Learning Wikidata in 8 Weeks as a Smithsonian Intern
10-31, 14:40–14:50 (UTC), Room 2

Prior to June 2021, I had never edited a Wikipedia page or even knew what Wikidata was. By August 2021, I had edited over 100 articles on Wikipedia and made 552 Wikidata edits. This presentation is about my journey into the WikiWorld as an intern with the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.

My internship project focused on editing and creating Wikipedia articles and Wikidata properties about women in order to address the gender gap on Wikipedia and Wikidata. Throughout my internship, I learned how to utilize Smithsonian collections and resources to help enhance or create women’s biographies and Wikidata properties. One of my main projects was to assist with our July 27, 2021 edit-a-thon “Wiki Focus: Black Women in Food History.”

I’ll discuss the benefits of learning Wikipedia and Wikidata within the cultural heritage sector and how access to museum archives and resources set me up for success on Wikidata. Additionally, I’ll discuss what projects I had taken on at the Smithsonian in more depth and how the skills I learned transferred into my ability to pursue my own Wiki passion projects.

Link to notes


What will the participants take away from this session?

I hope my presentation will give participants more information on what learning Wikidata is like for a newcomer and what that could mean for training future editors in both the cultural heritage sector and in higher education. I plan on sharing what advice and resources helped me conceptualize my understanding of structured data and the importance of doing Wikidata work. I also hope participants have an opportunity to learn how Wikidata is being incorporated into the Smithsonian and what those connections mean in terms of bridging the gender gap in Wikipedia and Wikidata.