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International Women’s Day & the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Generating Information About and for Women

by Suzanne Schadl on 2017-03-08T17:21:00-07:00 in Library, Art, American Studies, Library & Information Science, Mathematics & Statistics, Women's Studies

On this International Women’s Day, I prefer to stand in solidarity with those women being absent in hopes of underscoring a generalized and systematic devaluation of women and their work. Even so, I speak from within my role of curator and supervisor of strong thoughtful women. My goal is to offer a quote, an image, and an invitation. My hope is that these artifacts of information (strengthened by women’s voices) speak for themselves and encourage other women to value one another's work.

Quote: "Where are the Women in Wikipedia? Understanding the Different Psychological Experiences of Men and Women in Wikipedia”  Bear, J.B. & Collier, B. Sex Roles (2016) 74: 254. doi:10.1007/s11199-015-0573-y

“Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit” ( 2012), has become widely used as a knowledge resource, with 42 % of individuals in the United States turning to it for information online (Zickuhr 2011). However, a comprehensive survey conducted in 2008 revealed that only a small percentage of Wikipedia contributors are women - 13 % worldwide (Glott and Ghosh 2010), despite the fact that readership rates are equal between men and women, particularly in the U.S. (Zickuhr 2011). A smaller scale, follow up survey of Wikipedia contributors conducted in 2011 revealed similar statistics: 9 % of contributors worldwide and 15 % of U.S. contributors are women (Wikimedia 2011). Thus, it appears that men, rather than anyone, do a great deal of the editing. In addition, and perhaps not surprisingly given this gender gap in contribution, there is a greater frequency of articles on topics of interest to men compared to articles on topics of interest to women (Cohen 2011; Reagle and Rhue 2011; note that all cited studies throughout the paper are based on U.S. samples unless otherwise noted). Overall, given the widespread use of Wikipedia, this gender gap has significant repercussions for both knowledge dissemination and organizations more generally.” (Introduction)

Image: Comisión Para Los Asuntos De La Mujer. Sam L. Slick Collections of Latin American Posters, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Cella Marina Romano, the artist behind this poster has no entry in Wikipedia like countless others. The Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon this Saturday offers an opportunity to change that.









Invite: The College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences is happy to co-sponsor an Albuquerque event, March 11, 2017, 11AM-4PM at 514 Central Ave SW. Most importantly, we embrace the expertise of Wikipedia editor, librarian extraordinaire Laura Soito. Please join us!  


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