Grants:TPS/Gretchenmcc/CoLang Institute on Collaborative Language Research/Report

Event name


CoLang: Collaborative Institute on Language Documentation

Participant connections


My co-instructor User:loztron and I had 9 participants in our week-long workshop during the first week, as well as 9 people who participated in our informal editathon in the second week (pictures), who edited a total of 39 articles. We also gave a lightning talk during Sharing Night to the whole group, emphasizing that editing Wikipedia is a highly effective way of getting more accurate information about languages they care about in front of the public and that it's not technologically difficult ("if you can email, you can Wikipedia"). The majority of participants hadn't edited Wikipedia before (67%), while 20% had edited a bit and 13% had edited a wiki but not Wikipedia. About half of the workshop participants and 90% of the editathon participants were female; 12/14 of the biography articles edited were about female linguists.

We had several long conversations with two professors in particular (at University of Hawai'i and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) who have become excited about the idea of using Wikipedia in the classroom, as well as shorter conversations with many other participants about Wikipedia Incubator and Wikipedia in the classroom.

I was also able to take photos of 7 notable linguists who were attending the institute and already had Wikipedia bios, which I've uploaded to Commons and added to their Wikipedia articles with infoboxes. This also provided an excuse to chat with these linguists about the importance of Wikipedia as a knowledge dissemination tool. This is definitely something I'll be adding to the "bag of tricks" for future editathons at conferences!


Option 1: Shared Experience: What is one way you shared something from your experience with your community (either locally or globally), after the event?
Add a link here to a blog post or newsletter you wrote about your participation afterwards, or to a meet-up you organized to share your experience with your local community.

User:loztron and I each wrote blog posts about our experiences at the event. Here's Lauren's blog post on Superlinguo and my blog post on All Things Linguistic, which also links to the 39 articles that were created or improved over CoLang (plus another 179 articles that were linked to open-access archival resources, building on GLAM/SOAS/Lingwiki). I also shared each day's slides individually on my blog as the workshop was happening: one, two, three, four so that people could follow along from afar.

We encouraged participants to livetweet any articles they were working on or other things they wanted to share, which can be found at #lingwiki.


  • Return flight, Montreal to Fairbanks - $895.60 USD
  • Accommodation in dorm at University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2 weeks - $750 USD
  • Meal plan at University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2 weeks - $620 USD

All costs were paid directly by Wikimedia, so no receipts have been forwarded as they already have the originals, but I've sent my boarding passes just in case.

Amount left over


USD $0 - all costs were paid directly by Wikimedia.

Anything else


Our slides are located here: