Wikipedian in Residence
Wikipedians in Residence are Wikimedians who dedicate time to working in-house at an organization. Wikipedians in Residence are usually financially compensated by the institution or by a Wikimedia chapter, but they may also be volunteers. The Wikipedian in Residence is not simply an in-house editor: the role is fundamentally about enabling the host organisation and its members to continue a productive relationship with the encyclopedia and its community after the Residency is finished. The Wikipedian in Residence model was first piloted by the GLAM initiative, but has since been adopted by other types of organizations.
Core characteristics of a Wikipedian in Residence
- Serves as a liaison between the organization and the Wikimedia community to promote a mutually beneficial cooperation.
- Promotes understanding of Wikimedia among staff at the organization through workshops and events.
- Works with organizational staff to digitize, compile, and organize resources that can be shared with the Wikipedia community.
- Facilitates the improvement of content by the Wikipedia community, rather than directly editing articles as a core goal.
- Coordinates events, such as Hack-a-Thons, Edit-a-Thons, or Backstage Passes, that bring Wikipedians on-site to work with staff on content creation and improvement.
- Avoids Conflicts of Interest by not editing articles directly relating to the organization.
- Formally coordinated by the institution, allowing the resident to work closely with staff for various projects.
- Ultimately, a residency lays the foundation for a more lasting partnership between the Wikipedia community and an organization.
Types of projects carried out by residencies
Activities organized by Wikipedians in Residence are broad and varied. Some of these projects include:
- Facilitating content improvement in partnership with curators and the Wikipedia communities
- Coordinating image or multimedia donations
- Organizing visits/events (e.g. "backstage passes" for Wikipedians)
- Organizing challenges and competitions that promote article improvement
- Teaching about Wikipedia practices and values, etc.
- Including sister projects (Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, Wikivoyage, etc)
How to find a resident
The best way to locate a potential Wikipedian in Residence is to connect with your local Wikimedia chapter (if one exists) and/or via the talk page of an appropriate WikiProject on Wikipedia. Often these can be found through WikiProjects associated with your city, state, province, or country. Check the WikiProject Geographical Directory to get started. You can also contact us or send an email to glamwikimedia.org.
- On-site attendance, "in residence" means being physically based in the organisation for most of the time.
- Working for mutual benefit while upholding the policies of both the institution and Wikimedia.
- Enabling of community interaction in both directions.
- Avoiding conflict of interest, especially when editing articles about the institution, itself.
- Teaching ability - to GLAM professionals about Wikimedia and vice versa.
Recommendations for the institution
- On-staff "champion" who supports the project officially from within the organisation.
- Clearly defined role for the project - not mixed with other social media/web management.
General Criteria for an Ideal Wikipedian (not gospel)
- Knowledge of the profession
- Charisma to encourage a group of volunteers to support the project.
- Presentation skills, and the patience to explain free-licenses/wikipedia... frequently.
- Existing Wikimedian in good standing.
Sample job description
The National Archives seeks applicants for a Wikipedian in Residence for Summer 2011. The Wikipedian in Residence is a student intern role. The Wikipedian in Residence will work as a community coordinator and strengthen the relationship between the Archives and the Wikipedian community through a range of activities.
—National Archives and Records Administration (April 2011)
- Time allocation
- Fulltime for a very short period (e.g. British Museum project, 5 weeks)
- Fulltime for a longer period (e.g. Chateau de Versailles project, 6 months)
- Part time for a long period (e.g. Children's Museum of Indianapolis project, 1 year)
- Part time permanently (e.g. Bundesdenkmalamt - Scanproject, Vienne, minimum 3-4 years)
- Wholly unpaid (e.g. British Museum project)
- Study credit (e.g. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis project, first 3 months)
- Stipend/scholarship (e.g. Chateau de Versailles)
- Paid internship (e.g. NARA projects)
- Contract employee (e.g. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis project, year 2)
- Recruitment method
- Published job offer through official recruitment process (e.g. NARA) [could add Chapter rep. to interview panel if necessary].
- Outsource recruitment to local Wikimedia Chapter (e.g. Versailles project)
- Informal recruitment through existing social media connection (e.g. Indianapolis Museum of Art)
- Identify existing Wikipedia community leader in relevant field (e.g. Israeli Museum)
- Self-initiated contact from a Wikimedian to the institution (e.g. British Museum)
Wikipedians in Residence
|National Library of Scotland||Edinburgh, Scotland||visit NLS website for application details||2013|
|Israel State Archive||Jerusalem, Israel||Application (In Hebrew)|
|Ladd Observatory at Brown University||Providence, RI, USA||Wikipedian in Residence/Ladd Observatory||2013|
|Józef Piłsudski Institute of America||New York, USA||1) announcement on Wikipedia, 2) external link announcement at the Institute||Early 2013|
|Federal Archives of Switzerland||Berne, Switzerland||Announcement press release||May 4 2013|
|Fundació Suñol||Barcelona, Catalonia||apply at infofundaciosunol.org||May 17 2013|
|National Library of the Netherlands &
National Archives of the Netherlands (joined post)
|The Hague, The Netherlands||Project page (in Dutch)
http://bit.ly/19xCKLD (press release in Dutch)
|Start work sept/oct 2013|
Details on specific residencies
- Wikipedia in the Museum: Lessons from Wikipedians in Residence Virtual Session, American Association of Museums, April 2012
- Wikipedians in Residence: Two Years of Open Culture, Open Knowledge Foundation blog, Lori Phillips.
- How Does a Wikipedian in Residence survive?, The GLAM-Wiki Experience, Àlex Hinojo.
- In-Residence Around the World, Wikimedia blog, Liam Wyatt.
- GLAM information Scoop.it, compilation of blogs & press regarding residencies and GLAM initiatives in general