Use Wikipedia to spread research information

Wikipedia is at the core of knowledge transfer in contemporary society and an efficient way to communicate research to others. It is therefore important that researchers are active on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is written collaboratively by unpaid volunteers. Anybody with internet access can write and edit Wikipedia articles. Articles are examined and discussed by other active Wikipedia users.

Tips and advice for researchers and teachers who want to start using Wikipedia:

  • For your user name you can add Uppsala University to your family name and given name. This makes things easier for journalists and you market the university indirectly.
  • Create a user page using the template for Uppsala University. Log in and click on your name in the menu at top right. Press ‘Create’ to edit your user page. Press ‘Insert’/‘Template’. Write in the name of template: ‘Profile UU’ and click ‘Add template’. Fill in the details click ‘Insert’.
  • Wikipedia is a reference work. This means that unpublished research should not be published via Wikipedia.
  • Use information already written for the general public, for example:
    • press releases
    • fact sheets
    • popular science-style summaries of applications etc.
  • Try to update the information in Wikipedia before, for example, a press release goes out. The number of Wikipedia searches normally increases considerably after press releases.
  • You can see the number of views for an article by pressing ‘Show history’/‘Number of page views’.
  • If you are a doctoral student, you have a good opportunity to contribute to Wikipedia once your thesis is completed.
  • Other educational institutions use Wikipedia as a reporting tool for student projects. Students of biology and medical science at Linnaeus University, for example, have expanded existing Wikipedia articles and written new ones as a compulsory part of their work to be assessed.

     

Get started with Wikipedia - see also the pdf for instructions

  1. Go to Wikipedia for the language you want to edit, for example English: en.wikipedia.org.
  2. Press ‘Create account’ at top right.
  3. Fill in a user name, password and verify the account by e-mail. We encourage you to write your user name like this: Given Name Family Name (UU).
  4. Search for the subject you want to add to and press ‘Edit’. Most often there is an article you can add to directly. You can now edit and add texts and images just as in Word.
  5. State your source by clicking on ‘State source’ and link it to the original source.
  6. Save your changes and you have done your first piece of Wikipedia editing! 

     

Tips and advice for editing Wikipedia

  • Read through the introduction page on Wikipedia.
  • When you have logged in to Wikipedia, you can press ‘Help’ in the left-side menu for more information on how to contribute to Wikipedia.
  • You can use the same user name for editing in other languages.
  • Make use of the discussion page available for every article if you want to discuss changes before committing to them.
  • If you want to test out various functions without publishing anything, you can use the ‘sandbox’ you get to when you log in.
  • It is good to know the rules of etiquette which apply to editing in Wikipedia.
  • You can contribute by:
    • expanding existing articles
    • adding sources and illustrations to existing articles
    • writing new articles
    • adding images and scientific illustrations in Wikimedia Commons
    • stating sources (scientific publications) for the text you have added.
  • If you are logged in, you can create a monitoring list of articles you are interested in. Click on the star above the article and you will be placed on the monitoring list.
  • You can see which articles you have edited by pressing ‘Contributions’ after logging in.

 

Contact

wikipedia@uu.se

Jonas Petersson, Subject Library Division, is the co-ordinator for working with Wikipedia at Uppsala University.