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UC hosts first NZ Wikipedian in Residence

‘Wikipedian in Residence’ Mike Dickison, is being hosted at the University of Canterbury (UC) as he’s spreading the word around the country about how to use and develop Wikipedia.

An entomologist, museum curator and Aotearoa New Zealand's first ‘Wikipedian at Large’, Dr Dickison is being hosted by the UC Arts Digital Lab until 7 June.

While Dr Dickison is resident at the University of Canterbury he will run a number of events for students, staff and the general public. He will also work with the UC Arts Digital Lab on a project to curate the Wikipedia presence of the residential red zone.

Since the 2010-11 Canterbury earthquakes, the Arts Digital Lab has been archiving video, audio, documents and images related to the earthquakes and their aftermath and has recently produced the Red Zone Stories mobile phone app to record and share stories, memories and hopes for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor. Dr Dickison will assist in creating an article on the residential red zone, adding images to the Wiki commons and adding a layer of Wikidata.

Dr Dickison is available to meet staff and students who have questions about Wikipedia, especially its use in the University as a research tool, and the possibility of assigning Wikipedia articles, instead of essays, for student as assessment. Wikipedia results and previews dominate Google search results, so a university that wants to communicate its research needs to be developing a Wikipedia strategy, he says.

While resident at the University of Canterbury, Dr Dickison will be speaking at a number of public events:

How do we get New Zealand artists into Wikipedia? Tue 14 May, 5pm-6pm, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, cnr Worcester Boulevard and Montreal Street, Christchurch, free entry, Wikipedia:Meetup/Christchurch/NZ Artists, More info
How to vandalise Wikipedia Fri 17 May, 1pm-2pm, A1 Lecture Theatre, University of Canterbury, Ilam, Christchurch, free entry, More info
From Popper to Ruby Rose: image copyrights in the age of Wikipedia, Fri 7 June, 12noon- 1pm, A3 Lecture Theatre, University of Canterbury, Ilam, Christchurch, free entry, More info

NZ Artists edit-a-thon, Sun 19 May, 12noon-5pm, Christchurch Art Gallery, Wikipedia:Meetup/Christchurch/NZ Artists
Hands-on Wikipedia workshop, Mon 20 May, 1pm-4pm, 388 Puaka-James Hight Library, University of Canterbury, Ilam campus, Christchurch, (for UC staff and students) More info
NZ Writers edit-a-thon (8 or 9 June TBC) Wikipedia:Meetup/Christchurch/NZ Writers

As the New Zealand Wikipedian at Large from July 2018 to June 2019, Dr Dickison is funded by a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation to help Aotearoa New Zealand organisations and people to engage with Wikipedia and open knowledge. Since July, he has travelled from Northland to Invercargill, and has been based at Auckland Museum, New Zealand Geographic, the National Library of New Zealand, Landcare Research, and Otago Museum, where he ran public events such as ‘edit-a-thons’ and helped those institutions move their collections and information onto Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is the fifth most popular site on the internet, with 70 million visitors a day. Wikipedia exists in 301 languages, with 5.6 million articles in English alone. Ad-free, Wikipedia is the only site in the top 100 run by a non-profit charity. As well as Wikipedia, Dr Dickison will be talking about Wikimedia Commons, an image library of over 53 million freely-usable photographs, and Wikidata, a new project to create a computer-readable ‘card catalogue’ for Wikipedia.

For more on the new Red Zone Stories app created by the UC Arts Digital Lab see: Canterbury researchers launch red zone story app

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