How to set up your own Wiki edit-a-thon hub


Tips from Wikipedia

Be sure to define a clear set of goals in terms of what general group of articles you want to work on and who you want to attend. For example, the Digital Science London Hub will be focusing on the wiki backlog especially focused on Women in Science, whereas the GirlsCode in Milton Keynes will be focused on Women in Tech. You can also make your topic a bit more broad, like women’s history or items in the collection of a science museum that were invented by women and need to be added to or updated, or you can target a specific backlog.

Make a list for your participants and be prepared with a list of things that need work or attention. Even if that isn’t what gets worked on, it can help generate ideas.


Find a venue

Find out how many people your venue can hold and limit the number of signups to that number. Of course, make sure your venue has internet access.


What’s needed?

Ask participants to bring their own laptops, or if the venue has computers, consider the following when deciding on how to incorporate them into your event:

  • Do attendees need access to accounts/passwords? Does anything need to be done in advance?
  • Think about access to the venue and registering your attendees if that is a venue requirement.
  • What browser is used, and does it play nicely with Wikipedia?
  • If participants will be bringing devices, consider:
  • Does the venue have wifi? Can it cope with the expected number of users?

What accounts or passwords do you need to access wifi?

  • If the wifi has a single password, post a sign with the details and check that you can see the sign from the farthest point of the room.
  • If the wifi requires you to have individual accounts, then have slips of paper and hand them out to each person as they arrive.
  • Can people use power sockets? Do you need extension cables?

Recruit active Wikipedia editors and research experts

Edit-a-thons go most smoothly when experienced editors are there to help new editors. One-on-one coaching is ideal, and one longtime Wikipedian per 10 attendees is a bare minimum. Coaches should also apply in advance for Wikipedia:IP block exemption and Wikipedia: Event coordinator, to be ready for problems that may arise. Connecting with a local Wikimedia affiliate or chapter provides access to support, expertise and promotion.

It can also help to include people who aren’t experienced with Wikipedia, but are good at teaching information literacy. Librarians, for example, can teach about finding reliable sources and help build Wikipedia experience at libraries.


Get in touch with us!

Digital Science is facilitating the event, so if you’re thinking of setting up your own hub send us an email with your hub topic idea and location to Katy Alexander via