Kerrie Burn, Library Manager at Mannix Library at Catholic Theological College and manager of the University of Divinity’s online Library Hub, has been announced as an Inaugural Wikidata Fellow for 2022.

Kerrie has headed up the Australian Women in Religion WikiProject since late 2019. This project aims to address gender gaps on Wikipedia and also bring to light the under-recognised work of women who have made significant contributions to the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. These women have been academics, activists, and philanthropists, founded well-known institutions, and been innovators in the fields of education, health and social justice.

To date, the project has created or improved Wikidata entries for over 550 Australian women as well as creating approximately 120 new Wikipedia articles.

Wikidata is a free and open knowledge base that can be read and edited by both humans and machines. Launched in 2012, Wikidata acts as central storage for the structured data of its Wikimedia sister projects including Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wiktionary, Wikisource, and others.

This inaugural Wikidata Fellowship provides an exciting opportunity to learn how to use a variety of tools to enhance our existing dataset as well as leverage this data as an entry point for research. Using visualisations and other creative outputs extracted from the data in a future research publication will also demonstrate how a WikiProject can be used in a way that would be of interest to the wider academic community, a community that historically has not always held Wikipedia in high esteem.