We are all aware of the large reach and popularity of Wikipedia. However, what most people don’t know is that, according to a study conducted in 2011, only 9% of the editors at Wikipedia were women. And the percentage for India is even lower, just 3%.
Wikipedia recognises the systemic gender bias that is created because of factors such as these and thus enables its diverse range of users to edit and create Wikipedia pages, with reliable and authentic sources.
Feminism in India conducts monthly Wikipedia edit-a-thons with different organisations exploring various facets of gender in India, thus increasing content on women and marginalized communities on Wikipedia as well as training women to create and edit Wikipedia pages and hence increasing the number of women editors.
The Wikipedia Library (TWL) is an open research hub, that helps active Wikipedia editors to get free access to paid journals and databases such as JSTOR, Oxford University Press, Taylor and Francis etc. Along with this, it also runs several other programs to improve access to sources for Wikimedians, and also involve libraries and librarians across the globe. Some of its other programs are visiting scholars, source sharing, and reference desks. Such a program is 1lib1ref.
1lib1ref is a global campaign run by TWL twice a year, once from 15 Jan to 5 Feb, and the second iteration from 15 May to 5 June. The full form is One Librarian One Reference, which says “Imagine a World where Every Librarian Added One More Reference to Wikipedia.” Though it is a branding strategy to easily reach out to librarians across the world, it is definitely not limited libraries or libraries. The whole concept is about improving citations to the content on Wikipedia. So communities across the world organise 1lib1ref sessions, to improve/fix citations on English or their language Wikipedia.
FII Wiki Project, The Wikipedia Library and CIS-A2K co-organised the 1Lib1Ref Wikipedia editathon on 25th May 2019 to improve citations on women’s Wikipedia pages in India. The editathon was held at CIS’s New Delhi office.
The aim of the editathon was to improve citations and correct dead links on women’s Wikipedia pages in India. The citations were improved in English. We were a group of 12 editors in total.
We started the event with a round of introductions and a short talk by FII Founder on why we edit on Wikipedia and a discussion on the whys and hows of Wikipedia editing for new-comers. Next, Krishna Velaga from TWL explained TWL’s purpose and the 1Lib1Ref program.
Accordingly, we created a list of women pages whose citations needed improvement. By the end of the day, the participants had edited 66 pages by 12 editors and added 3.28K words. See additional statistics here.