Wikipedia has become everyone’s go-to reference source and now, Woodbury’s got an official hand in ensuring its accuracy and relevance. Professor Joye Swan, chair of the Psychology and Social Sciences program in the School of Media Culture & Design, has been named a Wikipedia Fellow , joining a new team of interdisciplinary scholars bringing their expertise to the ubiquitous online encyclopedia.
The interdisciplinary Wikipedia Fellows program leverages the subject-matter expertise of scholars to substantially improve Wikipedia articles. Participants are encouraged to collaborate both as learners and contributors, sharing insights from their backgrounds and perspectives. Bridging academia and Wikipedia is Wiki Education, which has a track record of supporting new editors as they contribute to Wikipedia. Through the Wikipedia Fellows program, Wiki Education trains participants as Wikipedia contributors.
“Our newest Wikipedia Fellows are addressing a wide array of topics, including chemistry, psychology, mathematics, linguistics, and women’s studies,” said Wiki Education’s Will Kent. “So far, cohorts are improving Wikipedia’s coverage of science, mid-term elections and more.” To help make that happen, Wiki Education partnered with the American Chemical Society, Association for Women in Mathematics, Linguistic Society of America, National Women’s Studies Association and the Association for Psychological Science.
“Because Wikipedia remains a highly collaborative platform, I’m also excited at the potential benefits for Woodbury students. The Wikipedia Fellows program may well open some doors for students, perhaps as ‘junior editors,’ where they can use their knowledge to edit Wikipedia for more scholarly, fact-based content as part of our civic engagement duties.”
Dr. Swan is one of 11 experts in the psychology section, which has drawn scholars from such institutions as the City University of New York, the University of Nevada and the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as Woodbury. To orient the cohort, Wiki Education is hosting a three-month online course, which will meet virtually once each week and present an opportunity for professional development and public scholarship, equipping scholars with the tools they need to expand the impact of research in their discipline. According to Wiki Education’s Kent, Dr. Swan will contribute to articles about basic psychological principles and theories.
“This is a remarkable opportunity to both learn and contribute, and the initial commitment will be substantial,” Dr. Swan said. “Because Wikipedia remains a highly collaborative platform, I’m also excited at the potential benefits for Woodbury students. The Wikipedia Fellows program may well open some doors for students, perhaps as ‘junior editors,’ where they can use their knowledge to edit Wikipedia for more scholarly, fact-based content as part of our civic engagement duties.”
Dr. Swan received her Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. Her areas of expertise include applied research on sexual risk-taking, intimate relationships, and political influence. She writes “Up Close and Personal,” a monthly column in Psychology Today that focuses on sexuality and intimacy. Her book, Understanding Bisexuality: Theories, Research, and Recommendations for the Invisible Sexuality, is co-edited with her former student Shani Habibi.