Universities told not to edit their Wikipedia entries

Wikipedia records 150 edits every minute.

Campus communications officials shouldn’t aggressively monitor and change their university’s Wikipedia page unless the entry has been “vandalized” by another editor, a Wikipedia spokeswoman said during a recent discussion on how educators are using the vast online encyclopedia.

During a webcast on Blog Talk Radio March 28, LiAnna Davis, a communications associate for Wikipedia – the internet’s fifth most visited website — said college representatives should only edit their school’s entry if they spot an incorrect number or date, for example, and the edit should always be cited to a “reliable source.”

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No change should be made, Davis said, until the college employee creates an account that acknowledges he or she works for the campus.

“We would encourage you not to edit anything that you have a bias in,” Davis said during the radio webcast, organized by the Association for Social Media & Higher Education (ASMHE), a group based at The George Washington University (GWU). “If you work for the university … that gives you a certain amount of bias about the topic of your university.”

College and university employees who make changes to their institution’s Wikipedia information should leave notes on why that edit was made on the page’s discussion section, Davis said.

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