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Royal Society hosts edit-a-thon to get women onto Wikipedia

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The Royal Society is hosting an edit-a-thon for Wikipedia, signing up a bunch of contributors to spend one day adding and editing articles about female scientists including black female neurosurgeon Alexa Canady and UCL Biomedical Imaging expert Eleanor Maguire.

The Wiki-eds will have access to a whole host of material from the Royal Society library including biographies and published papers: the society's librarians have already located relevant documents and will be helping the eds.

Coming two days after Ada Lovelace day the initiative is intended to boost the content about women available on Wikipedia and also teach volunteers about editing Wikipedia.

The fact that only 9% of Wikipedia editors are women is a much-knocked about chestnut and this is an attempt to do something about it, led by Professor Uta Frith of University College London. She said:

Wikipedia is one of the first places that many people go for information but if it’s not there how will we ever learn about our scientific heroines. This event is a very small but important step towards putting these very special women in the spotlight they deserve.

Wikipedia has put together a list of potential entries - notable female scientists who lack full Wikipedia entries. Remote editors can join in on the twitter hashtag #womenSciWP. ®

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