April 19 , 2012



McMaster students contributing research paper to Wikipedia


Hamilton, Ont. April 19, 2012This isn’t your typical term paper. After months of research and preparation, six students in the McMaster Peace Studies program will see their final research assignment uploaded to Wikipedia on Friday – a project overseen by associate professor Nancy Doubleday, and administered by the Wikipedia Education Program.


Each participant contributed one section to the McMaster entry, titled, “Mental Health of Refugee Children.” The article touches on subjects such as global health and wellness, child soldiers, refugee children and war and climate-driven immigration, and can be previewed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_Health_of_Refugee_Children


The group will be hosting a formal “Wikipedia Launch Party” on Friday, Apr. 20 in the Wilson Library, Department of Philosophy, University Hall (Third Floor) at McMaster University. The event runs from 2:30-4 p.m., and students will be discussing their experiences and achievements. Members of the media are welcome to attend.


“Our students do amazing work, but it often doesn’t have a life beyond our classroom,” says Doubleday, who also holds the HOPE Chair in Peace and Health at McMaster. “This is a different project for a different kind of audience, and we recognize they are concerned citizens as well as competent researchers and writers.”


In lieu of a final essay, participants were asked to craft a collaborative, digital entry for the online, not-for-profit encyclopedia. All six of the authors from McMaster are enrolled in Doubleday’s fourth-year seminar on putting peace and health theory into practice.


McMaster is one of eight Canadian schools participating in the Wikipedia Education Program this term. The goal is move beyond traditional “throwaway” assignments, while educating students on the importance of critical thinking, media literacy and expository writing in an evolving digital age. Postsecondary institutions in the United States, Egypt, Brazil and several other countries are also taking part.


“The Wikimedia Foundation is happy to have McMaster participating,” says Jonathan Obar, Wikipedia Education Program Advisor to Canada. “I look forward to seeing students’ contributions, especially those that add Canadian content to the encyclopedia.”


Three McMaster students are available for interviews – Yasmine Mohamed, 289-308-7001; Kate Feather, 519-831-2721; Jason Hayward, 519-751-2662. Other participants include: Sivan Ghasem, Danielle Berlingieri, Chelsea Rothwell and McMaster Wikipedia Ambassador Jeff Ong. Nancy Doubleday can be reached for comment at 905-906-5949, or doublen@mcmaster.ca



For additional information, please contact:


Andrew Baulcomb
Office of Public Relations
McMaster University
905-525-9140, ext. 23585


Michelle Donovan
Public Relations Manager
McMaster University
905-525-9140, ext. 22869