Bridging the gap between academia and Wikipedia

(27 June 2013) Jisc and Wikimedia UK are collaborating on a project to bring the academic world and Wikipedia closer together. This will create opportunities for researchers, educators, and the general public to contribute to the world’s freely available knowledge.

Jisc, the UK education charity championing the use of digital technology in education and research, is supporting this initiative so that the widest possible audience will benefit from the world-leading projects that it supports. These include open educational resources, online repositories of research, and collections such as the 19th century newspapers archive and Manuscripts Online, which holds British written and early printed materials from 1000 to 1500AD.

Wikimedia UK is the national charity supporting Wikipedia and its sister projects such as Wiktionary and Wikiversity. It works with professionals in universities, museums, libraries, and other institutions to improve the knowledge that those projects make freely available. It is investing in this project to involve more of these experts in improving Wikimedia projects for everyone’s benefit. This project is part of the charity’s wider commitment to higher education, shown through efforts such as their annual EduWiki conference and participation in the global Wikipedia Education Program. The charity recently appointed its first Education Co-ordinator in order to gain greater focus on higher education.

This is a national project, based at the University of Bristol. It will train experts in their workplaces and also run ‘editathon’ events which will be open to the public. Dr Martin Poulter, who is a Wikipedia editor as well as a professional creator of educational materials in the University, will be an ambassador between the two communities. This will include working with Jisc’s communities to identify specific topics for development.

The project is jointly funded by Wikimedia UK and Jisc and will run for around nine months.

Read the full announcement here.