Wiki Scientist Program

Wiki Scientist 2021 graphicWikipedia is the fifth most popular website in the world, with more than 32 million views per day. To contribute to the advancement of physics knowledge through Wikipedia, the American Physical Society’s Wiki Scientist Courses train physicists in editing and updating Wikipedia pages. By sharing their expertise as leaders in the field, course participants improve the public’s access to physics knowledge and elevate the accomplishments of marginalized groups within physics. These courses are also an opportunity for participants to grow as leaders and communicators in engaging the physics community and general audiences.


Featured Course: Learn to Leverage Wikidata for High Quality Science

Join the APS Wikidata Institute course this summer and discover how to use this powerful tool to share scientific information with the public.

In the APS Wikidata Institute, participants will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays for three weeks via Zoom from July 19-August 4, 2022, to learn how to contribute scientific information and references to Wikidata.

When you Google a topic or ask Alexa a question, the answer you get often comes from Wikidata, the structured open data repository that makes Wikipedia machine readable. Wikidata represents a powerful opportunity for getting high quality science out to the public. Sometimes the information you get from Wikidata is great, but it’s only as good as the databases and scientific literature it represents, and the manual curation benefits from users with scientific expertise. Learn more about the course.

Applications for this course are now closed.

woman typing on her computer

Course Impact

Wikipedia logo 6 million articles logoThrough APS’s Wiki Scientist Courses, an impressive volume of physicists’ knowledge has been shared with the public and a remarkable number of physicists have been trained to use Wikipedia as a tool for science communication. View the APS WikiEdu dashboard.

So far the Wiki Scientist Courses have seen:

  • 84 participants trained
  • 96 articles created
  • 573 articles edited
  • 2.46K references added
  • 24.5M article views

For more information about the success of the Wiki Scientist program, please review the program statistics.

Contact

For more information about the Wiki Scientist program, including financial assistance to attend courses and events, please reach out to physicscentral@aps.org.

Previous participants are welcome to join the WikiScientists Program Slack space.

Types of Courses and Events

To assist physicists in updating Wikipedia entries and Wikidata to share their knowledge, the American Physical Society, in collaboration with Wiki Education, offers several types of courses, as well as short editing events.

Courses on Wikipedia Editing
APS and Wiki Education (WikiEdu) facilitate courses in elevating the visibility of minorities and women in the physics community. These courses teach participants new ways to break barriers for underrepresented groups in the sciences. Trainings from Wikipedia experts assist participants in creating entries that uplift marginalized populations in physics. The collaborative nature of this course also immerses participants in the world behind Wikipedia.

Courses on Wikidata
Wikidata, the structured, open data repository that makes Wikipedia machine-readable, often provides the initial search responses generated by Google, Alexa, and other search engines and digital voice assistants. APS and Wiki Education (WikiEdu) facilitate courses on learning to contribute to Wikidata. Course participants help ensure that the general public has quick access to high quality scientific information. Participants will learn how to apply their scientific expertise to Wikidata’s entries as well as use Wikidata as a discovery tool to find gaps related to their studies that they can fill in.

Learn more about Wikipedia Editing and Wikidata courses.

Edit-a-thons
Once per year, in collaboration with other organizations, APS hosts a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to create and improve Wikipedia pages that highlight the accomplishments of women and other historically marginalized groups in physics. During edit-a-thons, participants are taught to create a Wikipedia account, if they do not already have one, as well as learn how to edit Wikipedia pages, and share suggestions for pages to create.

Learn more about past edit-a-thons.