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Wikipedia Editing: Citizen Science

What is Citizen Science Day?

Citizen Science Day is a world-wide observance to "celebrate and promote all things citizen science: amazing discoveries, incredible volunteers, hardworking practitioners, inspiring projects, and anything else citizen science-related!"   

Accurate communication of scientific research findings is an essential component of the scientific method; participation in this process of documentation is one way we can all be citizen scientists.  Adding new articles or new content to Wikipedia would be great, too, for those wanting to do a little more! 

Event Information

The 2019 event has taken place, thanks to all contributors!  Collectively, we edited 19 articles, added 3.25K words and viewed 8.75K articles.  We were busy and had fun.

  • Date: Sunday, April 14, 2019
  • Time: 12:30-3 pm EST
  • Location: Science Center Library
  • Session Leader:  Alison Ricker, Head, Science Library 
  • Who should attend: Anyone who appreciates accuracy in scientific research and reporting
  • Hashtag: #CitSciDay2019
  • What to bring: Your laptop, power cord, and ideas for entries that need updating or creation

Thanks for joining us!

Article Databases

Wikipedia Account & Citizen Science Day Dashboard

Before editing, create your Wikipedia account, if you don't have one already, and login to the event Dashboard.  Using the Dashboard allows us to track our contributions during this campaign.  You may create a user name that is based on your real name or a pseudonym; if participating for course credit, be sure to tell your instructor which user name on the Dashboard is yours.  More advice: Wikipedia's Username Policy, guidance for new users.

Articles to Work On

Similar to the #1Lib1Ref campaign, our focus is on adding references to existing articles in Wikipedia that are already tagged [citation needed], to update and improve content by encouraging use of peer-reviewed open access literature. Finding science-related articles in the Citation Hunt tool is tedious, so you might prefer to begin with a good open access source on a topic that interests you and then search Wikipedia to see if there is a relevant article that could be enhanced with a reference to that source. Look especially for "start" or "stub" class articles (an article's rating is found on its talk page). Try the open access directories/sources listed below for inspiration. 

Editing a Wikipedia Article

Don't feel limited to simply adding references!  Before doing any substantial editing or creating new articles, read the Wikipedia Help pages and editorial policy.  Start here.

Above all, remember that accuracy and neutrality are absolutely required, and that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, featuring brief, clearly written summaries or reviews; not a place for publishing original research.

Objectives of the Wikipedia editing session

Intended objectives for participants:

  • Gain experience in evaluating Wikipedia articles for completeness, accuracy and bias as they review articles with [citation needed] tags, and search for reliable sources to confirm or clarify unsupported statements.
  • Explore scholarly, open access sources, and consider how they could relate to existing (or new) Wikipedia articles
  • Learn about Citizen Science and celebrate the scientific knowledge gained by citizen participation in the scientific enterprise
  • Gain experience with the concise writing and accuracy required to edit a public access encyclopedia