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Research Library Fellow

  • Remote
  • Anywhere

Research Library Fellow

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia – one of the most popular websites in the world, accessed by over 1.8 billion unique devices every month. Wikipedia and its sister projects are built on the content contributions and review of thousands of volunteers across the world. Because of its contribution to the global knowledge ecosystem, it is important that Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects capture the full diversity of human knowledge. 

The Community Growth team at the Wikimedia Foundation seeks a fully remote Research Library Fellow to work 20 hours a week on a 6 month contract from 1 July 2024 until 31 December 2024. In this role, you will support Wikimedia communities to make more targeted contributions in their prioritized topic areas by building topical lists and accessing relevant resources. We are looking for a research librarian, digital humanist or digital scholar who has experience helping others make the most of digital technologies to research their area of interest.

Often, Wikimedia volunteers organize their content contributions through campaigns, editing events, WikiProjects, maintenance backlogs, and other topical collaborations. These efforts rely on knowing the scope of a topic gap–what information should exist on a given Wikipedia project to provide adequate information about a topic, and what information does not already exist–in order to close that gap. 

In this role, you will explore connections between the knowledge existing on Wikimedia projects and more specialized sources of data, such as library catalogs and authority files, UNESCO inventories, and research databases (including those in The Wikipedia Library), in order to make recommendations on what is missing on Wikimedia projects in identified topic areas. Using your data retrieval and desk research skills, you will collaborate with volunteer communities to define the scope of their topic and develop a worklist for increasing coverage of it. 

You are responsible for:

  • Piloting a topical identification and research support service for organizers and editors interested in filling high impact knowledge gaps on Wikimedia projects
  • Directly supporting at least 10 communities to develop lists for event-based and on-wiki editing campaigns
  • Based on this very practical experience of list-building, documenting the gaps and challenges, and any useful workarounds, when using the existing tools and services
  • Providing recommendations on how to improve training materials, processes and practices, and research guides to support organizers and editors wanting to fill knowledge gaps on Wikimedia platforms
  • Continuously documenting your process on-wiki and working with our data and evaluation team to communicate recommendations, including publishing learnings on Diff (a blog by and for the Wikimedia volunteer community)

Skills and experience:

  • Significant professional experience working on a reference desk or providing other kinds of research support to meet the information needs of a range of users. We are particularly looking for experience compiling lists of reference materials and research topics for general users. This experience should include but is not limited to using library or research databases
  • Confidence using SQL, SPARQL or other querying languages to gather complex information from databases
  • A track record of designing efficient processes for helping others make the most of research or scholarly activities
  • Experience working with a distributed and remote team with people of diverse skill sets and backgrounds.
  • Strong written and spoken English. Non-native English speakers are welcomed.

Qualities that are important to us:

  • A passion for free and open knowledge, and a willingness to get involved in the complex, decentralized process of creating it
  • Curiosity about a large range of topics or themes, and a willingness to help others passionate about those topics have the impact they want in the world
  • Being self motivated with a curiosity to learn and experiment
  • Collaborativeness, flexibility, and interest in feedback from people with diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives.

Additionally, we’d love it if you have one or more of the following:

  • Proficiency in languages other than English
  • Experience with Wikimedia query services and tools, such as Petscan and the Wikidata Query Service
  • Experience working in multilingual environments from a knowledge equity or decolonial perspective, focused on helping local knowledge communities better participate in global issues that matter to them
  • A library; archives and records management; digital humanities; scholarly communications; or information science degree
  • Curiosity about or experience using machine learning or AI to help humans better make decision about what knowledge is needed for their community or scholarly projects
About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge freely. We host Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. 

The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive donations from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Wikimedia Foundation values having a diverse workforce and continuously strives to maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace. We encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate against any person based upon their race, traits historically associated with race, religion, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy or related medical conditions, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristics.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a remote-first organization with staff members including contractors based 40+ countries*. Salaries at the Wikimedia Foundation are set in a way that is competitive, equitable, and consistent with our values and culture. The anticipated annual pay range of this position for applicants based within the United States is US$43/hour to US$66/hour with multiple individualized factors, including cost of living in the location, being the determinants of the offered pay. For applicants located outside of the US, the pay range will be adjusted to the country of hire. We neither ask for nor take into consideration the salary history of applicants. The compensation for a successful applicant will be based on their skills, experience and location. 

*Please note that we are currently able to hire in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and Uruguay.  Our non-US employees are hired through a local third party Employer of Record (EOR). 

We periodically review this list to streamline to ensure alignment with our hiring requirements. 

All applicants can reach out to their recruiter to understand more about the specific pay range for their location during the interview process.

If you are a qualified applicant requiring assistance or an accommodation to complete any step of the application process due to a disability, you may contact us at [email protected] or +1 (415) 839-6885.

More information

Wikimedia Foundation
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News from across the Wikimedia movement
Wikimedia 2030
Our Commitment to Equity
This is Wikimedia Foundation 
Facts Matter
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