Grants:APG/Proposals/2015-2016 round1/Wikimedia UK/Impact report form

Purpose of the report


This form is for organizations receiving Annual Plan Grants to report on their results to date. For progress reports, the time period for this report will the first 6 months of each grant (e.g. 1 January - 30 June of the current year). For impact reports, the time period for this report will be the full 12 months of this grant, including the period already reported on in the progress report (e.g. 1 January - 31 December of the current year). This form includes four sections, addressing global metrics, program stories, financial information, and compliance. Please contact APG/FDC staff if you have questions about this form, or concerns submitting it by the deadline. After submitting the form, organizations will also meet with APG staff to discuss their progress.



Wikimedia UK is delighted to share our stories, achievements and key learning from the 2016 - 17 financial year with the Wikimedia Foundation, the Funds Dissemination Committee, our own community and wider readers through this Impact Report. This has been a highly successful year for the Chapter in terms of both qualitative and quantitative indicators, and we are proud of the progress that we have made towards our strategic vision, mission and goals.

We have performed particularly strongly against our global metric targets this year, as follows:

  • The number of editors actively involved was over 600, compared to a target of 200
  • There were over 900 newly registered editors, compared to a target of 300
  • There were over 4000 individuals involved; more than double the result for 2015/16
  • Nearly half a million articles were improved or created against a target of 10,000
  • Nearly 1.5 billion bytes were added or deleted, compared to a target of 6 million

Highlights of our other quantitative indicators include:

  • Over 45,000 images/media were added to Commons
  • Our total reach for the year was over 70,000 people, including attendance at events, presentations and social media followers
  • We were supported by over 200 lead volunteers - and a total of 20,000 volunteer hours compared to a target of 4600
  • We exceeded our advocacy targets in terms of responses to consultations and evidence taken into consideration
  • According to the recent Volunteers Survey, 82% of volunteers who participated felt valued by Wikimedia UK, compared to 70% in 2015/16 and a target this year of 80%

Throughout this report we share stories, case studies and examples of our work across the three programme strands of Diverse content and contributors, Promoting open knowledge, and Education and Learning. Some of the highlights from this narrative include:

  • Our focus on diverse and underrepresented content as the strategic driver for much of our partnerships activity throughout the year, helping to address systemic bias on Wikimedia
  • Our participation in Art + Feminism in March 2016, through which we held partnership events at nine high profile galleries and other cultural institutions around the UK
  • New Wikimedian in Residence programmes launched in partnership with Wellcome Library in London, the Hypatia Trust in Cornwall and the National Library of Scotland, and deepening relationships with the House of Commons, the National Heritage Science Forum, Tate and other partners
  • A wide-ranging, innovative and highly successful partnership with National Library of Wales, with this work driven by our Wales Manager Robin Owain and our longest standing Wikimedian in Residence, Jason Evans, and underpinning our relationship with the Welsh Government
  • The growing strength and coherence of our Celtic Knot work, with the ongoing programme in Wales, the launch of a Gaelic Wikipedian project with the National Library of Scotland and the Wikimedian in Residence at Cornwall’s Hypatia Trust
  • Funding from Oxford University's Innovation Fund to support a university-wide Wikimedian in Residence - building on the success of the initial one year residency at Bodleian Libraries - who is now making significant strides within the university’s research community
  • Funding from Edinburgh University for a second year of their Wikimedian in Residence, with this work having a significant impact on teaching and learning across the university
  • The successful delivery of Wikipedia in the Classroom with higher education partners including Edinburgh, Queen Mary University London, Portsmouth, and Warwick, and the development and involvement of our education community in ambitious plans for the future
  • Our growing public profile and reach, with a significant upturn in positive media coverage, increased social media engagement and a wide range of speaking engagements delivered by our staff, trustees, residents and volunteers. Notably, our extremely high profile international partnership with the BBC for #100WomenWiki enabled us to reach significant new audiences with our messages about Wikimedia
  • Achieving gender balance in articles about people on the Welsh language Wikipedia - a first for any Wikipedia with more than 10,000 articles - and growing the Wicipedia to 90,000 articles
  • More focused advocacy work in the UK, with our Chief Executive increasingly being involved in sector wide discussions, campaigns and government consultations, as well as inputting into the development of Wikimedia’s advocacy agenda at an EU level.



At the point that Wikimedia UK’s APG proposal for 2016-17 funding was created - during the summer and early autumn of 2015 - the charity was two years into a five year strategy for 2014 - 2019, and the proposal was closely aligned with that strategy. However, since the five year strategy was created there has been a substantial restructure, a high turnover of trustees and the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Lucy Crompton-Reid. Lucy joined the organisation in October 2015 shortly after the submission of our 2016 bid, and led the development of a new three year strategic framework and business plan for 2016–19.

In developing and delivering our programme activities in 2016 the staff team and wider community have been focused on the new strategy, moving away from the five strategic goals articulated in our former strategy and used as the basis of our APG proposal. This has brought tangible benefits to the charity, providing a new focus and richness to our partnership work, volunteer engagement and other activities, and helping to address some of the FDC’s concerns about the Chapter. The illustration below shows how the goals within our proposal (left) can broadly be mapped against the work delivered and the structure of our Impact Report (right).


Global metrics overview - all programs

Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. # of active editors involved 619 All the people from existing editing community that we engaged with throughout the year, for example by them leading Wikipedia training sessions, editing for online contests or contributing to Wiki Loves Monuments. About a 100 of those editors are Wikipedia in Classroom students who are ongoing editors.

As most of our programmes are aimed at outreach to new editors and further public, this is a very good result for us.

2. # of new editors 931 400 new editors through Wikipedia in Classroom courses, the remainder came from a vast variety of editor training projects - we run about 200 events in 2016!

Our target for the year was 300, so we tripled it

3. # of individuals involved 4,200 This metric counts all the people participating in our activities; the threshold of involvement is attending a talk by WMUK, or higher. This definition does not include people organising activities, social media followers, donors, or others not participating directly. Our achievement was 2.5x higher than the result last year, which shows we really increased our reach this year.

2000 people came from our Programme 1. We engaged with over 1500 people by delivering talks and spreading the open knowledge awareness message (Programme 2).

4. # of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages 2,898 Reuse came through a variety of sources including images from a donation of 24,000 files being added to articles on UK geography, files being added from residencies, volunteers using WMUK's equipment and adding files to articles, and Wiki Loves Monuments. The absolute number of files used in articles increased by 30% from the figure for 2015–16.
5. # of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects 476,592 Breakdown for the top 4 sources of this result:
  • Wikidata 372,531 (WLM and a mass upload by Magnus on Q3)
  • Commons 45,554
  • enwiki 26,801
  • cywiki 11,910
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects 1,492,260,501 Huge result from all of the articles added or improved above! This is 20x more than our achievement last year.

All of our metrics - summary


Global metrics in italics. For context, targets and explanations, see narratives for each of the programmes.

Metric Achieved outcome
1. Total audience and reach 72,459
2. Number of active editors involved 619
3. Number of newly registered editors 931
4. Number of individuals involved 4,200
5. Number of leading volunteers 219
6. Percentage of above who are women 34%
7. Estimated number of volunteer hours 19,896
8. Percentage of above by women 23%
9. Volunteers recommend WMUK 72%
10. Volunteers feel valued by WMUK 82%
11. Volunteers developed new skills 68%
12. Images/media added to Commons 45,554
13.Images/media added to Wikimedia pages 2,898
14. % uploaded media used in article pages 6.4%
15. Files with featured status 83
16. Articles added and/or improved 476,592
17. Articles added 369,443
18. Bytes added and/or deleted 1,492,260,501
19. Number of social media followers 68,259
20. Number of partnerships developed 36
21. Responses to consultations 4
22. Evidence taken into consideration 5

Programme 1 all metrics

Metric Achieved outcome
2. Number of active editors involved 520
3. Number of newly registered editors 522
4. Number of individuals involved 2,137
5. Number of leading volunteers 151
7. Estimated number of volunteer hours 12,096
9. Volunteers recommend WMUK 72%
10. Volunteers feel valued by WMUK 82%
11. Volunteers developed new skills 68%
12. Images/media added to Commons 45,554
13.Images/media added to Wikimedia pages 2,898
14. % uploaded media used in article pages 6.4%
15. Files with featured status 83
16. Articles added and/or improved 476,022
17. Articles added 369,372
18. Bytes added and/or deleted 1,486,822,044

Programme 2 all metrics

Metric Achieved outcome
1. Total audience and reach 72,459
4. Number of individuals involved 1,520
5. Number of leading volunteers 48
7. Estimated number of volunteer hours 2,455
19. Number of social media followers 68,259
20. Number of partnerships developed
21. Responses to consultations 4
22. Evidence taken into consideration 5

Programme 3 all metrics

Metric Achieved outcome
2. Number of active editors involved 99
3. Number of newly registered editors 409
4. Number of individuals involved 543
5. Number of leading volunteers 20
7. Estimated number of volunteer hours 5,345
16. Articles added and/or improved 570
17. Articles added 71
18. Bytes added and/or deleted 5,438,457

Telling your program stories - all programs

Achieved Target has been achieved or exceeded
Opportunity for improvement Good progress has been made towards achieving the target, but hasn’t been reached
Attention required Far off from achieving the target

Programme 1: Diverse content and contributors


Overall goal 1: Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently underrepresented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects

The work is strongly aligned with the movement priority of KNOWLEDGE as we are addressing both the quality and quantity of content, ensuring that underrepresented subjects are covered as well as increasing file diversity, and diversifying the editor base. This focus on volunteers also addresses the movement priority of COMMUNITIES, increasing the retention and engagement of existing and new volunteer contributors through training, networking and other events; supporting volunteer-led initiatives through grant making and project development; and providing clear, local and relevant volunteering opportunities. For the purpose of reporting we have split this programme strand into content (with a focus on partnerships) and contributors (with a focus on volunteers).



For clarity of reference between our progress report and the original APG bid, here is a mapping of our metrics with an explanation of any modifications. Note that the numeric targets were kept the same, because the activities delivered haven’t radically changed since the proposal was submitted.

APG proposed metric 2016-17 delivery plan metric Changes in metric focus or definition 2015-16 actual (all programmes) APG 2016-17 target (for all programmes) Half year progress

(total for all programmes) - this programme  

End of year

(total for all programmes) - this programme

Comments - how this metric is relevant to our work and how it helps us understand our achievements
Number of active editors involved 2. Number of active editors involved GM1 - 708 200 (145) 81 (619) 520 How many people from the existing community do we engage with in creating content?
Number of newly registered users 3. Number of newly registered editors GM2 - 438 300 (594) 279 (931) 522 How many new editors are we introducing to Wikimedia projects via our activities?
Number of individuals involved 4. Number of individuals involved GM3 - 1,856 500 (1,733) 582 (4,200) 2,137 People participating in our activities either in person or virtually. The threshold of involvement is attending a talk by WMUK, or higher. This definition does not include people organising activities, social media followers, donors, or others not participating directly
Number of leading volunteers 5. Number of leading volunteers - 70 260 (66) 32 (219) 151 People who organise/lead on activities, are key partnership contacts. It’s thanks to them that we can deliver our programme. We set a very ambitious target so still fairly pleased about being only 40 people short overall.
Proportion of leading activity units attributable to women 6. Percentage of above who are women Kept target the same, just changed units to actual volunteers. Aim at the same diversity rate 40% 33% (32%) 32% (34%) 34% Diversity of the lead volunteer group is key, as this can in turn translate into diversity of participants.
Number of activity units 7. Estimated number of volunteer hours Move to ‘hours’ rather than ‘activity units’. Much more accessible N/A 4,600 (9,026) 3,758 (19,896) 12,096 The amount of time that the ‘participants’ and ‘lead volunteers’ contributed to the Chapter.
Proportion of activity units attributable to women 8. Percentage of above by women Kept target the same, just changed units to hours. Aim at the same diversity rate 30% 38% (19%) 19% (23%) 23% The diversity of our overall participant group (although possibly much undercounted, hence low result).
Number of uploads 12. Images/media added to Commons GM4b No changes for this or the ones below, just rewording 20,797 20,000+mass uploads (37,825) 37,825 (45,554) 45,554 Images contributed through institutional partnerships or volunteer work. The total includes one 24K mass upload.
absolute # of images used (to be calculated from the captured image numbers) 13.Images/media added to WM pages GM4a - 2,217 2,000 (2,016) 2,016 (2,898) 2,898 Reuse came through a variety of sources including images from a donation of 24,000 files being added to articles on UK geography, files being added from residencies, volunteers using WMUK's equipment and adding files to articles, and Wiki Loves Monuments. The absolute number of files used in articles increased by 30% from the figure for 2015–16.
Percentage of WMUK-related files (e.g. images) in mainspace use on a Wikimedia project (excluding Commons) 14. % uploaded media used in article pages - 11% 10% (6%) 6% (6.4%) 6.4% Ensuring high reuse rate amongst large collections of images continues to pose challenges. Wikidata helps match images to relevant items, and then files can be reused in articles.
Number of files (e.g. images) that have featured status on a Wikimedia project (including Commons) 15. Files with featured status - 57 80 (58) 58 (83) 83 This result illustrates the high quality of the images we contributed this year.
Articles created and improved 16. Articles added and/or improved - 13,072 10,000 (44,282) 43,976 (476,592) 476,022 Mostly as explained below.
Number of new articles started on a Wikimedia site (eg any of the encyclopedias, incl Wicipedia) 17. Articles added - 6,712 1,000 (5,254) 5,238 (369,443) 369,372 Top 4 projects

Wikidata: 372,531

Commons: 45,554

Enwiki: 26,801

Cywiki: 11,910

TEXT - Sum of contribution edit size 18. Bytes added and/or deleted GM6 - 68,430,511 6 million (55,638,312) 52,837,547 (1,492,260,501) 1,486,822,044 Huge growth in comparison to last year, this was fed by the Wikidata developments.

Discontinued metrics from APG plan:

Number of leading activity units Discontinued for simplicity. Lead contributions included in the volunteer hours sum.

Within this report, for easier mapping with our APG proposal, we have broken down the narrative of this programme into the two main aspects, content (following from the previous programme G1) and contributors (previous programme G2a). In delivery they work closely together and are managed by the same team.

Programme 1: Diverse content section

APG proposal programme Strategic Framework 2016-19 programme strands mapping Programme activities
G1 Develop open knowledge Programme 1: Diverse content and contributors

Programme 3: Education and learning

This encompasses our planned activities for G1 but is better defined, with a particular focus on diverse content (programme 1), and education and learning (programme 3). Activities are mainly driven by partnerships with external institutions.

Background and overview of achievement


Frame the story

The greatest threat to national heritage is disinterest and lack of knowledge. The best way to protect it is knowledge and information that’s free and easy to access

— Wikimania 2016

The Welsh language is a source of great pride for the people of Wales. I believe that everyone who wants to access services in the Welsh language should be able to do so

— Welsh Government's Minister for Heritage

If you want to know what's important to a culture, learn their language.

— Joanne Harris

Wikimedia UK works in partnership with the cultural and education sectors and other organisations to make knowledge freely available, usable and reusable online. In 2016 we worked in partnership with some of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the UK including Bodleian Libraries (the main research library of the University of Oxford and one of the oldest libraries in Europe), British Library, National Library of Wales, The Natural History Museum, Tate (comprising four galleries which house the UK’s national collection of British art, and international modern and contemporary art), University of Edinburgh and Wellcome Library (one of the world's major resources for the study of medical history). We also supported smaller museums with important and diverse collections, such as our work with Groam House Museum, whose Celtic and Pictish collections are nationally recognised.


With the UK’s imperial and colonial history, and the country’s considerable wealth, its cultural holdings are world-class; indeed, many items in the collections of our galleries, libraries, museums and archives have come from around the world and reflect a long history of western violence, looting and appropriation. This colonial past as well as our longstanding membership of the EU have created one of the most culturally diverse countries in Europe, with over 300 languages spoken including many immigrant languages - mainly from South Asia and Eastern Europe - and indigenous living languages including Welsh and Scottish Gaelic.

Our new strategy puts issues of diversity and equality at the centre of our vision. We believe that as the Wikimedia chapter for the UK we have a responsibility to work with partner institutions to open up their content to as wide an audience as possible, identifying those collections which could address content gaps arising from systemic bias and enabling people from all ethnic and linguistic backgrounds living in the UK and beyond to enjoy increased access to their own heritage. Whilst Britain may be leaving the EU, it feels more important than ever to increase access and reach to the astounding collections of our leading cultural heritage organisations.

This logic model illustrates how our focused work with organisations in the UK will lead to greater diversity of content available to all people.  


Our achievements on content metrics went well beyond our expectations in 2016/17. Fuelled by our Wikidata expertise and our wide ranging partnerships, we were able to generate not only Wikidata items, but also a great number of Wikipedia articles (and thanks to that we reached gender balance on Welsh Wikipedia).

Of the half million articles that we created or improved, a significant number (c. 300,000) were on Wikidata. These will continue to have an impact on different language Wikipedias, as articles are automatically generated from this data.

We have automated over 22,000 articles on Welsh Wikipedia, so that information comes in automatically from Wikidata using the {{#invoke:Wikidata}} function. To our knowledge, the only other Wiki to have attempted this is the Basque language Wikipedia. The power of this has already been proven. For example, by using {{#invoke:Wikidata|getValue|P141|{{{first_light|FETCH_WIKIDATA}}}}} on each bird species infobox (over 10,000), the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species category was recently updated on all articles via the Listeria bot within minutes. As each one has to be changed manually on the English Wikipedia, it will take months to do, and therefore the information is old and incorrect. For a small community wiki, this automation will ensure that the information is up to date. We are therefore looking at ways of cascading this good practice to other Wikipedia communities.

In addition, Wikidata has been used to generate more than 17,000 new articles on the Welsh Wicipedia, with each one containing a Wikidata List (reaching 70% of all language Wikipedias). This level of automation ensures up-to-date information, reduces manual maintenance, and frees editors’ time to work on other tasks. When Wikidata is updated, the corresponding information on every wiki is also updated.

We were pleased with our image metrics as well, with our achievement of 45K images consisting of one big donation of 24K images from a volunteer, and many focused, incremental releases from partner organisations.

This programme really comes to life in the narrative, showing how our programmes have been driven by strategy (crucially, content gaps and key information needs) and how they grew in impact thanks to key partnerships that we supported in the year.


We introduced several innovative approaches to programme delivery in 2016:
  • We took advantage of our mature Welsh programme and encouraged projects in Scotland and Cornwall, paving the way to the Celtic Knot theme which we will be developing in 2017
  • In collaboration with National Library of Wales we launched the first ever Wikidata Visiting Scholar
  • Welsh Wikipedia became the first Wikipedia (with more than 10,000 articles) to achieve gender balance in articles about people
  • We run increasingly complex projects, where either many of our partners get involved, or a content donation is used in several ways (see the Llen Natur case study later in this report).

We expand on all of this in the highlights section below.

Elephants in the room

We received a number of suggestions from the FDC on how we could improve this programme:

We are concerned by the low targets presented in this proposal and this organization's past performance is not a good indicator of future success at scale.
WMUK is developing more scalable approaches, although at this level of funding we would like to see more.

We have been working hard to address this issue, and believe that the content metrics we achieved do paint a very successful picture. Commenting on the APG bid for the current year, FDC said that our performance improved significantly, and that it’s clear that we are working hard to improve impact.

[about both education and GLAM work] “With resources they have, FDC believes they can successfully expand the variety of programs and be more innovative with their programs”

Encouraging us to go beyond the traditional GLAM collaboration models is a very good point. We think the Chapter has become more sophisticated in approach to programmes, introducing several key innovations.

Diversity is not emphasized in WMUK's plan, and we would expect more at this level of funding. Online gender-related targets are not included beyond volunteer involvement with chapter activities. Work on minority languages is included but not yet definite.

Our new strategy has a strong focus on diversity and over the past year much of our work has addressed inequality and bias on Wikipedia and the other projects including gender, minority languages, the cultural heritage of minority groups in the UK and other specific content gaps that we identify alongside our partners. We have taken on board the FDC’s concerns regarding our proposed work with minority languages, and are prioritising our work with Scottish Gaelic and Welsh as important indigenous languages spoken by communities who are often marginalised from mainstream culture in the UK. This work is also addressing a clear content gap on Wikipedia.

Highlights of programme activity


Driven by the ambition to develop partnerships that unlock cultural heritage and address inequalities on Wikimedia, our work in 2016 congregated around a few key themes described below.

1. CELTIC KNOT - indigenous minorities of the UK

The programme in Wales, led by our Wales Manager and supported by our longest running WIR at the National Library of Wales, has truly gained momentum in 2016. Many projects which we have been building up to for years started bearing fruit. To highlight just a few:

  • Llen Natur (the official body which gives standardised Welsh names to species) donated a comprehensive database of birds, which we ingested into Wikidata before creating Welsh Wikipedia articles from the information (with 9,900 articles on birds written by an ornithologist volunteer). We then linked those articles back from Llen Natur's Dictionary of Species to the corresponding articles on cywiki. All species with Welsh names were uploaded to Wikidata, and images and back-clicks now appear in The Dictionary of Species - 13,000 in total, not just birds: [1]. Our collaboration with the organisation will continue into 2017.
The Wikidata Visiting Scholar at the National Library of Wales
  • The Wikidata Visiting Scholar based at the National Library of Wales ran several projects in 2016 using NLW’s content; for example, he has created detailed Wikidata for 5,000 Welsh landscape images on Wikimedia Commons. A summary of his work can be found on the Wikimedia blog.
  • We created Wikidata items based on over 5000 peer reviewed articles about prominent Welsh people in the Dictionary of Welsh Biographies, with volunteers then creating Wikipedia pages based on the information made available (see The Wikidata Visiting Scholar has also been working on this content, focused on strengthening data on Welsh publishers, creating a detailed database of Welsh Publishers for the first time.
  • 5,000 Welsh books (those released with the help of the Welsh Books Council in 2014) were entered on Wikidata by the community, and can now feed into expanding articles on Wikipedia.
  • With a grant from the Welsh Government and in collaboration with WMUK, the National Library of Wales embarked on a three month project from January 2017 to train editors to create and improve articles about Welsh music. As part of this project, technical staff at NLW are running a pilot to automate Wikipedia article creation using Wikidata and the Content Translator (which we enabled for Welsh Wikipedia earlier in 2016).

After several years of discussions in Scotland, thanks to external funding we were able to launch the Gaelic Wikipedia project in late 2016. Aiming to learn from our work in Wales, this project will tie in with other minority language and community programmes we are supporting. The Wikimedian in Residence at the Edinburgh University has already been looking for overlaps, talking to the Gaelic Language and Policy Officer at the Historic Environment Scotland about potential future collaborations.

In Autumn of 2016 we were also able to partner with Hypatia Trust - the organisation focusing on the literary, artistic and scientific works of women and their contributions to society and culture in Cornwall - to deliver a Wikimedian in Residence project. Cornwall is a county in South West England but is considered to be one of six Celtic nations alongside Brittany, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales.

We have also been able to offer some support to the emerging Wikimedia Ireland community.

By the end of 2016 we had more residents focused on minorities and heritage than ever before, with an emphasis on indigenous language communities in the UK. To consolidate and further develop this area of work, Edinburgh University (led by the resident) and Wikimedia UK will be running a Celtic Knot language conference in July 2017.

External video
  Women in Classical Studies editathon


The gender gap on Wikimedia - as a reflection of gender inequality in the wider world - has been a key focus of our activities to raise awareness about the Chapter and its work (as described in Programme 2). The gender gap has also featured highly in terms of our delivery as well; for example, our involvement in Art+Feminism 2016 in which we ran events at nine different art institutions around the country including Tate, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Glasgow Women’s Library and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. We have since developed the relationship with the Tate and we followed up with another event with Tate on Queer British Artists in May.

Many of our projects which focus on minorities or education also work on closing the gender gap.

I think it was important that we achieved 65% female attendance at our 2016 editathon events. In putting on stimulating and targeted editathon events to help correct areas of under-representation on Wikipedia, this was a very motivating factor for attendees and helped the university work towards improving on their Athena Swan initiatives.

— Ewan McAndrew, WIR at the Edinburgh University talking about his residency in 2016 (Athena Swan is a key award in which Universities in the UK can signal their commitment to diversity

In Wales, while the Welsh heritage and language remained the priority, many initiatives also addressed the gender gap. In June 2016, the percentage of biographical articles about women on Welsh Wikipedia was 32% but by December, the balance reached 50%; a first for any Wikipedia with more than 10,000 articles. Instrumental in this achievement was a group of newly trained Wikimedia volunteers, who developed 1,264 articles on female botanists and 6,258 artists.


With a strong track record of project delivery and a number of long standing partnerships across the UK, we can draw on significant resources and relationships when delivering new projects which have an exponential effect in terms of impact and reach. In 2016, we ran several campaigns which were boosted by our partner organisations getting involved, with this work led by internal champions and requiring minimal input from the Chapter.

BBC 100 Women, our most significant outreach event of the year, is a great example of this. The focus of the activity happened in London and was driven directly by the chapter; however many of our partner institutions participated in the initiative in their local context, with an event at BBC Scotland in Glasgow celebrating the achievements of notable women and an editathon and interviews in Wales led by the resident at the National Library.

Similarly, with the #1lib1ref campaign in January, our close library partners got involved in running activities as well, setting up events or publicising the campaign through their networks. With contacts at university libraries, library-based Wikimedians in Residence, and high-level contacts within umbrella organisations, the campaign was much more scalable than the year before.

An editathon at the British Library for Europeana Sounds where attendees added audio files to Wikipedia articles.

Our work in Scotland, where we have had an active residency programme since 2013, is showing strong signs of self-sustainability, with our partner organisations now starting to collaborate on open knowledge initiatives. Residents support each other, enabling knowledge transfer and continuity - with the Museum Galleries Scotland resident being closely involved in the Edinburgh University WIR induction, and, in turn, Edinburgh’s resident providing support to the Gaelic Wikipedian. All our active Scottish partners also work with the Scottish Libraries Information Council (SLIC), with whom WMUK is planning a significant project (Life in Data) later in 2017.


Adding and improving information through Wikidata has been unusually extensive and very impressive in 2016/17. This came from a variety of sources, with a staggering 300,000+ Wikidata item edits (most were new items) from a Historic England dataset of Grade II listed buildings which we were given. This was then uploaded by Magnus Manske, and fed into the Wiki Loves Monuments map tool, allowing people to find eligible sites for photography. This is the biggest dataset upload we have supported so far, representing over one billion bytes added. It’s worth stressing though that whilst the dataset referred to above could be seen to skew this metric, our projects delivered very well in terms of Wikipedia as well. Almost 20,000 articles were created for a volunteer competition contest Africa Destubathon, and almost 10,000 articles created on Welsh Wikipedia as a continuation of the Llen Natur project.

Changes, Challenges and Learning


Comparing our outputs and outcomes in the last financial year to our APG proposal, we feel that we have successfully delivered on our intention to focus on key partnerships, building impactful and complex projects as per the ‘partnership package’ outlined in the bid. We have, however, become much more strategic in how we choose and shape our partnerships, thanks to the focus on underrepresented content and cultural heritage of the UK. This has been supported by the newly created Partnership Advisory board, which has been crucial in horizon scanning for the sectors we work in. The restructure and the introduction of Project Coordinators has delivered on its promise to increase capacity where we are most successful, with the ability to work across different areas enabling us to focus on the most promising partnerships regardless of sector.

As described above, we are very keen to grow our work with the minority cultures and languages of the UK, and we are mindful of these cultures’ history and a relationship with the English language. We encountered a particular challenge when starting our Scottish Gaelic project, and advertising for the post proved to be challenging on a number of levels. For the first time we were able to use a banner on a Wikipedia to spread the message, which allowed us to reach Gaelic speakers who might have some experience with Wikipedia, either as readers or editors. This was very positive, but the advert was localised to the UK which unfortunately meant that Gaelic editors based elsewhere did not see the advert. In future, using Wikipedia’s central discussion pages (Uicipeid:Doras na coimhearsnachd for gd.wp) as well as the banner notice would be an improvement as it directly involves the active community of editors. We were grateful to receive feedback from the community on those issues, and will continue to be mindful of the nuances of working with another language community, and the need to be very careful in our messaging and approaches.

In general, partnership work is full of challenges which stand in the way of kicking off a successful collaboration. For each impactful project we have one which didn’t take off for various reasons. We were hoping to connect the Wellcome residency with Jisc, an organisation with whom we have worked previously and which provides digital solutions for UK education and research, but we lacked the time to scope this properly. Capacity is often an issue, however at other times we encounter obstacles which require patience and persistence. For example, we have long been hoping to run a project around Wikisource with the National Library of Wales, but the organisation decided uploads should wait until they have launched their new and improved Welsh Journals Website (due in April 2017).


We ran a Wikimedian in Residence Summit in November, with the aim of bringing together residents to share common experiences, problems and solutions - building on previously facilitated online discussions. In the session we mapped out processes, matched up some common problems with solutions (technical or procedural) and identified some basic requirements for running successful GLAM partnerships with the various Wikimedia projects.

We followed up with some direct work with Alex Stinson at WMF, John Cummings (WiR at UNESCO) and Axel Petersson (WMSE) presenting our initial work at the GLAM Coordinators Meeting in Paris (February 2017) and feeding back our findings into the WMF’s GLAM resources. These came down to the key elements of “what is a GLAM partnership?”, working from the most basic interactions or projects to more complex ones. The aims are to document previous experiences and build models from this which other communities can use to determine where they might start with a GLAM project. Additionally, mapping where resources were kept across the Wikimedia sites so newcomers to GLAM wouldn’t need an existing network or years of experience to find them.

We have also been working to support the growing usergroup Wikimedia Community Ireland (WCI) where possible. We shared our Wiki Loves Monuments contact database with them, supported their APG application, and in our international projects such as BBC 100 Women, we have offered them opportunities to get involved. Our aim, as a larger, staffed organisation, is to use our economies of scale to add capacity where possible, and where this aligns with our own strategic goals as a chapter. As an example, WCI involvement in our existing Celtic languages work could benefit both organisations.


In 2017 we will continue to deliver our highly successful partnership programme, developing relationships and advocating for more organisations to get involved. Talks with key Welsh heritage and language organisations will continue (including the Welsh Government), supported by Wikidata and volunteer training efforts. Building on our expertise with this type of work, we are looking at really growing our Celtic Knot programme across the UK.

Organisational partnerships continue to be central to programme delivery at Wikimedia UK, and in 2017 we will further build on and leverage our existing institutional relationships, deliver events and projects with new partners, and pilot new ways of working with the GLAM, STEAM and education sectors to increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently underrepresented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects. Over the next few years we are also keen to scale up our partnership activity, facilitating multi-partner collaborations that will exponentially increase our reach and impact.

Case studies

Llen Natur Case Study

Llên Natur is a society formed to study, publicise and conserve the fauna, geology and climate of Wales. They are the official body which gives standardised Welsh names to species and are funded by the Welsh Government. Together with Uned Technolegau Iaith (Language Technology Unit) at Bangor University they have produced a Dictionary of Species in Welsh, Latin and English. By working with Wici Cymru (Wikimedia UK), the dictionary has now become an illustrated dictionary of species, with around 10,000 images automatically drawn from Wikimedia Commons to illustrate existing text.

One of Alun Williams' images on Commons

This work was co-ordinated by our Wales Manager, and in fact started with Robin receiving Llên Natur’s databases of fauna and flora back in 2013! The work moved forward in recent months, with the coding for the website completed - led by Bangor University and supported by Magnus Manske and other Wikimedia volunteers. As an example of the technical work involved, a code was produced to harvest images via Wikidata's preferred image, so that the Dictionary was automatically getting the best content. By June 2016, 13,000 images taken from Commons appeared in the Dictionary of Species, accompanied by a CC-BY-SA logo on the online gallery.

A significant aspect of this project is that the contributions are flowing the other way too, with Wikimedia using the Dictionary to add official Welsh names of all living birds, and other species, onto Wikidata, and so growing our content. Wikispecies content was also translated into Welsh, and each species within the Dictionary of Species has a direct link to the corresponding article on Wicipedia Cymraeg, increasing our readership.

Volunteer engagement has also been a prominent element of this work. The Wales Manager trained several people in Wikidata, for example one of the trainees added around 50 of the Wikidata Lists, with each list calling up an average of 40 images from Commons. This volunteer has therefore made an additional 2,000 entries from Commons via Wikidata and into Wicipedia Cymraeg articles. New contributors have been attracted as well, including ornithologists who have started to upload new images to fill the gaps. Alun William's contributions / uploads can be found here.

The next step perhaps in 2017 is include birdsongs and possibly video footage into the Dictionary. This illustrates the way in which we are able to work with content that has previously been released under a CC-By-SA licence and use it to enrich sites beyond Wikimedia.

Dictionary of Welsh Biography

The Dictionary of Welsh Biography consists of over 5000 peer reviewed articles about prominent Welsh people. In 2014, via our Wales Manager, work began to create basic Wikidata for each entry using Mix and Match (a tool which lists entries of external databases, and allows users to match them against Wikidata items). In 2015 the National Library of Wales (NLW) Wikimedian in Residence (WIR) ran workshops with volunteers to speed up this work, and all entries were successfully added to Wikidata. To supplement this content with NLW material, the WIR also uploaded the NLW portrait archive to add images to many of the Wikidata items.

Jason Evans delivering a workshop as part of his residency at the NLW

To scale the work up and engage more people, the WIR ran a Wikidata Hackathon for staff from NLW and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies. He also set up an ongoing volunteer project to create stub articles for entries without Wikipedia articles.

Following this work on behalf of the Library, the WIR was invited to sit on the Dictionary of Welsh biography committee at the NLW, who decided to develop a specification for a new Dictionary of Welsh Biography website. Thanks to the WIR, it was decided that any new website should include links to Wikipedia articles and the use of Wikidata to develop a new interface including timelines, and open licences will now be offered to future contributors to the Welsh Biography site. This will see the use of images from Wiki Commons on the website (via Wikidata), with Wikidata-powered features such as timelines including basic information about each individual from Wikidata. The Wikidata will also allow for the inclusion of new search options/filters, which is of benefit to the Dictionary.

Articles in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography will include links to the relevant Wikipedia articles, potentially increasing community involvement in the Welsh biography using Wikipedia as a platform. The articles are naturally very academic in their language and structure and the board feel that linking them with Wikipedia makes the content more accessible. This project also showcases an innovative interface for a Dictionary of Biography website which demonstrates the power of Wikidata as a tool for GLAMs, highlighting how Wikidata can join data from different collections together to create richer data.

Bodleian Libraries Case Study

The Bodleian Libraries, a group of Oxford University research libraries employing 700 staff and with a collection of 12 million books, began hosting editathons in 2012 and in 2014 applied to host a Wikimedian in Residence. Dr Martin Poulter became the WiR from April 2015 to March 2016.

The partnership with the Bodleian exemplifies Wikimedia UK’s commitment to diversity. The library collections hold millions of documents from historical civilisations from around the world, and making these documents available on open licenses can help to deepen access for millions of people around the world into the history of their own cultures. For example, an 18th century painting of a traditional Japanese folk tale held by the Bodleian is now being used to illustrate the Japanese Wikipedia article on the topic. This focus on diversity has helped us to improve the coverage of underrepresented subject areas across Wikimedia projects, one of our strategic goals which underpins and drives our content programme.

A writing blank from the Bodleian's collection uploaded by Martin Poulter during his residency

Nine public editathons were held during the residency including four on Women in Science, with six training sessions for academics. The training for librarians was particularly positive, with one attendee remarking that the training should be standard for all librarians. Workshops were also attended by educators from City University, Public Health England and Loughborough University, who expressed interest in future Wikipedia training for their colleagues.

This mainstreaming of the idea of open knowledge should allow the residency to have sustainable benefits in the longer term, and we expect many more images to be released in future, on top of the 8000 that were uploaded during the residency. Furthermore, the residency has had significant impact beyond the libraries, resulting in the release of images to Commons from three university colleges and the training of staff from the university’s museums, the Oxford Internet Institute and a number of other institutions.

One of the key recommendations of the residency was that residents should proactively look for planned research projects, as Wikimedia UK can help researchers demonstrate the public impact and engagement with research that helps secure funding.

Lastly, we are delighted that Bodleian Libraries clearly valued the residency enough to invest substantial time and effort in securing funding for a further phase of the project. This was provided by the Oxford University Innovation Fund who are supporting a second year of the project - this time for a university-wide Wikimedian in Residence from Autumn 2016, currently in place.

Programme 1: Diverse contributors section

APG strategic goal Strategic Framework 2016-19 - programme strands Programme activities
G2 As a volunteer-led organisation, ensuring effective use of the resources available to us: G2a Develop, involve and engage WMUK volunteers Programme 1: Diverse content and contributors The contributors element of this new programme encompasses the activities initially planned under G2, but with a greater focus on diversity - in order to support the creation of diverse content - and on linking volunteer activities directly to our programmes in order to create greater online impact.

Background and overview of achievement


Frame the story

As a volunteer in the north of England who hasn't attended train the trainers I don’t feel confident leading sessions, but I've got loads of ideas and enthusiasm. Pairing less and more experienced volunteers could help troubleshoot this. I also have a committee role which so far has been lightweight and easy to participate in remotely, and I have really enjoyed supporting the charity in this way."
"The staff in the UK are helpful and eager to make headway for Wikimedia. Thanks for your efforts"
"I love sharing knowledge about Wikimedia and how excited people get when it clicks for them at an editathon

— Quotes from the 2016 volunteer survey

Working with our community underpins all of our programme delivery, however given the scope and scale of our work to increase coverage of underrepresented subjects, a significant proportion of our work with volunteers falls under this programme strand. This is reflected in our targets for this programme and demonstrates how our extensive offline work with the Wikimedia UK community translates into online impact (as this is also the programme with the highest outputs and targets relating to content creation). It is also within this programme strand that we put the most focus on diversifying our volunteers and editors.

Our work with volunteers and editors cuts across all of our activities as an organisation, however under this programme strand we have a particular emphasis on increasing and diversifying our community. We are keen to develop a ‘virtuous circle’ whereby diverse contributors support the diversification of content, and running projects that shine a light on diversity and equality encourage people from diverse communities to engage with Wikimedia and become contributors.


We have an established and engaged community, however the interests of this group may not fully overlap with the strategic priorities of WMUK, and there is always natural attrition amongst volunteers in any organisation or sector. This has necessitated the recruitment of new volunteers for the UK Chapter, with a particular focus on women to address a historic lack of gender diversity amongst our community.

This logic model explains why we see volunteer engagement as key to our programmes, and how our work will reach the goal of an engaged, diverse community.  


In the context of the gender gap within our own volunteer community, we feel that our achievements in 2016 were really pleasing. Within our leading volunteers (over 200 people across the year), over a third were female, largely due to our gender gap projects.

Our volunteers contributed 12,000 hours within this programme (and 20,000 across all programmes). This is both what lead volunteers contribute in giving talks and organising events and partnerships etc, and what our other volunteers and participants contribute through editathons, editing contests and education projects. To put this into perspective, the five strong programmes team at WMUK delivers about 8,750 hours of work every year. If a member of our team wanted to deliver the same amount of work as our volunteer community, it would take them over 11 years!

We ran several large initiatives which allowed us to engage with a substantial number of volunteers. Over 100 active editors participated in the Africa Destubathon, and 125 people participated in the BBC 100 Women editathon at Broadcasting House on 8th December, not including BBC and Chapter staff and lead volunteers. University courses continued to generate engagement, with almost 50 students each working on the Warwick and Portsmouth courses.


Throughout 2016 we worked to develop better engagement and communication with our volunteers, both of which were highlighted as areas for improvement in the annual volunteer survey in 2015. As detailed later in this report, we clarified roles and expectations in terms of the training role and introduced further development opportunities including peer learning. Another scalable innovation took place at one of our key partner institutions, National Library of Wales, who have successfully integrated Wikimedia into their existing volunteer scheme; and at Bodleian Libraries and Edinburgh University, Wikimedians in Residence are setting up Ambassador programmes enabling staff and volunteers to support their work.
Elephants in the room

Commenting on our APG proposal, FDC staff assessment said:

WMUK works with its community; however, the organization can still become more strategic in its engagement. WMUK's volunteer engagement work is a positive sign, and WMUK should continue to build effective engagement strategies that will result in online impact.

We believe that bringing the volunteer work into the ‘Diverse content and contributors’ strategic programme strand means that we are clear on the aim of our community engagement, which is to support programme delivery, and diversify contributors. Our volunteer support activities are closely linked to those aims, and any training or development opportunity that we introduce relates to the skills required to support our programme activities.

Highlights of programme activity


Our volunteer activities had two key drivers in 2016: The organisation’s needs in terms of delivering our programme, and responding to what volunteers told us in our annual survey (run in December 2015).

We delivered another iteration of our successful Train the Trainer course early in the financial year, and also developed a new trainer role description to clarify expectations on both sides. We developed and delivered a Train the Trainer induction in the third quarter, in which we covered the role of Wikimedia UK and the importance of training people to edit, and discussed the practicalities of delivering workshops and support available from staff. We have also been pairing course participants with more experienced trainers, helping to develop skills and confidence and enabling us to avoid becoming overly reliant on a small group of established lead volunteers.

These new approaches to developing trainers - including induction and peer learning as well as access to the intensive train the trainer course - have been very effective, and will be replicated with future Train the Trainer groups.

Thank you very much for organising the induction. I appreciate your wanting to share and develop the culture of Wikimedia, the effort and time you took in organising the inaugural Induction for volunteers.

— Train the Trainer participant.

We have spent some time in 2016 developing training materials and ensuring the training portal is a useful resource. This is an ongoing piece of work, and will develop as more input is received from lead trainers. Alongside this, we supported the creation of an introduction to Wikidata by Ewan McAndrew, which has been very popular://

The volunteer survey ran in December 2015 revealed a number of key issues, including:

1. At the end of 2015, only 60% of volunteers felt there were suitable volunteer opportunities available

We responded to this in 2016 by reaching out to the community or directly contacting particular volunteers to invite support for specific projects and programmes. As a small example, we were represented at the Women of the World (WOW) Festival at the Southbank Centre in March 2016 with a presentation by our Chief Executive and a stall about the Chapter. To increase the impact of our participation, we arranged to have a volunteer photographer present, capturing notable female speakers. We approached Giorgio Constantine, not known to us directly before, who had expressed interest in photography through the volunteer survey; with the high quality pictures that resulted now promoted on wiki to encourage the creation of articles on underrepresented women.

Deryck Chan discussing volunteering for Wikimedia UK

With Wikidata developing so rapidly, there have been a lot of opportunity for volunteers with Wikidata skills. Nav Evans is regularly engaging with the chapter, and crucially has been helping with Wikidata for the Natural History Museum (NHM) data portal. We also have a volunteer developer, Tristan Hill, who helped to upload 2,000 audio files for the NHM project. Magnus Manske worked with Robin Owain early in the year on the Wikidata Llen Natur project, writing code that allows for our content to be shared in new ways. Robin also trained two volunteers to support him with Wikidata work.

Engaging volunteers in the wider management of the charity, we revisited and revived our Evaluation Panel, first established as part of the restructure in 2015. The panel is composed of WMUK volunteers and staff, and is responsible of assessing potential projects and grant applications from the community.The aim of the panel is to assess viability, value for money and the extent to which volunteer projects are aligned with Chapter strategy and movement ethos; and any other relevant factors on a case by case basis.

Our partner institutions are also creating volunteering opportunities. Three NLW volunteers are working on the Dictionary of the Welsh Biography project, creating stub articles using entries from DWB as a source. Several other opportunities were created, such as a volunteer programme to add data for 550 19th century ships registered in Wales.

Wikimedians of all types have provided me all sorts of support, whether that’s advice and camaraderie at the London Meetups, virtual support in helping with queries or troubleshooting, or hands-on support with training sessions. This residency is a part of these communities rather than an individual role.

— Alice White, WIR at the Wellcome Library
2. A key theme in the survey was that volunteers saw reduced communication from staff and wanted more

With the support of our new Communications Coordinator, we worked on several areas to improve and increase communication with our community:

  • We analysed the results of the volunteer survey, feeding this back to the community,and considering our next steps based on what people told us
  • We now have an established volunteer newsletter, and communicate with volunteers on a variety of level.
  • We attend wiki meetups to keep the conversation with volunteers going
  • Trialling a new approach, we ran a donor e-mailing in Scotland, highlighting ways of engaging with the activities of the chapter. A Learning pattern to document this was created.
  • We invited volunteers to input into our Annual Plan Grant application, with in person discussions held in September
  • We created volunteer roles which explain some of the main ways in which people can support our charitable work, and created a form on our site to allow people to tell us directly how they would like to be involved.
  • We are contacting our database of inactive volunteers to point them to this form and the newly defined volunteer roles, to enable future engagement
  • We ran a consultation on what photography equipment would be most useful to our photography community, and acquired several items from the suggestions – we are hoping to use the kit in 2017
  • At the end of the year the programmes team contacted all key volunteers, thanking them individually for their engagement in 2016.
3. Volunteers wanted more support on projects they are involved in

During 2016 we have endeavoured to provide more support for community-led initiatives, especially when the ideas have been aligned with our strategic priorities and had the potential to engage further volunteers. The simplified volunteer grant process has been key to this, with examples including:

  • Awaken the Dragon. This impactful writing competition is highlighted below in a case study. We worked with the volunteer, who had delivered several article editing projects in the past, to set up a project encouraging others to create content relevant to Wales. This sparked several other projects led by other volunteers, and also continued engagement from the person leading this project.
  • We received a volunteer project grant request on the Senghenydd Colliery Disaster - an editing project focused on expanding content on this important event in Welsh history. Featured Article status was achieved by the article on the event, after an impressive 43,396 bytes of content were changed. This project was encouraged by Awaken the Dragon.
  • The West Country Challenge took place in the third quarter, also inspired by Awaken the Dragon. After noticing that the number of quality Wikipedia articles for the West Country was relatively low, a volunteer organised an online contest, with 32 editors participating achieving 514 article improvements, 120 core article improvements and nearly 20 Good Articles.
  • The seventh edition of the Core Contest took place in the second quarter of the year, improving notable and viewed articles in Wikipedia. This year eleven editors contributed over 1,018,300 bytes, improving 1,459 articles and creating 146, contributing both to our content and participation indicators.
  • Earlier this year The Scotsman covered the efforts of a group of dentistry students at the University of Dundee to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of their subject. It is a student led initiative which we found out about through the media coverage. We got in touch, offered support and subsequently enabled this model to spread to Egypt.

Changes, challenges and learning


Referring back to our annual plan, we feel we delivered on our ambition to build volunteer skills to enable them to be better engaged in our programmes. We were proactive in how we harnessed the community’s interests and created different ways of volunteering depending on people’s skills (e.g. through strategy discussions and the Evaluation Panel). Perhaps the main change was bringing more strategic focus to this strand of work.

A map of Wikimedia UK's events in 2016–17

There were a few challenges we needed to address during the year. After doing an audit of all our trainers to see which ones weren’t active, we wanted to run a Train the Trainer refresher course to re-engage those who had not run a workshop with us for a while. We were hoping to bring those trainers back to our community. However, after intense promotion and direct outreach to those people it became clear that the interest was fairly low (people had good reasons for not being active trainers any more, e.g. moving out of the UK), and in the end we didn’t run the refresher.

It was also not that easy for us to geographically expand the opportunities offered to our volunteers. Criticism about being London focused was one of the common comments from the volunteer survey. To try and counter that, we encouraged more of our Wikimedians in Residence (most of which are outside of London) to run volunteer programmes as well - National Library of Wales is a big highlight in this respect. The existing volunteer scheme there is now offering Wikipedia based activities as part of its programme for volunteers and since then there has been a notable upsurge in interest. Some people will be working on creating articles from scratch, but the translation tool has been a popular option for others. Once they get initial training from the WIR, the Volunteer Coordinators at the library take over the logistics, making this a sustainable approach. It’s also possible though that this feedback comes from a long-standing but somewhat erroneous perception of the Chapter being London-centric. Out of six Wikimedians in Residence we ran in 2016, for example, only one was in London; while our AGM was held in Birmingham.


We ran the Train the Trainer course at the end of Q2. This was focused on UK volunteers, but we were also approached by two chapters - Netherlands and Czechia - who wanted to participate in the course in order to apply what they observed in their own countries. Having had experience of running this course for four years, we were happy to accommodate two people, and share as much of what we have learnt about training trainers as possible.

In January 2017, we ran the annual volunteer engagement survey to see whether all the efforts above are making a difference to our community. In summary the satisfaction levels improved on 2015-16, and a greater proportion of volunteers felt that there had been suitable opportunities to volunteer.The previous year’s survey highlighted a need for better communication between Wikimedia UK and its volunteers and ensure the work of volunteers is recognised (full recommendations). Staff have made a concerted effort over the last year to improve communication of volunteer opportunities and ensure that volunteers feel appreciated. As a result, in the 2016 survey fewer people noted communications as an area which need improvement and 79% of people felt that the charity values their volunteering, an increase from 73% the previous year. The full recommendations from this year’s report are below:
  • Continue efforts to improve communication with the volunteer community.
  • Explore ways to formally recognise volunteers with barnstars or recommendations on LinkedIn.
  • Continue post-event support to ensure volunteers feel they are valued.
  • Continue to promote the Volunteer Roles developed in 2015 as a way for people to tell the charity what activities they are interested in.
    • Use this information to ensure people are offered relevant volunteering opportunities.
  • Continue with inductions for new volunteers as trialled in 2016.
  • Continue to look for opportunities to hold events outside London whether there is interest from volunteers and partners.
  • Promote project grants to volunteers to encourage them the flexibility to choose their own activity, as opposed to being asked by the office.
  • Explore the possibility of a knowledge sharing event for trainers.
    • Perhaps in relation to the AGM as people will be coming together in any case.
  • Share volunteer stories with the volunteer community.
  • Explore the possibility of online training for particular skills (eg: setting up events) so that those who do not have training opportunities near them can still improve their skills.

In terms of skills development, in 2017 we will run a focused training programme based on volunteer needs and our programme priorities. This is likely to include our highly successful Train the Trainers course, and a strong focus on Wikidata to address the growing need in our partnerships for this work. We will also be building materials for volunteers, to support people who perhaps aren’t able to attend our training events and/or need additional support.

In terms of resources, we will continue to provide photography equipment and volunteer grants, building on the expansion of volunteer activities supported through small grants that we have seen throughout 2016.

In recognition of the relationship between increasing coverage of underrepresented subjects on the Wikimedia projects and diversifying contributor demographics, we are developing several pilot projects focused on recruiting and retaining editors from minority ethnic and cultural backgrounds in the UK. These include:

  • Kurdish Cultural Centre, with whom we are collaborating to reach out to the Kurdish diaspora community to engage them to improve educational resources in Kurdish and broaden the diversity of people who edit Wikipedia in the UK. This work has come about because of the strong links of our new Communications Co-ordinator with the Kurdish community in London.
  • Middle Eastern Women is a project led by a volunteer studying at Queen Mary University, encouraging other female students from the Middle East to contribute to Wikimedia and increase the representation of Middle Eastern women on the Arabic, English, Kurdish and Farsi Wikipedias.

Case studies

Awaken the Dragon

Wikimedia UK is committed to supporting the creation and sharing of diverse open knowledge content, and working across the country with volunteers and partners enables us to support the development of open knowledge about the history and culture of all parts of the UK. James Anderson, a prolific Wikipedian in South Wales, has previously received a number of small volunteer grants from WMUK to support the production of content on topics including Hollywood and Frank Sinatra. Following on from this work, James and Wikimedia UK were keen to see if we could encourage other volunteers to produce Wikimedia content and James proposed a bigger volunteer project to add content about Wales to Wikipedia, called Awaken the Dragon. As a charity, we had previously delivered successful projects to improve Welsh content on Wikipedia, such as the Living Paths project that received funding from the Welsh government in 2013. We therefore saw the value of supporting such work.


Awaken the Dragon used an editathon competition model to incentivise Wikipedians to create and improve articles on chosen Welsh subjects, with book vouchers as prizes for the winning contributions. Offering weekly and overall prizes helped to increase interest in the project and drive the production of content, with excellent results. As James says, “In little more than a month we saw 1065 new and improved articles, 150 core article improvements, 61 Good Articles, and 4 Featured Articles and Lists.” James initially experimented with different scoring systems to try to encourage people to tackle certain subject areas that received less attention, but found that this confused editors too much and that a simplified scoring system worked best.

One of the main successes of Awaken the Dragon has been to get people to add to existing articles and make them better, rather than just creating new articles. “Most previous contests tended to encourage people to create new stubs. It is vitally important that we overcome the natural tendency for editors to just create new stubs and ignore the mess”, says James. Wikipedia and its sister projects are works in progress and there will always be more for volunteers to do to make them better. Thanks to projects like Awaken the Dragon, we are beginning to learn how to make the process of improvement more attractive and direct volunteers to work on areas that need the most improvement. The format of the project has already been successfully replicated in other UK areas like the West Country, as well as the Africa Destubathon.

Programme 2: Promoting open knowledge


Overall goal: To support the development of open knowledge in the UK, by increasing the understanding and recognition of the value of open knowledge and advocating for change at an organisational, sectoral and public policy level

This programme addresses the movement strategic priority of REACH – as in order to open up knowledge and increase access to it, we need to change the underlying conditions that are currently keeping content closed. We also need to develop the public’s understanding and recognition of the value of open knowledge and the dangers of enclosing our cultural commons behind paywalls.

Programme strand changes - mapping:

APG proposal programme Strategic Framework 2016-19 programme strands mapping Programme activities
G3 Reduce barriers to accessing open knowledge Programme 2: Promoting open knowledge Advocacy at UK and EU level, acting as a voice for open knowledge, external presence, working to implement changes at institutional and sector level.



For clarity of reference between our progress report and the APG bid, here is a mapping of our metrics with an explanation of any modifications. Note that the actual targets were kept the same, because the activities delivered haven’t radically changed since the proposal was submitted.

APG proposed metric 2016-17 delivery plan metric Changes in metric focus or definition 2015-16 actual APG target (total) Half year progress
(total for all programmes) - this programme
End of year
(total for all programmes) - this programme
Comments - how this metric is relevant to our work and how it helps us understand our achievements
n/a - new metric 1. Total audience and reach New metric to see our whole audience. Essentially ‘social media followers’ + ‘individuals involved’ n/a n/a (29,772) 29,772 (72,459) 72,459 The totals of the audiences we reach through our work, be it through direct activities or online communications
Number of individuals involved 4. Number of individuals involved 524 500 (1,733) 826 (4,200) 1,520 These are event attendees or programme volunteers - people involved in-depth with projects, rather than just social media followers
Number of leading volunteers 5. Number of leading volunteers - 70 260 (66) 28 (219) 48 How many people are carrying the advocacy messages for us? (e.g. speaking at conferences). This gives us a sense on the number of lead advocates within our community
Number of activity units 7. Estimated number of volunteer hours Move to ‘hours’ rather than ‘activity units’. Much more accessible 1,688 1,800 (9,026) 2,078 (19,896) 2,455 The amount of effort put both by event participants and lead volunteers in advocating for open knowledge and working to implement change
n/a - new metric 19. Number of social media followers A subset of ‘total audience’, to separate our digital reach n/a n/a (28,039) 28,039 (68,259) 68,259 Represent the potential impact of the online outreach efforts we engage in, promoting open knowledge. Includes Twitter followers (English and Welsh), Facebook subscribers, YouTube views, WMUK mailing list subscribers, WMUK newsletter subscribers and WMUK website visitors
n/a - new metric 20. Number of partnerships developed Organisations we delivered programmes with during the year n/a n/a n/a (36) 36 WMUK’s strength is running partnerships, so we want to see how many organisations we work with in a given year, giving as sense of our impact and reputation
Involvement in EU and UK advocacy activities; 21. Responses to consultations Same metric, phrased more accurately 4 3 (1) 1 (4) 4 We want to see whether our advocacy work has an effect on wider UK and EU policies - these take time though, so as a ‘mid-term’ proxy, we look at how many policy consultations we have taken part in. In the longer term, our contributions may effect a policy change
Involvement in advocating legislative change within UK organisations 22. Evidence taken into consideration Same metric, phrased more accurately 3 3 (2) 2 (5) 5 As a ‘mid-term’ proxy, we look at whether we were consulted/have submitted evidence to the legislative bodies, and whether the evidence we provided was being taken into consideration when preparing legislation

Metrics which were removed from this programme:

# of initiatives that increase access to Wikimedia projects Programme phased out - not articulated well enough, strategic goal reworked
change in public attitudes Metric phased out in favour of a more general ‘total reach’

Background and overview of achievement



This programme strand complements our content generation, community and education work and is critical to ensure that we can change policy and practice within individual organisations; lead new ways of thinking at a sector level; and advocate for public policy and legislation that supports open knowledge. We are also raising awareness of open knowledge and the value and benefit of Wikimedia amongst the general public.

I remember when Wikipedia was first heard of in public libraries. It was dismissed as something irrelevant or misleading: after all, anyone could add anything to it so how trustworthy, or useful, could it be? I even occasionally hear librarians today questioning its usefulness.

— Public Libraries News, introduction to a piece about collaboration with WMUK


Focusing on barriers to open knowledge within the UK, we work with partners (including individual institutions and umbrella organisations), advocate within specific sectors, and influence UK and EU policy to create the right conditions for open knowledge. Our approaches throughout 2016 varied depending on specific needs and issues but included creating case studies, securing media coverage for our messages, speaking at key conferences, responding to consultations and attending meetings with government figures. A lot of valuable change has been delivered through the Wikimedian in Residence programme, which will ultimately lead to content releases and the embedding of open approaches within institutions.

To be effective advocates we need to raise our visibility with potential partners and supporters, and increase public awareness of open knowledge. These have therefore been key drivers for our general communications activities.

The logic model below shows the link between why we work on advocacy, what we deliver across various sectors and groups, and what we hope it will eventually achieve. The effects of advocacy take time to be seen, with public perceptions difficult to measure and institutional and legislative changes usually taking a long time to achieve. We have identified a number of proxy measures and intermediate targets to match the Intermediate Outcomes below, that help us to understand what progress we are making - however the narratives below are really key in understanding this programme.  


We were extremely pleased with the Chapter’s positive media presence in 2016. As highlighted below we were able to drive a number of media stories about our programme successes - such as Art + Feminism - culminating in the BBC #100WomenWiki collaboration as described in the case study. We reached millions of people with positive messages about Wikimedia and open knowledge through broadcast media coverage - including the Chief Executive’s interviews on Radio 4’s Today programme, Radio 5Live and the BBC World Service - and reached over 70,000 through social media. We also engaged with 1,500 people through live talks and presentations by staff, volunteers and trustees of Wikimedia UK.


We introduced two key new ideas this year which increased the effectiveness of this programme strand, the first being a technical solution to the need to raise awareness within the Welsh language community and give people new ways to discover content on the Welsh Wikipedia. Active Welsh volunteer Car Morris observed that 80-90% of traffic to Wicipedia [comes from desktop devices. Wikimedia UK agreed to fund Carl’s proposed development of an automated Twitter account to regularly share content from the site, encouraging more users of mobile devices to access this information; and the number of @WiciCymru ‘impressions' (retweets, responses etc) has subsequently doubled.

Wikimedians in Residence are increasingly acting as change makers within their institutions and developing complex internal advocacy cases. In response to this, our second innovation in 2016 was to start building a resource to map the needs of our residents, roadblocks within their host organisations, and existing tools and solutions to these issues. We are also now working with Alex Stinson at the Wikimedia Foundation to ensure that the advocacy tools and resources developed will be accessible to and useable by the wider community.

We feel strongly that the approaches that we have introduced to support residents - both in terms of the practical tools and materials mentioned above and the facilitation of peer learning and networking - is a new and much needed development that can be emulated by other groups within the Wikimedia movement.

Volunteer engagement is described extensively under Programme 1, but we also wanted to highlight it here as volunteering cuts across all programmes. In 2016 we became more sophisticated in how we work with our community and how we match opportunities to their skills. We currently have a number volunteers who are primarily interested in advocacy, and we engage with those when we have media requests or need speakers for conferences. We believe this shows a strategic approach to working with volunteers, and demonstrates how we have responded to previous FDC feedback to become more strategic in our community engagement.

Highlights of programme activity


We supported many institutions through a process of sustainable change in policy and organisational practice towards open knowledge. The key vehicle of this was our high profile Wikimedian in Residence programme; with its strength lying in the fact that residents can each assess the particular needs and barriers of the organisation they are working with.

  • The resident at the National Library of Wales completed his second year in 2016, becoming our longest standing WIR. Working with the digital access department, he has introduced several significant changes to the organisation. More resources had been given to technical staff to help with Wikidata work (described in Programme 1); Commons uploads are embedded into the process of processing collections for digitisation; organisation-wide business case for open access has been developed. On top of that, the volunteer scheme was increasingly integrated with the resident’s work. Wikipedia based activities are now offered as part of its programme for volunteers, and the interest remains high. Some people are working on creating articles from scratch, but the translation tool has been a popular option for others. Once they get initial training from the WIR, the Volunteer coordinators at the library take over the logistics, making this a sustainable approach.
  • The second phase of the Bodleian Library WIR project began in Autumn 2016 with this extension, funded by Oxford University’s internal Innovation Fund, a very positive indication that the project has gained wide approval across the institution. The university has now also appointed a GLAM Programme Manager, in line with their new GLAM strategy, with whom our WIR is working to connect GLAM holdings to research and educational outcomes.
  • At the Wellcome Library, the resident led on updating internal workflows to incorporate Wikimedia: (1) linking researchers’ Open Access work to Wikipedia. (2) training The Library Blog team to edit. (3) Adding “Cite on Wikipedia” button to the Wellcome websites.
  • As a sign of rising recognition of the WIR within the University of Edinburgh, the residency’s Open Education team got 3rd place in ALT Learning Technology of the Year awards. Additionally, the History of Medicine events were mentioned in the Innovative Learning Week Awards 2016. To support the sustainability and scalability of the project, the Edinburgh resident trained 12 technologists and academic support librarians to become WP trainers/ambassadors. He also created a ‘Wikibag’ for WP trainers which contains what the trainers need to run training sessions or setting up editathons. In Q4 the University of Edinburgh extended their Wikimedian in Residence project for a year. The change from 0.5FTE to 1.0FTE reflected the high quality of the project and the desire for more of the resident’s time, particularly with supporting courses using Wikipedia editing. Being able to run the Wikipedia in Classroom courses wasn’t guaranteed when we started the project, so the increased demand for those is a great endorsement. There are also plans for uploading selected PhDs to Wikisource. Report on first year of the residency
  • Discussions facilitated by our Wikimedian in Residence at the Natural History Museum several years ago have seen the NHM progress towards releasing their content under an open licence. Building on this opportunity, WMUK participated in discussions about how to store museum data, and we will be working on taking this forward in 2017.
  • It is worth highlighting that we run several training/editing events primarily for advocacy purposes, rather than to create content or new editors. For example, in Q3 we delivered a training session for House of Commons staff, making them more familiar with Wikimedia projects. In the background, the Parliamentary data service was consulting with users about how their data is released, and we were pushing for certain features that would help with incorporation into Wikidata. So this event was both a chance to meet with some key people working on this project, and make them more comfortable with Wikimedia, thus making it more likely that they will support working with us internally.

Wellcome’s name brings a real respectability or interest to Wikimedia from people who might otherwise be dubious, so a message there for the Wikimedia movement is that it’s worth building relationships with organisations that have a lot of reach. In addition, the sorts of collaborative projects and groups who we’ve involved in editathons have returned to their organisations and been advocates for us, spreading the word about their enjoyment and the potential value of editing. I think that the valuable message for other Wikimedians is that involving societies or collaborative research groups (and working with other libraries with complementary collections) really has an impact above and beyond the number of people who attend on the day. Many of our activities have been both training and advocacy.

— Alice White, WIR at the Wellcome Library

Our new emphasis on raising public awareness of Wikimedia and open knowledge has been very effective, with significantly higher reach than in previous years through online, print and broadcast media coverage, online engagement (particularly through social media), and in-person events. We are increasingly being invited to speak at high profile conferences where key players from the cultural and education sectors are gathered, with all Wikimedians in Residence as well as a number of staff and trustees delivering presentations to promote the benefits of working with Wikimedia UK.

To highlight several key engagements which subsequently led to significant impact:

  • A presentation by our resident at Museums, Galleries, Scotland (MGS) at the Digital Cultural Heritage Research Network promoting the value of the skills/infrastructure/attitude model for success in digital and open knowledge projects in cultural organisations. There were enquiries from other organisations about setting up WIR projects following this advocacy work.
  • MGS presentation at the Scottish Libraries and Information Council Digital Champions meeting discussing the Library and Wikimedia. We have been in discussion with the organisation since then and a Wikimedian in Residence has now been confirmed for 2017.
  • Robin Owain, our Wales Manager, was invited as Guest Speaker at the Celtic Language Technology conference in Paris. This event encourages collaboration between researchers working on language technologies and resources for Celtic languages, and all major Celtic languages were represented. The organisers were aware of our work on Welsh Wikipedia and keen for attendees to learn from our experiences of growing Welsh language content. Robin gave an in-depth presentation on this work, including the use of translating tools and collaborations with content partners such as the Welsh Government, and discussions included the development of a 'Blueprint for Growth of smaller Wikipedias'.
  • We led the Wikimedia representation at the OER 2016 event, hosted by our partners the University of Edinburgh. At our AGM, we announced that OER16 won Wikimedia UK’s Partnership of the Year Award. Wikimedia and OER communities share a common goal to increase the quantity and quality of open knowledge and next year’s OER17 Conference, which focuses on the Politics of Open, and it has been confirmed that our CEO will deliver the keynote.
External video
  Jason Evans: Sharing digital content with Wikimedia
External video
  ODI Friday Lunchtime Lecture: Lucy Crompton-Reid on editing out the gender gap
  • Jason Evans from NLW spoke at a cultural sector Museums+Tech conference on 'Sharing digital content with Wikimedia', with an audience of 200 people.
  • Alice White addressed the British Society for the History of Science Council about the opportunities for using Wikipedia to help meet the society’s goals of bringing history of science scholarship to wider audiences, raising awareness of the field, and improving diversity.
  • Our CEO was very active in talking about gender gap on Wikimedia, for example at the WOW (Women of the World) Festival at Southbank Centre for 8th March, Open Data Institute (which was a launch of the ODI’s ‘Women in Data’ series), OSCON 2016, and Mozfest. These had a significant reach and we have been contacted for further speaking engagements as as result - with the increased profile of the charity in terms of the gender gap also leading, indirectly, to the BBC collaboration.

In terms of sector advocacy, in January we ran a UK-wide campaign to engage with librarians through the #1Lib1Ref campaign. With contacts at university libraries, umbrella organisations and library-based Wikimedians in Residence, this was an excellent opportunity for outreach throughout our partnership network; and the Chapter was very proactive in encouraging volunteers and residents to arrange events, and using library newsletters and other channels to promote the campaign. Our close partners were also involved in running activities, setting up events or publicising the campaign through their networks, and #1Lib1Ref has sparked a conversation with Research Libraries UK who are interested in sharing information about (and from) their collections on Wikimedia projects. It was inspiring to see many of our partner organisations getting involved in the campaign, and also generating further participation themselves.

Another example of Wikimedia UK facilitating new relationships between our partners, in a different context, is the Memorandum of Understanding that has been created between the National Library of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh. This MOU, signed in October, facilitates collaboration between the two organisations, with a focus on enhancing access to resources as a direct result of both partners’ open knowledge work with Wikimedia UK. The Library and University have subsequently worked together on a Wikipedia edit-athon (Edinburgh Gothic), the recruitment and induction of the new Gaelic Wikipedian recruitment and co-organising the Celtic Knot conference. Quoting NLS,

...if both organisations had never had anything to do with WMUK then none of the above would be happening and all this new open knowledge would not be getting created. So, from that point of view WMUK’s influence is big.

We are also involved in producing a UK focused book on open access (led by our partner National Library of Scotland). This practical and explanatory handbook will discuss the issues surrounding the use of open licences for content, data and metadata in libraries and other cultural heritage organisations. Focusing on case studies and practical solutions, it will form a strong voice for open in the sector, so our work on it is significant.

Our Chief Executive is also contributing a Chapter to a new MuseumsEtc publication in 2017 called Feminism and Museums: Disruption, Intervention and Change. The Chapter will explore the ways in which Wikimedia groups and communities have worked with museums to address the gender gap, both online and in museum collections, focusing on the work of Wikimedia UK but also sharing stories from around the world including global initiatives such as Art+Feminism and Women in Red.

EU/UK advocacy

To support our advocacy work in terms of public policy we created an Advocacy Working Group, made up of staff and volunteers including representation from Open Rights Group. In the early summer we participated in the EU consultation on Freedom of Panorama and Ancillary Copyright by involving our partners and running a campaign focused on the benefits of increased freedom of panorama across Europe. From autumn, our focus shifted to the EU’s long awaited proposals for copyright reform, and in October our CEO attended a Ministerial Roundtable about these proposals at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), where she represented the concerns of Wikimedia and the broader open knowledge movement. The UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) ran a formal consultation on the proposed EU copyright directive at the end of 2016 and we submitted a response to support the oral evidence shared at the BEIS meeting. We also responded to the government’s Fake News inquiry in January 2017.

Wikimedia UK’s support was added to a joint letter on copyright reform for education, produced by Communia in partnership with a range of individuals and organisations. Our CEO has also been working with an informal group of organisations from the open movement including Open Rights Group, Creative Commons, Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance and the Ofcom Communications Panel to discuss joint approaches to the proposed changes to copyright law.

Through our Wales Manager the charity has been working with the Welsh Government for several years, but in autumn 2016 we saw a rapid development of this partnership, which could potentially mark the start of a multi-year project to considerably scale up the Welsh Wikipedia content and community. In parallel, we engaged in a high level meeting with all large bodies funded by the Welsh Government, to highlight the opportunities of releasing open content. In the final quarter of the year we saw the Government funding a pilot project at the National Library of Wales, as well as a partnership project between the National Eisteddfod of Wales and Wikimedia UK, in signs of an increasing commitment towards open knowledge that has been facilitated and strongly encouraged by Wikimedia UK.

Media presence

We were very active in promoting our projects to the media in 2016, and have included some selected highlights of the positive media coverage generated here:

Changes, Challenges and Learning


Changes to the plan

Looking back to our APG plan, our intention of having Wikimedians in Residence lead a lot of the organisational-level change has been fulfilled and even exceeded. An increasing number of organisations funding the residencies is also a significant sign of approval and change, particularly compared to a few years ago when Wikimedia UK was usually the key funder of these programmes. We were also able to deliver over our expectations in terms of general awareness raising, thanks to focused communications activities and social media.

The major change we implemented since the proposal was to move the minority language work over to Programme 1 of the new strategy (underrepresented content), where it sits more logically.

The Brexit vote in June was a surprise and a concern to the Chapter, and it will take time to see how this affects our EU advocacy plans as well as other areas of our work. The impact of Brexit has been added to the organisational Risk Register.


We encountered particular challenges while working to deliver our plan. Our Wikimedian in Residence project at Museums Galleries Scotland demonstrated to us the importance of ensuring that partners and beneficiaries of our work are ready for open knowledge. Our initial intention with the project was to work with many institutions in Scotland to engage them with open knowledge and teach staff and volunteers how to contribute to Wikimedia. It emerged through the residency that many small museums and galleries in Scotland actually needed more introductory digital skills training, of which open knowledge and Wikimedia would be a later step.

At National Library of Wales we struggled to move forward with the creation and implementation of the ‘openness business case’, which was a planned element of the WIR project since the start. It has, however, taken two years to get to the stage where we are now presenting the case to the Library’s senior management. The delays were partly because the agreement with Wikimedia UK put emphasis on this being completed by Library staff with support from the Wikimedian in Residence, but due to restructuring and heavy workloads the timetable for the business case kept sliding. In the end the WIR took over to lead on the project. Senior management have been broadly supportive of the the business case, but the process of formally presenting this to the board and senior staff has been slowed down by concerns from some members of staff that the recommended policy changes would have an adverse effect on income generation, which is a key ongoing concern for many of our partners. This has led to a series of discussions among heads of departments. We are hoping to see this project progress significantly in 2017.

At Edinburgh University, we achieved unprecedented wins in terms of engaging lecturers in running Wikipedia in Classroom assignments. However, having that in hand we wanted to expand the WIR project to content, working with the University’s Library and Special Collections. This hasn’t worked thus far and highlights a) the importance of involving potential partners in discussions from the outset before a residency begins, which didn’t happen in this case as we were focusing on Teaching and Learning; b) Wikimedia residencies tend to be thought of in GLAM terms and any deviation from this model such as the Edinburgh residency still need further visibility and understanding; and c) the nature of the academic year and resourcing requirements means that the pace a Wikimedia residency works at can be out of kilter with what some divisions, such as Library and University Collections, can adequately respond to given their year is often planned out long in advance. Whilst this has been frustrating it gives us plenty of learning for future projects with university libraries, and the residency has been hugely successful in other areas.

At Wellcome, our resident highlighted that Wikidata can be difficult to engage with:

I’m learning more and more now about how it works, but in order to reach this point I needed to have a one-to-one tutorial simply because the language of Wikidata is impenetrable to anyone without a computer science background.

— Alice White

Sharing learning

This comment points to the fact that we are increasingly asking more of our WIRs, and in 2016 we looked closely at how we could support this - which is one of our key learning points.

Our Wikimedians in Residence have become real change makers, advocating for and supporting the development of more open policies, as well as working at a more practical level to embed Wikimedia into the workflow of their host organisations. Beyond that, once established at their institutions, the residents scaled up their influence beyond their host institutions, advocating for change within the sector they are working in.

Observing this trend within our WIR programme, we recognised that a growing number of our residents work on complex internal advocacy cases, and also take on activities far beyond organising editathons and training. To make the residents more effective and grow the impact of this work further, we set up and facilitated a Wikimedian in Residence summit in November, enabling residents to network with each other and talk through key barriers they face in project delivery. The work following from this event will continue, strengthening the UK programme, but also being used internationally. We captured some of the learning so far in a Learning pattern

I would echo the thoughts of previous Wikimedians in Residence by advocating for increased knowledge sharing between Wikimedians in Residence. A core part of teaching & learning is building on prior knowledge. Hence, if each residency is to kick on from the last residency then there should be a 'buddy' system in place at the beginning of the residency. Getting Wikimedians in Residence together to impart knowledge & the latest goings-on in their field has been extremely useful for all concerned and helped fuel ideas for the residency going forward. Showcasing these different residencies and offering skills-training workshops at conferences has reaped dividends too in terms of raising the visibility of the residency, learning new skills & making new connections.

— Ewan McAndrew, WIR at Edinburgh University

Working more and more with Wikidata made us acutely aware that:

Mainstream academics and librarians are warming to Wikipedia, in contrast to resistance they showed just a few years ago. They are still mostly unaware of Wikipedia's sister projects, and when they realise what it possible (with Wikidata especially) then they can see concrete ways to engage. They are often unaware of how easy it is to add citations to Wikipedia using a Digital Object Identifier. There are very simple, quick demonstrations we can do which change experts' views of Wikipedia and Wikimedia for the better and show them the value of contributing: examples include; adding a citation with a DOI, creating a Histropedia timeline, looking at quality ratings on the Talk page.

— Martin Poulter, Bodleian Libraries WIR

This is a very good point that we will be bearing in mind as we work with institutions in 2017.

In 2016/17 Wikimedia UK has been increasingly looking to share our expertise and learning with the wider Wikimedia movement. We took the opportunity at the Wikimedia Conference and Wikimania to talk to other chapters about our projects, sharing lessons in evaluation and highlighting specific flagship projects such as the National Library of Wales residency. Our Head of Programmes and Evaluation attended the partnership meeting in Berlin in November and also participated in the GLAM Co-ordinators event in Paris early in 2017 - where she was joined by one of our Project Co-ordinators. The CEO meanwhile is an active participant in regular ED calls, and has attended all the in-person ED meetings including a two day visit to Lausanne in January 2017.

Advocacy work takes time and so we look to our future plans with the intention to continue awareness raising and persisting with our change projects at institutions and on the UK level, while responding to the learning we identified in 2016.

To aid our general advocacy, we will work to develop the identity and profile of Wikimedia UK in order to engage with as wide a range of volunteers, editors and participants as possible, raise our visibility with potential partners and supporters, and increase public awareness of open knowledge. Our programme for promoting open knowledge also includes more direct advocacy in the arena of public policy and legislation. This comprises two aspects; our support for and involvement with the EU Free Knowledge Advocacy Group, and our work in the UK to contribute to and amplify these activities, lobbying on specific UK legislative and policy issues. Both aspects of this work are informed by Wikimedia UK’s Advocacy Group, made up of staff, trustees and volunteers.

A key area for development over the next few months and years will be to understand the potential impact of Brexit and to position Wikimedia UK to be able to positively influence relevant legislation that may come under review by the UK Parliament. We will also seek to forge relevant links with the Scottish and Welsh Governments, building on our current relationship within the Welsh government and our extensive Scottish network.

Direct advocacy with the UK Government on copyright issues is a new area of work that started in autumn 2016, as we take advantage of opportunities to exercise greater influence on UK national legislation. At the same time, we feel that it is important for us to continue to contribute to the wider EU Policy work led by Dimitar Dimitrov, as the UK is likely to remain a member of the EU for at least the next two years.

Case studies

BBC 100 Women

In autumn 2016, the Wikimedia Foundation involved Wikimedia UK in a call with the BBC, who were exploring the potential to work with Wikimedia as part of their 2016 100 Women series. Following this initial call, the UK Chapter took more of a lead on this collaboration and followed up with a series of weekly meeting with the team at Broadcasting House to plan a multi-lingual, multi-location editathon, and to promote this partnership widely to reach a global audience. The objective of #100womenwiki for Wikimedia UK was to raise awareness of the gender gap on Wikipedia, improve coverage of women and encourage new editors.

The partnership culminated on 8th December, with Wikimedia UK organising events in Cardiff, Glasgow and Reading as well as the flagship event at BBC Broadcasting House in London, which was attended by 125 participants. Around the world, similar events were held in Cairo, Islamabad, Jerusalem, Kathmandu, Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sao Paulo and Washington DC, and virtual editathons were organised by Wikimedia Bangladesh, and by Wikimujeres, Wikimedia Argentina and Wikimedia Mexico for the Spanish-language Wikipedia. Women in Red were a strategic partner for the whole project, facilitating international partnerships between the BBC and local Wikimedia communities, helping to identify content gaps and sources and working hard behind the scenes to improve new articles that were created as part of the project.

The events were attended by hundreds of participants, many of them women and first-time editors, with nearly a thousand articles about women created or improved during the day itself. Women in Red volunteers contributed over five hundred new biographies to Wikipedia, with nearly three thousand articles improved as part of the campaign. Participants edited in languages including Arabic, Dari, English, Hausa, Hindi, Pashto, Persian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese, and were encouraged to live tweet the event using the shared hashtag #100womenwiki.

The online impact of #100womenwiki was significant, however of at least equal importance for Wikimedia UK was the media coverage generated by the partnership. The global editathon was the finale of the BBC’s 100 Women series in 2016 and attracted substantial radio, television, online and print media coverage worldwide. In the UK, our Chief Executive was interviewed by Radio 5Live and Radio 4’s prestigious Today programme, while Stuart Prior and Lucy both appeared on the BBC World Service’s Science in Action programme. Dr Alice White, Wikimedian in Residence at the Wellcome Library, was also interviewed by 5Live and Jimmy Wales came to Broadcasting House to be interviewed by BBC World News, BBC Outside Source and Facebook Live. The story was featured heavily on the BBC’s online news coverage on 8th December and the project was covered by the Guardian, the Independent and Metro in the UK, and other print and online media across the world. Lucy wrote about the project for the Wikimedia UK blog, and this was also posted on the Wikimedia Foundation’s blog which has a much wider readership.

Since the event on 8th December, there have been a number of enquiries to Wikimedia UK as a direct result of media interviews on the day; with Red Sky productions now in conversation with us and Channel 4 about a potential documentary focused on the Wikimedia community, and an interview with Lucy for webzine We are also working with chapter volunteers and Women in Red on an editathon event at Newnham College, Cambridge University, which was organised after the Principal, Dame Carol Black, attended the BBC Broadcasting House event.

Programme 3: Education and learning


Goal: To support the use of the Wikimedia projects as important tools for education and learning in the UK. As a result, learners in the UK are able to understand and engage with open knowledge.

This programme supports the movement priority of REACH, and the Wikimedia Foundation’s commitment to enabling more readers to share in open knowledge by building digital literacy.

Programme strand changes - mapping:

APG proposal programme Strategic Framework 2016-19
programme strands mapping
Programme activities
G1 Develop open knowledge Split into:

Programme 1: Diverse content and contributors (as above)

Programme 3: Education and learning (this one)

Programme 3 is the fleshed out education' aspect of the old G1, enabling greater focus on this area of work.



For clarity of reference between our impact report and the APG bid, here is a mapping of our metrics with an explanation of any modifications. Note that the actual targets were kept the same, because the activities delivered haven’t radically changed since the proposal was submitted.

APG proposed metric 2016-17 delivery plan metric Changes in metric focus or definition 2015-16 (total) APG 2016-17 target (for all programmes) Half year progress
(total for all programmes) - this programme
End of year
(total for all programmes) - this programme
Comments - how this metric is relevant to our work and how it helps us understand our achievements
Number of active editors involved 2. Number of active editors involved GM1 - 708 200 (145) 64 (619) 99 In this context, it’s mostly about how many learners keep being involved in courses from semester to semester - do they keep contributing?
Number of newly registered users 3. Number of newly registered editors GM2 - 438 300 (594) 315 (931) 409 How many new learners are we reaching?
Number of individuals involved 4. Number of individuals involved GM3 - 1,856 500 (1,733) 325 (4,200) 543 How many students and other learners are we reaching?
Number of leading volunteers 5. Number of leading volunteers - 70 260 (66) 6 (219) 20 Wikipedia in Classroom course leaders, assistants etc. We don’t have dedicated education staff at WMUK, so it’s thanks to those people that we can run this programme
Number of activity units 7. Estimated number of volunteer hours Move to ‘hours’ rather than ‘activity units’. Much more accessible N/A 4,600 (9,026) 3,190 (19,896) 5,345 The amount of effort put both by learners and volunteers supporting the learning process - enables to see how much Wikimedia ‘study time’ learners are putting in
Articles created and improved 16. Articles added and/or improved - 13,072 10,000 (44,282) 306 (476,592) 570 Content created/improved in course of the learning
Number of new articles started on a Wikimedia site (eg any of the encyclopedias, incl Wicipedia) 17. Articles added - 6,712 1,000 (5,254) 16 (369,443) 71 New content generated by contributors in the process of learning
TEXT - Sum of contribution edit size 18. Bytes added and/or deleted GM6 - 68,430,511 6 million (55,638,312) 2,800,765 (1,492,260,501) 5,438,457 Content generated by contributors in the process of learning

Background and overview of achievement


Framing the story

One of our chapter’s key strengths is working with cultural organisations to help them develop open knowledge and facilitate their journey towards becoming more open. We believe that the real value and public benefit of open knowledge, however, lies in people being able to understand and engage with it. Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects can enable learners to evaluate and critically engage with knowledge and information, as well as to access the world’s most comprehensive and reliable source aggregator. We also want to work with people as the producers of open knowledge, not just passive consumers. This third programme strand is therefore about how to develop Wikimedia as a teaching and learning tool in the UK, with content production being both a potential means and a by-product, but not the end goal.

Edinburgh University residency has benefitted from current trends in the UK highlighting an increased need and importance for developing digital literacy and critical information literacy; tapping also into a re-evaluating of Wikipedia's pivotal role in the global dissemination of knowledge & in the formal research process.

— Ewan McAndrew, Edinburgh University WIR
This high level programme logic model shows how we drive digital literacy growth through our education work: 

Key achievements

Digital literacy has been core to our education programme in 2016. We have worked with a range of prestigious higher education institutions in the successful delivery of Wikipedia in the Classroom, with the key achievement being our collaboration with Edinburgh University; particularly the directorate of Learning, Teaching and Web where our Wikimedian in Residence is based. We engaged with over 500 learners during the year, supported by 20 lead volunteers who were the lifeblood of this work. With Wikipedia in the Classroom courses often running throughout a semester, students and volunteers contributed an impressive amount of work equal to over 5,000 hours. We will be looking closer at assessing the impact of our work on students’ digital literacy in our 2017-18 metrics.


We supported Stirling University in securing external funding for Life in Data, a data literacy network programme, which was successful and will gain momentum in 2017-18. This is an innovative programme to tackle data literacy, engaging with a whole network of Scottish organisations as well as Wikimedia UK.

Separating our education activities into a distinct, strategically-driven programme, and working creatively with our partners on shaping projects such as Life in Data, means that we feel confident we are addressing past FDC feedback about this work:

[about both education and GLAM work] With the resources they have, FDC believes they can successfully expand the variety of programs and be more innovative with their programs

Other than GLAM work, some programs are not strongly aligned with movement priorities

Highlights of programme activity


Mainstream academics are gradually warming to Wikipedia in the UK, in contrast to resistance they showed just a few years ago. They are still mostly unaware of Wikipedia's sister projects, and when they realise what it possible (with Wikidata especially) then they can see concrete ways to engage.

— Martin Poulter, WIR at the Bodleian Libraries

We know that we need to do more to change some perceptions of the Wikimedia projects, and make it clear to teachers and lecturers that they can be an extremely useful tool in improving digital practice in an academic context, through critical thinking and the study of bias; translation; plagiarism and many other aspects. In 2016 we worked to do this by building our sector advocacy, and were very strongly represented at the OER 2016 conference, with presentations from our CEO and a trustee plus all current Wikimedians in Residence. It’s worth noting at this point that our CEO will be giving one of the keynote speeches at the next OER conference in April 2017.  

We are also delivering a range of projects to build our case for digital literacy. We continued to develop and deliver the Wikipedia in the Classroom programme, as it’s one of our more established education projects, collaborating with:

  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Portsmouth
  • Middlesex University
  • Queen Mary University London
  • University of Warwick
  • Swansea University (in discussions)

We worked with an engaged group of educators to help build materials, discover good practice, and grow their network so they can support each other and become more effective. In May we held a day-long meeting for educators and Wikimedians with presentations and discussions about the next steps in the Chapters education programme, while in July we organised a meeting for Wikipedia in the Classroom course leaders based in the UK to discuss their experience and share best practice. While Wikimedia UK has hosted three EduWiki conferences in the past, this was the first time course leaders have been brought together with the explicit intention of sharing information about their activities and networking. It was also an opportunity to better understand what support the courses require from WMUK. We created Learning pattern on an issue that was widely discussed on the day.

In line with our commitment to building our community of volunteer educators, we also held a meeting in September that brought together key volunteers, staff and trustees, building on the meeting in May and enabling us to develop our plans for 2017-18. We gave particular attention to planning an Open Education Summit in early 2017 in partnership with Middlesex University.

Dr Chris Harlow discussing how his students use Wikipedia editing in their Reproductive Biology module

We have expanded our education portal, with the intention of illustrating how Wikimedia is currently being used in the classroom and inspiring educators to adopt similar approaches. It also raises the profile of an important area of our work by making it more discoverable with easily accessible information. The portal will act as a platform for shared resources, giving course leaders a place to share tips and best practice, and equipping new courses with the tools they need to run successful modules.

The Edinburgh University Wikimedian in Residence has been a significant highlight for us in terms of our work within education. From January 2016 the resident has been working across a number of departments to support the inclusion of Wikipedia and to make this sustainable by training ‘local’ Wikimedia Ambassadors who can support others in teaching and learning. Although initially we were not sure whether it would be possible to set up any Wikipedia in Classroom projects within the first year of the project, after having one lecturer on board others were encouraged to follow. Engagement with Wikimedia throughout the university is now a long term goal which involves ongoing dialogue with course leaders, and the creation of case studies, course models and journal articles in order to legitimise Wikipedia’s usage in higher education; showcasing these at conferences and workshops in order to raise awareness and develop relationships with other academic institutions. Where the university has already had success in courses such as Reproductive Biology, Translation Studies and World Christianity, the resident is documenting and sharing these results in order to encourage lecturers to run their own Wiki Education assignments. The big win of the project is that the institution recognised the real merit of having such a programme running with a university-wide remit.

There are many positives to take from the first 12 months of the residency at the University of Edinburgh. With academic courses often planned out long in advance and the academic calendar so packed, the year could have ended with little Wikipedia in the Classroom assignments taking place. Yet, we have had engagement with all three teaching colleges, across a range of disciplines and have produced three very different case studies in the Reproductive Medicine (Hons.) course assignment, the World Christianity MSc literature review assignment and the Translation Studies MSc Independent Study module assignment. These three courses were received overwhelmingly positively by staff & students and further iterations of the assignment are planned for the next academic year in all three disciplines. As a result we will be sharing the course leaders' good practice with colleagues at the university at a Wiki Education meeting on 1st March 2017 and further showcasing the work of the residency at the Wiki Education summit at Middlesex University on February 20th and at OER17 on 5&6 April.

— Ewan McAndrew, Edinburgh University WIR

In fact, Edinburgh University has had such a positive and impactful experience of the project, that senior staff have been advocating for the importance of open education and working with Wikimedia UK within the sector, and the Vice Principal is submitting a presentation proposal for Wikimania 2017 on that topic.

External video
  Martin Poulter: 'Academic Projects and Wikimedia'

We are deepening our work with researchers, particularly at Bodleian Libraries where research outreach is a key area of the WIR’s work in 2016. A recent project involved collaborating with the Voltaire Foundation data, and we also worked with ArchSci2020 project - an international collaboration between archaeology doctoral students focusing on Europe’s early culture. Being involved with research projects such as this at an early stage ensures open knowledge is a consideration for academics; sharing published results through Wikipedia and improving related articles combines outreach and public benefit in a long-lasting way.

January 2017 saw the launch of the Life in Data project – a Stirling University network of which we are a key partner (amongst others such as SCVO, Urban Big Data Centre/School of Education University of Glasgow, DataLab and Scottish Cities Alliance). This two year project will map how data literacy is currently understood; the extent to which data literacy is fostered in the education sector in Scotland and in the skills development sector for creative industries; what it means for local governance, education policy and lifelong learning; and what the best ways are to encourage the development of a creative and inclusive Scottish data community. Through participation in this project we will build approaches to teaching data literacy and will be involved in policy recommendations for data literacy as a priority area for educators in Scotland and beyond. Above all, we will work to promote inclusive access to technology, knowledge and understanding of open data practices.

Changes, Challenges and Learning


The major change in delivery compared to our annual plan proposal is that, with the new 2016–19 strategy, our education work became a key programme and gained a distinct identity and purpose.


We encountered a major challenge within the education programme in Wales. Because of the presence of our dedicated Wales Programme Manager, our highly successful Wikimedians in Residence and the more flexible nature of devolved government in Wales, we have more scope to implement wide changes in education there. From the beginning of the year we were optimistic that our advocacy work with the Welsh examining body WJEC would be successful and that Wikimedia would be incorporated into the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification, with students being able to opt to deliver a Wikimedia ‘challenge’, such as organising their own editathon. The education team at the National Library of Wales, our partner on this project, were confident that the Wikipedia challenge would be accepted by WJEC. However, after much discussions it was eventually rejected, based on fears that there would not be enough substance to the challenge. We were disappointed by this outcome and believe it stemmed from a lack of understanding about the proposed challenge and, potentially, Wikimedia. There is still a possibility however that we will be able to collaborate with WJEC in 2017, and we will certainly work to establish common understanding about possible joint projects in the future.

Learning and sharing

With education gaining a new focus for the team in 2016, we were able to reflect much more on what makes this work successful, and what are the barriers (a lack of understanding being the key issue with our proposed WJEC collaboration).

The resident at Edinburgh University achieved much more buy-in than we anticipated at the start. Reflecting on this, the residency benefited from a number of important factors which have made his integration into the life of the university easier:

  • The ease of use of Wikipedia's new Visual Editor interface; the new Content Translation tool facilitating articles to be translated simply from one language Wikipedia to another language Wikipedia; and the emergence of two exciting projects in Wikisource and Wikidata.
  • The residency has benefitted from current trends highlighting an increased need and importance for developing digital literacy; tapping also into a re-evaluation of Wikipedia's pivotal role in the global dissemination of knowledge and in the formal research process (with new initiatives such as WikiCite and WikiProject Signalling OA-ness particularly relevant).
  • Integration into teaching courses was helped by demystifying and making Wikipedia accessible, articulating the skills and knowledge that students and staff acquire through Wikipedia assignments, and challenging academics to revise their pre-conceived notions about Wikipedia.

Working with Edinburgh University gave us space to really focus on developing support materials and resources for university courses that we are now sharing. Our universities portal on the UK wiki links to the resident’s lesson plan for Wikipedia training. In addition the resident has prepared three case studies on how the University is using Wikipedia in classroom and interviews with staff and students. Not only is Edinburgh the first university to host a Wikimedian in Residence, but it is the first UK university to have modules in multiple departments using Wikipedia editing, meaning our understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented by Wikipedia in education is advancing rapidly. The case studies are a recent development, and our current focus is on sharing experience between UK institutions, as demonstrated by our recent education summit at Middlesex University (February 2017), and the ongoing remodelling of the pages on education on our website. We are also looking to share this experience through conferences such as OER17, and of course the Education Collaborative.

Our growing expertise in this area means we can offer support to community-led education initiatives. In 2016 dentistry students from the University of Dundee began editing Wikipedia articles in their own time, and we got in touch to help students with advice when we found out about this. This made the course even more successful; the university staff were impressed with this method and wanted to adopted it for a Masters course at the University's branch in Egypt, spreading the reach of this programme.

In 2016-17 Wikimedia UK began making use of the beta version of the Outreach dashboard as developed by the Wiki Education Foundation. The easy interface has appealed to some course leaders that we support in the UK, and direct access to online training modules allows course leaders to pick which areas of Wikipedia students need to learn about. Dialogue between Wikimedia UK and the WEF has been essential to adopting the software, and advocating for its use in universities. Planned developments, including using the dashboard to circumvent account creation limits, will make it even more useful as well as potentially transferable to other editathons and workshops.


Going forward, we will build on our growing understanding of what makes the Wikipedia in Classroom projects work in our context, and we will also be evaluating the digital literacy learning amongst students to check that we are achieving our planned outcomes. We will run activities engaging hundreds of people in 2017, creating new content and generating knowledge, and will be sharing more with the Education Collaborative, to make sure our findings are accessible to all.

Case studies

Translation Studies at the University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh offers a taught Masters course in Translation Studies. As part of an independent study module, students were asked to choose a Wikipedia article that was at least 4000 words long and to translate it into another language. 29 people took part in the assignment, translating articles from English to Arabic, Chinese, French, Greek, Turkish, Japanese and from Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Norwegian (bokmal) into English. Students were allowed to choose the article and language they wished to work on but this had to be agreed by the course tutor, who checked the article’s suitability for a class assignment and the degree of challenge in terms of the language used. Importantly, tutors were prepared to reject any articles they thought were too simple or frivolous, with students reminded that the purpose of the assignment was to further develop their translation skills whilst also supporting the dissemination of important articles in another language.

An interview with three of the students on the MSc Translation Studies course.

The course was structured with two in-person training sessions after which students were expected to translate and submit the articles in their own time. The first in-person session introduced the students to editing Wikipedia and then looked at article selection, with the Gapfinder tool used to identify trending pages with no corresponding coverage in the target language. A week later, at the second in-person session, the students began the process of translating their chosen article. The students used the Content Translation tool to prepare their translations, which helped with the formatting of the article so that they could focus on the translation itself. There is a screencast demonstrating how to use the Content Translation tool which students watched at the end of session one and received more detailed instruction on the use of the tool in session two. The students completed and published the translations in December.

A number of issues have arisen - such as the source article being edited by a Wikipedia community member during the translation process, or referencing and notability concerns - however students have been encouraged to email the Wikimedian in Residence for advice and support. Additionally, to publish articles with the Content Translation tool on the English Wikipedia editors needed to have extended confirmed user rights, which was handled by Wikimedia UK’s office. The course was routinely monitored with any issues noted to ensure best practice is documented for future iterations of this project.

The is the first time Wikimedia UK has supported a translation classroom course, and the first time it has encouraged the use of the Content Translation tool, so we are keen to learn how this will develop. For example, we are seeing that the Content Translation tool poses a similar issue to the sandbox as people don’t always publish what they’ve written. Currently. With encouragement the course resulted in 46 new articles (with a further 21 improved) and , we believe the course has been making a positive impression within the university, with a commitment on both sides to continue this assignment next semester. The course leader noted that feedback from students indicated writing Wikipedia articles improved their understanding of how knowledge is shared between languages and the importance of citations.

Through the running of this course in Translation Studies MSc, the Wikimedian in Residence has been introduced to Edinburgh University’s Translation Society (EUTS). This student society works closely with the tutors and course leaders of the Translation Studies MSc course and has in excess of 100 student members. Student representatives from EUTS learned of the Wikipedia Translation assignment through the Translation Studies MSc course leader and requested to take part in the exercise. Whilst this wasn’t possible, the resident met with the EUTS reps and arranged a separate translation project beginning in February 2017, inviting all EUTS members to participate.

There have been additional benefits from the session, as also in attendance during the assignment was a staff member from Edinburgh University’s MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine. A Eurostemcell Translation Manager, they are keen to support the translation of Eurostemcell related articles into different languages, as the Centre works closely with European partner labs to share research knowledge related to the study of stem cells, particularly on Wikipedia. Consequently, a Danish Wikimedia trainer has been contacted and secured for a scheduled Eurostemcell Wikipedia editathon at a Danish partner lab in Copenhagen at the end of November 2016. This has worked well and we are now thinking about holding Wikipedia editathons every year for World Stem Cell Day.

Learning pattern

Revenues received during this period (6 month for progress report, 12 months for impact report)


Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

Table 2 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

  • Please also include any in-kind contributions or resources that you have received in this revenues table. This might include donated office space, services, prizes, food, etc. If you are to provide a monetary equivalent (e.g. $500 for food from Organization X for service Y), please include it in this table. Otherwise, please highlight the contribution, as well as the name of the partner, in the notes section.
Revenue source Currency Anticipated Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan
Grants GBP 277300 69235 69415 69325 69325 277300 427014 427014 Please see commentary below for explanation of variances
Donations GBP 213750 51627 50148 49159 57104 208038 329154 320358
Gifts in Kind GBP 48000 12398 15170 19836 30577 77981 73915 120083
Fundraising GBP 60000 8500 0 0 8000 16500 92394 25408
Gift Aid Claims GBP 11020 2973 3081 2809 3298 12161 16970 18727
Membership income GBP 185 330 20 175 710 0 1093
Interest GBP 13 28 105 63 209 0 322
Other income GBP 82 16 7 47 152 0 234
Total GBP 610070 145013 138188 141261 168598 593051 939447 913239

* Provide estimates in US Dollars

Spending during this period (6 month for progress report, 12 months for impact report)


Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

Table 3 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

(The "budgeted" amount is the total planned for the year as submitted in your proposal form or your revised plan, and the "cumulative" column refers to the total spent to date this year. The "percentage spent to date" is the ratio of the cumulative amount spent over the budgeted amount.)
Expense Currency Budgeted Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Percentage spent to date Explanation of variances from plan
Diverse content and contributors GBP 58430 5796 18224 12331 15765 52116 89976 80253 89.19% Please see commentary below
Promoting open knowledge GBP 68815 11444 11584 18017 14935 55980 105968 86204 81.35%
Education and learning GBP 10005 1355 2422 2930 3613 10320 15407 15892 103.15%
Fundraising GBP 21094 4071 3593 2359 3549 13572 32483 20899 64.34%
Staff costs GBP 342238 76794 90641 80316 84180 331931 527012 511141 96.99%
Operations GBP 108998 20003 18881 22037 33129 94050 167846 144827 86.29%
TOTAL GBP 609580 119463 145345 137990 155171 557969 938692 859216 91.53% N/A

* Provide estimates in US Dollars

Commentary on variances in income and expenditure against budget


Wikimedia UK’s financial year ends on 31st January and so the figures presented above are currently in draft form and unaudited. The draft result at the 2016/17 year end is a surplus of over £35,000 against a breakeven budget, with this variance being the net of a shortfall in income and a combination of underspends and cost savings in projects and fundraising, staffing and administration costs. Our stated policy is to hold between three and six months of operating costs in reserves, and the new balance sheet represents reserves of just over four months of costs, based on budgeted expenditure in 2017/18.

Income Variances

  • At £208,038, donations were slightly under our projected figure (by £5,712), while Gift Aid claims were slightly over budget due to an increase in our Gift Aid recovery rate.
  • Gifts in Kind were over budget, at £77,981 against a budget of £48,000. This reflects the charity’s significant success in leveraging resources from partner organisations and is a very positive upward trend. Those to a large extent come from our partner organisations paying for Wikimedian in Residence projects.
  • As reported to the Wikimedia UK board throughout the year, progress in other areas of fundraising has been disappointing, with a shortfall in income from major donors, trusts and foundations. The factors involved in this have been discussed by the Audit and Risk Committee and the full board, and diversifying our income streams will be a key priority in 2017.

Expenditure Variances


Variances in expenditure against budget are made up largely of the following:

  • An underspend in volunteer support of over £10k, due to a combination of not running the refresher course for trainers (as explained in our narrative report), a delay in purchasing volunteer equipment to early in the new financial year (2017/18), and taking a different and more cost-effective approach to volunteer consultation meetings  
  • An underspend in external relations due in part to prioritising programmes in the context of a fundraising deficit, and compounded by cost savings through producing creative content in-house (including our Annual Review and videos). External relations is accounted for above under the programme strand Promoting Open Knowledge, hence the variance against this budget line.
  • There was a variance of just over £7k in Fundraising, which is a composite of small underspends across the year.
  • Our board costs were under budget by around £6k, partly due to a lack of trustee representation at the Wikimedia Conference and Wikimania (for personal family reasons), and partly due to small savings in travel, accommodation, meeting room and catering costs across the year.  
  • Direct cost savings in our Office budget included a planned data cleanse (which we delivered in-house) and a refunded service charge relating to a prior year.
  • The staff cost savings relate to vacancies in office staff during autumn 2016, following the departure of our Office Manager and before the new appointments were made.



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