Submissions/Promoting diversity in the German Wikipedia

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This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

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Submission no. 
3043
Subject no. 
B12
Title of the submission
Promoting gender diversity in Wikipedia as a delicate balancing act: current research and development in Germany
Type of submission
presentation
Author of the submission
Ilona Buchem
Country of origin
Germany
Affiliation
Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Germany
E-mail address
buchem@beuth-hochschule.de
Username
Ilona Buchem (Beuth)
Personal homepage or blog
http://ibuchem.wordpress.com/
Your contribution

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Slides

Slides can be viewed and downloaded here:
http://www.slideshare.net/ibuchem/wikipedia-diversity-25097396

Abstract
This presentation focuses on the aims, approaches and first results of the research project - Wikipedia-Diversity (WiDi) - dedicated to fostering gender diversity in the German Wikipedia. WiDi is a collaborative project of Wikimedia Deutschland and Beuth University Berlin. Based on action research, transdisciplinarity and open innovation, WiDi develops gender diversity guidelines and gender-diversity action plans, designs and implements specific actions aimed at enhancing welcoming culture, diversity awareness among wikipedians and participation of female editors. Promoting gender diversity is however a delicate balancing act of acknowledging autonomy, introducing change and mediating conflicts. The guiding question is the effectiveness of promoting gender diversity in Wikipedia.
Detailed proposal

Wikipedia-Diversity (WiDi) is a new research and development project of Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) and Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Germany, Gender and Technology Center (GUTZ). The project started at the beginning of 2013 and is dedicated to fostering gender diversity in the German Wikipedia. Based on action research, transdisciplinarity and open innovation, WiDi develops gender diversity guidelines and gender-diversity action plans, designs and implements specific actions aimed at enhancing a welcoming culture, diversity awareness among wikipedians and participation of female editors.

Action research is used as an overarching methodology based on iterative cycles of inquiry with four stages: analyse (define action), design (plan action), implement (take action) and reflect (evaluate action). This approach aims at participatory problem-solving and double-loop learning, in which multiple stakeholders critically examine the appropriateness of actions and goals. Combined with transdisciplinary inquiry and open innovation, this approach integrates diverse forms of research to promote social change. The central idea of open innovation is the inward and outward transfer of ideas, skills and knowledge allowing for a wider participation in problem-solving.

Based on the extensive literature review and brainstorming sessions with the representatives of Wikimedia including active German wikipedians, the action plan of the WiDi project specifies the goal structure and the open innovation matrix defining formats and stakeholders to be involved in promoting gender-diversity in the German Wikipedia on different levels of innovative openness. The key three strategic goals for the action plan include:

(1) Establishing a sustainable welcoming culture in the German Wikipedia. This goal encompasses a number of subgoals, i.e. (a) promoting an open mindset, (b) promoting a positive feedback-culture, (c) promoting communication skills focusing on feedback-giving/feedback-takings and conflict resolution skills.

(2) Developing an effective communication concept defining the role of gender diversity for the quality of Wikipedia and the impact on the democracy of knowledge. This goal encompasses a number of subgoals, i.e. (a) re-/defining gender diversity in collaborative, open projects such as Wikipedia, (b) positioning gender diversity as a factor contributing to the quality of Wikipedia, (c) finding evidence about the impact of gender diversity on the quality of Wikipedia.

(3) Designing motivation systems to enhance sustainable welcoming culture and awareness of gender diversity impact on the quality of Wikipedia. This goal encompasses a number of subgoals, i.e. (a) retaining existing (female) editors focusing on the welcoming culture, (b) attracting new (female) editors focusing on improving the image of Wikipedia, (c) improving the cooperation between core wikipedian and newcomers.

The open innovation matrix is based on these three key strategic goals and the subgoals and proposes open innovation formats and stakeholder groups to be involved in order to help achieve these goals. The open innovation approach envisages engaging diverse stakeholders in co-creation of solutions addressing the digital gender gap at various degrees of innovation openness, i.e. (i) open innovation - 1st stage, which is an open call for participation in the initial phase of conceptualisation (e.g. open, joint idea generation in the Wikipedia community), (ii) open innovation - 2nd stage, which is a selected call for participation in the mid term phase of development (e.g. ideas are generated inside the project with selected stakeholders and are communicated to the Wikipedia community inviting feedback and suggestions for improvement which are considered as input for the development of actions), (iii) open innovation - 3rd stage, which is a closed call for participation in the final stage of development (e.g. ideas and actions are developed internally and are communicated to the Wikipedia community at the final stage to discuss their feasibility). The selection of the appropriate degree of innovation openness is topic-oriented, combining an incremental case-by-case approach with a more structured, strategic process.

The presentation will introduce the general approach, the goal structure and the open innovation matrix of the WiDi project in more detail, giving examples to illustrate the guiding principles and the action plan. The intention is to engage the audience in the discussion about the effectiveness of the WiDi approach and related approaches to promoting gender diversity in Wikipedia. The WiDi approach is targeted strongly towards promoting a welcoming and inclusive culture. This is however a delicate balancing act of acknowledging community autonomy and self-policing, introducing change and mediating conflicts of interest. The guiding question for the discussion is the effectiveness of promoting gender diversity in Wikipedia.

Track
  • WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk
25 minutes
Language of presentation/talk
English
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
yes
Slides or further information (optional)
This abstract is submitted on behalf of the research and development project - Wikipedia-Diversity (WiDi) - a collaborative project of Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) and Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Germany, Gender and Technology Center (GUTZ). The project started at the beginning of 2013. To find out more visit the German website: http://projekt.beuth-hochschule.de/wikimedia/
Special requests
None


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  1. Haven't heard about this until now. Looking forward to it! SarahStierch (talk) 02:33, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
  2. LeslieCarr (talk) 18:22, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
  3. Atropine (talk) 13:22, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
  4. --Matthias Süßen (talk) 15:11, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
  5. Cornelia Trefflich (WMDE) (talk) 16:57, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
  6. Add your username here.
  7. Vera (talk) 20:31, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  8. --Netha Hussain (talk) 01:38, 9 August 2013 (UTC)