Basque Wikimedians User Group/Reports/2018

2018 has been a busy year for the Basque Wikimedians User Group. We have continued to grow in different respects. Firstly, we have expanded our membership base to 17 members. Secondly, the Education Program signed up with the Basque Government for collaboration with the Basque public university UPV-EHU is now in full swing relying on a small operative team devoted to its implementation; it is delivering by now some of the outcomes of the seeds planted during 2017 and 2018.

Thirdly, the group has conducted collaboration initiatives, expansion and inroads into further cultural, institutional and geographical areas. The echo of our activities has increased accordingly in the Basque mass media. The activity of the group has evolved during the year along different paths.

Park of Nurseries of Ulia, the book

Uliako Mintegietako Parkea

The 2017 report finished with the publication of the collaborative wikibook Park of Nurseries of Ulia, with its hard-copy version still due out in early January 2018. The presentation of the book finally took place on 29 January.

The release of limited circulation was distributed over the public library network of Donostia. The echo of the movement to keep the park safe for the community's use hit the media, and the site has been preserved for the moment against the attempts to turn it into a built-up area. See further info on the initiative at the wikiproject's page (Basque).



Txikipedia is one of the most important novelties among the group's initiatives in 2018, based initially on Vikidia and transferred to the Wikipedia as an additional tab, featuring children-adapted content, interface and language, cf Klexikon. It harboured over 1,365 articles by December 2018, up from its initial 828 when it was created integrated in the Wikipedia, mostly related to topics considered in the school curriculum, making up for the target of 20% of the views in the Basque Wikipedia.

Txikipedia has been identified as a privileged resource for its development by means of collaboration with different Primary and Secondary School establishments, as well as colleges. The initiative has relied especially on the relationship with teachers who have seen the potential and interest of using the Txikipedia to get the pupils work cooperatively on curricular subjects. Two workshops held under the auspices of Berritzegune, the Basque institution for pedagogic innovation, on 30 May in Vitoria-Gasteiz and 7 November in Donostia aimed at training these teachers.

An additional track focused on its development at university, translation division, holding a workshop in November and integrating student engagement with the Txikipedia in the syllabus. We have opened a collaboration track also with Education Colleges. The Txikipedia has received 164,189 views, over 102,000 to content pages. The most visited pages are Ekosistema, Unibertsoa, Lurra, izaki bizidun, and karraskari. There is still a study pending to determine the most relevant articles catering to the needs of the children and school curriculum.

Idazlezainak: writer guards


Librarians, besides taking care of books, also take care of writers. The Idazlezainak group does it on the Wikipedia, creating articles of writers and books, keeping them updated and offering as many resources as possible. The project, started in 2017 and promoted by the city's culture division Donostia Kultura, involves 15 librarians from 3 different cultural institutions of Donostia-San Sebastian. The librarians group meet on Fridays for a couple of hours to help/teach each other.

The challenge for 2018 was universal literature. Within the Education Program of the Basque Wikipedians User Group, and in close collaboration with the association of translators EIZIE, the team worked to improve the articles of Universal Literature in Basque. We also organize public events and talks to raise awareness of the project and encourage new libraries/librarians to join the project.

2018's most relevant activities were:

  • Training courses for librarians about Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikisource, Commons and Authority Control.
  • Traveling exhibition Wikiliburutegiak. This exhibition explains through two panels and an interactive application what GLAM is, how to make contributions through Wikipedia and our Idazlezainak project.
  • Public event Idazlezainak. On October 28 the Idazlezainak public event was held, with a music recital based on Shakespeare's work.
  • Presentation of the book "Literatura unibertsaleko 54 autore" (54 works of universal literature).

Haur eta Gazte Literatura (Children's and Youth Literature)


Haur eta Gazte Literatura (children's and youth Literature in Basque), is a collaborative project that emerged in Donostia between the city's Children's Literature Documentation Centre, the Education College of the University of the Basque Country and the Basque Wikipedians User Group in 2016.

This GLAM-Wiki initiative aims to spread the local knowledge on authors and works of Basque literature for children and young people in open access by Wikipedia in Basque, while promoting digital literacy to students and encouraging them as proactive wikiuser.

With the help of a Wikimedian-in-Residence in the Children's Literature Documentation Centre, material related to children literature has been released, such as book covers, illustrations, drawings... Furthermore, writers and illustrators were invited to record their voice to include in their article's infoboxes. Short passages of their works were also recorded to insert in the book's related article.

in 2018, students from the Education College of the University of the Basque Country worked on fiction characters from Basque literature and their writers and illustrators.

Udako Euskal Unibertsitatea - Basque Summer University

Presentations and workshops at Tabakalera (Basque Summer University courses)

The BWUG opened from its very beginning a path for collaboration with the Basque Summer University, crystallizing this year into three tracks, i.e. summer course addressed at librarians and document managers, the initiative WikiNagusi aimed at engaging retired university professors in the transference of their experience and knowledge into the Wikipedia, as well as the Datasprint held jointly with the association Behategia.

The first course was held in the contemporary art and culture centre Tabakalera. It included workshops with a technical approach and a focus in the practical use of Txikipedia. WikiNagusi was held in the Secondary School establishment in Bayonne Bernart Etxepare, attended by approx. ten former professors who got training on the use of Wikipedia; the initiative has delivered some excellent articles, especially in the domain of Physics, promoted by professor Joserra Etxebarria. The course had its continuation in a follow-up workshop held in the Durango Fair in early December.

Lastly, the Education Program worked alongside the association Behategia, a Basque media watchdog, to study data in the Basque press and media, and contribute with graphics, charts, maps, etc. The workshop did not take place in summer as expected due to low registration, and was postponed to November. While some constraints surfaced, the collaborative workshop provided the opportunity to design and upload a number of maps, using QGIS technology.

Education Program


The Education Program is the single most important initiative undertaken at the moment by the BWUG. With reference to the BWUG's internal organization, it has since operated divided into two autonomous groups, the BWUG's main group and the Education Program, driven and operated by three persons, which requires a strong administrative backup.

After a test period in 2016, on May 2017 a large-scale two-year agreement was signed with the Basque Government, allocating a budget for the deployment of Basque Wikipedia's Education Program, based on the necessity to get over 1,000 must-have articles for 12-16 year-olds provided with quality content.

Schools and academic outreach


University of the Basque Country


2018 has seen an expansion of the program throughout all the domains and schools of the University of the Basque Country, the main institution targeted in the Education Program agreement. Some faculties and instructors have been more amenable to accommodate the program into their syllabus without long delay, while other have expressed their wish to take on the program at the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year, due to their tight curricular schedule. We expect to open new avenues of collaboration with the colleges of biology, geology, history and languages, which have remained out of reach so far, with a possibility to develop joint projects with psychology.

As described in the summary we offered in early summer, at least 800 students had participated by then in the program, contributing approx. 1,000,000 words to 716 articles. For the first term of the academic year 2018-2019, we have offered 23 courses in the University of the Basque Country, including a long-term cross-curricular course on Basque Language Rules and Use offered in most of faculties. This academic year has seen by December 2018 the contribution of a further 1,500,000 words. The Day of Basque Language celebration taking place every year in late November and the campaign for encouragement of Basque language use Euskaraldia provided the framework for an edit-a-thon in the Campus of Gipuzkoa counting on the engagement of Chemistry and Law students.

Some results of the Education program.

Another track refers to the special collaboration with the professor Angel Bidaurrazaga. During the 28th edition of the congress held by the Association for the Normalization of Basque in Health in Arantzazu, the presentation delivered by the professor provided some outcomes of the fruitful collaboration with the Basque Wikimedians in the Wikipedia. He cited the addition by freshman students of 60 specialty terms to the Basque Wikipedia related to the lungs, muscles, illness, etc. The articles elaborated by the undergraduates received 16,480 hits by 21 March 2018, with appendicitis, arthritis, diaphragm and cirrhosis being the most frequently visited. Students valued positively their participation in the program. After the presentation, a workshop took place addressed at university instructors and professors revolving around Wikipedia edition.

The Education Program participated in the Science Week 2018, as it did in 2017. The fair featuring science products represented a perfect occasion to look out for collaboration among the presenters and participants to record short video clips with specialists outlining aspects or showcasing enlightening experiments related to their domain, with a view to uploading later to Commons. Due to the tight agenda of the project manager Galder Gonzalez and circumstantial issues, like the noisy setting, the outcome sometimes did not live up to the expected standard. However, this is a track the Education Program keeps open and focused on for further inroads in 2019.

Mondragon Unibertsitatea

Video clip crafted in HUHEZI

The Education Program has approached the Mondragon Unibertsitatea, especially with its faculty HUHEZI devoted to Education, with a view to including Wikipedia and Txikipedia in their curriculum. We have opened three tracks within the university.

The first refers to the Education College, targetting primary education students who enrol online. They are required to draw up an assignment focusing on Txikipedia that takes one year long, including such tasks as statistics in Maths, a variety of topics in the subjects ICT and English, as well as didactic approach of mathematics articles in the didactics class. The students also need to produce a related multimedia intended at improving an article, delivered both in Basque and English.

Secondly, a presentation of Txikipedia and a course with instructors was held in HUHEZI, aiming at engaging the academic community with Txikipedia. HUHEZI has been identified as a privileged ally to address a collaborative approach towards Txikipedia in the future, expecting to bear the first fruits in 2019.

Thirdly, the Communication grade located in Aretxabaleta has been our third focus of attention, where two students made their grade dissertation in collaboration with the Basque Wikimedians User Group on the relationship between video-making and Wikipedia. They conducted research in various respects, using focus groups and concluding that the best video format was animation, and feminism as the selected topic for the video. Despite the shortcomings found in the process, the video was finalized by June 2018, and is now posted at the Wikipedia article Feminismo in form of "What is..." sort of didactic video.

Our collaboration with HUHEZI has paved the way for research due in 2019 to be conducted along with the Chartered Council of Gipuzkoa (cf. Juntas Generales) on ten concepts related to the future of Gipuzkoa.

University of Deusto and Public University of Navarre


We laid out a bridge of collaboration with the University of Deusto in the domain of Digital Humanities, conducting two workshops devoted to Wikidata and operational aspects of Wikipedia edition. Eventually the students were each assigned the elaboration of an article. We plan to repeat the experience this academic year 2018-2019 again.

The Public University of Navarre has shown its interest to establish a line of collaboration, with a view to targeting work on Txikipedia. The fruits of our initial relationships are expected to deliver the first results in 2019.

Secondary School


Besides academic institutions, the Education Program has addressed public secondary school institutions to look out for possible collaboration, working both with pupils and teachers, conducting basic workshops with the former and training the latter. The secondary school institutions involved were the secondary school Aixerrota in Getxo, within the framework of the subject Computer Sciences, Saturnino de la Peña in Sestao, Luberri and Zubiri-Manteo in Donostia, Gasteiz Mendebaldea in Vitora-Gasteiz, Elizondo BHI in Elizondo.

Collaboration with the network of ikastolas, the specific Basque-language schools, did not live up to expectations. In 2018, we commissioned them with the production and publication of a didactic unit on specific Wikipedia editing for its distribution over the whole school network. However, that did not happen, so it has been postponed. Other than that, some secondary schools have shown us an interest in developing topics related to Basque Wikipedia, e.g. Txantxiku Ikastola, Pasaia Lizeoa, Lizarrako Ikastola, or Bernart Etxepare Lizea. We also contacted the Christian School network, opening an avenue for collaboration in 2019.

Outreach to other societies and institutions



Presentation of Txikipedia in Berritzegunea

Berritzegune is the public centre for pedagogic innovation. We have had contacts with them, but less that we had planned. We held a session in early 2018 for a presentation and some training on Wikipedia and Txikipedia. The goal is to have these explanations and training turned into specific didactic programs at schools. However, the seeds planted have not bore fruit it 2018, we expect some results in 2019.

Etxepare Institutua


Etxepare is the public institute for the encouragement of Basque culture and art with a special focus on its diffusion abroad and the academic sphere. We held a meeting in summer with the lecturers to present the Education Program to them and study ways to have students work in the elaboration of Wikipedia articles related to Basque culture- For the time being, a course was launched at Leipzig University.

Donostia Kultura


Donostia Kultura is the culture division of the City of Donostia (San Sebastián). This is a track unrelated initially to the Education Program, but synergies with the librarians collaborating with us have defined the articles of universal literature to be elaborated by the students of the Education College of the University of the Basque Country. These articles have improved by 42%.



In June, we started an interesting relationship with Euskarabidea, the institution for the encouragement of Basque culture in Navarre. The agency showed an interest in developing the relationship with Internet, especially Wikipedia. In early November, a two-day event was staged at Baluarte Jauregia in Pamplona, attended by 900 schoolchildren from a number of Secondary Schools across Navarre. The event paved the road to engage teachers with the program in the winter and spring term of 2019.

Other collaborations and events

  • Garabide: NGO for the encouragement of native languages abroad.
  • Planetarium of Pamplona: A session was held to launch a program dealing with Wikipedia and astronomical subject in Basque. Due to follow up in 2019.

Material purchase



One of the thousands of infographics uploaded to Commons

We agreed to purchase three types of materials to the Basque-language newspaper Berria, i.e. Spanish Civil War in the Basque Country, paramilitary group GAL - 30 years on, and everyday graphics. Furthermore, the daily has put all its materials in CC-BY-SA license, an initiative echoed by the Wikimedia Foundation. The amount of graphics uploaded to Commons rise to over 4,600; 110 of them have been to use in the Basque Wikipedia by now.

The graphics uploaded have been viewed over 254,000 times, but they may amount to more than 300,000, since no metadata were produced for November.



Susa is a Basque literature publisher. Outreach with Susa provided some good results, first by putting together lists related to Basque literature works and events that could be dealt with at university.

Another important initiative related to this collaboration refers to the transfer of relevant data on Basque literature to Wikidata, succeeding in creating a property for the database Armiarma within Wikidata. By means of the tool QuickStatements we managed to upload data on writers first, books next, and publishers finally.

New collaboration are underway in 2019, related no only to Children's and Youth Literature like so far, but to Classic Literature.



Collaboration with the Foundation Elhuyar started in 2016. In 2018, we have opened three tracks of collaboration, related to a) uploading dictionary definitions in the Science and Technology Dictionary to Wikidata, b) copyright release of instructional clips in the TV program Teknopolis, and c) development of Wikispeech technology for its implementation in the Basque Wikipedia.

Over 6,000 descriptions from the Science and Technology Dictionary have been uploaded by 2018. 18,000 more are now underway. Concerning the sci&tech dibulgative TV program Teknopolis, copyright release was not an easy task, but eventually managed to upload 52 clips that have received over 80,000 views.

Didactic clip from the program Teknopolis on the landmark Bridge of Biscay

There are plans underway to upload lexemes from Elhuyar's dictionary to Wikidata, an important feat, since each Basque word has 46 different forms by means of inflection.



We approached the Cooperative Talaios and reached an agreement for the development of a viewer of the links each Wikipedia articles has. It would provide a strong tool in the long run for the identification of relevant articles that need to be addressed for better quality.


Clip by Ahotsak uploaded following an agreement with BWUG's Education Program

Ahotsak is an association devoted to the recording of the older individuals' testimonies and dialectal speech in order to keep this inmaterial heritage. The Education Program reached an agreement with them to upload over 300 clips. Members of the association conducted the upload of the material to the relevant Wikipedia articles. They have received more than 30,000 hits.

Wikipedia contests


Collaboration with the university has been coupled with monthly content-specific contests, usually related to curricular subjects. However, contests are not addressed only for students, but the wider community; a small topic-related prize is offered to encourage engagement.

As figures show, the contribution of contests to the Basque Wikipedia has been huge. Contestants have added 7,058 kilobytes to the Basque Wikipedia, somewhat below the figure of the contribution by undergraduates in the University of the Basque Country. That figure amounts to 407,088 words, with 1,040 articles created. 7,484 bibliographic references have been added, and texts in articles have been illustrated with 3,220 images.

Txikipedia articles have also been taken into account for some contests, The number of quality articles achieved has been significant.

Overview: Local and International Events


During the past 2018, the Basque Wikimedians User Groups have attended a number of events for the diffusion of its activity, sharing, with a special focus on Txikipedia and the Education Program, and learning.

  • Wikimedia Conference, Berlin
  • Wikimania 2018, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Assistance to the new Galician Education Program



One goal for the current year referred to the improvement of the Wikisource texts in Basque, the creation of a community, and get our own project. We counted for that on the special assistance of the Catalan Amical, since they have come a long way in this respect.

In April 2018, we succeeded in getting our project and extension, called as of then the Wikiteka. The prospect is to keep increasing the number of files available there in the future.

Article quality measurement: ORES development


With the help of WMF's AI team we have deployed ORES article quality measure system into Basque Wikipedia. As far as we know, it is the first Wikipedia to have it deployed by default in every article, allowing contributors to know what they are doing and how it is working. Students have seen it as an opportunity to learn about their article's quality and professors are interested in the overall structure the system gives. ORES is also providing us important data about our Education Program, as we can measure directly how quality is improving, and use it for statistics.

Arloa Stub Start C B Good Featured
Jun Dec Jun Dec Jun Dec Jun Dec Jun Dec Jun Dec
Math 13 7 47 43 25 32 6 10 4 4 0 0
Biology and geology 3 1 86 62 51 63 21 29 21 33 2 3
Physics and chemistry 3 2 80 54 39 51 16 28 5 15 1 1
Geography and history 14 12 99 96 52 53 18 45 30 30 8 9
Scientific culture 2 0 15 14 13 12 9 6 4 7 3 11
Information technology 1 0 17 8 10 13 7 14 3 4 1 1
Languages 5 5 15 13 9 10 9 9 6 6 0 3
Literature 2 3 58 40 29 52 35 27 6 12 0 1
Economy 19 13 42 48 19 19 5 6 4 5 1 1
Classical culture 11 12 49 49 9 10 7 8 7 6 0 0
Philosophy 4 4 22 22 10 11 1 3 3 1 0 0
Arts 5 5 58 58 37 41 13 11 5 6 0 0
Music, dance, theatre 11 10 63 63 42 43 22 22 3 3 0 0
Sports 10 13 13 13 12 12 4 5 0 0 0 0
Women and gender 0 0 23 23 10 9 5 7 1 1 2 2
Total 103 87 688 606 366 431 178 229 102 135 17 32
C or better 663 827

Media coverage




Assorted interventions




Sarean Euskaraz (Euskarabidea)


UPV/EHU, University of the Basque Country (Education Program)


Wikinagusi / Wikiseniors


See the tag #wikinagusi in Twitter


Wikinagusiak ikastaroa Baionan UEUk eta EWKEk antolatua

Publication of a book in PediaPress


Articles in newspapers with the information given in the press conference:

See pictures in the wikiproject of the book

See the tweets by clicking in those twitter links



We intended to maximize the effect of its publication by both handing over the book to public libraries and meeting with the council's political representatives so that they get first-hand notice of both the collaboration with Wikipedia and the added value for the city of preserving this community asset depicted in the book.