“Learning how to edit and create Wikipedia pages was such a joy because my efforts were put towards a cause I deeply care about.” *



When Dr. Donna Strickland was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2018 (the first woman to to win the award in Physics in 55 years), the public flocked to Wikipedia to learn more about her career. But the first few were disappointed – before the announcement, she didn’t have a Wikipedia biography.

Only 18% of Wikipedia biographies are about women. According to Wikipedia’s notability and sourcing guidelines, in order to warrant an article a person must receive coverage in secondary sources. But women and underrepresented scientists are covered less in the media and journalists approach them less often for interviews. It’s cyclical: When it comes to public perceptions of whether someone is important, not having a Wikipedia biography weighs into that judgement.


How can I help?

While women and underrepresented scientists face a variety of barriers to inclusion on Wikipedia, the biggest barrier remains the simplest one: if no one takes the time to create the Wikipedia biography, it won’t exist.

The American Physical Society (APS) is committed to closing Wikipedia’s gender gap, which means bolstering the site with new biographies for women, non-binary people, scientists of color, and other underrepresented identities. In this Wiki Scientists course, 15 selected APS members will participate in an in-depth, structured Wikipedia training, giving them the dedicated time and support they need to join the open knowledge movement.

Let’s work together to make sure scientists like Dr. Strickland are represented in the largest collection of free knowledge worldwide.


Course details

Enrollment closes January 10th

  • Course dates: February 10 – May 1, 2020 (12 weeks). A meeting time will be determined via the registration form based on registrants’ shared availability.
  • Time commitment per week: 1 hour virtual, collaborative meeting; 2 additional hours of independent work
  • Goal: Create or improve Wikipedia biographies about 2 notable physicists
  • Eligibility: There are 15 seats available in this course. Participants will be selected by the Committee on Informing the Public and Wiki Education. There will be a waitlist for those who are not selected for this round.



Up to ten full-ride scholarships are available to candidates who are able to show potential for impact beyond the course to the selection committee. We encourage you to apply for a scholarship when you register below. For those seeking to cover the cost using professional development funds, we’re happy to work with you to provide your department or organization with more information about the course. The full cost of this course is $750. If your institution, a grant, or other funding is available to cover your tuition for this course, your application will be preferred and we will accept a limited number on a first come, first served basis. Contact samantha@wikiedu.org with any questions.




Why a virtual course?

Adding to Wikipedia is a powerful, high-impact way to amplify your impact on your field and on public knowledge. But the barriers for entry into the “Wikipedia ecosystem” deter many scholars whose voices are missing. Wiki Education staff will reduce those barriers in this course and facilitate a supportive space that resembles a writing group.


Expectations of participants

  • Must be a member of the American Physical Society.
  • No experience with Wikipedia is required or expected.
  • Available for virtual meetings on Zoom, weekly for one hour.
  • Participants commit 3 hours/week, including a one-hour weekly class and independent work.
  • Participants will make significant contributions to at least two Wikipedia pages by the end of the course.
  • Participants must have access to the internet and a computer.
  • Participants will fill out short surveys at the beginning and end of the course, and select participants will get the opportunity to be featured on Wiki Education’s blog.


Success stories

Dr. Claire Jarvis noticed that a prominent chemist was missing a biography, so she created one for her. Read more…

When Samantha Kao learned that roughly 80-85% of Wikipedia editors are white men and only about 17% of Wikipedia biographies feature women, she knew she had to do something. Read more…

Karen Kwon saw our course as an opportunity to act as a counterbalancing force to the ways women (specifically in STEM fields) are discredited. Read more…



If the above course time doesn’t work, please fill out the form below to receive updates on future course opportunities. Direct any questions here or to samantha@wikiedu.org.

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