UNH Libraries Bring Expertise to Wikipedia

Posted February 27, 2018

library employees participating in an edit-a-thon

The UNH libraries in Durham, Manchester, and Concord participated in the #1Lib1Ref campaign to add citations to the crowd-sourced encyclopedia Wikipedia.

Eighteen library faculty and staff contributed to the campaign, which ran from Jan. 15 to Feb. 3. The libraries exceeded their goal to add 100 references.

University students often turn to Wikipedia to begin their research. But with thousands of articles containing uncited claims, the goal of #1Lib1Ref is to make Wikipedia a more reliable resource.

The idea of the event is that if every librarian in the world added one reference, Wikipedia would not have any more “citation needed” tags.

“Librarians and library staff are experts on authoritative sources of information, so we wanted to do our part,” said Kimberly Sweetman, associate dean of the UNH Library.

As the flagship campus of the state university system, the UNH Library in Durham teamed up with the UNH Manchester Library and UNH Law Library in Concord to provide proper citations for articles related to New Hampshire. More than one-third of the references added were related to New Hampshire historical figures, cities, and attractions.

“While we are a research library contributing to the scholarship of the university, we are also a state institution, serving the citizens of New Hampshire and representing the state,” Sweetman said.

Participants either worked on their own or attended group edit-a-thons in Durham and Manchester.

The global campaign is organized by Wikimedia Foundation, which operates the encyclopedia.