Alison Baitz


Call me Fernmother

Dedicated to increasing gender + racial parity of coverage on Wikipedia as well as training others to achieve their own information sharing goals. I'm deeply invested in lowering barriers to editing and article creation.


The pedagogical potential of preload templates hidden code
For a Fall 2020 Science Fiction and Fantasy Children’s Literature course at Simmons, I created a new preload draft template for works of children’s science fiction and fantasy. I used the template to start a couple articles. The hope with a template is that its creation will guide the creation and editing of several more. I will preach the potentials of templates to any who are willing to listen.
Concepts of notability and the search for creative sourcing opportunities
One barrier to editing includes Wikipedia's concept of notability — this can leave plenty of great people and topics under-covered on the site. I enjoy pushing the boundary of what the site considers notable. I really love seeking out creative sourcing solutions to beef up coverage and further argue for a subject's notability.
Extending enthusiasm for editing beyond the one-shot edit-a-thon
I’ve previously planned edit-a-thons and am in the process of planning more! I’m developing training material (currently, an Instagram stories series to be printed as a zine) that I hope will reach new audiences and encourage more instances of random individual editing.

Training and Outreach

Smith College Special Collections

During summer 2020, I co-led a Wikipedia editing project dedicated to improving and starting articles for people and organizations whose materials are held by Special Collections. I led and co-led training sessions for staff, both in small groups and individually, to learn more about Wikipedia and how to edit. I also created an extensive, 50-page training document for staff, dedicated to editing Wikipedia.

In total the collaborative project resulted in the creation of 26 new articles and the improvement of 115 existing articles. Some of the pages I’m most proud to have started or improved as part of this project include:

Art + Feminism

An Art + Feminism edit-a-thon was one of my earliest experiences editing Wikipedia. I was understandably thrilled to accept the position of Northeast U.S. Ambassador in Fall 2020. The role includes promoting Wikipedia edit-a-thons to institutions and individuals throughout the Northeast.

Current initiatives of mine at A+F include:

  • The creation/co-creation of materials (such as a Zoom video tutorial) to assist edit-a-thon organizers use the technology of the moment