Edit-a-thon to expand presence of women in liberal arts on Wikipedia

Transylvania University on March 2 will host its third annual Liberal Arts + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon.

Participants will edit entries on the popular online encyclopedia to expand the presence of women in liberal arts fields—from business to writing to science. The event also empowers more women to be editors on the platform.

The public is encouraged to attend the Edit-a-thon from 1-5 p.m. in the library’s Dugi Academic Center for Excellence.

The university will offer tutorials for beginning Wikipedians—and faculty, librarians and students will offer support to the editors and article creators throughout the process. Plus, free snacks and coffee will help fuel the writing.

“This year we are hoping to continue to grow the Edit-a-thon and bring more members of the Transy and Lexington communities together to help create more recognition for women and trans/non-binary folks on Wikipedia in a wide variety of fields,” said Emily Goodman, a co-organizer and assistant professor of art history.

The impact of the previous two Edit-a-thons has been significant. For instance, the articles edited or created at last year’s event alone were viewed 2.72 million times within the following month.

The event also is a learning opportunity for students. Faculty from across campus integrate the Edit-a-thon into their courses in the form of various assignments or extra credit opportunities.

“We have found that the project helps students to understand new forms of collaborative work, develop a new appreciation for scholarship and research methods, and cultivate a sense of ownership and activism on a digital platform,” said Kerri Hauman, co-organizer and assistant professor of writing, rhetoric and communication.