Ask A Librarian: Adding content to Wikipedia as a business or data provider

I spoke with a woman who works for a website that is frequently cited on Wikipedia as a source for a particular kind of data–think IMDB for a different sector. They want to make sure their data is helping to increase representation of women and facts about women on Wikipedia but don’t know that much about the culture there and wanted some pointers on how to get started. We had a Zoom chat and then I sent along a list of links.

Every page on Wikipedia has a page (the main article) and a talk page (for kibitizing about the article). This includes even user pages. So here is my page and my talk page (I made this, mostly, though anyone can edit it) (often for announcements, people who want to get ahold of me)

So talk pages can be good about getting what the “backchannel” discussions about pages can be. If you look up a controversial or hot current topics you can see people talking on them. Here’s one.

Note also that since Simone is a living person that there is an even tighter set of restrictions that are for Biographies of Living people. Since you will likely be working in this space, good to know about it. Not too tough for the work you’re doing but just good to know. Here’s a zillion damned words on it.

The three things I mentioned that would bear some attention are

1. Wikipedia’s guidelines for brands or “paid editors” (a kind of different thing but sometimes they are lumped together)

This is LONG (like it all is) but should be helpful. tl;dr, it’s okay to be a paid contributor but you absolutely must disclose that you are someone who is paid or else that is a bannable offense.

Also they have a username policy. I haven’t even read this because my username is just my name, but worth peeking at.

2. Looking at building little tools. The one I use all the time is this stupid-simple one called Citer which is on toolforge.

Toolforge is over my head but it’s a nice place to build tools. Magnus has a page of tools that I love to look at which can give ideas about what is possible.

3. Look into bots. I don’t know much about them but they do a LOT and they can be cool.

Here’s a bonkers page of ALL THE BOTS followed by bot policy. You’ll notice the bot policy page is on the page which is for things that govern ALL Wikipedia, not just English Wikipedia.

Here’s the bot I was mentioning.

So those are the top three things here are some other useful links

You know about Women in Red, there is also Wikiproject Women’s Sport

If you look on the righthand sidebar you will also see some other projects including, notably, Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias

The person I thought you might want to talk about re: Editathons is Michael Mandiberg (they/them pronouns). I don’t know them personally but they’re an Art+Feminism co-founder (on the board, and yes, that is another project) and live in NY so might be worth talking with.

This guy writes about Wikipedia on Substack. He has a book out that he is pushing, I liked his recent newsletter especially and it seems up your alley.

That is everything I’ve got and this is already SO long. If there was a thing I mentioned that is not here, please ping me. And if you want a nice friendly Wikipedia tutorial and you have the time, this one is nice.

and my starter page of links for some “getting started” classes I teach for librarians.

2 thoughts on “Ask A Librarian: Adding content to Wikipedia as a business or data provider

  1. They might also consider contributing to Wikidata. The notoriety threshold is lower. And if they have a database using QuickStatements can automate the process.

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