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Friday March 11, 2022 at 09:33

Madrid university students become Wikipedians

A hundred students from different universities such as the URJC collaborate in the 'Wikipedia madri+d' project, a campaign that aims to improve the scientific quality of Wikipedia entries in Spanish.

Albert Rose

The madri+d Knowledge Foundation in collaboration with Wikimedia Spain has carried out the 'Madri+d Wikipedia' project in 2021, a campaign with which hundreds of university students from Madrid, some belonging to the URJC, have become content creators for Wikipedia.

The main objective of this campaign is to improve the scientific quality of Wikipedia entries in Spanish, since, as the URJC professor and president of Wikimedia Spain, Florencia Claes, affirms, "although Spanish is the second language spoken in the world, has a smaller number of articles than the Wikipedias in other languages”.

That is why teachers from Madrid universities were invited to participate with ten articles on their branches of knowledge. The teachers would later work with their students on these articles so that they could finally edit the contents of the works on Wikipedia.

A key actor in the process is the itinerant Wikipedian: the same person for all universities in charge of giving talks and explaining to students how Wikipedia is edited. This same itinerant Wikipedian did a personalized monitoring of the publication of the articles on the platform.

Thus, there are three actors in the process: the professor who proposes his academic articles and research; the itinerant Wikipedian, who explains to students how Wikipedia is edited and follows up; and, finally, the students who edit the web entries, previously trained to do so.

A total of 11 groups from all public universities in Madrid (Complutense University, Autonomous University, Alcalá University, Polytechnic University, Carlos III University and Rey Juan Carlos University) have participated in the project, amounting to a total of 129 students. who have been improving and/or creating Wikipedia entries. At the end of the project, in December 2021, 60 entries have successfully completed the work, complying with all the revisions of the teacher and the Wikipedian, and are already available for consultation on Wikipedia.

Professor Claes reflects that this project serves to vindicate Spanish as a language for science, "because, if science is written only in English, there will come a time when not everyone has access to it," she concludes.