Submissions/It is not a matter of visibility: GLAMs contribute to fill the knowledge gap. New metrics for GLAMs and GLAM-Wiki cooperation

From Wikimania

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2017.

Submission no. 5023 - GO
Title of the submission

It is not a matter of visibility: GLAMs contribute to fill the knowledge gap. New metrics for GLAMs and GLAM-Wiki cooperation

Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)


Author of the submission

Iolanda Pensa
This presentation is based on the research work related to the project GLAM visual tool implemented by the Laboratory of visual culture at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) and financially supported by Wikimedia CH. The research team involves Giovanni Profeta and the project is conceived by Iolanda Pensa (principal investigator).

type of submission


Language of presentation

English (the presentation can also be made in French is useful)

E-mail address



Country of origin

Italy and Switzerland

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia Italia and Wikimedia CH
Laboratory of visual culture at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI)

Personal homepage or blog

Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)
The knowledge network of a GLAM. One of the visual tool under implementation for the GLAM visual tool.
Women born in Africa with an article on Wikipedia according to Wikidata. A research work to explore how Wikidata can provide information about the knowledge gap on Wikipedia developed in the Workshop Wikidata SUPSI.

This presentation aims at proposing a new evaluation criteria for GLAMs and GLAM-Wiki cooperation focussed specifically on knowledge.

On one hand, Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects are extremely visible and generative: the knowledge they provide can be considered a mainstream knowledge easily reachable (on Wikipedia and elsewhere thanks to the open license). If we explore Wikipedia knowledge gaps we can identify what is missing and what is not mainstream and easily reachable.

On the other hand, GLAMs preserve, produce and valorize knowledge. Their main role is not necessarily to reach the widest public, but to fulfill their mission which can be to preserve and exhibit the archive and production of a specific painter (for example for a museum or a foundation focussed on an artist), or to preserve the documents of a country (for national archives), or to educate and disseminate knowledge about nature and specific a territory (for example for natural science museums).

This presentation proposes to start GLAM-Wiki cooperation by exploring what is the mission of a GLAM in terms of knowledge. Which content does it own? is its focus general or does it have specialized collections? Once the knowledge focus of the GLAM is identified, it is possible to explore how this knowledge is already available on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects: are the topics related to the GLAM already accessible? how is the quality of content available? are images provided? are sources reliable and complete? The GLAM-Wiki cooperation will be then based on the capacity of the GLAM of filling the knowledge gap and in making that before-after contribution visible.

What will attendees take away from this session?

Even if the new metric described in this presentation is simple, in reality it is an innovative approach which is not currently used either by GLAM-Wiki cooperation nor by GLAMs. Paradoxically GLAMs are often trapped into describing their work in terms of public and visibility (but – if these were the main objectives of GLAMs – preserving and valorizing culture is defiantly not the quickest way to increase public and visibility: offering free beer or organizing large scale events would definitely be a much more efficient approach). The Wikimedia projects and their extensive database provide not only the opportunity for GLAMs to contribute to the most visited encyclopedia and to free knowledge, but it create also a new way of evaluating their impact and work.

  • For Wikimedias cooperating with GLAMs. The presentation aims at suggesting a new criteria to evaluate GLAM-Wiki cooperation based on the capacity of GLAMs to fill knowledge gaps. The proposal can provide a new metric which is more deeply related to the core objective of the Wikimedia projects and their goal to produce open knowledge. Furthermore the presentation provides information on a tool under development with the support of Wikimedia CH.
  • For GLAMs. The presentation provides a new evaluation and impact system for the work of GLAMs which is made possible by the GLAM-Wiki cooperation and which can be included more largely in the evaluation process and report systems of GLAMs.
Theme of presentation
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?


Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
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  1. DerHexer (talk) 20:40, 12 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
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