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Edit Something on Wikipedia

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Welcome to Quickbyte #5, Edit Something on Wikipedia!

What

Wikipedia-logo.pngWell hello, I doubt I have to explain what Wikipedia is! It's only the most humongous site on the internet. It is likely the largest collection of knowledge ever assembled, and is certainly the most widely accessible. 

Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous volunteers. All edits to pages are live immediately. This creates a unique, living reference site that is surprisingly reliable and free to anyone all over the world.

Why

I hear about collaborating content experts and I can't help but think of Extension! 

I'm sure you've heard the old "Publish or Perish" saying. This article, Publish in Wikipedia or Perish, is about a peer-reviewed journal that requires authors to add a Wikipedia article summarizing their journal article. Interesting idea!

Improving the quality of or creating articles on the web in your field is as easy as a few clicks. Read on to find out how!

How

Register

You don't have to register to edit a page on Wikipedia--you can edit most any page on the site anonymously. But I think it's possible that your contributions could connect you with others interested in your field, and it would be nice if they could find you! Rightly or wrongly, you are seen as more credible if you are logged in behind a username. Also, if you are logged in, you can click the star icon on an article to show any changes since your edit.

Five Pillars

Part of what makes Wikipedia so great are its Five Pillars. These simply and quickly lay out the ground rules for editing: keep it factual, civil, neutral, flexible, and open.

Version Control

Wikipedia has 'version control,' meaning that all versions of the page are saved and can be reverted to. Should the page be mistakenly edited (vandalized) or just edited by an inexperienced contributor, it is never permanent. Any other contributor can revert it back.

If edits you make to an article are rolled back, don't take it too personally. Take it as a teachable moment, and ask the editor who reverted your changes for advice. To prevent this from happening often, include a short sentence in the 'edit summary' box before you submit, and edit pages while logged in.

How to Edit

Editing articles on Wikipedia is really quite easy!

Each Wikipedia article has tabs on it: Article, Discussion, View History,and Edit. Click on "Edit." You will see the article as it looks in what is called "wiki markup" language. Don't be alarmed! Just take your time and you will see what is going on. It's not like you're starting a page from scratch--just look at what is there and edit it. 

Wikipedia can be intimidating. Don't be afraid to ask for help on Wikipedia's help pages or right here on QuickBytes!

Just remember, if 100,000 other people have figured out how to be active editors, you can do it too.

Assignment

  1. Look through this tutorial,  How to Edit a Wikipedia Page
  2. Visit the QuickBytes Wikipedia Sandbox and TRY EDITING!
  3. Please leave a comment on the blog or a social media channel letting us know how you liked this QuickByte!

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