Jump to content

Submissions/Managing large university projects

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is a rejected submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.
Title of the submission

Managing large university projects

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Peter Gallert

E-mail address




Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Polytechnic of Namibia

Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Several colleges and universities have implemented a Wikipedia component into their programs and curricula. As the most exciting and effective way of learning is the application of knowledge to real-world projects, editing Wikipedia is usually part of such implementation. Several of these projects are fairly large and create a considerable amount of work for the wider Wikipedia community: User account creation, removal of copyright violations, welcoming students and educating them on-wiki about basic rules, checking of contributions, particularly at New Page Patrol—all these are tasks that are not executed by professors and tutors but by ordinary Wikipedians.

Wikipedia university projects differ widely with respect to participant profiles, goals, deliverables, and organisation, but the one determining factor to their perceived success is whether they, overall, are an asset to Wikipedia, or a liability. None of the projects got everything right, and none of them got everything wrong. However, cleaning up a "failed" project with 30 participants is much easier than one of many hundred. It is therefore the large projects that have to be meticulously planned, often several months in advance.

At Polytechnic of Namibia we rolled out a Wikipedia module in 2010. We started with 200 participants, and scaled to 400 a year later. The eventual number will reach 2,000 in the year 2014 or 2015. We have largely stayed out of trouble so far and would like to share how that was achieved. On the other hand, submissions from our Wikipedia project as a whole are not yet a "net positive" for Wikipedia; deleted content and unsuitable sandbox entries still far outweigh submissions that make it to main space. We would like to hear from more successful project leaders what their strategies are to have students produce valuable content.

Suggested panel composition:

(I am not networked well enough to know who would be attending, and who would possess the necessary experience. I therefore suggest profiles rather than names.)

  • 2-3 Campus Ambassadors or people in similar positions
  • a representative of WMF to offer an "official" point of view
  • a representative of Wikipedians bearing the brunt of university projects, for instance from NPP or ACC
Track (Wikis and the Public Sector; GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums); WikiCulture and Community; Research, Analysis, and Education; Technology and Infrastructure)

Research, Analysis, and Education

Length of presentation/talk (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)

60-70 minutes

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

I have been granted a scholarship to attend Wikimania. I will attend independent of the acceptance of this submission, but I believe this is what you invited me for ;)

Slides or further information (optional)

I hope Campus Ambassadors and Wikipedians in similar formal or informal positions will attend the discussion in order to exchange experiences and best practices, and to learn from each other. There will be no formal presentation, just a slide or two to get the discussion going.

I notice the large amount of suggested panel discussions. I can easily convert this into a 20 minutes presentation, although I believe a discussion would be better.

Special request as to time of presentations (for example - can not present on Saturday)


Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Bináris 10:32, 17 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Rangilo Gujarati 11:52, 17 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 15:53, 24 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. CT Cooper · talk 21:25, 2 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Annie Lin (talk) 21:43, 5 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Amir E. Aharoni (talk)
  7. --Brest (talk) 23:23, 20 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Johnbod (talk) 02:40, 15 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Add your username here.