Australian Paralympic Committee and other Australian GLAM efforts
By HOPAU participants, Wikimedia Australia members, John Vandenberg and LauraHale
Australian Paralympic Committee
The work done by Paralympians and others involved with disabled sport in Queensland at the 31 October Brisbane workshop continued after the event. Participants continued to improve their articles and were supported by other, more established contributors from Australia.
Project space was created for the project on Outreach Wiki as History of the Paralympic Movement in Australia. The purpose of the space was to provide an easy way to access HOPAU related efforts across multiple Wikimedia projects including Wikipedia, Commons and Wikiversity.
The Australian Paralympic Committee hired Nick Gregory Roberts to help with scanning of images, and uploading of sound and videos related to the Paralympic movement in Australia. There were 94 images donated in the original batch. In early November, the APC, with Nick's help, was in the process of compiling media related to the 1998 Winter Games and the 1992 Summer Games for sharing on Commons.
After the 31 October 2011 workshop and in relation to our GLAM newsletter blurb, there were several conversations about writing about Paralympians and best writing practices. Are people who competed at the Paralympics Paralympians or former Paralympians? How should the Paralympic Games be described in article text? How does the Australian Paralympic Committee capitalise these nouns? Does this differ from how English Wikipedia treats Paralympic related nouns? To answer these questions, a lot of work was put into working on a style guide to help contributors to the project understand the difference between Wikipedia suggested wording practices and Australian Paralympic suggested wording practices when it came to names related to the Paralympic Games and describing disability sport and sportspeople. The plan is to create a one to two page worksheet with this information that can be distributed at future Wiki Workshops, or to include it in existing training materials like Editing sport biographies on Wikipedia.
Article improvement efforts for taking an article to DYK often mean expanding an article five fold, or adding around 250 words about a competitor. This naturally leads to the article being more comprehensive. For Australian Paralympic articles, this improvement has led to an increase in visits to the articles. Two examples include the articles for tennis player Branka Pupovac, shot putter Hamish MacDonald, wheelchair racer Angie Ballard. Before expansion, their articles averaged 1 view, 3 views and 3 views per day. This has increased to 6 views per day, 12 views per day and 10 views per day.
On 8 November, John Vandenberg did a meta data analysis of female Australian Paralympians on Wikipedia. 46 of the articles were identified as lacking date of birth information or were not classified in a living person category. There are roughly 250 total articles about Australian Paralympians on English Wikipedia. This represents a large percentage of missing metadata. To give a frame of reference, amongst non-Paralympic female Australian sportspeople, only six out of a thousand women lacked date of birth information or were not classified in a living person category. A request was put on the project's mailing list for help providing this missing data. Within a few hours, many of the articles had birthday data included on the articles, with the information properly cited. It drew from publications created by the Australian Paralympic Committee that is slowly being migrated online to be of use to Wikipedians who desire to help with the effort to help write the Paralympic movement in Australia.
One of the goals of the HOPAU project is to improve Australian Paralympic content, with the belief that as Australian content improves, other Paralympic content will be improved. As of November 10, 10% of all Australian Paralympic content was assessed better than Stub. As of 13 November 2011, 13% of all articles were better than stubs as there was a push to fix articles. This compares to 13% of all articles that are part of the Paralympic Taskforce. We're hoping that we can get the Australian number closer to 50% by the time of the Summer Paralympics in 2012.
One of the exciting things that the HOPAU project has been working on is trying to contribute to Spoken Wikipedia. The first article was done when Chris Nunn recorded a spoken word version of the article about himself. Spoken word versions of articles by their subjects is important to the project for two reasons: First, the Australian Paralympic Committee is contributing to Wikipedia by making articles related to Paralympians more accessible to people with disabilities. Second, it is pretty cool and adds another dimension to the article by giving listeners another idea about the article's subject.
Nunn's spoken word version of his article was a first for English Wikipedia, and was mentioned in the 21 November Signpost. There are plans to get more Australian Paralympians to do spoken word versions of their articles.
One of the ongoing conversations between Wikipedians involved with the History of the Paralympic Movement in Australia project has been disability classification. It is an issue that can be highly controversial: Competitors may complain they have been classified above their classification or opponents may argue the competitor's is too low. Classification issues may result in a competitor being disqualified from participating at the Paralympic Games, which happened to Australian Paralympian Jessica Gallagher. Understanding classification as it relates to what happens at the Games is important. Beyond that, from a spectator perspective, understanding classification is important in order to know what is happening. Swimmer Sam Bramham is an S9 swimmer. Andrew Newell is T20 athletics competitor. Troy Sachs is a 4.5 point player. What does this mean? It can often come off to those not familiar with disability sport as complete gibberish. How can we as a project work to address this issue on English Wikipedia? After some discussion, at our Perth workshop, our Canberra training,on IRC and on our mailing list, articles were created for disability sport classification for swimming, basketball and athletics. These articles can be found in Category:Disability sport classifications. The articles aren't specific to our project and can be useful to other national Paralympic Committees. One of the plans in the future is to create articles about all disability sport classifications that are used at the Paralympic Games. The Australian Paralympic Committee is thinking about media they could donate that could help to provide additional clarity regarding these classifications.
The image donation related to early November efforts was started on 25 November 2011, with pictures from the 1988 Winter Paralympics. The skiing picture is an example of one of the images donated in this initial batch. The project is looking for help with the identification of people in those pictures. The lack of identifying people before uploading was identified as a risk but the GLAM contributors including LauraHale and John Vandenberg felt it was worth it. It would help bring in community involvement and demonstrate the power of the community on WMF related projects.
Encouraging Paralympians and others to donate images has been one of of the major efforts of this GLAM outreach effort. Images can help increase understanding of who a person is and how a sport is played. The process can be a bit confusing. We've started developing a guide at Uploading Sport pictures to Commons to explain basic issues like copyright and how to upload, with an intention of having the guide more formalised before our next workshop.
One of the goals of the APC efforts is to improve the overall quality of the articles by trying to get several articles listed as Good Articles, a status no Australian Paralympic related article yet holds. Hawkeye7 took a first major step in this effort by nominating the Priya Cooper article for good. Even if it does not pass, it will be a good experience for project participants to watch as it will help to increase understanding of what exactly goes into writing a Good Article.
Australia has yet to embrace the Wiki Love Monuments movement in its current form, but in September the first Australian photo scavenger hunt was held in Fremantle, Western Australia. This resulted in hundreds of photos being uploaded to Commons, and good feedback from the fifteen or so participants. Wikipedia Takes Fremantle was organised in collaboration with the Fremantle Society, members of which enjoyed it so much that they organised a second run, this time in conjunction with the Fremantle Festival on 19 November.
A separate scavenger hunt was run in Perth's northern centre of Joondalup on 26 November, in partnership with the City of Joondalup Library, who provided a venue and helped to organise publicity. It attracted some local press attention (newspaper and radio), and on the day had eight participants and produced over 500 photos.
There are plans to continue with similar events around the country, in the form of Wikipedia loves… my town events which will take the form of more focused photographic competitions in which participants submit images that express important aspects of their local area, anywhere in Australia or New Zealand.
The National Library of Australia's work with Wikipedia was mentioned in The Culture Quarter on ABC24. Wikimedian Liam Wyatt, who pushed and helped create WMF's GLAM project, was interviewed for and appeared in the segment that aired on 20 October 2011.
Trove is a project by the National Library of Australia. They have made it easy for Wikipedians to cite their digital newspaper collection by having a copy and pastable Wikipedia reference code that can easily be copied into articles. Recently, they reached a milestone of 6 million pages of digitised newspapers. Newspapers they have recently digitised include the Oakleigh Leader, the Healesville Guardian and the Yarra Glen Advocate.
National Library of New Zealand
New Zealand is not in Australia, but as there isn't a New Zealand chapter and Wikimedia Australia is trying to do greater outreach in the region we're happy to include them in Australia. Stuartyeates is a New Zealander active in the GLAM sector. He will be doing a demonstration at the National Digital Forum sponsored by the National Library of New Zealand at Te Papa Tongarewa (the national Museum of New Zealand), Wellington around 29 November 2011 where he will mention Wikimedia's contributions to the GLAM sector.
The Chair of Wikimedia Indonesia was in Australia in November, and discussed GLAM efforts in Indonesia at the Sydney and Canberra meetups. She discussed the collaboration between Wikimedia Indonesia and the Lontar Foundation. The closest thing to a GLAM project in the country involved a partnership with a library, and local chapter did not describe this work using GLAM to talk about it but referred to these efforts as partnerships and as part of strategic efforts to improve content.