Writing for Wikipedia

Notable Technical Women Poster 2015
One way that you can contribute to the wider world without traveling is by writing and editing Wikipedia pages. To do so, you need web access, time, and knowledge of your topic – or an ability to research it effectively. The online encyclopedia Wikipedia is often referred to as an “open-source” project because it is written, edited and policed by a global group of volunteers. Wikipedia has a history of gender bias – so more women contributors and editors are very much needed!

One notable Wikipedia contributor is Dr. Susan Rodger (Professor of the Practice, Computer Science, Duke University) .  Dr. Rodger wrote detailed instructions on how to get started on Wikipedia:

We have written these guidelines on creating Wikipedia pages on notable women in computing to help others get started on writing such pages. When we attempted to write our first Wikipedia page, we found it difficult to get started. We also found it intimidating as our first page was immediately flagged with warnings. We hope these guidelines will help encourage others to write pages, and also to increase the number of women writing Wikipedia pages.

Information provided on the Writing Wikipedia Pages for Notable Women in Computing site includes:

  • About these pages
  • Getting Started as a Wikipedia Writer
  • Selecting Someone and Preparing to Write their Wikipedia Page
  • Spreadsheet of notable women in computing (viewable only)
  • Form to add a woman to the spreadsheet
  • Form to give us an update about someone already in the spreadsheet
  • Creating and Editing a New Wikipedia Page
  • Creating a Wikipedia writer page about yourself

Dr. Rodger was also one of the three women who created the Notable Technical Women Project of playing cards and posters. Katy Dickinson and Jessica Dickinson Goodman are the other two.  All three of them did extensive research to pull together the information and photographs needed to create the posters and playing cards.  Part of the Notable Technical Women Project is encouraging other people to write biographies of technical women to honor them and make their contributions better known. The motto of the project is:

Keep our history
Women have been leaders in tech from the start, but not enough of our contributions are remembered. These cards can help.

In November 2014, fourteen of the 54 Notable Women in Computing honorees had no Wikipedia biography article. By January 2016, ten new pages had been written – leaving just four undocumented.  Progress is tracked on the Notable Technical Women Facebook page.  You can be part of this work by writing new Wikipedia pages about notable technical women.

TechWomen Emerging Leaders Poster 2015

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