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Wikipedian in residence first for Southern Hemisphere university - Lincoln University

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Lincoln is amplifying its open access research drive by employing the first ever Wikipedian in Residence at a Southern Hemisphere university.

Dr Mike Dickison is spending three weeks at Lincoln’s Library, Teaching and Learning department to make the research carried out by staff and students even more accessible, and to increase the University’s online impact.

Lincoln was the first New Zealand university to adopt an open access policy for its research, in 2013, and also recently launched an institutional research data repository, Data@Lincoln, where Lincoln researchers can upload their research datasets openly and with a reusable licence.

Dr Dickison will be using the resources in Lincoln's Living Heritage site, including books and photographs from throughout the University’s history, especially the photo archive from staff photographers Ron Blackmore and David Hollander, which go as far back as the 1940s.

He'll also add references and information to Wikipedia articles from the Research@Lincoln repository, to help improve the coverage of New Zealand topics and Lincoln's research projects.

"Lincoln has a wealth of heritage and research materials and we look forward to making these more widely available to the public," Library, Teaching and Learning’s Acting Director Roger Dawson said.

Dr Dickison was formerly employed by the US-based Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, as New Zealand Wikipedian at Large from June 2018 to July 2019, helping organisations throughout the country engage better with Wikipedia and related open-knowledge projects.

He will also be working with Wikimedia Commons, an image library of over 53 million freely-usable photographs, and Wikidata, a computer-readable "card catalogue" of facts for the entire Internet to use.

Wikipedia is the fifth most popular site on the Internet, with 70 million visitors a day. It is the only site in the top 100 run by a non-profit charity, and Wikipedia results and previews dominate Google search results, making it an ideal way to communicate with the public.

Image; Ken Downie - supplied by Bauer Media, CC BY 4.0,

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