Position announcement: Wikipedia Affiliate, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
In conjunction with The Wikipedia Library project, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University is seeking applicants for a “Wikipedia Affiliate.” This is an unpaid, year-long, remote research position beginning March 1, 2014 and ending February 28, 2015 that entitles the affiliate to full library privileges at George Mason University, including proxied access to all online materials to which the GMU Libraries subscribe: more than 400 databases, thousands of scholarly journals and mainstream periodicals, and hundreds of ebooks. The position is designed to give research library access to a Wikipedia editor who does not currently have such access or who has only limited access to scholarly resources: the purpose of the position is to help improve Wikipedia’s reliability and accuracy by providing Wikipedia editors with access to the best scholarly information resources while providing a model for other universities to do likewise.
The affiliate will be an experienced Wikipedia editor with at least one year of regular activity contributing to Wikipedia on historical topics in any field, region, or period. The affiliate will also be a thorough researcher who is committed to improving Wikipedia articles by consulting and citing reliable, scholarly sources and who is a lucid writer of text for Wikipedia encyclopedia articles on historical topics. An undergraduate or graduate degree in History, Art History, or a related discipline is desirable but not required.
Position Description and Duties
During the affiliate year, the affiliate will conduct scholarly research using the library resources of George Mason University with the aim of significantly improving the accuracy and reliability at least 25 Wikipedia articles on historical topics, preferably articles within a particular historical scope (for example: modern Russian and Soviet history, U.S. Civil War history, the history of late imperial China). Near the end of the affiliate year, the affiliate will write a brief report listing the Wikipedia articles he or she has contributed to and improved over the course of the year, describing how his or her access to GMU library resources has helped increase the reliability of Wikipedia on this topic and analyzing whether the affiliate program could serve as a model for other universities. The affiliate will also be asked to give a brief talk on the same subject to RRCHNM, either in person or via a remote technology such as Skype.
To apply, please send the following documents to Dr. Amanda French at email@example.com by January 20, 2014:
1. A standard résumé or curriculum vitae that also includes
- a link to your Wikipedia profile and
- at least three links to Wikipedia articles on historical topics that you have contributed to.
2. A cover letter that includes
- a description of your background, including why you contribute to Wikipedia and what level of historical expertise and interest you have in which fields, regions, or periods;
- a summary of what access you currently have (or don’t have) to research materials such as databases and scholarly journals;
- an explanation of why you want to become a Wikipedia Affiliate to RRCHNM; and
- a brief outline of the historical topic(s) and/or specific Wikipedia articles you would focus on during your affiliate year.
All applicants will be notified of the outcome of the search by the end of February 2014. The affiliate year will begin March 1, 2014.
About the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
Since 1994 under the founding direction of Roy Rosenzweig, the Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. The center itself is a democratic, collaborative space where over fifty scholars, technologists, and researchers work together to advance the state of the art.
RRCHNM uses digital media and technology to preserve and present history online, transform scholarship across the humanities, and advance historical education and understanding. Each year RRCHNM’s many project websites receive over 20 million visitors, and over a million people rely on its digital tools to teach, learn, and conduct research.
George Mason University is a public research university located approximately 14 miles from Washington, D.C., with over 30,000 students. Global education and research are a fundamental part of the university’s mission to serve its diverse and international student body. RRCHNM is part of the Department of History and Art History.
About The Wikipedia Library
The Wikipedia Library connects Wikipedia editors with libraries, open access resources, paywalled databases, and research experts. We are working together towards 5 big goals that create an open hub for conducting research:
- Connect editors with their local library and freely accessible resources
- Partner to provide free access to paywalled publications, databases, universities, and libraries
- Build relationships among our community of editors, libraries, and librarians
- Facilitate research for Wikipedians, helping editors to find and use sources
- Promote broader open access in publishing and research
The Wikipedia Affiliate to RRCHNM position is based on the Wikipedia Visiting Scholar idea suggested by Peter Suber at the Harvard Open Access Project.