This post was written by Dr Toni Sant, Education Organiser
Wikimedia UK’s second annual EduWiki conference will take place in Cardiff on 1 and 2 November 2013.
A recent white paper from TurnItIn, the online plagiarism-prevention service used widely across higher education in the UK, demonstrates in a very clear way the need for, and importance of, the conference.
TurnItIn claims that “Wikipedia has an outsized presence as a content source for student writing”.  The study is based on an analysis of over 112 million content matches from 28 million student papers submitted to TurnItIn between July 2011 and June 2012. 11% of these content matches are from Wikipedia. Interestingly, the same report is quick to explain that Wikipedia has academic merit in terms of educational value. The paper states that there is a need to “educate students that the true value of Wikipedia is to provide a curated summary on a topic, and that they should follow the sources and citations at the bottom of Wikipedia entries to verify the accuracy of the information and to uncover primary source material” .
The charity is now inviting proposals for papers, presentation, provocations and/or posters, especially ones addressing the issues highlighted by the TurnItIn white paper. Proposals for panels and round table discussions from groups of three or four participants are also welcome. Indicative topics include, but are not limited to:
* Wikipedia belongs in education, including Higher Education
* Wikipedia’s academic merit and educational value
* Examples of using Wikipedia in the high school, college or university classroom
* Ways to deter university students from plagiarizing Wikipedia
* Going beyond Wikipedia by engaging with any of the other major Wikimedia projects: Wikibooks, Wikispecies, Wikiquote, Wikinews, Wikisource, Wikiversity, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons, among others.
Please email your proposal (including an abstract of up to 200 words) to email@example.com by Monday 26 August 2013. All proposals should also include a brief biography of around 50 words.
Dr Toni Sant, Wikimedia UK’s Education Organiser, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for anyone involved in using or considering Wikipedia and/or other Wikimedia projects within an academic context, as well as others involved in open education in general, to meet colleagues across the UK and beyond working on related projects. We’re hoping to receive many exciting proposals and look forward to programming as many submission as possible at the conference itself.”
Queries about the conference or any other aspect of Wikimedia UK’s Education activities can be sent directly to Toni by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Further details available on the Wikimedia UK website here
 TurnItIn White Paper. ‘The Sources in Student Writing – Higher Education’, p.10
 ibid. p.11