Workshop Report WG1: Citizen Science and Inclusiveness

Workshop Report WG1: Inclusiveness and equal opportunities in Wikipedia publishing

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Photo by C. Paleco and CA15212

Type: Working Group Meeting
Location: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels
Date: 3th - 4th March, 2020
Duration: 2 days
Contact: Carole Paleco, Quentin Groom

Excerpts from the Report:

Aim of the workshop

The workshop had two main objectives:

  1. Have a common understanding of what inclusiveness means and how it can be tackled
  2. Discover tools and means that can improve inclusiveness and equal opportunities in citizen science.

A particular focus on women involvement was made so as to encourage them in publishing their work and scientific research notably online through the use of next generation crowdsourcing tools as wikis so as to have a more gendered balance source of information providers on the web.

Target

Where does the world go to find information about biodiversity? There is a good chance the answer is Wikipedia and the Wikimedia family of projects. This open and fully internationalized environment is entirely created and funded by volunteers and delivers more than 16 billion page views per month across 264 languages (https://stats.wikimedia.org/v2/#/all-projects).

With 134,000 active contributors just on the English language Wikipedia, it can safely be argued that this is the most open and international citizen science project in terms of usage, participants and languages. It has an irreplaceable role in formal and informal education and in the democratization of information globally. Furthermore, since 2012, Wikimedia has developed Wikidata with multilingual, public domain data.

Wikimedia and Wikipedia are in the hands of citizens and citizen scientists – however, it seems that fewer women contribute content to the platforms than men do...

Through this workshop we would like to present the work from wiki users and provide a training about this tool towards the COST action community and the community of citizen science practitioners. Our goal is also to encourage women by disinhibiting them so that they give visibility to their research by publishing it and making it available to all.

Conclusion

The discussion was very inspiring and led to a better understanding on the wiki tools and their benefits among the participants. Although the number of participants was low, it has been an enriching experience to all. The links between citizen science and the use of these powerful knowledge dissemination tools was made obvious through the identification of the various potential citizen science groups that were marginalised and the ways these could be included within the community. These reflexions are tracks to encourage inclusiveness from the point of view of the community of citizen science practitioners, Wikimedia users but also the scientific community and society at large. It was agreed that this workshop and training was to be done on another occasion so as to promote the tools also towards associations and other potential beneficiaries.

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