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Why and how to use Wikipedia for science communication

This special event, held at the International Mountain Conference in Innsbruck, introduced early career researchers to Wikipedia editing. The event showcased the utility and reach of Wikipedia as a resource and started participants off on their journey as Wikipedia editors.
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IMC Wikipedia special event banner

Summary

Wikipedia is fast becoming the public’s go-to ‘first stop shop’ for information, with many articles receiving thousands of views a day. As such, contributing to Wikipedia articles is an opportunity for highlighting the importance of mountains in the different topic areas in which we work, both through editing existing articles and creating new ones.

This interactive session presented the benefits of contributing to Wikipedia as a way of raising awareness of issues and communicating scientific research; explored existing gaps and entry-points for improving mountain- and climate-related articles in Wikipedia; and demonstrated how to get started as a Wikipedia editor. The session included several hands-on segments for participants to start editing relevant Wikipedia articles with some easy edits (using pre-prepared materials).

The session was open to everyone interested in using this exciting, readily available and impactful communication channel for highlighting existing and emerging topics and research.

All the resources from the session can be found here: Why and how to use Wikipedia for science communication

Next steps

This event is the first in a series of efforts to help those working on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and related topics in mountainous regions to increase the visibility of their work and raise awareness of climate impacts on mountains and their impact on downstream communities.

We will use the page above to share next steps for developing a community of Wikipedia editors on mountain issues. For more information and to get involved, please contact Rosie Witton.

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