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Wikipedia for open science! 500 Women Scientists Edit-a-Thon for International Women’s Day

A global Wikipedia edit-a-thon aims to celebrate the achievements of women scientists in a format that's open and accessible to all.

In the run-up to International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, 500 Women Scientists ‘Pods’ are invited to participate in a Global Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon to increase representation and awareness for women in STEM on Wikipedia, as part of an international campaign to improve the coverage of women scientists, and to highlight and celebrate their achievements. Pods are local chapters of the 500 Women Scientists organization – ‘pod’ is taken from whale pods, signifying good team work and collaboration. The Edit-a-Thon will start on Saturday, 7th March, and will run throughout the weekend.

Wikipedia is an openly editable resource – anyone can improve the quality and accuracy of Wikipedia pages and entries. Particularly in the so-called ‘post-truth’ era, it is vital to ensure that the public has access to accurate and robust information on individuals that have been systematically underrepresented in science, including women. Increasing the visibility and credibility of women in science is a critical step in bringing awareness of qualified individuals who are contributing to the global acceleration of science.

In addition to increasing online literacy regarding female scientists, the 500 Women Scientists Pods aim to teach scientists how to use Wikipedia as a science communication outlet for issues of concern to both science and society. As these issues become amplified through global crises such as climate change, Wikipedia provides a unique democratic tool to promote open science: making scientific research and researchers accessible to all. 500 Women Scientists supports open science through their mission of serving society by making science open and inclusive.

If you’re a first time editor, and would like to contribute to the edit-a-thon, the UCSD Library and Salk Institute are running a Wiki-thon on 7th March and will be webcasting a keynote lecture by Leadership Member Maryam Zaringhalam and a tutorial led by a Wikipedian. You can also contact a Wikipedian in your area for support.

For those of you interested in participating in the International Women’s Day Global Wiki-thon, 500 Women Scientists have created a sign-up form to collect your emails and Pods so they can provide further information.

 If you would like to participate virtually.

 And some further information from Wikipedia itself!

The International Science Council, through its Action Plan Advancing Science as a Global Public Good, has outlined the need for change in scientific systems, which must be able to continually adapt to changes in knowledge, technology and societal norms. The ISC is developing its project, Gender Equality in Science: From awareness to transformation, with partners such as Gender InSITE, the Inter-Academy Partnership and the Global Research Council. We have declared the month leading up to International Women’s Day gender awareness month, highlighting the achievements, challenges and initiatives of ensuring gender equality in science and across disciplines.

Photo by Crew on Unsplash

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