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Did you know that over the last year there were 98.3 million pageviews of climate change articles on Wikipedia? That’s over 267,000 page views per day. 

Did you also know that absolutely anyone can edit Wikipedia? Yet many of those in the climate change community – practitioners, researchers, communicators, community organisers – are not making use of this powerful tool to make climate change information more freely available to the general public and robust. The more specialists who contribute to Wikipedia, the more reliable its content is likely to be. 

In 2015, the Wikimedia Foundation estimated that only about 20% of Wikipedia editors were from the Global South. And in a 2018 survey covering 12 language versions of Wikipedia, as little as 8.8% of contributors were women. It is critical that editors representing a diversity of genders, social and cultural perspectives, disciplines and languages contribute to the platform – linking local experiences with this global knowledge base. 

In response, the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) have launched a practical guide to editing Wikipedia, as well as an invitation to a week-long “edit-a-thon”Wiki4Climate– to encourage those in the climate change community to actively contribute to the world’s largest online encyclopaedia, particularly women and those from the Global South. 

Edit-a-thons are where a group of people come together, in person or virtually, to edit Wikipedia on a particular topic. It can be a good way to improve the quality of information on Wikipedia and encourage people to become contributors. The Wiki4Climate event runs from 24 November – 1 December and you can sign up here.

What’s in the guide?

CDKN and FCFA’s guide covers simple explanations of how Wikipedia works, an overview of climate change information on the platform, step-by-step guidance on how to get started with editing articles, and much more. It includes numerous links to important Wikipedia resources, tips and pitfalls to avoid when editing, and some guidance on how to run your own edit-a-thon and get involved with the Wikipedia community. 

Sign up today to our online edit-at-thon

You can get started at our online edit-a-thon, where you will get hands-on advice and training from Wikipedia experts around the world. The event will run for one week, however you are free to attend according to the time you have available. You can choose to edit for ten minutes a day, or every day for the entire week. If you are able to add one sentence or paragraph, or simply add a few robust references, you will be making an important contribution.  

Sign up here

For any questions, please contact wiki@southsouthnorth.org 

Additional resources:

Five-minute video on the Africa Climate Change edit-a-thon held in August 2019 

News article: Edit-a-thon helps tackle Wikipedia’s Africa gapRecording of CDKN and FCFA’s Wikipedia webinar held in October 2020

Lisa McNamara  Knowledge and Networks Coordinator   | CDKN: Climate and Development Knowledge Network

t: +27 (0) 21 447 0211 | e: lisa@southsouthnorth.org | skype: lisa.mcnamara90 | www.cdkn.org

Physical address: SouthSouthNorth 55 Salt River Road, Salt River, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa

Postal address: PO Box 12842, Mill Street, Gardens, Cape Town 8010, South Africa

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