This post is a “Reflexive Journal” entry written to fulfill the requirements for GLIS 649 Digital Curation. It reflects on our Wikipedia lecture and workshop that took place on January 30, 2018. This course was offered as part of Master of Information Studies (MISt) at McGill University.

Before this lecture, It had never occurred to me that Wikipedia was a powerful source of information. My education had conditioned me to dismiss Wikipedia as unreliable, and assume that it had no real effect on public knowledge. However, globally Wikipedia is the fifth-most frequently used site on the internet.[1] It attempts to accumulate “the sum of all human knowledge” by giving its users the power to construct and maintain its content. Much like other information resources, Wikipedia has been disproportionately written through the perspective of Western, white, cisgendered, males.[2][3][4] As a result, the content on Wikipedia has suffered from systemic bias and misinformation. All of which has been consumed by a broad audience.[5]

Continue Reading "“Editing As Activism”: Fighting Bias and Misinformation On Wikipedia"

Increasingly, historical documents and resources are being digitized, making massive amounts of data available online. In turn, this historical data has become an important source for public historians and researchers looking to uncover historical narratives and voices. Crowdsourcing labour is an important means for public historians and institutions to effectively produce access to historical data online. Crowdsourcing, which can be defined as  an “online, distributed problem-solving and production model,” is a way for institutions and public historians to harness the collective knowledge of online communities to serve specific project goals. Among many successful crowdsourcing projects, Wikipedia demonstrates what collaborative knowledge can accomplish. As Jason A. Heppler and Gabriel K. Wolfenstein explained, Wikipedia is a platform where “the project leaders are providing the space, but it is the community which defines both scope and content.”

Continue Reading "Crowdsourcing History: Smithsonian Transcription Center"

As I look back at my progression through the course, I realize how far I have come. When I began this course, my digital experience was limited to downloading music and using social media. Naturally, I found this course and its content extremely overwhelming at first. However, from the beginning of the course, Dr. Graham was there to provide guidance and assistance whenever I had a problem. And through Slack, I was also able to communicate with other classmates and our TA to work through any issues and solve them.

Continue Reading "Reflection"

Following the instructions, I successfully forked the who-we-are repository, cloned it to my desktop, made the appropriate changes to the template file. I included a link to my Twitter page, Open-Notebook- and blog, then made a pull request so that my information could be included in the original repository. I did not have any difficulty with this exercise, I find Github easier to use and make sense of since completing the Git-It tutorial. Practicing forking and making pull requests in the Git-It tutorial was extremely helpful for completing this exercise.  This exercise was good practice for writing with Markdown, and for navigating and contributing to Github. For my melissanelson.md file, which was added to the repository, I also included an Adventure Time GIF that I really like. I wonder if there is a way to post GIFs and videos to stream directly on your Github page.

Continue Reading "Module Module 1 Exercise 4: Fork And Contribute On GitHub"