Wikipedia’s gender gaps, the result of a predominance of male editors and the correlating uneven participation and coverage of marginalized groups, are by now both well-known and well-documented (Cohen, 2011; Collier and Bear, 2012; Glott, Schmidt, and Ghosh, 2010; Gruwell, 2015; Wadewitz, 2013). This article seeks to interrogate these gaps in coverage as they manifest in discipline-specific representations, especially representations related to the academic fields of computers and writing, digital literacy, and digital rhetoric. Preliminary analysis of articles related to these fields demonstrates a severe lack of coverage which, given these fields’ attention to digital literacies, should be improved. This article employs a bibliometric method of citation analysis (Eyman, 2015; Kaur, Radicchi, and Menczer, 2013) across five Wikipedia articles related to these fields to show how the gender gap manifests in the absence of cited research by non-male scholars. To address these content gaps, co-authors of this article move beyond analysis to define and engage in acts of critical digital praxis within Wikipedia, editing the encyclopedia to improve representation of women and women’s research in computers and writing and digital rhetoric fields. Descriptions of such editorial work and its implications, furthermore, provide a model for disciplinary praxis, and graduate pedagogy, in which authors work together to engage in the critique and remediation of Wikipedia’s disciplinary content and gender gaps. As a larger example of critical digital analysis and participation, this article also aspires to unpack and critique the ways in which media, even those professing an open-access and democratic ethic, perpetuate social hegemonies of marginalization.
- Digital Publication / webtext
- Collaborative Authorship (This article was written in collaboration with my English 808 students in the fall of 2017.)