Skip to Main Content

Wikipedia Editing: Citizen Science

What is Citizen Science Month?

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

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


  • Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2023
  • Time: 4-6 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: #CitSciMonth
  • 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 username that is based on your real name or a pseudonym.  More advice: Wikipedia's Username Policy, guidance for new users.

We will keep the event Dashboard open all through April - feel free to continue editing and adding citations.  Login to the Dashboard and watch the stats increase!

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.  Alternatively, search your topic in Web of Science and limit the search results to Open Access (facets for refining search results are in the left sidebar of the list of results).

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

More Events and Hands-On Science

There are hundreds of projects world-wide that engage individuals in science research.  It's remarkably easy to be involved and requires minimal training or expertise.  

Begin at 

Search projects

Get going! Collecting data, identifying and observing, and submit your findings - all from your own locale.