuesday 17 February - Editathon: Places
  • In this event we will focus on writing Wikipedia articles about places. We will teach you the basics for editing a Wikipedia article before offering tips and guidelines for writing specifically about places. We'll show you how to write about the history of an important building or site, as well as how to include factual information like geographical coordinates that will link your article to data from around the world, all in a few simple steps! Once the training is complete, you are welcome to edit on a new topic or continue working on an article from the day before; once again we will provide support and resources from the University of Edinburgh Library and Archive to help you close Wikipedia's gender gap. We've even found some places with exciting significance in Scottish women's history! Register now!

Wednesday 18 February - Editathon, Making Connections
  • This editathon will show you how to make connections across Wikipedia to improve coverage on a topic. In addition to giving you the basic tools to edit a Wikipedia article, we cover ways that you can create a strong infrastructure within Wikipedia to help bring information together. Create links between articles, add information that's been left out, and cover the events, organisations and influences that will make other articles better. We'll also show you how to use Wikipedia's categories to make less obvious connections and find new information. After the training is complete, you will once again be welcome to work on a new topic or to continue an article that you're already working on, and we will again provide support and resources from the University of Edinburgh Library and Archive to help you close Wikipedia's gender gap! Register now!

Thursday 19 February - Editathon, Illustrating Wikipedia
  • A picture tells a thousand words, and that is something that Wikipedia has taken to heart. In this editathon we will show you how to add images to a Wikipedia article to make it even better. We will introduce you to Wikimedia Commons, the open access image library where every single image on Wikipedia is hosted. We'll not only show you how to find fantastic images to add to your Wikipedia article, we'll also teach you how to add your own. We'll cover important guidelines for copyright and using images from the internet, and we'll even give you tips on taking photographs especially to add to a Wikipedia article! Once training is complete, you will be able to finish working on an article from earlier in the week, or to work on something new. Again we will provide support and resources from the University of Edinburgh's Library and Archive. This will be our last day to work together to help close Wikipedia's gender gap! Register now!

Friday 20 February - Innovative Learning Week Fair, 4:30 - 6:30 in the Main Library Concourse, George Square
  • The Innovative Learning Week 2015 Fair is a celebration of all the artefacts that have been created during the week of events. Students, staff, and anyone involved in this year's ILW are invited to experience the creations made during the week. The team behind the ILW editathons will be there, showing off some of our exciting improvements to Wikipedia and sharing stories about learning innovatively by contributing to the world's largest online encyclopaedia. If you haven't been able to join any of the editathon through the week but are interested in hearing more about working with Wikipedia, stop by and have a chat, pick up a badge or a sticker, and see what we've been working on! Everyone is welcome, no booking required! **Please note that this event is at a different time and held in a different venue than the previous editathons.**
Free swag for participants: specially made jute bags and t-shirts

How each day's session will work

You work on topics selected by the organisers with source materials brought to the editathon, or you can select topics that you would prefer to work on (you need to bring source materials if needed).

The first hour of each day will provide tailored training for that day’s focus, and technical support and subject area advice will be provided throughout.

How do I prepare?

Once you have registered to attend an editathon or a couple of editathons, there are a few things you can do to prepare before you attend:

  • Create a Wikipedia account
  • If you are joining online, please prepare in advance using this preparation & joining information
  • Learn about editing if you like: visit the Wikipedia Tutorial, or Getting started on Wikipedia for more information
  • Think about what article you would like to edit - you can even prepare some materials to bring with you on the day
  • Bring a laptop if it is convenient - it's not essential. Some desktop computers with internet access will be provided but sharing may be necessary.
  • Note, refreshments will be provided - please notify organisers of any special dietary requirements if you have not already

Articles to edit

Lists of suggested or requested articles to create or improve can be added here. Please feel free to make your own suggestions on the talk page here.

***For those participating in person or online, please add your signature next to the article that you intend to create or improve by typing four tildes (~~~~) next to it. This will ensure that there are no conflicts or duplicate articles. Note: you may need to log in separately to Wikimedia UK even if you are logged in to Wikipedia. Once you have finished working on an article, you can remove your signature to allow others to contribute to it***

Edinburgh Seven and Women in Medicine:

Additional topics that could be of relevance to some of the above articles also include the St Giles debate about the university education of women and Lister’s letter in opposition of clinical placements for women medical students at the Royal Infirmary.

Notable University of Edinburgh Alumni:


Information about the research material available for use will be provided here as topics are confirmed. Participants are encouraged to make full use of the University of Edinburgh's extensive online resources, such as databases and e-journals, as well as any of their own research material that they may have access to.

Additional resources are available through the National Library of Scotland's digital galleries and licensed digital collections. Any NLS reader has free access to the licensed digital collections with an online account, and if you are not a reader, you can become one quickly and easily by registering as a new user or a new online user using any residential address in Scotland.

If it is your first time editing Wikipedia, you might find some of the following instructional videos helpful. There will be training on the day, but these videos can act as refreshers if you need them!


Once you have signed up and created your Wikipedia account, why not add your username below? Don't worry about formatting if you aren't sure, we can help you on the day!


Below is the list of trainers that will be present at each workshop.

  1. User:ACrockford
  2. User:lirazelf (Monday & Tuesday sessions)


Articles created or improved, and other outcomes from the editathons as they develop

Articles improved

Articles created

Other outcomes and coverage