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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Earth & Planetary Science: Create Wikipedia Spotlights

Wikipedia’s lack of diversity and gender issues are well-documented. Add Earth Sciences' lack of diversity to the problem and that becomes a huge issue. There is a lack of participation by women and underrepresented groups which leaves room for bias and keeps those left unrecognized. According to Wikipedia's survey, women represented between 5.2 and 13.6% among the Wikimedia projects in 2018. This adds up to an alarming absence in an important repository of shared knowledge. Use these resources to bring diverse voices in the Earth Sciences field to the light! 

First Research Categories in Wikipedia

It's important to search for specific topics of interest before creating Wikipedia pages to get a sense of what is missing. For example, the presence of African American, Mexican, LatinX, and women of the Earth Sciences field is scarce. This is also evident in Wikipedia, so using proper search terms is vital to successfully contributing to lifting up diverse voices. Here are examples on the lack of diversity in Earth Science on Wikipedia and potential areas you can add people to. 

In the images below, you'll find highlighted text displaying the current number of subcategories as well as the category itself. On the bottom of the image, the highlights showcase the date the page was last updated. Many of these pages haven't been updated in at least 4 years!   

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How to Create a Wikipedia Page

Steps: Consider editing pages of interest to add important information rather than creating new pages until you get used to it.

1: Searching

Enter text in the search field that you seek to create as a page title. If the title you entered does not already exist, is not technically restricted and is not creation protected, the resulting page will i) tell you that it does not exist; ii) advise that you can create the page, and iii) will provide a red link to the page title. It will normally appear in the following form (it may vary depending on the skin you have set):

   There were no results matching the query.

   You may create the page "Red-linked Text You Searched For".

2: Previewing a red link

  1. Click edit on any accessible page;

  2. Surround the page title you want to create in doubled brackets, e.g., [[Proposed Title]];

  3. Click the Show preview button (not the Publish changes button);

  4. Click on the red link revealed.

3: Saving a red link

Often you will want to have easy continuing access to a page you create. One way is to save a link at your user page, or sometimes, on your user talk page. Once you save a red link there, and create the page, the link will turn blue and will be accessible anytime you visit it.

  1. Go to your user or user talk page (both permanently linked at the top of any Wikipedia page);

  2. Surround the page title you want to create in doubled brackets, e.g., [[Proposed Title]];

  3. Click the Publish changes button;

  4. Click on the red link revealed.

4: Changing a URL

If you click edit on any existing page or page section and then change the title of the page shown in the URL of your browser's address bar to the name of a non-existent page, and then hit return/enter, the resulting page shown will be the same as if you clicked on a red link, allowing you to create a page by the title entered. For example, were you to click edit at the top of this page, you would see this URL in your browser's address bar:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:How_to_create_a_page&action=edit

To make a page called "Proposed Title" using it, you would change it to:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Proposed Title&action=edit

Source: Wikipedia 

For more tips check out Wikipedia's "Your first article" page!

Copyright

  1. If you contribute text that you, yourself, authoredyou license it to the public for reuse under a CC-BY-SA and GFDL license. For more, see: Wikipedia: Contributors' rights and obligations.​​
  2. If you wish to contribute text that someone else has written and that is protected by copyright, you can do so only if that text was already licensed under terms compatible with a CC-BY-SA license, or if doing so would be “fair use” under Wikipedia’s guidelines around fair use (for example, you are using a brief quote for critique). However, you may always link to a lawfully-uploaded text document elsewhere on the Web. For more, see: Wikipedia: Using copyrighted work from others & Wikipedia: Can I add something to Wikipedia that I got from somewhere else?
  3. If you wish to reuse text from another Wikipedia article, you must provide credit to the original authors either by including (a) a hyperlink or URL to the page or pages you are re-using or (b) a list of all authors. For more, see: Wikipedia: Re-use of text.

Source: UC Berkeley Copyright Quickstart Guide for Wikipedia Edit-a-thons

Host a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

Wikipedia is aware of it's lack of diversity in regards to contributors of Wikipedia pages and lack of diverse content. The Wikipedia Diversity Observatory (WDO) is a space to study Wikipedia's diversity coverage, discuss the strategic needs, and propose solutions to improve it. To combat racial and gender bias, society has taken action by hosting Edit-a-Thons across the globe with the same goal; increase diversity. You can host your own Edit-a-Thon by grabbing a few friends, classmates, and snacks to add to the cause. Don't forget to tell everyone to bring their own laptop if computers aren't accessible at your location.   

Below are examples of Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons!

AfroCrowd

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Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and 500 Women Scientists Edit-a-Thon

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UC Berkeley Library Wikipedia edit-a-thon for the Art+Feminism national campaign improving coverage of cis and transgender women, feminism and the arts on Wikipedia.

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Social Justice Organizations through Wiki

Wikimedia's strategic direction: Service and Equity ⁂ By 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us. 

We stand for racial justice:  "In 2017, the Wikimedia Foundation adopted an explicit commitment to “Knowledge Equity.” We pledged our focus as a social movement to supporting knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege, and to breaking down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge."

Affiliates

  • AfroCrowd: seeks to increase awareness of the Wikimedia and free knowledge culture and software movements among potential editors of African descent
  • Whose Knowledge?: is a global campaign to center the knowledge of marginalized communities (the majority of the world) on the internet