DCO in Wikipedia

Why Wikipedia?

Each month, 500 million information seekers query Wikipedia at a rate of 8,000 views per second. Wikipedia is the seventh most visited website on the Internet. It contains 1.5 million citations and drives more traffic to online scholarly articles than all but five other websites [1]. 

Wikipedia offers an immense opportunity to present deep carbon science to a broad audience as evidenced by these impressive statistics. By identifying and developing new articles and refining and expanding existing ones, researchers can help secure DCO’s legacy by sharing advances in deep carbon science learned over this decadal program. On this page, you will find everything you need to contribute to this legacy, ensuring DCO’s knowledge becomes part of the scientific lexicon.

How to Contribute

Each of DCO's Science Communities has committed to contributing to Wikipedia. While their strategies and tactics differ, this guide serves as a toolkit for making the task of contributing to Wikipedia easy and seamless.


Just Edit

Deep carbon science on Wikipedia
A screenshot of the "Deep Carbon Science in Wikipedia" dashboard.

The easiest way to contribute to Wikipedia is to simply edit specific pages. Technically one doesn’t need to register to edit a Wikipedia page, however, registration allows for discourse about the evolution of a page and offers a place for other members of the community to send accolades or feedback about your work. 

If you choose to register on Wikipedia, DCO Community members should also join the DCO on Wikipedia Dashboard. The dashboard helps track DCO's progress on Wikipedia, and identifies gaps in topics. There are three easy steps to get started:

  1. Create an account on Wikipedia.
  2. Click to enroll in the DCO Wikipedia campaign. Use "wikidco" as your password to join.
  3. Start editing one of the topics listed in the "Additional Resources" section in the sidebar to the right below.


Become a DCO Wikipedia Fellow

Wikipedia, via Wiki Education, is opening their Wikipedia Fellows program to members of the DCO Community. The Fellows Program is a unique opportunity to get personal training on the platform and share your scientific knowledge on this widely referenced source. It’s an easy commitment, and one that will serve participating scientists for years. All members of the DCO science network are invited to apply.

  • The program lasts for 10 weeks.
  • Wiki Education will provide training, guidance, and support throughout the process, using Zoom video conferencing software and a chat client.
  • Participants are asked to commit 3 hours/week, including training and group meetings.
  • Participants will make significant contributions to at least two Wikipedia articles by the end of the program.
  • Fellows will fill out short surveys at the beginning and end of the program, and Wiki Education may ask them to write one reflective blog post (on about their experience. 
  • No experience with Wikipedia is required.

The enrollment period is open on a seasonal basis. Check the Wikipedia Education website for the next application deadline. 


Inspire Students

Flow chart of Wiki Edu processAssigning deep carbon science-related Wikipedia articles as a classroom project is a great way to train science writers and future science communicators. Wikipedia Education makes the process easy by offering tutorials, suggesting curricula, and providing a customizable dashboard for tracking your students’ progress online.

For an overview of how to integrate Wikipedia into your classroom, watch the webinar Wikipedia in Higher Education. Additional information is available at Wikipedia in the Classroom.



Ask the DCO Wikipedia Visiting Scholar

DCO Wikipedia Visiting Scholar Andrew Newell
DCO Wikipedia Visiting Scholar Andrew Newell.

In 2017 DCO coordinated with the Wikipedia Foundation to enlist the help of Wikipedia Visiting Scholar Andrew Newell. Newell creates and improves Wikipedia pages relevant to DCO research and offers his expertise to interested DCO Wikipedians. 

Newell has been a contributor to Wikipedia since 2010 and has made more than 28,500 edits to the site under the username RockMagnetist. In his day job, Newell develops theoretical models to determine how things become magnetized, so naturally, the first ever edit he made was to the page “rock magnetism.” When he first visited the article, he was dismayed to see that it was only three sentences long. Unfortunately, Newell’s initial Wikipedia experience is replicated on many pages explaining science-related topics.

DCO community members with questions about Wikipedia can contact Newell through his DCO-specific user page, RockMagnetist_(DCO_visiting_scholar) or at


Or, Just Send Us Your Stuff

The DCO Engagement Team has volunteered to update Wikipedia articles on behalf of DCO researchers. Whether you are creating a new article or enhancing an existing one, the Engagement Team can facilitate the process by updating Wikipedia for you. While we encourage everyone in the DCO Science Network to review and edit Wikipedia content directly, we are also available to assist, answer questions, or make edits on your behalf.

Send your suggested edits to



Additional Resources

Where To Begin?

Sometimes the best approach to identifying a Wikipedia article in need of editing is to simply visit pages integral to your field of study. If you prefer a suggestion, potential articles have been identified using other means as well:

Before You Edit

Here are some general concepts about Wikipedia that will be helpful to a new editor.

Wikipedia is egalitarian; anyone is permitted to edit any article (editors are termed “Wikipedians”). The style of writing is more informal than a journal article, but still precise. Wikipedia’s goal is “to make each part of every article as understandable as possible to the widest audience of readers who are likely to be interested in that material.”[2] 

All content must be verifiable in reliable sources, ideally with citations to those sources. It is important to note that while there may be dozens of entries of interest and relevance to DCO, there are no pages that DCO “owns.” No one owns any Wikipedia page; any page may be edited by anyone.[3]  Over 130,000 people regularly edit Wikipedia pages [4]. So feel free to recommend edits to pages or even edit them yourself. It could be a single sentence, several paragraphs, or an entirely new entry for a term that has not been documented in Wikipedia yet. It’s important to know Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, not a vehicle for advocacy, promotion, or public relations [5]. Wikipedia stresses a “just the facts” approach to content.




  • Andrew Newell
    Andrew Newell North Carolina State University, USA
    Andrew Newell
    Andrew Newell
    North Carolina State University, USA

    Dr. Andrew Newell is a geophysicist at North Carolina State University, using theoretical modeling to study magnetism in rocks and bacteria and applying his results to questions in paleomagnetism and environmental magnetism. Newell is also an expert Wikipedian and is working with the DCO Engagement Team as a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar. Newell has long edited Wikipedia pages as a hobby and now brings his expertise to the DCO community to help improve the coverage of deep carbon science on Wikipedia. Newell has been a contributor to Wikipedia since 2010 and has made more than 28,500 edits to the site under the username RockMagnetist. In 2013, Newell became a Wikipedia administrator, after receiving a nomination in recognition of several high quality articles that he wrote on significant topics in his field. He has also earned eight “barnstars,” online banners given by fellow Wikipedians for noteworthy work.

  • Josh Wood
    Josh Wood University of Rhode Island, USA
    Josh Wood
    Josh Wood
    University of Rhode Island, USA

    Digital Content Manager/Designer
    +1 (401) 874-6602
    j_of_pvd (Skype)

    Josh Wood is a graphic designer and illustrator, who has created the DCO brand and web presence as Webmaster and Website Designer. He has spent the past 25 years weaving his artistic skills into effective and attractive digital content. Wood uses these talents to create much of DCO’s visual material including illustrations, animations, infographics, and presentations to help show DCO’s scientific content in accessible, visually interesting ways. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in fine arts/illustration.

More Information

Back to top