Where are all the Women in Wikipedia?

Wikipedia logo assembled piece by piece created by Giulia Forsythe.
Wikipedia. Created by giulia.forsythe

How many times did you consult Wikipedia in the last month, week or even today? Once, twice maybe more? Perhaps you saw that Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka recently won the 2021 Australian Open, googled her and stumbled across her Wikipedia page only to realize that hours later you were stuck in a Wiki rabbit hole learning about the “first widespread animation device that created a fluent illusion of motion”, the phenakistiscope. For whatever the reason, the English Wikipedia, and its over 6 million articles, is a gold mine of information, but not for all topics.  

The Gender Gap

There is a severe Gender Bias in Wikipedia, which manifests itself in multiple forms: most contributors are men, most biographies are about men, concepts that are of interest to women have less coverage, and articles written by women or about women are consistently questioned over those articles written by men or about men. Wikipedia has a Gender Bias toward Women. Despite these gaps, however, there are numerous projects that are working to help address them and offer more diverse coverage of subjects on and about Women.  

Female symbol. Created by Gustavb

Women in Red WikiProject 

The WikiProject, Women in Red, seeks to increase the number of biographies on Women in Wikipedia by transforming red links (links without a Wikipedia article) into blue links (links with a Wikipedia article.). Additionally, Women in Red seeks to increase the visibility of Women by adding Creative Commons licenses photographs to Wikimedia Commons that can then be used in Wikipedia articles or outside of the Wikimedia projects.  

Women WikiProject 

The Women WikiProject group’s goal is to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of subjects pertaining to women and invites contributions from people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, geographic locations and backgrounds to participate.  

Art+Feminism 

Art+Feminism is an international community that “strives to close the information gap about gender, feminism, and the arts on the internet.” The community is responsible for many edit-a-thons focused on closing these gaps in Wikipedia.    

Les Sans PagEs 

Et en français there is the Les sans PagEs group, that is dedicated to turning red (dead) links into blue (functional) links in pages about women, feminism, and other underrepresented subjects . The Les sans PagEs group intersects with the Women in Red WikiProject and the Art+Feminism group by expanding the work on the Francophone Wikipedia.  

How you can contribute! 

Contributing to Wikipedia is open to all! You do not have to be anybody special to correct, change or create entries in Wikipedia.  There are many ways to contribute: 

  1. Adding references (citations) to existing Wikipedia articles 
  1. Correcting punctuation in existing Wikipedia articles 
  1. Expanding and adding content (sections, paragraphs, etc.) to existing Wikipedia articles 
  1. Translating existing Wikipedia articles into other languages 
  1. Illustrating Wikipedia articles with Creative Commons licensed images 
  1. Creating a new Wikipedia article from the scratch 

Interested in learning how to contribute? Join me for an introductory workshop on contributing to Wikipedia on Tuesday 9 March 2021 from 12:00 to 13:00Registration required. The workshop will be given via the Zoom platform and will focus on contributing to the English-language Wikipedia. 

Can’t make it to the workshop? Wikipedia has numerous resources that can help you self-teach on how to contribute.  

For more information contact hssl.library@mcgill.ca.  

Redpath Book Display: Privacy, Surveillance, and Big Data

There has been a proliferation of writing in the last decade or so about Big Tech, Big Data, privacy and surveillance issues, and the societal impacts of algorithms, AI, and social media monopolies, and for good reason. As Silicon Valley continues to significantly influence and shape how we live, work, and communicate with each other, we must think critically about the rise and concentration of these corporate powers. How much of our lives are truly private and what does this mean for how we lead our lives? What are our data privacy rights and how is our information being used? The books on this month’s book display examine these questions and much more. Visit the virtual Redpath Book Display to browse print books, e-books, and documentaries on a wide range of subjects in this area.

See also the Privacy Resources LibGuide to discover tools to enable better privacy practices in your day-to-day life, articles, websites, and more.

Data Tunnel, Pixabay

If you have any questions please email hssl.library@mcgill.ca.

McGill Films 101

Why procrastinate with Netflix when McGill offers 7 other streaming services for you! Here is a guide with tips on how to navigate the wonderful world of film and documentaries available to students. 

The Audio and Visual Materials guide is your first stop to accessing these services. You can also check out the Self-Isolation Care Package Films page for some top picks. 

For a super easy login, just have your McGill username and password on hand when prompted.


FILM ON DEMAND: 

This service is mostly focused on documentaries and has a variety of topics to choose from! If you want to dive deeper on a topic you learned in class, or simply get some trivia facts this is for you.


AVON (Academic Video Online):

The collection tab separates the content by academic focus and there’s plenty to choose from. This service is perfect for finding a great documentary or an interesting source for a paper. 


KANOPY: 

A gem! This platform has many documentaries and films to teach you a little something about the world.


CRITERION ON-DEMAND: 

While you need a VPN to login it is well worth it! McGill IT* has the easy steps here. Once you’re connected to the McGill Server you can access the platform as normal with your McGill credentials. Criterion-on-demand has award-winning films and cult-classics, you are guaranteed to find a movie you’ll enjoy. 

*If you’re stuck you can reach the IT Service desk who will guide you! 


NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA (NFB): 

The National Film Board of Canada has thousands of titles if you’d like to watch wonderful stories but don’t have that much time. 


CANCORE: 

Support independent filmmakers with Cancore! Enjoy a wide access of Canadian films including resources relevant to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Studies.


DRAMA ONLINE: 

This one is for all the theatre kids. Filmed performances of plays include the National Theatre, London; at the Globe Theatre; and Shakespeare’s history plays. In order to access the video recordings, be sure to click the video box!


HAPPY STREAMING!

If you have any questions, feel free to email hssl.library@mcgill.ca for additional help.