Worlds of Wikimedia 2022

WOW Conference 17-18 November 2022
, James Gaunt.

The Worlds of Wikimedia (WOW) 2022 Conference was held 17-18 November in The Sibyl Centre at University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, and was a partnership between Dr Frances Di Lauro and Dr Bunty Avieson from University of Sydney, and Wikimedia Australia.

WOW was previously held in-person during June 2019, and for 2022 the conference featured in-person, online, and pre-recorded presentations from people around the globe. Many presenters had arrived from Asia and were also presenting at the Wikimedia ESEAP conference that weekend.

Photos and conversations were shared using #WOW2022, and retweeted by the WorldsofWiki Twitter account. Photos were added to Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday 17 November 2022

Indigenous Elder Brendan Kerin and audience.

Following a welcome to country by Indigenous Elder Brendan Kerin, Bunty Avieson gave an introduction to WOW 2022 and an overview of the next two days.

Keynote: Portals, platforms, and participation – building online collaboration around GLAM collections

The opening keynote was given by Tim Sherratt, who joined us remotely from Canberra to discuss his work online and across the GLAM sector. His slides are available to view here.

Tim highlighted the resources of Trove, where volunteers have corrected over 400 million lines of text in digitised newspapers and documents. He spoke about his GLAM Workbench, and noted the use of persistent links and access to metadata has gone backwards for many online resources.

Open Knowledge using Indigenous Language – the Waray Wikipedia Experience

Waray is a major regional language of the Philippines and this presentation by Joseph Ballesteros and Belinda Ballesteros showed how Lsjbot had been used to increase the number of articles on Waray Wikipedia. Waray Wikipedia is accessed by people from around the world who want to read Wikipedia in their language.

Challenges and Rescue Balinese Manuscripts (Lontar) on the Balinese Wikisource by Creating Metadata, Cataloging, and Digitizing.

From Bali, I Gede Gita Purnama Arsa Putra and Dewa Ayu Carma Citrawati showed how they've been adding Lontar palm-leaf manuscripts to Balanese Wikisource. Their project WikiPustaka has used Wikidata and Wikisource to collect metadata and assist with proofreading and transcription. The Lontar are kept in private collections, and are often deteriorating, making their preservation difficult but even more urgent.

Lisa Maule and Sophia Coghini showing a list of articles created by the Pasifika Arts Aotearoa project.

Pasifika Arts & Wikipedia

Lisa Maule and Sophia Coghini presented on their work with the project Pasifika Arts Aotearoa, which aims to increase the number of Wikipedia articles about Pacific Island artists in Aotearoa while also providing Wikipedia editing knowledge within communities.

Sophia shared her personal story of becoming a Wikipedia editor, and the difficulties finding appropriate reference material on Pasifika Arts. Both Sophia and Lisa would like to add more images to Wikipedia, and find ways to include oral histories as references.

Keynote: Vandals, scandals, and Wiki-archaeology: I (can't) see for miles

Graham Pearce spoke with Gerard Goggin about fighting vandalism on Wikipedia. Graham, who is blind, uses a screen reader to correct spelling mistakes and errors on Wikipedia. He discussed his interest in "wiki-archaeology" and fixing the problems he finds across Wikipedia.

Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight speaks while Annie Reynolds looks on.

The Adrianne Wadewitz Panel

In honour of Wikipedian, feminist, and English scholar Adrianne Wadewitz, this panel featured presentations from four women who are behind campaigns battling gender inequity on Wikipedia.

Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight, founder of Women In Red, and member of Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. In 2015 Women In Red proposed to write biographies about women on Wikipedia every day, and now have 33 languages participating. They invite everyone to join them.

Annie Reynolds, winner of the 2021 EDNA award for "making a feminist difference" with her editing group Women Write Wiki. Annie has coordinated the group since 2017, and she highlighted their inspirations and work, as well as her own contributions to Women In Red.

Caddie Brain, journalist and former staff member of Wikimedia Australia, spoke about she became involved with Wikipedia through her Wikiclub NT group, and worked with the National Gallery of Australia on their Know My Name gender equity campaign which created 100 new Wikipedia pages.

Caroline Phillips, 2020/21 Regional Ambassador (Oceania) for Art+Feminism, and Secretary of the Women's Art Register, spoke about her work with Art+Feminism and the Women's Art Register and her collaborations with the other speakers.

Documenting the gender gap in Indian Wikipedia communities: Findings from a qualitative pilot study

Netha Hussain presented findings from a pilot study looking at the gender gap on Wikipedia in India, co-authored with Anwesha Chakraborty. While the percentage of biographies about women is 19% on English Wikipedia, it's between 18 and 32% on various Indian language Wikipedias. Women in India are also less likely to participate in editing due to unequal access to smartphones and the internet, but this is changing.

Keynote: women scientists in Wikipedia

Prolific Wikipedia editor Jess Wade has recently made news for creating over 1,700 new Wikipedia articles about women scientists. In her presentation she discussed her work, how she wants everyone to appreciate science like she does, and how seeing more women scientists on Wikipedia helps build representation and confidence in the next generation.

Jess Wade's presentation is available to watch on our YouTube Channel.

Book Launch with Heather Ford

Introduced by Terry Flew, Heather Ford launched her book Writing the Revolution: Wikipedia and the Survival of Facts in the Digital Age which focuses on how the Wikipedia page on the 2011 Egyptian Revolution evolved following its creation mere hours after the revolution began. The book was ten years in the making and is now available via MIT Press.

Friday 18 November 2022

Richard Cooke speaking.

Keynote: Wikipedia - the last great place on the Internet

Richard Cooke opened day two with a talk about Wikipedia, and how it's used by people (and machines) every day. His next book, a cultural history of Wikipedia, will be published next year.

Wikimedia and the multisector evidence ecosystem

Amanda Lawrence and Brigid Van Wanrooy discussed their research into sources used on Wikipedia. Amanda showed the role of different media sources and which ones were considered best per Best Ref. Brigid showcased her work with the Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) such as The Missing Link project and how open access research helps everyone, and Wikipedia.

Assessing the use of Wikipedia as a fact-checking tool in Australian Capital Territory public schools

Rachel Cunneen presented recent research around digital media literacy among school children, finding almost all Australian children were using the internet by age four but weren't taught media literacy until their teenage years. She made the points that better fact checking and information literacy are needed in schools, and educators should reevaluate their negative perceptions of Wikipedia’s reliability.

Co-presenter Mathieu O'Neil wasn't able to attend, but Rachel covered their work together, including research into developing a new approach to media literacy, using Wikipedia as a fact-checking tool, and the recent book Six fact-checking lessons for kids.

Wikimedia Australia's Pru Mitchell introduces Kirsten Thorpe and Nathan Mudyi Sentance.

Jumbunna Institute - First Nations knowledge: protocols for description and access

Kirsten Thorpe and Nathan Mudyi Sentance discussed how First Nation people interact with Wikipedia. They noted that Wikipedia pages on First Nation people are written with a settler narrative, and better understanding is needed around the relevance and appropriateness of resources used on these Wikipedia pages. They noted that more work also needs to be done in how First Nation people can control their history, including how their metadata is used.

They showed how the ATSILIRN protocols were an early step in assisting GLAM organisations who hold First Nation stories, and highlighted AustLang as a useful resource providing information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages assembled from referenced sources.

The Unconference

To close WOW 2022, editing hacks, tips & tools, Wikidata, photos for Commons, Wikispore, and more were discussed and shown off around the room. Facilitators included Margaret Donald, Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight, Alex Lum, Annie Reynolds, Gideon Digby, Sam Wilson, Pru Mitchell, Toby Hudson, Tom Hogarth, and Kerry Raymond.


Philip Egbule and Juliet Ossai were scheduled to present Feminists’ Movements and Campaign for Gender Parity and Conflict Mediation in the Global South: Using Social Media for Long-haul Activism. This remote session was unfortunately cancelled, but you can read their abstract here.

Further Reading

Discuss this page