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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Wikipedia for Africanists
Authors:Muller, Hans
Damen, JosISNI
Periodical:African Research and Documentation (ISSN 0305-862X)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:African studies
information dissemination
Abstract:This article discusses how Africanists and information specialists in African research and documentation can get the most out of Wikipedia, and how they can contribute to it. The authors first mention some recent initiatives that have been put forward to connect Wikipedia and African Studies: the WikiAfrica project (a collaboration between South African and Italian institutes); the WikiProject Africa; the inclusion of of Wikipedia assignments in a module of the Research Masters in African Studies at the African Studies Centre (ASC) in the Netherlands; and the project Wikipedians in Special Residence, initiated by the ASC. The authors then consider how Wikipedia works and give an impression of its content relating to Africa, providing some examples of controversial as well as good articles on African subjects. In spite of low Internet penetration in several countries in Africa, already in five African languages extensive Wikipedias have emerged: in Malagasy, Yoruba, Afrikaans, Swahili and Amharic. Attention is also paid to Wikimedia Commons, an online repository of free-use images, sound and other media files. Most of these images and other files are provided under a Creative Commons Licence, which means that one is free to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, adapt it for any purpose, even commercially, as long as appropriate credit and shares (the new material must be distributed under the same license) are given. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]