Research:Best Practices for Creating Free Knowledge in Indigenous Languages on Wikipedia

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Eduardo Avila / Rodrigo Pérez
Rising Global Voices
Duration:  2016-octuber – 2017-may
indigenous languages, digital technologies
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This page documents a completed research project.

The objective of this project is to evaluate Wikipedia's position with respect to indigenous languages, in order to determine current capabilities and the difficulties involved with establishing and maintaining long term participation, in particular by native speakers.


The study will be observational, descriptive and exploratory in nature, and will call for an assessment of the achievements, successes, and challenges of indigenous-language projects on Wikipedia. It will also examine the usefulness of this contribution, which has enabled access to information written in indigenous languages. Nonetheless, the underlying educational purpose of this exercise is to rationalise the knowledge and experiences of indigenous-language editors in cyberspace, as well as to analyse both the possibilities and the challenges they may face.

The study will be divided into two parts on a methodological basis; the first part will entail a qualitative and critical review, in order to identify the capability and difficulties involved with ensuring native speakers are able to fully participate in the creation of Wikipedia projects in indigenous languages. The second part will follow a more empirical path, and will seek to apply ethnographic methodologies to determine good practices and lessons learnt, and to carry out recommendations for future initiatives based on the evidence, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and impact caused by this indigenous-language Wikipedia project.


Timeline Date
Assemble documentation, complete Grant Agreement October 20, 2016
Complete Job Description October 21, 2016
Assemble Selection Commitee October 21, 2016
Share Job Announcement October 24, 2016
Deadline for applications November 4, 2016
Interviews and Final Selection November 16, 2016
First planning meeting with lead researcher November 21, 2016
Project Design Complete December 9, 2016
Completion of project pages on Meta and Activismo Lenguas December 16, 2016
Thirteen blog posts/case studies completed March 16, 2017
25 blog posts/case studies completed June 16, 2017
Consultation of the Language Committee Jun 16, 2017
Final report with conclusions and recommendations July 16, 2017
Final Report Submitted July 21, 2017

Policy, Ethics and Human Subjects ResearchEdit


The study also aims to gather information from a number of different participants involved in the research, in the hope that their opinions will help strengthen the initiative, allow conclusions to be reached and recommend how to better support indigenous communities with creating and broadcasting content in local languages both online and through mass communication methods, at the same time introducing new languages to the digital world, and with plurilingual access to digital resources in cyberspace.

Final reportEdit

See Final report

See moreEdit

Estudio Wikipedia en Lenguas Indígenas