For maximum impact across our research and cultural practices, we should collaborate with our colleagues and students to edit Wikipedia and actively contribute to other open-source online resources. Wikipedia is the world’s leading platform for accessible commentary on history, art and visual culture. It is continuously undergoing revision, yet we are in the best position to lead these changes – especially for aspects of art history and visual culture from Australia and Aotearoa / New Zealand. Developing assessment items in which students identify, research, edit and ethically enhance Wikipedia instills the values of public scholarship and critically engages with pressing issues. This is an important space for inclusion and decolonization, where new voices can contribute to global discourse. Building on the legacy of collaborative Wikipedia Edit-a-thons, Trove APIs, Facebook, and the work of the #KnowMyName initiative and the Historians of Islamic Art Association (HIAA), this panel considers the impact of contributions to online open-source resources. How might your work be better represented in these spaces, and what can we do to measure or improve the impact of our online representation on continuously changing platforms?
Know My Name and Wikimedia Australia: A case study
In 2019 the National Gallery of Australia established an ongoing partnership with Wikimedia Australia in association with the Gallery’s gender equity initiative Know My Name. The partnership aims to address the under-representation of Australian women artists on Wikipedia as part of the Gallery’s strategy to increase understanding of the contributions of women and gender diverse artists. To date the partnership has included two Know My Name Wikipedia Edit-a-thons, volunteer training workshops, the establishment of the National Gallery Volunteer Wiki Club and staff information and training sessions. The Know My Name project has so far resulted in 200,000+ words being added to Wikipedia including the creation of 115 new pages on Australia women artists, 431 existing articles being edited, and 2,320 new references added. 176 volunteer editors have so far participated nationally and new and edited articles have been viewed 513,000+ times on Wikipedia. The partnership has made an internationally significant contribution as part of gender equity movements Art+Feminism and Women in Red. It also offers a best practice case study about how GLAM sector organisations can use collections and expertise to grow representation, inclusion and equity on the world’s biggest online knowledge platforms.
Jessi England, National Gallery of Australia
Caddie Brain, Wikimedia Australia
Amanda Stojanov, Assistant Professor of Digital Media, Monmouth University, New Jersey, USA
Lisa Watt, Lecturer in Creative Industries, Charles Sturt University
Elizabeth Elwell-Cook, Charles Sturt University and TAFE Western NSW