Group of interdisciplinary scholars to learn how to edit Wikipedia

“I have come to realize that the pursuit of knowledge can be undertaken by an individual, but it can only be advanced in partnership with others,” says Dr. Rebecca Dew, a recent participant in our professional development course. Dr. Dew learned how to edit Wikipedia’s content related to mid-term election topics. The opportunity to collaborate with other scholars, learn valuable technical skills, and directly inform the public was for her a once in a lifetime opportunity.

New courses of Wikipedia Fellows have begun this fall. These groups of interdisciplinary scholars will collaborate across disciplines to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of a variety of topics, ultimately making the site’s information more representative, accurate, and complete. Some are drawn to participate in the course to gain a better understanding of a resource that their students use all the time. Others are interested in Wikipedia as a forum of digital scholarship. Some want to give back to the site after having learned so much from it. All will learn valuable digital literacy skills, gain an intimate knowledge of how knowledge is produced on the site, and get to work with a diverse group of passionate scholars to ultimately improve Wikipedia’s knowledge.

Meet our latest Wikipedia Fellows working on interdisciplinary topics!

American Chemical Society

Robert Oldak is a Principal Scientist at Vesuvius USA.

Association for Psychological Science

Brooke Auxier is a PhD candidate in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is interested in improving public access to academic and peer-reviewed research, and is specifically interested in improving articles on mis- and dis-information, social media platforms, journalism and news consumption, and social science theories, like uses and gratification theory, human-information interaction theory, social cognitive theory, signaling theory, trust, graph theory, and social network analysis.

David Simpson is a Professor of Psychology at Carroll University (Waukesha, WI), about to retire after 4 decades of teaching. His doctorate is in Social Psychology but the last decade he has been an active blogger with research interests in Social Media and Brain Fitness Training. His interest in this course was originally triggered by a calling from the then President of the Association for Psychological Science to improve Wikipedia articles dealing with psychological topics. He is presently incorporating Wikipedia assignments into his Swan Song Social Psychology course with 11 students.

Deep Carbon Observatory

Donato Giovannelli is a microbiologist at the Institute of Marine Biological and Biotechnological Resources of the Italian National Research Council and an affiliated scientist at the Earth-Life Science Institute in Tokyo and Rutgers University, USA. He is interested in how life co-evolved with our planet and he is using model microorganisms from extreme environments in an attempt to reconstruct the emergence and evolution of metabolism and better understand the interplay between the biosphere and the geosphere. As Wikipedia Fellow, he aims to improve Wikipedia articles in his primary field of study and plans to incorporate Wikipedia editing assignments into his future classes.

Linguistic Society of America

Jonathan Howell is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Montclair State University. In addition to his scholarship within linguistics, he has also published on the topic of scientific literacy instruction. Misconceptions about language persist in our society with negative social consequences, such as the idea that some varieties of English are inferior; Jonathan plans to update articles related to the scientific foundations of linguistics.

National Communication Association

Anna Klyueva is Assistant Professor of Communication and Public Relations at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Her research focus is on international strategic communication, public diplomacy, and media transparency. Participation in the Wikipedia Fellows program is an opportunity to contribute expert knowledge to this critical public resource. Upon completion of the program, equipped with experience and editing expertise, Anna plans to integrate Wikipedia assignments into her classes.

Doug Okuniewicz is a graduate student studying communications at the University of Alabama. He is interested in updating communication-related articles to include recent research that examines the application of communication theory in light of electronically mediated communication practices.

Yusaku Yajima is a dissertation research fellow of Communication Studies with emphases on critical intercultural communication and critical theory/pedagogy at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, a visiting scholar at University of Helsinki, a contributing author at チャリツモ, and a co-founder of Bloomington Japanese/Japanese American Community. His educational goals and professional interests are rooted in social justice care and advocacy as well as in critical reflections as a site and mode of critical labor; his scholarship focuses on challenging various colonial legacies by denaturalizing modernity and decolonizing knowledge—analyzing nuanced ways in which various kinds of institutionalization impose obstructions on our be(com)ing, thinking, and speaking. As a Wikipedia Fellow, he is passionate about improving articles related to critical theory, culture and communication, and marginalized people such as “at-risk” students, people of color, refugees, undocumented immigrants, and LGBTQIA people, to name a few.

National Women’s Studies Association

Cassius Adair is a radio producer and independent scholar at Virginia Humanities, a state humanities council. He works on With Good Reason, a nationally-broadcast program that brings scholarly research to the general public. He is working on improving articles related to transgender cultural production, especially literature. He has a PhD in English from the University of Michigan.

Rebecca Yvonne Bayeck is a dual-Ph.D candidate at the Pennsylvania State University. She looks forward to improving board game related articles, and is excited to connect researchers and the general public in the process.

Lauren Thompson is the 2018-2019 Semmes Foundation Intern in Museum Studies at the McNay Art Museum. She plans to improve content related to self-identified visual artists and performers who explore gender identity as manifest in outward appearance, individual presentation, and societal perception. Lauren sees Wikipedia as an invaluable resource for visitors who are interested in learning more about LGBTQIA+ artists beyond museum walls.

To explore how you can get involved, reach out to


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