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Unveiling the veiled: Wikipedia collaborating with academic libraries in Africa in creating visibility for African women through Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon

Scholastica Chizoma Ukwoma (Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria and School of Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Studies, University of South Africa – Muckleneuk Campus , Pretoria, South Africa)
Ngozi Eunice Osadebe (Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria , Nsukka, Nigeria)
Victoria Nwamaka Okafor ( University of Nigeria , Nsukka, Nigeria)
Chinwe Nwogo Ezeani ( University of Nigeria , Nsukka, Nigeria)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Article publication date: 9 July 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to show that digital literacy can serve as a tool for effecting social change and highlights the achievements of an academic library in digital content creation using the Wikipedia platform.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted qualitative research method, Interview and document analysis were used for data gathering. Data gathered were analysed using content (conceptual) analysis.

Findings

Findings showed that the library has created or edited digital content for various categories of women, such as women in academia, industry and politics. These entries have received more than eight million views over a period of two years, which shows that the entries are being utilised. However, the editing exercise had been confronted with challenges such as accessing reliable citations in terms of the notability and verifiability policy of Wikipedia amongst others.

Practical implications

Currently, people rely more on online resources for their research, leaving physical library resources unused. Even, more students start their research online using Wikipedia. Thus, libraries could create visibility for their physical material using regularly visited sites like Wikipedia and its sister projects such as Wikidata; otherwise, these physical materials will remain invisible to the people that needed them.

Originality/value

Contributing to Wikipedia by creating a new entry or editing an existing one can help students to deepen their knowledge about a subject; Wikipedia editing may serve as an avenue for improving information literacy skills. Drawing from the theory of cyberfeminism as used in the study, information and communications technology has the potential to empower women and transform gender relations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors remain grateful to the edit-a-thon facilitators of Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, for making out time to respond to the interview questions. The authors are also grateful to Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria, Nsukka for granting them access to the library edit-a-thon dashboard.

Citation

Ukwoma, S.C., Osadebe, N.E., Okafor, V.N. and Ezeani, C.N. (2021), "Unveiling the veiled: Wikipedia collaborating with academic libraries in Africa in creating visibility for African women through Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 449-462. https://doi.org/10.1108/DLP-08-2020-0079

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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