MD

2011-02-10

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February 28, 2011 - 11:40pm

Campus Club: U-M Wikipedians

BY JONAH MOST

Many students use Wikipedia as a resource for classes, essay and other academic pursuits. But several University students have taken their Wikipedia use one step further.

This past fall, Rackham student Cheryl Moy started U-M Wikipedians — the first Wikipedia student club in the United States, according to the Wikimedia Foundation website.

The club, which began as a project in one of Moy’s chemistry classes, garnered the attention of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization responsible for various “Wiki” sites including Wikipedia, Wikionary and Wikinote.

The club’s two dozen members update Wikipedia pages ranging from science policy articles to pages about the University. The group’s members scours Wikipedia for errors, omissions and poorly written articles.

LSA sophomore Charles Zhou, a member of U-M Wikipedians, said he has contributed to Wikipedia articles on topics including University campus tours and obscure dung beetles. According to Moy, the group has also created ten new articles.

Though Zhou said he is not sure how many articles he has contributed to, he said he’s made at least 200 edits since high school.

Senior Wikipedians like Zhou help guide club members with less experience and explain how to navigate the website and make contributions.

In the fall, the group hosted a talk by Frank Schulenburg, head of public outreach for the Wikimedia Foundation, who gave a presentation about the organization.