Wikipedia:Visiting Scholars/Sponsor

Wikipedia Library owl.svg  Wikipedia Visiting Scholars  Wiki Education Foundation logo.svg

Connecting experienced Wikipedians with academic institutions to improve Wikipedia.

Sponsoring a Visiting ScholarEdit

Sponsoring a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar can expand the impact of your library's resources while supporting public knowledge in a topic area important to you.

This page includes more information about the position and how to get started.

The role of a Visiting ScholarEdit

Wikipedia Visiting Scholars tap into your university's digital resources (such as databases, ebooks, or digitized special collections) to make high-quality contributions to Wikipedia articles.

  • Scholars receive an institutional account to access library resources remotely. "Visiting" is virtual and Scholars are not typically expected to be physically present or live in the geographic area.
  • Scholars are given access for a particular length of time determined by the institution, usually 12 months.
  • Scholars are volunteer editors and not employees, contractors, or interns. Sometimes they may receive a small honorarium.
  • Scholars improve the quality of articles in one or more broad topic areas, using their experience to determine specific articles in which they could make a difference.
  • Scholars keep track of their improvements using the Wiki Education Dashboard, which easily tracks metrics such as pageviews and characters added.
  • Scholars and sponsors work out a schedule for checking in (for example, via phone calls, Skype, or Google Hangouts).
  • Scholars improve Wikipedia in a variety of ways, and will be asked to write a short blog post explaining the impact they've had at the end of the term.

Visiting Scholar selection and expectationsEdit

Visiting Scholars are selected for their demonstrated ability to create and edit high-quality Wikipedia content, and the extent to which their interests align with the topics you specify that you would like to see improved.

The application uses Google Forms. Once an application is submitted, it will be made available in a dedicated spreadsheet for you to view, along with some comments from Wiki Education's Community Engagement Manager. If you receive multiple qualified applicants, you can decide how to choose, whether to set up phone calls, and/or whether to sponsor more than one Scholar.

Wiki Education is here to support you during each step in the process if you have questions or concerns. We will also help to promote the position, making sure eligible Wikipedians are aware of the opportunity.

Visiting Scholars are not selected based on their ability to train staff, organize edit-a-thons, or work with students, and should not be expected to do so. To get help teaching with Wikipedia, contact Wiki Education. For help with an edit-a-thon, see Wikipedia:How to run an edit-a-thon.

Institutions should be aware of what constitutes a conflict of interest on Wikipedia. As volunteer editors rather than employees, contractors, or interns, Visiting Scholars should not be expected to write about or otherwise promote the institution, its faculty/staff, particular faculty research, or subjects outside of the topic area(s) of mutual interest. Scholars are not prohibited from writing about these subjects, however, if the best source on a subject happens to have been written by a faculty member, or if the quality of an article would suffer if it did not include coverage of the institution's historical role. If you have questions about what constitutes a conflict of interest in this context, email visitingscholars

Getting startedEdit

Here’s what you need to get started.

  • A member of your institution's faculty or staff who can be the primary contact for the Visiting Scholar.
  • A list of subject areas your institution would like to help to improve on Wikipedia.
  • A description of any digitized special holdings a Visiting Scholar could make use of.
  • An approved process for providing the Visiting Scholar with an institutional login or other method of remotely accessing your digital collections and online resources.

If you're ready to sponsor a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar, and your institution is in the United States or Canada, head to the Visiting Scholars sponsorship form. We will use your responses to craft a call for applications. Down the road, when it comes time to review applications, head to the getting started with the Visiting Scholars program page for important information about the sorts of things you will want to talk to the Scholar about at the outset of the Scholarship.

If you have additional questions, contact visitingscholars or leave a message on the user page of Wiki Education's Community Engagement Manager, User talk:Will (Wiki Ed).