Postdoc position in Women and Wikipedia

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: PartTime
Deadline: 06 Jul 2022

Wikipedia has transformed the way in which information is produced and distributed through open collaboration but doubts have been raised about how decentralized, flexible and open these new opportunities are, given that they are generated within a pre-existing economic, social, and political model.

Wikipedia has content policies such as neutral point of view, no original research, and verifiability which might pose difficulties to several collectives in order to reach access to the public sphere and include their contribution to knowledge construction in the encyclopaedia. Despite its undeniable achievement in terms of multilingualism and multiculturalism, Wikipedia does not yet sufficiently reflect the diversity of cultures and knowledge, though it seeks to do so. Moreover, it is well known that Wikipedia suffers from a strong and persistent gender bias. This issue has been raised both in the community involved in the editing process (most editors are men) as well as in its available content (biographies of men outnumber those of women and tend to be more extensive).

The aim of the project is that future generations will learn from a plurality of points of view specifically the ones produced with a gender perspective.

As Wikipedia is the most used educational resource among students, that is why our actions go in the direction of reducing the gender gap in this platform.

Our interest is particularly directed at women that stand on the margins of the hegemonic public sphere.

We will work with public libraries in Barcelona and Bogotá, that share our aspirations of social change, in specific areas of the city and specific collectives such as young women. We will assess the capability of transforming Wikipedia, in the sense of persisting, finding spaces for changing, socializing, helping each other and fighting for their public presence.

We will provide a list of best sources of information and alternatives to ground the notability criteria for female biographies. We will also provide a report for the journalist professional associations to make awareness of the consequences of the gender gap on mainstream press mainly to Wikipedia and henceforth to education.

We will create a detector for misconducts and the generation of an interactive self-detecting tool of good and bad practices, with tips for improving behaviours which can generate better atmosphere and collaboration among editors, and minimised the harsh environment which has been denounced by women.

Another area where the impact is sought is on the Wikimedia 2030 Movement strategy. The fieldwork of this proposal is clearly people-centred with editors and with different entities inside Wikipedia which are working to improve the experience in the community specifically for women.

Our research will provide accuracy to the needed changes in order to reach the maximum impact on the gender gap reduction with improvements to design better user-friendly tools, creating safer spaces and facilitating positive interactions.

Throughout the project, and as results are obtained, academic texts will be produced, with the intention of both presenting them in conferences and publishing with academic impact. We foresee eight academic papers.

We have planned several outputs for dissemination such as a motion graphic to raise public awareness of the gender gap in Wikipedia and the consequences of women not having access to the digital public sphere upon educational resources.

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