Wikipedia is a widely used resource to access information about a variety of topics. However, while a few language versions cover a variety of topics, other languages are barely supported. As a speaker of Arabic, one of the 5 most widely spoken languages in the world, you will find a drastic lack of information even on basic topics. Compared to English’s almost 6 million articles, Arabic Wikipedia has only over 600,000 articles. Following the small number of articles, there are vast differences in the number of editors maintaining Wikipedias, too. The large Wikipedias, such as English or German, have a large, very active community that contributes to its content. But most Wikipedias have a small number of editors maintaining them, correlating with the low number of articles. The largest number of Wikipedias are maintained by under 50 editors (including 11 Wikipedias with one or no active editor). This means a very heavy load on those editors - they have to fill all the various roles of maintaining a Wikipedia and consistently ensuring its high quality, whilst dividing those time-consuming tasks between a very small number of people.
Having editors predominantly from a small set of language communities introduces a certain level of topic bias. Topics important in parts of the world with underserved languages will find their way into Wikipedia with considerably higher difficulty.
Preliminary Design of the Scribe interface, displaying the main content and functionalities
To tackle the problem of lack of editors and therefore low number of high quality articles, we propose a content editing tool (Scribe). This tool will allow editors to have a base to start with when translation is not possible. It will allow editors to choose a subject to write about according to their community interests and notability criteria, regardless of the existence of that topic in other Wikipedias. This facilitates the creation of articles, and encourages new editors to contribute.
Scribe will provide editors in underserved communities with: section planning, reference collection, and important key points for each section.
It supports editors by planning the layout of a typical Wikipedia article based on existing articles in their language. Further, users can discover and interact with references in their language, to encourage the writing of high-quality articles. These references, collected from online sources, are summarized into important key points for each section. We will rely on Wikidata in the planning of the sections as well as in the integration of references and facts from the existing information in Wikidata.
session, we want to present Scribe and the work that has been taken place in the project. We have conducted interviews with Wikipedia editors of different language communities to understand how they currently edit and research references. Further, we created a prototype that will be presented. This presentation opens the room for discussion on the very important topics of editor recruitment and support with a focus on under-resourced communities.
Scribe project proposal
Scribe prototype (video)
The organisers of the community growth space believe that the space will address the following Sustainable Development Goals:
- 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- 10 Reduced inequalities
- 11 Sustainable cities and communities
- 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
- 17 Partnerships for the goals.
This session will address the conference theme — Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and the Sustainable Development Goals — in the following manner:
Scribe will address the question of sustainability of communities by providing a new tool that supports new editors in easily creating high-quality articles that follows community standards (e.g. in the structuring of an article). Further, our focus on underserved Wikipedia communities ensures that we work on the inequality of language coverage that we can currently observe (reduce inequalities). It will help to give underserved language communities a voice by supporting them in the creation of new articles. We do this by previously studying different community’s editing, which builds the base to ensure we can properly support the community and is the first study of this kind (innovation). In the long term, we hope the project will support the creation of a larger number of articles in different language and help the accessibility of information.
The organisers of the space and the community have identified a number of topics they wish to address in this space. Please explain how your proposal its into these topic areas.
As a reminder, the proposed topics are listed at 2019:Community Growth
This session will address the topics of the Growth space in the following manner:
For new members to join Wikipedia as editors, the difficulty of starting to edit needs to be kept as low as possible. We see Scribe as a technology work on the side of activation (the moment the newcomer starts editing, they get the possibility to do so in a very easy way) and retention. Retention mainly as we believe that the first successful written article will help editors to stick to Wikipedia rather than the frustrating experience of not being able to contribute following the community standards. We will speak about out research about editors article creation, with a focus on starting to write an article. This work has a focus on supporting diversity by focusing in the application on underserved Wikipedia communities.
At the end of the session, the following will have been achieved:
We will have introduced the participants to the Scribe project and the work achieved and planned. It will open the room for discussion on supporting new and under-resourced editors on Wikipedia. We will give an overview on the research of how Wikipedia editors create articles and edit references.
Each Space at Wikimania 2019 will have specific format requests. The program design prioritises submissions which are future-oriented and directly engage the audience. The format of this submission is a:
The session will work best with these conditions:
A lecture hall, or any form of room set up for a presentation.
We are interested to hear from Wikipedia editors, as they are our target audience. Our target audience is rather large, therefore the more attendees, the better.
This session is appropriate for filming and sharing under an open license.
Minimum 45 minutes (30 minutes presentation, 15 minutes questions), if possible an hour.
Relationship with the organisers of the space[edit | edit source]
The organisers of the community growth space wish to provide any necessary support to presenters and participants that they may need and also wish to have an active role in shaping the content of the space to maximise the benefit of all attendees. Please let us know if you would appreciate any help, and if you consent to constructive suggestions from the organiser team that would allow the largest amount of people to share and benefit from each other's contributions.
- I would be interested in receiving help in shaping my submission: YES
- I consent to the organisers of the space contacting me to discuss alternative ways to present my knowledge (for example, merging two proposals into a common presentation, a panel debate instead of a lightning talk, etc.), or ways to modify and improve my proposal (for example by ensuring a gender diversity on panels) : YES
- If my proposal is not selected for a presentation, I would be interested in presenting my proposal in the form of a poster in the Community Growth space: YES
- I consent to my proposal being proposed to organisers of other spaces if it would be a good cross-over topic or if it fits better into the other space's scope: YES