Royal Society of Chemistry 2014 Event

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Background[edit | edit source]

“Wikipedia is now the first port of call for people seeking information on subjects that include scientific topics. Like it or not, other scientists and the public are using it to get an overview of your specialist area. Wikipedia's user-friendly global reach offers an unprecedented opportunity for public engagement with science.”

Alex Bateman and Darren Logan, letter to Nature, 8 December 2010

Royal Society of Chemistry Wikipedia Workshop in Burlington House, 28 March 2014

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is a learned society and professional body for chemical scientists. With 48,000 members and a knowledge business that spans the globe, the RSC is a not-for-profit organisation with 170 years of history and an international vision for the future. Its mission it to work to shape the future of the chemical sciences – for the benefit of science and humanity.

As a result of a discussion between John Cummings, our Wikimedian-in-Residence at the Natural History Museum and Science Museum, and staff members of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a collaborative event between RSC and WMUK took place on Friday 28 March 2014 at Burlington House, the London home of the RSC.

The event consisted of a morning session intended to give an introduction to editing Wikipedia, and an afternoon session where participants in London created and improved Wikipedia articles related to chemistry.

Programme[edit | edit source]

  • Friday 28 March 2014
  • Burlington House, London
Time Activity
10:00–10:30 arrival, registration and coffee
10:30–10:40 Welcome and introduction to the day
10:40–12:30 Introduction to Wikipedia: basic editing (with practical training), the importance of referencing, adding and using images, conflict of interest
12:30–13:30 Lunch and networking
13:30–14:00 Chemistry & Wikipedia: session run by RSC staff looking at chemical information in Wikipedia, and how ChemSpider can help you to find information and provide resources to help add chemical information to wiki pages
14:00–16:00 Editathon: time to practice on editing with one-to-one assistance
16:00–16:30 Closing session: review of the editing done on the day and help on how to keep in touch; encouragement in continuing editing to retain new editors

Topics to edit[edit | edit source]

Suggestions are welcome below:

  • Female Fellows of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Fellows of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Past Presidents and notable chemists including:
  • Many articles on inorganic and organometallic compounds lack info on their crystal structures with bond distances and angles.
  • Edit in an area where you are expert or where you have a fascination, but avoid citing yourself or your colleagues. A good starting point is material that is covered in a textbook or monograph.
  • Articles on techniques often are lacking illustrative spectra or related measurements of a graphical nature.
  • Most of Wiki-chemistry is written by academically oriented editors, but much real-world chemistry is quite different in character. Industrial perspectives are especially welcome since they often impact more directly on most people.
  • Chemistry is a very big topic - all of the physical world is chemical in nature- so consider adding chemical content to topics well outside of traditional chemistry areas - what is "stuff" made of?
  • On the English language Wikipedia we have 26 top importance articles that are only start class and 22 high importance articles that are only stubs. Can we get these up at least one quality class?

Bear in mind that tens of thousands of publications appear annually in the chemical literature. Thus, citations to specialized journal articles are usually disfavored. Instead we strive to cite reviews and books. The guideline is "Primary, secondary and tertiary sources". In the same vein, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, it is not a technical review journal such as Chem. Soc. Rev. We do not aspire to record or describe current (or not so current) factoids.

Getting started with Wikipedia[edit | edit source]

For a basic editing tutorial see Wikipedia:Tutorial, and Wikipedia:Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia is short, written for scientists, and full of good advice. Or try this one - four modules, taking one hour it says.

For an introduction on chemistry and Wikipedia watch this webinar with User:Walkerma and find out about how to use Chemspider, ChemSpider IDs, Chembox, Drugbox.

Trainers[edit | edit source]

Around 20 members of the RSC attended, with 5 trainers to ensure that the editing sessions had sufficient one-to-one help available:

Participants[edit | edit source] many more new editors.

Consider adding your user page to Category:Wikipedian chemists by placing [[Category:Wikipedian chemists]] on it.

Press[edit | edit source]

The event was covered in a widely circulated (50,000 printed copies) magazine for the Royal Society of Chemistry - , together with a wider piece about chemistry and Wikipedia.