Wikipedia Diversithon Review

A Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to increase visibility of women scientists and other underrepresented groups in the life sciences

On the last day of Berlin Science week, November 10th , 35 participants gathered for third Diversithon organized by Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). Diversithon is an Edit-a-thon of Wikipedia articles with aim to increase diversity of the world’s largest encyclopedia. Only 17.7% of English biographies and 16.2% of German biographies in Wikipedia are about women, with further underrepresentation of certain ethnicities and people of colour in science. With this in mind, we virtually met to jointly edit and create Wikipedia articles about women scientists from various backgrounds in life sciences.

This year’s Diversithon started off with an introduction to the Wiki-world by the key note speaker MassiveEartha (Kelly Foster), a public historian who is involved in initiatives to encourage more people of African heritage to contribute to Wikipedia and its sister projects. She introduced us to all of the possibilities this open-access encyclopedia has to offer, but also all of the troubles and discrepancies that it could bring while being available to everyone.

The Diversithon continued with two separate workshops, one in English and another in German with detailed explanation, step by step how to edit and create pages on Wikipedia. Once the participants understood the process, they dug into reforming and diversifying the Wikipedia with success! Hopefully they will continue in this manner.