Let's talk about how contributing to Wikimedia projects improves the iNaturalist experience

Who: Michael Pirrello
What: Contributing to Wikimedia Projects to improve iNaturalist
Where: iNaturalist Discord Server (https://discord.gg/eCD4WvT)
:loud_sound: General / # vc-general
When: Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, 6pm EST
Why: Adding and improving Wikimedia Project data directly enhances iNaturalist Taxon “About” tabs.
How: Live data editing in Wikipedia/Wikidata/Wikispecies with commentary, followed by open discussion/Q&A.

I hope you can join us on the iNaturalist Discord Server tomorrow!


Good topic, but pretty much anything on Discord gets a hard pass from me in terms of participating.

We have a perfectly workable forum right here that can be logged into with your existing iNat account. The last thing I need is yet another site to keep login information and such for, and dividing up iNat related topics across different platforms seems to be a method designed specifically to ensure that the best conversation of the relevant topic can’t take place.


I find this topic interesting (I did add a few plant articles to Wikipedia myself).

I won’t be able to see it live, but just curious, is this a talk with slides and so on? Or audio only? Will there be a recording?

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Can you bring us TLD Discord version afterwards for the forum please?

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I won’t have slides, but I will be screen sharing (“Going Live” in Discord terms) while I do some Wiki editing, so there will be something to look at, not just audio.

I’m assuming you meant a TL;DR? I may do a second “make-up” session of sorts for folks who can’t attend on the 26th, which I’ll post here as well. After that, I plan on cleaning up my speaker’s notes and will post them to my Google Drive or ORCID page or something for public consumption, but that won’t be right away.


Most browsers allow you to create and store a randomized password, but I understand your disinclination to share information when it’s so often commodified. The forum format allows for text discussion and image posting, but that’s not the same as a live presentation.

I’m hoping to make this visual and step-by-step in a way that I couldn’t do here without posting tons of screen shots and hopefully encourage new people to add a Wikimedia branch to their iNat hobby. Hopefully more seasoned folks can pick up a tidbit or two as well, and bring some energy and additional insight to the event.

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On a side topic, @elias105, I have considered contributing to Wikipedia but it’s very daunting. Can you suggest a video or something that goes over the basic minimum that one would have to know to write a Wikipedia article?

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I’m no expert, but for me the main effort was finding references for everything I wrote. I basically wrote about a flower I knew about and was surprised there was no Wikipedia article for yet.

There’s no minimum length required, just a few lines is enough - but it still took me some time making sure I have papers or websites to reference, and figuring out how to add the references. There’s also a lot of helpful people (with botany articles at least) willing to help - one guy in particular probably spent a lot more time answering questions and fixing my additions than it took me adding them :sweat_smile:

Later a real problem was getting pictures with a free license, which is an ongoing struggle. Right now I’m trying to obtain a picture for Spiranthes graminea, there is lots of pictures out there but none that is completely free to use. I even found someone on inat willing to share their pictures but there was a language barrier and I couldn’t explain how to change the license :sob:


I realized that a lot of species I have observed are missing on wiki. So I started with articles about secies I observed myself and was able to use my own pictures for starters. But I agree with the time issue for the sources… it takes time, but felt a bit like writing a real journal article, so should be familiar for people that publish articles.
For me it took a lot of time to get the format right in the beginning. Now I just use the same template for my species description.


Please do, I couldn’t make it today and know at least one other person interested who missed it as well. It’s something I was already trying to teach myself for this exact purpose. Thank you for taking the time to do this!

I’m tentatively planning another session with different live edit examples at 4pm EST on Saturday, January 7th. Discord invite link is the same: https://discord.gg/eCD4WvT

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