Feds work with Wikipedia editors to improve entries related to gov’t publications’

Feds work with Wikipedia editors to improve entries related to gov’t publications’

In May, the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), part of the National Archives, hosted an “editathon” to “focus on improving Wikipedia entries related to government publications.” The event was promoted on the websites of both Wikipedia and the OFR. Two OFR officials attended the meeting (David Ferriero, archivist of the United States, and Charley Barth, director of the Federal Register) along with 10 members of the public who represented various “Wiki” entities such as Wikimedia, Wikisource, and Wikidata. The Washington, D.C. chapter of Wikimedia was a cohost of the event.

The OFR is responsible for several federal publications, such as the Federal Register, U.S. Statutes at Large, and the Public Papers of the Presidents, among others. The agency’s collaboration is aimed at helping consumers of information about the business of government better “connect the dots” to “find what they are looking for.” Rather than a one-time event, the editathon was intended to be part of an ongoing partnership with weekly Wikipedia staff meetings to include “Wikipedians.” The National Archives already has a “Wikipedian in Residence,” Dominic McDevitt-Parks.

This inaugural editathon lasted for seven hours, and the National Archives reported several accomplishments:

Some specific accomplishments from the event include a new article for the List of CFR Sections Affected, a new model for future articles about CFR parts…, and updating several more articles related to our work, including Title 35 of the CFR, Administrative Procedure Act, Executive order, and Electoral College.

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