Proposal:WWI WiR

This page is a proposal approved by the committee.

This is a proposal to support a group of Wikimedians in Residence (WiR) at GLAMs in Australia to focus on the development of Wikimedia coverage of Australia during World War I.

If you are already a Wikimedia contributor, and wish to express your interest in being a Wikimedian in Residence, please fill in as much information as you feel comfortable providing at , and then tell your friends.

A second call for candidates will be made in April, and ask for more information from you then. People who haven't contributed to Wikimedia will be able to apply in the second call. In the meantime, please see our manual "Creating an Account.pdf", and "Wikipedia Training Manual.pdf" created by the State Library of Queensland. If you would like help getting started, send an email to


World War I is topical in Australia due to the 100th anniversary of the war, with the climax of remembrance in Australia to be on 25 April 2015, the centenary of the Gallipoli landing. The GLAM sector in Australia is dedicating many resources to researching and preparing for remembrance of World War I.

A survey of Wikipedia content has shown that the coverage of Australia during World War I is primarily focused on its participation in the war overseas. It is expected that this coverage of Australia's military engagements during the war will organically expand where there are gaps. However content regarding the home front and people of the time who stayed at home or participated in non-military roles is not as well developed, and is unlikely to improve much without a strategic push. Most visibly lacking is coverage of Australian women at home and abroad during this period.

The changing role of women during World War I was not as pronounced as in World War II. Often their increased role was felt more within the local community. More women became recognised in their own right; however their biographies were generally shorter than those of men. To construct complete biographies of these women, local sources need to be tapped into, and gaps in reliable sources need to be identified and fed into new scholarship.

The lack of information on Wikipedia about women's roles during World War I can be attributed to many factors; however two stand out as significant problems that can be addressed by Wikimedia Australia:

  • the 'gender-gap' on English Wikipedia
  • the lack of readily available sources

This is a proposal to partner with the GLAM sector to devote resources to counteracting those issues, and gain a better understanding of the contributing factors.

Survey of existing material on English Wikipedia

There is an overview article Australian women during World War I.

The overview article mentions several organisations in which Australian women had an impact in the war; however those articles either do not exist, or do not mention the Australian branches of those organisations. Australian Voluntary Hospital, Australian Comforts Fund and The Cheer-Up Society don't have articles. Voluntary Aid Detachments and Women's Christian Temperance Union don't mention Australian womens' role in WWI. Women's Peace Army is a minor part of Emma Miller. Australian Women's National League is a good overview; however many of the WWI achievements of this organisation are separately notable and should be covered in greater detail.

The following pages also do not mention Australian women in relation to WWI:

That overview article Australian women during World War I mentions six women being awarded a medal for their involvement, yet only one of those subjects has a biographical article on English Wikipedia. The one that does exist has been approved as a wp:good article.

Category:Australian military personnel of World War I contains hundreds of biographies; however only three have also been categorised as members of Category:Australian women. (See category intersection)

The broader category Australian women of World War I contains a total of 11 biographies of Australian women involved in World War I. Some of these articles indicate that their subject was attached to the military; however they are not well sourced. Many obvious omissions exist, such as Karen Tenenbaum, who formed the Australian Red Cross.

Whereas Australian home front during World War II does exist, Australian home front during World War I does not. Home front during World War I#Australia is a very high level overview.

See also: World War I edit-a-thons/Australia

Wikimedians in Residence

Wikimedian in Residence (WiR) is a broad term given to a range of relationships between a GLAM and a Wikimedia contributor.

This Wikimedian in Residence program will be a group of Wikimedians in Residence at a broad range of Australian GLAM institutions, working together in the same topical area (that being "Australia during World War I"). Each of the WiR will have a different focus to be agreed upon between the WiR and their host institution, which will depend on the resources of each institution and the interests of the potential candidates in their region; however they will fall into common themes due to the limited topical area they all share. One of the common themes that will be developed is the role of women in Australian life during World War I. Another way to divide the topical area will be by state of Australia, with each State Library being encouraged to take a leading role in identifying and supporting the development of themes relevant to their state. Having a group of WiR that are working together provides economies of scale for both Wikimedia Australia and the WiR. Any contracts and processes developed for this program can be standardised for all of the WiR, and the ongoing program monitoring by Wikimedia Australia will be simplified as it becomes quickly familiar with the narrow topical area that the WiR are working in.

Each Wikimedians in Residence (WIR) will be responsible for activities such as

  • identifying notable topics from the resources of their host institution and other institutions in their region,
  • organising training and supporting Wikimedia contributors in their region,
  • coordinating Wikimedia contributors interested in the topics,
  • connecting them to content held by local institutions, and
  • content uploading, Wikipedia content creation & improvement as needed.

For example, the WiR may organise an edit-a-thon at the host institution.

This Wikimedian in Residence program is intended to be more suitable for Australian women Wikipedia contributors, or Wikimedia contributors who have a strong grounding in topics relating to Australian women and gender studies. It is expected that the broader base of Australian men in the Wikimedia community will support these WiR, which may also increase awareness of the issues that are faced when writing about Australian women and gender issues. The program sets a target of having 75% of the WiR placements being filled by women.

The decision to have many WiR working on the same topical area is intended to allow these WiR to support and learn from each other. This is designed to enable candidates with a range of skills and wiki-experience levels to feel confident that they can be a useful part of this program, able to draw on the skills and experiences of the other WiR. The WiRs will be able to collaboratively develop a shared set of resources such as reporting templates and workshop presentations.

The WiR role will be filled by established Wikipedia volunteers where they exist in the region of the participating institutions; however it will also be open to existing volunteers and part time employees of the GLAM sector.

Wikimedia Australia will fund a person (WiR) attached to a participating institution for one day per week at a rate that will be roughly the same across the country. The WiR placements will be for six months over the 2013-14 financial year. This program is being initiated with 15 WiR during this period as the target, providing 1.5 FTE over the elapsed twelve months.

The limit of one paid day per week is geared towards ensuring that the community can fully use their paid time, recognising the Australian reality that there may not be many other existing volunteer Wikimedia contributors in the region of the WiR or particularly interested in the content area that the WiR is focused on. By funding many part-time WiR rather than one or two full time, it is expected that some of the WiR will 'fit in' and have had a high impact for the host institution, thereby allowing management of the host institution to justify employing their WiR as an internal staff member. Funding many part-time WiRs also allows Wikimedia to engage with a broader range of GLAM institutions, and allows participation of Wikimedians in more varied circumstances including those contributors who are employed full time but would be able to work one day a week at times that suit the host institution.

WiR coordinator

One GLAM will be selected as the WiR coordinator. This institution will task one of its employees with coordinating and supporting the activities of the WiR across the country, threading the work of the WiR together into a cohesive story, and enabling public engagement with the WiR program via social and traditional media. This person will also be required to engage with Wikimedia Australia and the global Wikimedia community throughout the twelve-month period.

WikiProject liaisons

Wikimedia Australia will seek someone involved in WikiProject Military History to be a liaison for the WiRs and help develop and coordinate other Wikimedia Australia program activity related to World War I. A call for expressions of interest will be sent out in March and selection made by the Wikimedia Australia committee at the end of May. Candidates for this role may also apply to be a WiR under this program.

Wikimedia Australia may also select liaisons with other relevant WikiProjects to support the WiRs.

WiR host institution commitments

The prospective host institution is expected to provide a one page brief containing:

  1. An overview of the sources in their own collection which are relevant to the scope of this program and are in the public domain or will be released under a ‘free’ license;
  2. An overview of the collections that will be readily available to the WiR, possibly located in other institutions that the host institution works closely with;
  3. An identified staff member to whom the WiR will report within the host;
  4. An example work plan for the WiR and the responsible host staff member, including a broad description of the types of themes the institution foresees being explored, and the types of public engagement that could be undertaken. <TO DO: add examples>
  5. A set of selection criteria for candidates. For example, the WiR should:
* be in good standing within the Wikimedia community;
* respect the values and mission of both host and Wikimedia Australia and be willing and able to enhance them;
* fulfil the host's expectations in terms of advocacy, negotiation, relationship-building, training, consultation and the like;
* be articulate enough to report on the work both orally and in writing.

To be selected as a WiR host institution, the organisation is expected to:

  1. Provide a desk, computer, and internet access on site for the WiR;
  2. Agree to include “Wikimedian in Residence” in the job title/role for the WiR, and to make their participation in this program public knowledge;
  3. Provide 0.2 FTE over six months from their <host staff member> per the work plan;
  4. Provide $5,000 cash or in-kind to cover expenses related to supporting the work plan;
  5. Agree to support the digitisation and distribution of the free content held in their own collection, within the scope of the brief provided by host institution.
  1. The contractual relationship between the WiR and host institution and remuneration method may need to vary from host to host. Wikimedia Australia will be discussing this with potential host institutions to understand their needs.
  2. The WiR is not responsible for writing or editing all the targeted content. While WiR success can be partly adjudged by an increased number of relevant, quality content, the role is that of enabler. Hence, other measures, such as such as the satisfaction of both partners, how well various relationships have improved, and the willingness of partners to continue an engagement in Wikimedia at the conclusion of the Residency are more important.


The remuneration for each WiR will be AUD$5,000 over six months, or ~$192 per day for one day per week. Superannuation is included in the $5,000 - other oncosts are to be covered by the host institution.

Each WiR will be provided with an operating budget of $5,000 from Wikimedia Australia, to be administrated by the partner institution.

As described in the section above, each partner institution will be expected to provide a similar amount of their staff time to work with the WiR, and a similar in-kind contribution to support activities of the WiR.

The target of 15 WiR (1.5 FTE over the elapsed 12 months) brings the estimate total cash contribution by Wikimedia Australia for the program to $150,000.


Wikimedia Australia will seek expressions of interest from GLAMs and Wikimedians until 28 February to determine the main regions where there are Wikimedians and prospective host institutions.

Wikimedia Australia will identify where at least one suitable Wikimedian is located in the same location as the GLAMs, and work towards signing a MOU with relevant GLAMs by 7 March.

Throughout this process, Wikimedia Australia will

  1. seek EOIs from existing Wikimedian contributors across Australia, to give the host institution the largest pool to select from.
  2. accept EOIs from prospective host institutions across Australia.
  3. maintain an up-to-date public document containing the number of candidates in each region that are (a) Wikimedia editors, and (b) not yet Wikimedia editors. Non-editors will be encouraged to become editors. A more detailed confidential brief will be shared weekly with each prospective host institution about the candidates in their region to enable the prospective host institution to develop their work plan around the skills and experience of the candidates.

Wikimedia Australia will write a Wikimedia Grant request an appropriate amount of funding to cover the number of likely WiRs, and an administrative overhead.

In April, a second call for Wikimedia contributors will be made. Each GLAM will be responsible for selecting their WiR based on their own selection criteria, with the Wikimedia Australia committee providing basic background information about the candidates existing wiki experience. Each GLAM and WiR will be able to work together to select the period and the hours of their residency.

Host institution selection

Wikimedia Australia will announce the first block of five host institutions on 18 March, where the host institution has the capacity and dedication to free knowledge, and there are clearly well-suited established Wikimedians as candidates in the same locality. Wikimedia Australia will convene a meeting with these selected host institutions to discuss convergence of themes and selection of the WiR coordinator, and these five institutions may choose to select their WiR from the existing pool of WiR candidates.

Wikimedia Australia and the ‘WiR coordinator’ will evaluate the remainder of the prospective host institutions and select up to five by the end of March. The WiR coordinator will then be responsible for the second round of applications and selection of the remaining five host institutions.

The selected prospective host institution may decline to proceed at any point until they have agreed to be a host institution. Should they agree to proceed as a host institution, their institution will be listed on the Wikimedia Australia website as a successful host institution, along with their brief.

WiR selection

In April a second call for WiRs will be sent out listing the successful host institutions, closing on 14 April. The successful host institutions may receive these applications via a process they nominate, or may ask for Wikimedia Australia or the WiR coordinator to receive applications on their behalf.

Each host institution will be asked to apply their own selection criteria to the WiR applications, conduct interviews, etc.

Each host institution will inform the WiR coordinator of their preferred candidates before 26 April. The WiR coordinator will manage the communications regarding successful WiR placements. The WiR placements may be embargoed by the WiR coordinator until 1 June at the latest.

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