Community Foundation Legal Wikimedia Commons Wikipedia

Here’s why we’re celebrating the public domain in 2019

As 2018 turned to 2019, people around the world celebrated the start of a brand new year with parties, family, and friends. The transition into 2019 also marked a new era for access to knowledge and culture in the United States, as new works finally entered the public domain through copyright expiration for the first….

A group of men celebrate with the World Cup trophy amidst a shower of confetti

Wikipedia Year in Review

Wikipedia’s most-popular articles of 2018 show that pop culture rules over us all

People visited Wikipedia over 190 billion times in 2018 alone, many motivated by the encyclopedia’s wealth of in-depth articles about topics you didn’t know enough about. But in looking at the English Wikipedia’s most-popular articles of 2018, it’s clear that one motivation reigned supreme. People wanted to keep up with the popular culture moments happening….

Community Wikipedia

Kiwix is connecting the unconnected

In Eritrea or Cuba, people routinely buy Wikipedia for one dollar.[1] Wait, what? Isn’t Wikipedia free? Of course it is—Wikipedia, in fact, is entirely free and very easy to reach if you are not one of four billion people who still do not have internet connectivity. If you are, however, having problems to access your….

Communications Wikipedia

Hashemite University, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia volunteers partner to expand access to free knowledge resources in Jordan

Last month, the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia community members in Jordan, and Hashemite University—one of the most esteemed higher education institutions in Jordan—signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance cultural cooperation and access to free knowledge resources in the Arabic language. It is the first MOU of its type signed with any university in the….

Technology The anatomy of search Wikipedia

The anatomy of search: The root of the problem

A galloping overview As we have done before, let’s get a bird’s-eye view of the parts of the search process: text comes in and gets processed and stored in a database (called an index); a user submits a query; documents that match the query are retrieved from the index, ranked based on how well they….

Community Gender gap Wikipedia

Five ways academics can contribute to Wikipedia

In recent weeks, the world learned about Dr. Donna Strickland, only the third woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. It also learned that Wikipedia lacked an article on Strickland amongst its over five million articles. Wikipedia subsequently received justifiable criticism for its low percentage of female editors, its editing culture, and its….

Community Wikipedia

Wikimedia LGBT group meets at EuroPride Stockholm to celebrate diversity

Have you ever heard of compulsory heterosexuality? This concept described how heterosexuality is assumed, enforced and viewed as an obligation regardless of one’s own sexual preferences, and it was the subject of one of the articles that members of the LGBT user group wrote about in different languages in Stockholm, Sweden, last August. The event….

Community Gender gap Wikipedia

Women in Red is changing Wikipedia’s coverage of women, one article at a time

The news that optical physicist Donna Strickland did not have a Wikipedia page before winning the Nobel Prize in Physics brought renewed attention to Women in Red, a long-standing volunteer effort to add more biographies about women to the encyclopedia. After the announcement, the Women in Red WikiProject had one of their best weeks ever,….

Communications Foundation Gender gap Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a mirror of the world’s gender biases

This post ran in the Los Angeles Times on 18 October 2018. When Donna Strickland won the Nobel Prize this month, she became only the third woman in history to receive the award in physics. An optical physicist at the University of Waterloo, Strickland is brilliant, accomplished and inspiring. To use Wikipedia parlance, she is very….

Community Gender gap Wikipedia

Why didn’t Wikipedia have an article on Donna Strickland, winner of a Nobel Prize?

Donna Strickland is an optical physicist at the University of Waterloo. She is also the winner of a Nobel Prize in Physics (as of two days ago), a former president and fellow of the Optical Society, and early in her career was the recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship. What did she receive these honors….