Grants:Project/Rapid/ISMB 2017 Computational Biology Editathon

WikiProject Computational Biology/ISMB 2017 Editathon
ISMB is the largest computational biology conference in the world, hosting over 2,000 researchers and experts in the field. We aim to hold an all-day drop-in editathon at ISMB 2017 in Prague, in order to tap this resource to improve the quality of articles within WikiProject Computational Biology.
targetWikiProject Computational Biology, primarily in English but potentially other languages too
start date20 July
start year2017
end date25 July
end year2017
budget (local currency)41,500 CZK
budget (USD)$1,775
grant typeThis grant is being requested by members of Wikiproject Computational Biology, in collaboration with ISCB.
non-profit statusYes --
organization (if applicable)• The fees for the room and laptop rentals will be invoiced directly from ISCB (as the conference organisers)
website (if applicable)ISCB and Wikiproject Computational Biology

Please see the sample Editathon/Training application before drafting your application.

Project GoalEdit

  1. Add or improve content (by bringing Wikipedia to the experts)
  2. Recruit new editors (among the people with the most knowledge in this field)

This event builds on the expertise and experience of several previous editathons hosted at the similar conferences (ECCB 2012, ISMB 2014, ISMB 2016)

Project PlanEdit


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. Be sure to answer the following questions:

1. Are you doing one editathon or training or a series of editathons or trainings?

We are doing one editathon: ISMB is the largest computational biology conference in the world, hosting over 2,000 researchers and experts in the field. We aim to hold an all-day drop-in editathon at ISMB 2017 in Prague, in order to tap this resource to improve the quality of articles within WikiProject Computational Biology.

2. How will you let your community know about the event? Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions.

We will post notifications on WikiProject Computational Biology. We will also broadcast the event over Twitter, and include an announcement in an article which will be published in the journal Bioinformatics prior to the conference (which will also announce the 2017-18 ISCB Wikipedia Competition). As additional incentive, we offer prizes for the best/most contributions.

3. Do you have experienced Wikimedia editors to lead the event?

On our team we have several experienced editors to lead the editathon, and will recruit more to take shifts throughout.

4. Do participants have the equipment or skills needed to participate and contribute high quality content? If not, how will you support them?

Our experience from hosting last year was that many participants had the subject skills but faced two challenges to participation:
  1. Most did not have the Wikipedia experience to get started quickly.
  2. Many participants did not bring their own laptop or other device.

To mitigate these, we will take the following steps:

  1. We will have a rota of experienced volunteers on hand to introduce participants to Wikipedia and guide them if they have queries.
  2. We will rent 10 laptops to be used as editing stations over the course of the editathon

5. How will you engage participants after the event(s)?

Online mentors will send a welcome message to new editors after the event, and invite them to join WikiProject Computational Biology. They will monitor the work done by new editors between events so they can answer questions and offer feedback.

6. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?

This project would build upon the ISCB Wikipedia Competition, which has been run annually since 2012.[1][2] We aim to continue and expand the ISCB's partnership with Wikimedia projects and encourage further coverage of computational biology articles on Wikipedia as part of the ISCB's commitment to open science. We will follow a friendly space policy, in line with the existing code of conduct for ISCB conferences and associated events.


How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include the following targets:

  1. Number of events: 1
  2. Number of potential participants: 3,000
  3. Expected number of participants: 30
  4. Number of new editors: 20
  5. Number of of articles created or improved: 60


What resources do you have? Include information on who is organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

We have 2 experienced Wikimedians who will drive the event:

Past experience suggests we will be able to recruit several more. Both organizers are members of ISCB and we have the support of ISCB, who are hosting the conference. This will include promotion and allowing the editathon to take place at the conference. ISCB have also offered to book us a room at the conference to hold the editathon, but will need to invoice us for the rental fee (see below).

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense and include a total amount.

  1. Room rental at Prague Congress Centre = 20,872.5 Kč (approximately US$900.00)
  2. Laptop rental: 1,100 Kč x 10 laptops = 11,000 Kč (approx US$475)
  3. Food and drink = $150.00
  4. Miscellaneous supplies = $100.00 (name tags, cheatsheet posters)
  5. Prizes = $150
Total = $1775.00 USD


Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

  • Support - This team has had great success in the past with this format. It is a good example of cooperation between a Wikiproject (WP:COMPBIO) and an academic society (ISCB) by making the most of a well-attended academic conference (ISMB). Combining the workshop with a competition is a good way to encourage continued engagement after the workshop ends. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 05:51, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Support we always need this kind of proposal. It is a good model to be replicated.--Alexmar983 (talk) 12:30, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support I volunteered and helped organize ISMB 2016 Wikipedia Editathon at Orlando. This grant is a well thought culmination of what we learned in that workshop and an important stepping stone towards increasing community outreach and bringing more new editors to the community. ISMB presents an interesting opportunity to indulge students and scientists alike which can improve the quality of Wikipedia articles, specially within the scope of Computational Biology. Vivek Rai (talk) 15:20, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support I have worked with the organisers previously and they have an excellent knowledge of Wikipedia and they are excellent at communicating their enthusiasm for the subject. ISMB provides an excellent venue to encourage domain experts in computational biology to try their hand at editing Wikipedia content. I strongly support their efforts. Alexbateman (talk) 19:33, 16 June 2017 (UTC)


  1. Bateman, Alex; Kelso, Janet; Mietchen, Daniel; Macintyre, Geoff; Domenico, Tomás Di; Abeel, Thomas; Logan, Darren W.; Radivojac, Predrag; Rost, Burkhard (19 September 2013). "ISCB Computational Biology Wikipedia Competition". PLOS Computational Biology. pp. e1003242. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003242. 
  2. Kilpatrick, Alastair M. (29 December 2016). "The 5th ISCB Wikipedia Competition: Coming to a Classroom Near You?". PLOS Computational Biology 12 (12): e1005235. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005235.