Oxford Internet Institute marks 15 years of Wikipedia | University of Oxford
Wikipedia page about Oxford University
Wikipedia page about Oxford University

Oxford Internet Institute marks 15 years of Wikipedia

The Oxford Internet Institute is holding a Wikipedia Editathon today to celebrate Wikipedia’s 15th birthday. 

Researchers have prepared a list of articles that they think needs improving: whether writing from scratch, updating existing articles, or adding citations. They aim to improve Wikipedia entries about the “The Social Internet”, which potentially covers everything from Uber to sexting, electoral predictions to the digital divide, freedom of speech to Emoji and data surveillance.

Around 30 experts and lay people have signed up already for the ‘editathon’, which will start at 2pm today lasting three hours. There will also be short research presentations from OII faculty, showing how Wikipedia can help answer questions like: What are the most controversial topics in different cultures, and how do editing wars get resolved? How much interaction is there between the 290 language editions? What does “the world’s knowledge“ actually look like when overlaid on a map of the world? Who determines what knowledge is recorded and why is the world not represented equally?

Launched on January 15, 2001, Wikipedia is ranked among the ten most popular websites and constitutes the Internet's largest and most popular general reference work. Wikipedia got this far by relying on billions of individual contributions by ordinary people. To help celebrate this remarkable encyclopaedic phenomenon, the Oxford Internet Institute is hoping anyone interested in the internet and society will come along.

The Bodleian Libraries' Wikimedian in Residence, Dr Martin Poulter, will lead the editathon. He has been in post since April 2015 to engage with staff, the public and researchers to encourage contributions to the development of content on Wikipedia and to make the Libraries' digitised collections more accessible, placing a particular focus on areas currently under-represented on Wikipedia, especially women in science. He also encourages contributors to use the Bodleian's collections to spread awareness of female scientists, past and present, from the University of Oxford and beyond.

What Wikipedia wants for its birthday is to be improved, so there couldn’t be a better present...

Dr Martin Poulter, Bodleian Libraries' Wikimedian in Residence

Dr Poulter said: 'What Wikipedia wants for its birthday is to be improved, so there couldn’t be a better present than the input of the researchers, students and anyone with an interest in the internet, who will share their knowledge while also getting an insider’s view of the site.'

This event being held at the Oxford Internet Institute, St Giles, Oxford,  in collaboration with the Bodleian Libraries, TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities).