ANZSI-CSU SICS-Wikimedia Australia PartnerProject: Final report (June 2024)

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Final report on identifying and filling gaps in library and information science (LIS)-related content on Wikimedia platforms
, Mary Coe.

The partner project between Wikimedia Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers (ANZSI) and the School of Information and Communication Studies at Charles Sturt University (CSU SICS) officially ended on 31 May, but it will certainly not be the end of the Library and Information Science WikiProject. In fact, it is only just the beginning! Many thanks to the folks at Wikimedia Australia for getting this project off the ground. We’re safely aloft now and soaring away on the Wiki breezes.

File:Mary Coe.jpg
Mary Coe, Wikimedian in Residence at ANZSI

The main aims of the project have been well and truly met. During fortnightly sessions (8 of them between February and June), we have coalesced into a core group of people actively developing our skills and filling gaps in in library and information science (LIS)-related content on the Wikimedia platforms. A mix of folks from ANZSI, CSU SICS and Wikimedia Australia have joined each session, with an average of 6 people in attendance. While the majority have been female (another aim of this project), we have benefited from male participants as well. In addition, the first brood of CSU SICS students on professional placement have just started working with Wikimedia Australia as a result of this project. This is a fabulous opportunity not only for the students but for the Wiki world. We hope that when these new information professionals spread their wings and fly off, they will spread the word about the benefits of using and working on the Wikimedia platforms.

The project dashboard displays some interesting statistics, but it’s our Work in Progress page that really shows what we’ve been doing. Our primary focus has been on creating Wikidata items for indexers and librarians in Australia. At the start of the project, a Wikidata query showed no indexers in Australia (using the properties of ‘occupation’ and ‘country of citizenship’). As of 7 June 2024, the same query now reveals 19 of them! Similar results are returned for Australian librarians, with 27 more of them now displayed. We have also been working on professional associations, awards, and people from other countries (including New Zealand and South Africa). Our next focus areas will be Australian libraries and disambiguating the terminology used in Wikidata and Wikipedia to describe indexing and librarianship. We are also working on a proposal for a new Property in Wikidata for adding indexers to publications.

Perhaps it’s the responses from a survey circulated at the end of the project that best sum it up though. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to broaden their horizons by meeting new people and learning new skills in a fun and supportive environment. They appreciated the small size of the sessions and the mix of new and experienced editors, which enabled everyone to get involved in editing, learning, and sharing their knowledge in a practical and interactive way. One participant noted that ‘the people who turned up were the right people for this project.’ Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. This project has succeeded because of you!

We welcome new members going forward. We currently run drop-in sessions fortnightly on Friday afternoons (who needs end-of-week drinks when you can wind down with Wikidata?! 😊). If you’re interested in joining these sessions, contact me at MaryCoe or coe.mary@gmail.com. No experience necessary! To quote Michelle Obama, “Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar, all right?”

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