A Wikimedia edit-a-thon

As highlighted by the events associated to various higher education centers and learned societies which have involved Wikimedia volunteers, there is a good number of reasons for researchers to share their intellectual knowledge using also on-line wikimedia platforms (primarily Wikipedia).

Our goal is to reproduce at the forthcoming ECS meeting the same model adopted for example by the Society for Neuroscience’s recent “Neuroscience Wikipedia Initiative,” and the edit-a-thons at the conferences of International Society for Computational Biology.

This is intended as a hopeful first step towards a long-term interaction between communities. The main reasons to catalyze such collaboration for an academic sector could be summarized as such:

  • Scientists are not fully trained during their education to the new frontier of the so-called “knowledge society”. They can be trained by people with bigger knowledge of concepts such as copyright and open access, and the wiki philosophy in general, which is used also on more specific professional platforms using wikicode.
  • Scientific information is shared mainly among experts, also in the field of coastal and marine research. The dissemination of scientific knowledge through a heavily used on-line platform is however a direct way to actively engage in public outreach and education efforts. Since most of the articles and websites related to skilled researchers can be considered a reliable source per Wikipedia and linked by its articles, their introduction on Wikipedia generates additional traffic and visibility, as proven in many other cases
  • Scientists require to interact with reliable partners. In the case of English and German Wikipedia the overall quality is already comparable to traditional encyclopedia publications in terms of accuracy.
  • Results published on professional and institutional websites become inaccessible or neglected. Wikipedia’s up-to-date, community-driven editing model can help in managing and storing a considerable amount of information, allowing constant reuse. In the event we will focus mostly on the key behavioral guidelines of the Wikimedia on-line communities, followed by an overview of the different platforms, the user registration, the structure of a Wikipedia article, the key aspects of code editing, the use of user sandboxes.


Newcommers can be trained to the wiki philosophy by Wikimedia volunteers. A brief introduction to similar cases and to the impact of presence on Wikimedia platform will be also provided.


Alessandro Marchetti

Gregorio Bisso

Location and Time

NH Hotel, via XX Settembre 2, 19124 La Spezia


Workshop will start 9AM and end 5PM