GLAM Wikiprojects as a Form of Organization of Cooperation Between Wikipedia and Cultural Institutions


  • Anna Karczewska Czestochowa University of Technology



cooperation, cultural institutions, knowledge management, online open source project, organization


The development of new communication technologies enabled the digitalization of the knowledge resources of cultural institutions all over the world and made them available to a wider audience. This was possible through the cooperation of cultural institutions with Wikipedia’s WikiProjects and engagement of the users from numerous countries. It seems important to recognize if this form of cooperation between Wikipedians and institutions is effective and attracts enough participants. The article takes up the subject of the character and effects of this cooperation. The aim of the paper is to study the activity of Wikipedians, including newcomers, in GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) WikiProjects in several language versions of Wikipedia as an open knowledge project. The research questions concerned the characteristics of the activity of Wikipedians in GLAM WikiProjects and the differences between the behaviour of Wikipedians in GLAM WikiProjects in different language versions. The method used in the research is the content analysis, which includes quantitative tools. The author acquired and calculated the data on the activity of GLAM Wikiprojects participants thanks to the Wikipedia xTools tool. The calculations were made on participants of GLAM WikiProjects from five language versions of Wikipedia. The main conclusion from the research is that the results of this kind of organization of work, especially in terms of newcomers, are not satisfactory. The most effective participants are the coordinators of the projects or/and the Wikipedians with the highest seniority. Newly acquired participants most often do not continue their activity for long time. However, there are some differences in different language versions of Wikipedia. English one has better results in retaining and engaging new users. What is interesting is that despite the wide popularization and engagement of the GLAM institutions in the collaboration with Wikipedia, there is a relatively low interest of new Wikipedians in GLAM Wikiprojects. In order to reach a successful cooperation, it is significant to improve the effectiveness of welcoming, engaging, and retaining newcomers in the projects. The results may be of use to the practitioners of the virtual communities of practice which focus on creating and sharing knowledge.