Wikipedia Academy in Sweden
Lars Aronsson <lars@...
2008-11-06 08:21:46 GMT
Next week, on November 12-13, we're taking "Wikipedia Academy" to
Sweden. It's the first time this event travels north of the
latitude 55° (which is Germany's northern shore), but not by far,
since the university town of Lund at 55°42' is neighbor to Malmö
in the far south of Sweden, and to Denmark's capital Copenhagen.
As pioneered in Germany in 2006, Wikipedia Academy is a two-day
conference and boot camp for academic researchers and teachers,
who need to get deeper involved in Wikipedia, and a chance for the
Wikipedia community to get in touch with the research community.
Read more on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Academy
Lund used to be the seat of Denmark's arch bishop, until Sweden
conquered this area in war in 1658. (Imagine France conquering
Kent, including Canterbury.) Lund University was then established
in 1666 in a move of cultural imperialism. During the 19th
century, Lund was one of only two universities in Sweden. It's a
small town with an old and huge university, in many ways similar
to Göttingen, where Wikipedia Academy pioneered in 2006.
But Lund University, and in particular its library, has also been
a leader in the new digital cultural revolution of the Internet,
with web projects dating back to 1993 and the Directory of Open
Access Journals (doaj.org), founded in 2003. That's why we in the
Swedish chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Sverige,
sought to cooperate with Lund University Library for this first
Wikipedia Academy, and this has turned out very well.
A group of Swedish wikipedians met with Frank Schulenburg of
Wikimedia Deutschland in Göteborg on January 19 for early
discussions. Our first meeting in Lund took place on March 5 and
6. Since then, our main contact and organizer has been librarian
Åsa Forsberg of Lund University. She deserves all credit.
Also in March, we submitted a grant proposal to the Swedish
"Internet fund", known to be a generous supporter of projects that
"improve the Internet in Sweden". Their money comes from the
surplus from domain name registrations under the .SE top level
domain. The idea is for this grant to pay for all costs during
Wikipedia Academy, so that the attendees don't have to. We were
aiming for an event of 40-80 participants with hands-on exercises
for some 30-50 users on the first day, and lectures on the second
The event was announced on various mailing lists, to visitors of
the Nordic Conference on Scholarly Communication (NCSC), organized
by Lund University Libraries on April 21-23, and at Wikimedia
Sverige's stand at the Göteborg Book Fair on September 25-28.
In June, our chapter chairman Lennart Guldbrandsson visited this
year's German Wikipedia Academy in Berlin, bringing back useful
During September, we learned that our grant proposal was accepted.
Registration for Wikipedia Academy ended on November 1, but with a
slight surprise. We now have 120 attendeeds, of which 98 want to
attend the hands-on workshop on the first day. That's about twice
as big as we had planned, but since our speakers have very modest
requirements, we are still close to keeping our budget. We have
had to relocate the hands-on workshop to another building where
we'll have four parallel computer classrooms.
The detailed schedule in Swedish is available at
The event begins after lunch on Wednesday November 12, at Lund
University's center for chemistry, with brief initial
presentations by Mathias Klang (of Creative Commons, Sweden), by
myself, by Wikimedia Sverige's chairman Lennart Guldbrandsson, and
by Frank Schulenburg. After this, the hands-on workshop runs for
90 minutes until the coffee break. Two more hours of lectures
continue until we break for the evening's social event and more
The second day, Thursday November 13, is a full day of lectures
and presentations, held at the Ingvar Kamprad Design Center (named
after its sponsor, the founder of IKEA), including coffee and
lunch breaks. Some of the speakers are long-time contributors to
Wikipedia, others are by researchers who are now starting research
projects to study mass collaboration.
We hope to provide photos and documentation of the event.
Wikimedia Sverige, the Swedish chapter, was founded 12 months ago,
and Wikipedia Academy is just one of many things that we do for
the first time. We're sure to make mistakes, but only to have
something to learn from. Next year, this will be routine. We
hope to organize another Wikipedia Academy in 2009, and maybe it
will also spread to other Scandinavian countries.
For the hands-on workshop, I wrote up some modular beginner's
exercises that can be used individually in no particular order.
It's possible that some attendees are far more advanced than
beginners, but then their questions can drive the teaching.
The beginner exercises are now found on
where I have started to translate them to English.
Feel free to translate on to other languages and reuse them.
Is there already a collection of such exercises? Maybe at
Wikibooks or Wikiversity? I guess I should have checked this
first, but I didn't.
Lars Aronsson (lars@...)
Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se