The OII has been recognised as Educational Institution of the Year at the “UK Wikimedian of the Year” awards held on 12 May 2012 at the Science Museum, London. The UK Wikimedian of the Year is an annual award given by Wikimedia UK to thank those in the UK or abroad who have helped the UK Wikimedia movement, honouring volunteers and institutions who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help bring open knowledge to all.
The award was made largely in recognition of the work by OII Research Fellow Dr Mark Graham, in particular his efforts to map and visualise Wikipedia data, as well as his work focusing on Africa, a high priority for Wikimedia UK in completing their mission to share the world’s information.
Roger Bamkin, a Wikimedia UK trustee said: “Not many educational institutions realise that some universities are including Wikipedia in their curriculum or that Wikimedia UK collaborates with leading institutions like the OII. We hope to see next years finalists at our EduWiki conference in Leicester on 6-7th of September – which is looking for papers that show what we can achieve together.”
Dr Mark Graham said: “Wikipedia is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, and is both a mirror and shaper of events. It is particularly important for people in the developing world due to the lack of alternative resources. Wikipedia is good at telling us what it knows, but not great at telling us what it doesn’t: some events and places are well represented, some highly contested, and some not represented at all. What we are trying to do at the OII is make some of these biases and gaps more apparent.”
Ongoing work at the OII is aiming to shed light on the incorporation of new users and information into the Wikipedia community, with research focusing on how new users are perceived, represented, and incorporated into the community, and how, and to what extent, knowledge is shared between various language editions. Dr Mark Graham and OII Research Fellow Dr Bernie Hogan are also leading a project that is using Wikipedia to explore the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the side, in representations of the Arab world online.
Wikimedia UK is the Wikimedia chapter for the UK. It works to support, develop and promote Wikimedia Foundation projects, such as Wikipedia. It does this by bringing together the Wikimedia community and by building links with UK-based cultural institutions, universities, charities and other bodies. The Wikimedia Foundation’s projects include Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikibooks, Wikispecies, Wikiversity and Wikimedia Commons. Wikipedia is the largest reference work ever created. It’s the sixth most visited website in the world, attracting around 480 million unique visitors every month.