SLLG Edit-a-Thon: 18 January 2020

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In July 2019 I attended the “Introduction to Wikipedia for Librarians” event organised by SLLG.  I was interested to read about the January 2020 follow up session in the form of a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon focussing on Scottish Law.  This event formed part of the Wikipedia Campaign “1lib1ref” that runs twice a year, and is designed to engage more librarians with Wikipedia.

This event was marketed at any SLLG members:

  • With an interest in Wikipedia
  • Who use or are interested in quality Scottish Legal Information.
  • Who had a few hours that could be dedicated to CPD
  • Who had a liking for cake

As I ticked some of the boxes I decided to be a participant in what was a highly informative and interesting afternoon.

Dr Sara Thomas, Scotland Programme Coordinator for Wikimedia UK, offered us an enthusiastic and informal re-introduction to some of the basics on Wikimedia, an explanation of what information can be found in a Wikipedia entry and how anyone can edit Wikipedia.  Sara explained the basic guidelines behind creating and editing Wiki pages such as the need for a neutral point of view, the use of reliable sources for your information and that there is no conflict of interest.

The training venue at Central Library, Edinburgh offered a friendly relaxed environment. Both representatives (and organisers) from SLLG, Katharine and Kirstie, ensured there were plenty refreshments available throughout the day.  Sara had constructed a dedicated Wikipedia page for the event.

SLLG Edit-a-Thon Event Page

Katharine and Kirstie had invested a great deal of time and effort in gathering books and information that could be used to edit and improve existing Law related Wikipedia pages. These were included in the dedicated page link shown above.

After an informal morning of instruction the participants set about working individually and in small groups to create some new pages and edit existing pages. The topics created or edited were: Delict, Lady Paton, Lady Rae, Kirsty Hood (still in draft) and Women in Law in the United Kingdom.  In total the small group completed 56 edits to 5 articles, totalling 605 words added, and 10 references. Within one week of the event  2200 people had looked at those articles since we improved them.  So it most certainly was worth the effort of those that attended on a Saturday.

Some of the attendees intend continuing to practice what they learned. On a personal note I valued the time spent with the trainer and the other attendees. Thanks to Kirstie and Katharine for their efforts.

Sharron Wilson


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