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IU Libraries Wikipedia-editing workshop seeks to improve online coverage of women



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Students are invited to learn how to edit Wikipedia coverage of women during the IU Libraries’ “Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon” from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday in Herman B Wells Library E174. The free workshop will focus on how to create new Wikipedia articles and improve existing content on the website. Photo illustration by Ty Vinson Buy Photos

Students are invited to learn how to edit Wikipedia coverage of women during the IU Libraries’ “Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon” on Thursday.

The free workshop will focus on how to create new Wikipedia articles and improve existing content on the website, said Sarah Carter, an Art, Architecture and Design Librarian. It will take place 9 a.m. to noon Thursday in Herman B Wells Library E174. Attendees are welcome to join at any time during the event.

“The entire goal is to come together and empower anyone who wants to learn about how to edit Wikipedia,” Carter said.

IU Libraries organizes these edit-a-thons for various topics such as black history and non-Western music. This one, held during Women’s History Month, will focus on online coverage of women and will utilize Art+Feminism materials.

Art+Feminism is a global campaign that seeks to improve Wikipedia coverage of cisgender and transgender women, nonbinary people, feminism and the arts, according to its website.

The workshop will highlight and explain Wikipedia’s gender gap, Carter said. She said the website has shown bias toward male individuals, professions and perspectives throughout history.

“Typically, the articles written about male subjects in general tend to be longer than those written about females, say, of the same notoriety or in equivalent positions in the field,” she said. “So there is just a lot more published information from which people can draw on to include in Wikipedia articles.”

All Wikipedia-editing skill levels are welcome, Carter said. Beginners will be taught how to set up a Wikipedia account and learn basic guidelines. Those with experience editing can learn more about research.

“We can help them utilize the IU Libraries' resources to find articles, books and videos that they can draw from and then add citations to Wikipedia,” she said.

Carter said adding content is important to encourage women, especially the aspiring artists she works with every day, who might otherwise feel underrepresented online.

“Those people need to see the stories of women reflected online so they can feel encouraged and understand that it’s possible for them to be successful in the things that they want to do,” she said.

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