Skip to main content

Wikipedia for Librarians

A guide to accompany "Active Learning and the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy" at Gateway Library Instruction Conference 2018

Welcome to Wikipedia

Please use the links below to follow along with session activities. Additional resources (which may be mentioned in the session) can be found through tabs on the left.

Starting off

  1. Create a Wikipedia Account
  2. Preferences:Editing Editing mode: “Show me both editor tabs”

Introduction to Wikipedia

ACRL Framework for Information Literacy

Information Creation as a Process

See Anatomy of a Wikipedia Article

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

See Wikipedia:Identifying Reliable Sources

Let's edit Wikipedia!

We recommend following these tasks in the following order. There may not be enough time to complete all tasks during this session, and that's ok! Try to not use too much time finding the "perfect article" and Be Bold with your decisions.

Task 1: Copy Edit

As a collaborative project, Wikipedia articles are in constant need of editing and revision. Writing should be clear, concise, and use neutral language.

  1. Find an article from the list of Wikipedia articles needing copy edit
  2. On the article page, select "Edit" and make changes to improve clarity and/or revise for neutral language
  3. Select "Publish Changes" and preview your edits
  4. Publish changes with the summary copyediting #GLIC2018


Task 1: Edit Infobox

  1. Find the page for the article assigned to you, or find an article under Category:1940s Films (more obscure the better)
  2. Open the IMDB page for the film
  3. On the article page, select "Edit Source" and add to the infobox following handout instructions
  4. Select "Publish Changes" and write summary: infobox #GLIC2018
  5. Preview changes then publish.


Task 3: Citation Hunt

Citation Hunt pulls snippets from Wikipedia that are tagged "citation needed." The search box below the blue and green buttons can narrow results by a Wikiproject (such as "Wikiproject Fungi") or category (such as "Airports in Portugal"). When you see a snippet that you wish to edit, select "I got this." (Tip- statistics, such as demographic or financial data, are often easiest for finding authoritative sources)

  1. Locate the "citation needed" snippet on the article page and look for an appropriate secondary or tertiary source
    1. If the evidence found indicates that the snippet is incorrect, you are fully authorized to change it or remove it completely. This is how Wikipedia is improved! If you wish to flag the change for other editors to review, add a note to the Talk Page
  2. Remove the citation needed tag and select "Cite" and generate a citation from URL, then select "Insert"
    1. If citing a print resource, select the Manual tab to insert fields manually
  3. Select "Publish Changes" and preview your edits
  4. Tag all edits with #GLIC2018