Help

If the frequently asked questions below do not answer your question, head over to the forum or email the Changemakers at lccstudentchangemakers@arts.ac.uk

A recording from the first network introduction event, which took place on Wednesday 16 December, is available to watch here on YouTube. Our next Wikipedia Editing / Creating workshop for LCC students and staff is on Tuesday 4 May from 3.30-5.30pm. More details and registration here. We will also be hosting a Decolonising Wikipedia Writing Cafe on Wednesday 12 April from 4-6pm for LCC students and staff. More details and booking here on Academic Support Online.

Frequently Asked Questions

About this Network

  • Why is editing Wikipedia pages important?
    • Wikipedia attracts, on average, views from 1.4 billion unique devices each month. As one of the most widely-used information sources in the world, it is paramount that Wikipedia represents the breadth of diversity that exists in all fields, be that academic or otherwise. When person, group of people or topic is underrepresented or misrepresented on Wikipedia, this causes a problem for marginalised communities whose place in the world is continuously threatened by racism and erasure. Editing Wikipedia is a means of reclaiming space for those who are marginalised on an online platform used by so many people worldwide.

  • Why set up this network?
    • LCC’s Decolonising Wikipedia Network aims to bring together students and staff to edit and create pages for underrepresented and misrepresented practitioners and topics with a view to creating a fairer and more representational point of reference. We know that representation has a direct impact on student belonging and success (NUS UUK, 2019), so ensuring that topics, artists and thinkers from diverse backgrounds are fairly represented is a useful intervention in the Euro/White-centric canon that has been tradition for so long.

  • How many pages have been edited so far?
    • You can get up to date stats on the network’s activity on the dashboard.

  • Who can participate?
    • Any student or staff member from LCC can participate, so please share the network with anyone who may be interested.

  • How committed do I have to be?
    • There is no minimum or maximum requirement for engagement, meaning that you can do as little or as much as you like. All contributions are welcome and valid – you can even sign up just to see what other Network members are getting up to!

  • Will there be any live editing sessions?
    • Dependent on demand, we are looking to hold some live online training, editing and sharing sessions in 2021. We will contact network member about this once they’re scheduled.

  • Do people get notified when I edit their page?
    • Not directly, but it’s likely that they will check at some point and see your edits! You are also welcome to contact them if you want to share your work directly.

  • How can I as a teacher embed the Decolonising Wikipedia Network in my curriculum?
    • Please drop us an email if you would like to find a way to embed this work into your curricilum! We have been able to do this with some courses so far through training sessions which have been very successful!

About Wikipedia

  • Is Wikipedia always reliable? Does it contain biases?
    • Wikipedia is edited and maintained by a vast userbase. For the most part, Wikipedia is trustworthy as long as you follow through with citations. There are many potential reasons, however, for biases on Wikipedia. It’s worth noting that:
      • Writers are mostly from Europe and North America​
      • Only about 10% of Wikipedia’s writers are women​
      • Only about 18% of biographies on English Wikipedia are about women
    • Other factors that may contribute to biases included access to tech and digital poverty and the pervasiveness of English as dominant in online spaces.
    • Since Wikipedia is such a renowned and widely-used platform, we believe it is essential that these biases are addressed. Through editing and creating pages with decolonial thought at the heart of the process, we believe that positive, long-lasting change can be made to knowledge production.

  • Is there a way of searching for stubs?
    • The English Wikipedia has about 3 million ‘stub’ articles – pages which are very short and need more information. These are categorised by hand. You can navigate round them by searching for ‘category:subject stubs’, replacing ‘subject’ with the topic you’re interested in. For example if you search for ‘category:history stubs’ you will be given a list of results for various categories, including ‘Category:History stubs‘. Some categories are enormous and will have lots of sub-categories, so it helps to click around and explore what’s in there.

  • Can you set up alerts for when pages are updated?
    • Wikipedia lets you create your own feed of edits to pages you’re interested in. This is reached by clicking on the ‘watchlist‘ button in the top right of your screen when you’re logged in. Pages you created are automatically added to your watchlist. You can add any other page you’re interested in by clicking on the star icon just to the left of the search box.

Editing Wikipedia pages

  • How do I get started?
    • Check the Get Started page for some guidance and useful tips on how to make your first edit.

  • In what way am I qualified to write and edit articles on topics that are seen as biased and academically unreliable?
    • If you don’t feel comfortable writing about something in particular, there is no expectation for you to do so. If, however, you have carried out thorough research and can provide citations for whatever you add to Wikipedia, there is no reason to feel underqualified. After all, we are the people that are here to remove the biases. If in doubt, make sure to get in touch with us!

  • Do I need to be ‘autoconfirmed’ in order to participate in collaboration on the Network?
    • Autoconfirmation generally occurs when a user has contributed 10 edits and their account is at least 4 days old. Some restrictions may be in place until you reach these milestones, however even editing a draft page will count towards this, so you have nothing to worry about.

  • If I upload my own image, does it belong to Wikipedia or do I retain my own copyright?
    • In short, content which you upload onto Wikipedia Commons must be licensed under a free license. However, please note the following from this page on reusing content outside Wikipedia:
      • “The Wikimedia Foundation owns almost none of the content on Wikimedia sites — the content is owned, instead, by the individual creators of it. However, almost all content hosted on Wikimedia Commons may be freely reused subject to certain restrictions (in many cases). “
    • Copyright law is complicated and nuanced – we suggest checking here before uploading for more detailed information related to your needs. If in doubt, get in touch!
    • This online module will guide you through the process of uploading.

  • Can I upload an image of an identifiable person? Do I need a model release?
    • According to this resource on identifiable subjects:
      • “The subject’s consent is usually needed for publishing a photograph of an identifiable individual taken in a private place, and Commons expects this even if local laws do not require it.”

  • How long does it take for the writing/images to be reviewed and approved etc?
    • Once you publish any changes or edits to existing pages they will go live immediately; you are your own reviewer!
    • New pages you have drafted will be reviewed by experienced editors. Once approved, it could take some weeks or months before they appear in search engines. Ways to speed this up are detailed on the Creating a Page resource.
    • You are welcome to share your works in progress with us. Whether you want some help or advice before your edits go live or you just want to share what you’ve achieved, we’d love to see!

  • Can more than one person work on an article at the same time?
    • Yes! We absolutely encourage collaboration within the network. You can post in the forum here if you are in search of a collaborator.
    • How you coordinate collaboration is up to you; it might be that you take on individual research/editing responsibilities or that each collaborator edits the page as and when they have something to add.
    • If you need any support with collaboration, please do get in touch.

  • I have a technical issue or question about editing

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