A handy guide to getting set up with a Wikipedia account


Thanks for joining our Wiki Edit-a-Thon

To help you make the most of your time at our Wiki Edit-a-Thon, we’ve created this guide to help you register for a Wikipedia account in advance of the big day, and introduce you to the workspace. If you have any questions, simply bring them with you and an experienced Wikipedia editor will be able to help you at the event.

For now, simply follow the instructions, set up an account, think of some STEM superstars that you might wish to showcase, and turn up – in person or remotely! It can seem a little daunting, so if you don’t get time to do it before the event no worries.

We look forward to working with you, and hope that this will be your first step into becoming a regular contributor to diversifying the number of Wikipedia entries of our favourite unsung heroes. Thank you for joining us in celebrating diversity in STEM!


Before the Wik Edit-a-Thon you should:


  1. Set up a Wikipedia account (see instructions below!)
  2. Confirm your account by clicking on the link emailed to you
  3. Make at least five edits to existing pages, at least two days before the event (optional but recommended – see how to below)
  4. Add yourself as a participant on our Edit-a-Thon event page if you’ve not already done so
  5. Pack your laptop or tablet
  6. Pack your charger
  7. Make a list of your favourite STEM superstars, and be ready to make small edits and maybe even create some pages
  8. Share your progress via Twitter; @digitalsci @findingada #ImproveWikiDiversity

Creating your account

●      Go to

●      Click “Create account” on the top right of the page

●      Choose a username and password

●      Congratulations! You have now created your Wikipedia user account, and are an active member of the Wiki community!

●      You can access your profile by clicking on your username in the top right-hand corner of the page


Creating your profile

●      If your name is in red you don’t have a user page. Click on your username to go to your profile page

●      Creating a profile helps the community find out who you are and your areas of expertise. This could include your research experience or interests, hobbies, and languages that you speak

●      Click on the Create button

●      Type some details into the box

●      There are two modes in which you can edit a Wikipedia entry, which you can access by clicking on the pencil icon; visual, and source

wiki event 2

1.     Visual – you edit what looks like a live version of the actual page you will see

2.     Source – you edit in code, which is similar to HTML. If this is something you have never used, fear not! The easiest way to begin working in the Source editor view is to find an article that exists, go to edit it, copy the code, and paste it into the content box of your new page, where you can replace the content with your own

Once you have finished editing, click on the button to publish your changes. Your new details will have been added to your profile, and so you should be able to click on your username to see your new profile details


Add your language skills

●      A lot of Wikipedia pages are written in English. If you are multilingual, you may be able to contribute to the translation and editing of existing pages in different languages. You can add your languages and levels of competence within your profile

●      To add these in your profile, search online for ‘babel list user box’, find your language and level of competence

●      Copy the source code and paste this into your user profile. Make sure you paste this into the source editing box, and not the visual editing box

●      Remember to publish your changes

●      If, for example, you are as linguistically talented as our very own Katy Alexander, your profile page should now look like this:

Wiki event 3


Confirm yourself as a user

●      When you first start, you may be repeatedly asked to complete CAPTCHA security checks (as seen in the initial registration screen)

●      If you can do five edits and wait two days, you will become an auto-user and these should become less frequent. One way to avoid having to complete so many CAPTCHA screens on the day of the Wiki Edit-a-Thon is to do at least five edits at least two days before the event. This will help make edits on the day of the event easier. Think about small edits you can make to an article to get yourself there – even amending punctuation counts!

●      Being an auto-user means that you are now able to create new Wikipedia entries from scratch, which is a great place to be for this Wiki Edit-a-Thon!


Writing your first article

●      This Wikipedia page is a great reference article about how to create your first Wikipedia article

●      Read through this article – you will be thrilled to realise that you have already done a lot of these First Steps already!


Talk page

●     Each article has a talk page (the tab next to ‘Article’). This gives you an overview of the comments people have posted about the page and the background to any controversy around an entry. Here you can see if areas need cleaning up. It will also help you see where the consensus came from (if one was met) regarding a matter that was debated.