An edit-a-thon (French: journées contributives, wikithon) or (Wikipedia) writing session is a workshop where participants amend articles on Wikipedia, Wikidata or other Wikimedia platforms. Edit-a-thons are organised in collaboration with cultural institutions (GLAMs), educational institutions, heritage, other organisations, or without any collaboration. Edit-a-thons are typically organised on Wikipedia and about a specific theme. A subject list is compiled, possibly made available through ListeriaBot.
Edit-a-thons are often used to introduce organisations and their staff to edit Wikipedia and to share knowledge with a wider audience through Wikimedia platforms.
Edit-a-thons are generally open to the external public, who are invited via an announcement of the activity in the network of the organisation. Edit-a-thons that are only accessible to staff of the institution, are technically the same as open edit-a-thons, but are referred to as an internal Wikipedia workshop. For both public edit-a-thons and internal workshops for staff, Wikimedia Belgium provides guidance and support. We look for experienced Wikipedia editors to explain how Wikipedia works and help with questions and the editing.
Organising an edit-a-thon is a way to make knowledge accessible to a wider audience. Activities can be organised periodically, internal or as a wiki club or wiki café where a group of editors periodically come together.
We recommend the following preparations before the edit-a-thon starts:
- Have a location, and think about how participants can access offline sources like books and magazines.
- In Wikipedia both online and offline sources can be used.
- Make sure there is Wi-Fi with sufficient capacity.
- If unsure: Wikimedia Belgium has a mobile router available.
- Create a Wikipedia project page for your activity.
- Choose a topic.
- Have someone from Wikimedia Belgium who can give an introduction in Wikipedia and Wikimedia, send an e-mail to infowikimedia.be.
- Create a project page on the wiki of Wikimedia Belgium (this wiki) to document the organisational aspects of the edit-a-thon. To easily create a project page, visit project page and use the box to create one and fill in the page.
- Send out an announcement to the public. (Please contact Wikimedia Belgium before announcing an edit-a-thon.)
An edit-a-thon takes multiple hours; the program can have the following structure:
- Introduction to Wikipedia and Wikimedia
- Have everyone sign up on the project page on Wikipedia with their user name (pseudonym).
- Lunch (optional)
- Tour through collection or archive (optional)
During the day the organiser(s) make sure that all written articles are linked on the activity page on Wikipedia so there is an overview of all the output. This is needed to determine the metrics of the edit-a-thon. The Campaign and events tool should be used.
- It is on Wikipedia not allowed to write about your own organisation, your boss, yourself, or your family. You can however write about the collection or knowledge you have or work with as organisation.
Examples of edit-a-thons:
- Edit-a-thon Vorst December 2017
- GenderGap edit-a-thon March 2018
- Amnesty edit-a-thon May 2018
- Women in Tech edit-a-thon October 2018
- Wikidata workshop 2018
- Public domain day edit-a-thon 2019 in the Royal Library of Belgium
- Hack The Gender Gap edit-a-thon January 2019
Other projects that included writing session:
- Wiki Club Brussels (biweekly writing sessions)
- Wikify het Theaterfestival!
- Mois de la contribution 2018
- Just For The Record
- ( ) Wikipedia:How to run an edit-a-thon in the English Wikipedia
- ( ) Wikipedia:Edit-a-thon in the Dutch Wikipedia
- ( ) Wikipédia:Journées contributives in the French Wikipedia
- How to organise an edit-a-thon on Outreach wiki
- The Europeana Fashion Edit-a-thon Handbook for GLAMs (archived)