Making Wikipedia better – 1Lib1Ref at SLQ

1lib1ref logo

Image credit: Ocaasi (WMF) – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

State Library staff recently participated in the 2017 1Lib1Ref campaign, adding citations to make Wikipedia entries more reliable.

As one of the world’s largest free online reference sources, Wikipedia is a valuable source of information. While anyone can contribute content, entries do need to include citations to validate their content. The annual 1Lib1Ref campaign calls on librarians to add a reference to Wikipedia. This year the campaign ran for three weeks from 15 January and 3 February.

SLQ staff set an ambitious total of 1000 citations and exceeded it, reaching a total of 1028 on 3 February.  Worldwide the campaign generated 4,238 revisions so our effort represents almost a quarter of all citations contributed worldwide for the period 1 January 2017 to 5 February 2017. Most of the citations added by SLQ staff related to Queensland places, subjects and content.

SLQ staff

SLQ staff at the final 1lib1ref session

Information Services Librarian, Jennifer Freeman, contributed 42 citations and also submitted a new page, which was not as easy as she expected.

Jennifer explains:

“I had an interesting experience creating a new Wikipedia page about Lindsay Edward, a Victorian artist and teacher, whose mural adorns the old State Library building on William St. I had completed a reference enquiry about Lindsay five years ago. This was something I had always intended to write about for a blog post, but had never gotten around to.

After we had some training on editing Wikipedia pages, I thought I’d simply create a Wikipedia page about him that would link to the page about the old State Library building. I submitted my page to Wikipedia and it was rejected!

Our Wikipedia mentor, Kerry Raymond told me that it’s actually quite difficult to get a page accepted. I soon learned that one has to prove that the subject of the article deserves to be included. So, for an artist, you would want to list the galleries that have collected him, list his awards and so on. One mural was not enough.

So, I went back to the drawing board and did some more research. And then my page was accepted!

So what I learned was that there are certainly standards in place for Wikipedia and it’s not as easy as it looks!”

Jennifer Freeman, Librarian

Jennifer Freeman, Librarian. Image by SLQ staff.

If you’d like to know more about editing or contributing to Wikipedia, ask our experienced library staff for information about how to get started.