GLAM/Case studies/Bengali Wikisource 10th Anniversary Proofreading Contest

From Outreach Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bengali Wikisource has been around for more than a decade and to celebrate the 10 years of the project, the community decided to organize a 7 month long proofreading contest from 1st January 2017 to 31st July 2017.

Bengali Community prepared a list of 53 Public Domain books to be proofread and validated as a part of the contest. 54 users enrolled for the project, among them, more than 90% participants were completely new to the project and 34 of them actually proofread for the contest.

Steps in Preparing the Contest


Where did they start? And why?


It had become easier to contribute to Wikisource after the recent introduction of OCR and the community decided to organize an online proofreading edit-a-thon. The target was to bring existing Wikipedians to Wikisource rather than focusing on organizing workshops to bring newbies, which hasn’t proved to very impactful. It was also decided that some gift/prize would be good to engage more people.

What was the technical steps that needed to be complete to prepare for the campaign?


Creation of a campaign page


We searched for previously organized Wikisource contests and found out about the 10th Anniversary Contest on Italian Wikisource and learnt a lot from that. For instance, the scoring criteria was entirely based on what the Italians did.

What did preparing the book list look like? What steps did they have to go through? How did they choose them?


We selected most sought Public Domain books with the help of various Facebook groups related to Bengali literature and ebooks.

Contributors were also provided with an option to request adding books of their choice to the list.

How did they promote it?


Since, the plan was to bring Wikipedians to Wikisource, we promoted the contest on Bengali Wikipedia such as site notice and village pump along with mailing lists (Bengali WP, Bangladesh, WB). We also promoted the contest on various Facebook groups related to books.

How to proofread at Bengali Wikisource?

What kinds of educational material did they need to produce before developing the contest?


As the contest was targeting newbies and as a fully proofread page has a certain formatting style, we decided to create a video showing how to proofread a page on Bengali Wikisource.

As a part of developing the contest, the team created a landing page for new users focused on the most commonly used templates and when to use them. The goal of the contest was not to create “deep” Wikisource contributors, but rather to expose new contributors to the most useful introduction to the technical processes on Wikisource. For that reason the team made sure not to choose books with many complex templates.

How did the organizers develop rules for the contest?


The organizers listed generals rules and conventions to be followed by the contest participants. This included 3 points for every proofread page, 1 point for every validated page and 0.5 points for every problematic or without text page. (Inspired from Italian Wikisource)

The team only scored contributions to the books listed for the contest but participants could request books of their choice to be added to the contest.

What tools were needed?


A SQL Quarry, developed by Malayalam Wikimedian Viswaprabha along with Pmlineditor's modified version of a previously built tool by Italian Wikimedian CristianCantoro, were used simultaneously to retrieve and refine the result of the contest.

Outcomes and Follow Up

Contest winner User:Atudu wearing Bengali Wikisource T-shirt.

User:Atudu won the contest by proofreading 957 pages, while User:Kabir.bmc007 and User:Taheralmahdi came second and third by proofreading 364 and 270 pages respectively. Top 10 contributors received various prizes.

CIS-A2K and Wikimedia Bangladesh chapter distributed prizes to the top 10 contributors. Prizes included gift vouchers, t-shirts, badges and momentos. While CIS-A2K sent t-shirts, badges and momentos to the winners from India as well as gift vouchers to the winners from both India and Bangladesh, Wikimedia Bangladesh distributed t-shirts badges and mementos to the winners from Bangladesh.

Outcome Statistics

  • Number of Books - 53
  • Users enrolled - 54
  • Users with 1+ edits - 34
  • Users with 100+ edits - 12
  • Users with 100+ proofread pages - 8
  • Pages proofread - 2749
  • Pages validated - 1214


  1. 7 months was too long for a Wikisource contest and any contest should not be longer than one or two months.
  2. It’s difficult to send gift vouchers to a different country. Not everyone had a Amazon account and it became problematic to send gift vouchers to some of the winners. Bangladesh does not have Amazon. Different gift vouchers were sent to them.
  3. Books should be carefully selected for the contest. Books which require complex formatting becomes difficult for new contributors such as poetry collections.
  4. There was no contest tool with a front end interface to calculate the results. The new contest tool was created after the contest based on the previous tool.
  5. Though the campaign was successful in creating focus and energy on the content that was selected, new users did not stay engaged afterwards.