This is the "Editing Wikipedia: Getting Started" page of the "Editing Wikipedia: A Guide for Botanical & Horticultural Libraries" guide.
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Editing Wikipedia: A Guide for Botanical & Horticultural Libraries  

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Editing Wikipedia: Getting Started Print Page

General Reference Sources

Editing Wikipedia doesn't only mean creating new articles.  In fact, much valuable work is to be done with adding citations, checking citations, and sharing links to original documents.  The resources below are well-suited to this purpose.

  • Biodiversity Heritage Library
    The Biodiversity Heritage Library improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.

  • Taxonomic Literature II
    TL-2 is the premier publication of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT).

    In its print form, TL-2 is a 15 volume guide to the literature of systematic botany published between 1753 and 1940. It is organized by author and includes numbered entries for the author's publications. Suggested abbreviations for use in taxonomic publications are provided: abbreviations for the author's name, short titles and abbreviations of the short titles for publications. TL-2 is the standard by which authors' names and titles should be abbreviated.

Resource lists: Botanical & Horticultural Topics

The articles linked below are essentially guides to resources that Wikipedia editors or users might employ to learn more about a particular topic.  If you are looking for a Wikipedia project, creating or enhancing resource lists like the ones below is a great way to contribute to the site.

Native Plant Sources

Important Links for Editing Botanist Articles


Editing Wikipedia: Getting Started

Editing Wikipedia: Getting Started

Editing Wikipedia is a valuable service that librarians, scholars, and other information professionals can provide to the public.  Edits to Wikipedia are made in real-time and tracked by users from around the world.  Although there are challenges associated with contributing to Wikipedia, active participation in this site is a relatively easy way to increase visibility for library collections while providing a valuable service to the public.  Information literacy training and information dissemination are both key components of librarianship.  Wikipedia offers a unique venue for librarians to undertake these actions and more.



Editing Wikipedia requires, in many ways, being willing to take a plunge and learn something new.  It may seem intimidating at first, but Wikipedia is quite easy to pick up for those who are comfortable with computers and like to learn new things.  Having a bit of experience with HTML or CSS is helpful, but not essential.

  • The Wikipedia Library: Best Practices for Librarians, Archivists and Cultural Professionals Who Want to Link to Collections on Wikipedia
    An extremely detailed and very helpful guide for librarians and other information professionals. This guide details the value of adding to Wikipedia as well as common questions related to conflict of interest and general "how to" problems.
  • Wikipedia:Tutorial
    The linked resource offers guidance about the style and content of Wikipedia articles, and informs readers about the Wikipedia community and important Wikipedia policies and conventions. This is a basic tutorial, not an extensive manual or interactive learning environment. For more details about any information in the tutorial, there are links to other resource pages throughout the tutorial.
  • Wikipedia:Adopt-a-user/Adoptee's Area
    Do you have questions about using Wikipedia? Senior Wikipedia users are wonderful resources for any and all questions about Wikipedia. Check out the Wikipedia Adopt-a-user program on this page, and keep in mind that the best contacts you have are probably your colleagues who have already hosted edit-a-thons themselves!

Planning an Edit-A-Thon

Just editing Wikipedia is a valuable undertaking, but most botanical and horticultural libraries have a wealth of resources that no one person could possibly review.  A Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon is a great way to put eyes on special collections, promote usage of collections, and add some great content to Wikipedia.  As with anything, there are challenges associated with running an Edit-A-Thon.  If you are thinking about hosting an Edit-A-Thon there are some things you can do to learn more. 

  1. Review resources online, some of which are linked below. 
  2. Review scholarly literature about librarians and Wikipedia.
  3. Attend a local Edit-A-Thon to learn about how they are run.  Attend more than one Edit-A-Thon if you can to see how different they can be. 
  4. Talk to colleagues who have run Edit-A-Thons.
  5. Talk to your institution about hosting an Edit-A-Thon.
  6. Talk to your users and see if they would be interested in participating.

There is no single way to plan or run an Edit-A-Thon.  With that in mind, the resources below are a helpful place to start.


CBHL - Always Available, Always Accessible

CBHL Website

CBHL Newsletter

CBHL Facebook Page

EBHL Facebook Page

CBHL photostream

CBHL Twitter

SlideShare files - CBHL PowerPoints online

Field Book Project CBHL 2012 by Carolyn Sheffield on Jul 03, 2012

A Digitization Primer for Botanical and Horticultural Librarians by Chris Freeland on Jul 06, 2012

The Biodiversity Heritage Library: Growing from Botanical Origins by Martin Kalfatovic on May 12, 2009

EBHL 2008 on Jun 19, 2008 - CBHL Report on EBHL 2008 Annual Meeting


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