National Museum of Australia Situation Report

As mentioned in my previous post, I have been offered a “2012 Director’s Fellowship” at the National Museum of Australia (NMA). This is a six-month post where I’ve been asked to create a strategy for how the museum can build a long-term and mutually-beneficial partnership with Wikimedia that fits their into their own priorities. Last week was the first stage of this project – with my submission of a “situation report” and traveling to Canberra to deliver a workshop for staff and meeting with representatives of each department to hear about their specific needs.

[Vicki Humphrey (head of conservation) and Tikka Wilson (head of web) investigate the amazing “Saw Doctor’s Wagon” in the collection – being restored to working order for a forthcoming exhibition about conservation techniques.]

At the beginning of this fellowship I really wanted to try and make a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the current and relationship between the museum and the Wikimedia projects. As far as I know this kind of comprehensive report has not been made before so I thought that I should give it a go! I think that this kind of report is especially needed since, as the number of GLAM-Wikimedia partnerships increases around the world, partnerships should be increasingly evidence-based and targeted in their approach. The National Museum was kind enough to let me publish this under a free-license so other organisations can potentially modify this model to fit their own needs.

If you can’t see the document embedded below, you can also download the PDF at Wikimedia Commons. I’ve divided the report into six sections: inbound traffic to the NMA; search engine optimisation; outbound links from Wikipedia; presence on Wikimedia Commons; presence on Wikipedia; and presence elsewhere.

To make this report I’ve relied heavily on the metrics tools built by the illustrious Magnus Manske, many of which I originally asked him to build back when I was “Wikipedian in Residence” at the British Museum. I would also like to thank Ed Summers (@Edsu) for relaunching and modifying his Linkypedia tool specifically to help me with this report (he has also written that story up in his own blog). Thanks also to Sydney Wikipedian Whiteghost.ink and NMA in-house Wikipedian Shamto for assisting with the staff training session and department meetings. And of course, especial thanks to Tikka Wilson (@Tikkaw) at the National Museum for giving me access to their own metrics and for setting up and coordinating this fellowship in the first place!

You’ll note that in providing this analysis I’m deliberately not drawing conclusions or recommendations in this report, but merely reporting the situation as it is. After last week’s meetings Tikka and I certainly have lots of ideas and exciting potential projects, but that’s a different story for a future blogpost…

If you have any questions about the situation report, including any critiques or suggestions for improvement, please leave them in the comments.

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2 Responses to National Museum of Australia Situation Report

  1. Harry Burt says:

    Hey Liam, nice report.

    You’ve left a placeholder on page 7 (on the Commons version at least) btw: “• With regard to book rather than web publications, there are xxx separate NMA published books that are cited in Wikipedia, the most popular of which is ….” I guess you may want to correct that.

    • Liam Wyatt says:

      Thanks for pointing that one out Harry. I’ve now updated the file in Scribd (and therefore the embedded file here) and in Wikimedia Commons.

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