Amar Ekushey Article Contest: Improving Articles’ Quality in Bengali Wikipedia

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Poster of the event. Photo: Wikimedia Bangladesh/CC by SA 4.0

The Amar Ekushey Article Contest 2021, aiming at improving the quality of existing articles on Bengali Wikipedia, has come to an end. The contest began on International Mother Language Day (February 21) and ended on April 11.

International Mother Language Day recognizes the importance of languages, diversity, and multilingualism. For Bangladesh, the day holds special significance. It reflects our love, passion for our mother tongue, which is deeply rooted in our Bengali culture. Wikimedia Bangladesh has been organizing an article contest almost every year to observe this day and increase the qualitative articles in Bengali Wikipedia. Our motto is “Let’s put the things we love, in our own language.”

The aim of the contest was to improve the quality of articles that are already present but holds negligible information. In this year’s contest, we specially invited the participants to work on the articles representing women, their rights, and violation of those rights in the week of International Women’s Day. A list was created mainly from the stub article category. There are many articles on Bengali Wikipedia with no significant information, but the importance of those articles is indisputable as they are some really fundamental topics. It has been a long-term community desire to organize something like this. Through this contest, articles on different areas including science, technology, biography, environment, philosophy, etc. are chosen and improved. Articles like Sound, Environmental engineering, Electric current, Sadness, Edgar Allan Poe, etc. were improved through this contest. In the week of International Women’s day, a new category was added and the participants improved the articles like Wife, Domestic violence, Equality feminism, etc.

It is a challenging time for all of us. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools, colleges, and universities have shut down their campus activities. Students constitute the largest part of Bengali Wikipedia contributors, and they always participate the most in these contests. But due to the closure, many of them are residing in their own areas with poor network conditions, and we were worried as they might not be able to participate. Although the obstacle was present, the contest ran really well. More than 1000 users registered for the contest. The contest was not easy, as individual participants had to translate at least 2000 words-long articles into Bengali; but considering various aspects, it was much needed to ensure the quality of these articles. A total of 220 articles from 127 contributors got improved in the whole contest. According to the rules of the contest, contributors need to translate the whole article from English to Bengali; and following them, a total of 114 articles got accepted for the contest. The articles were reviewed by the experienced Wikipedians and further checked by the organizing team.

A glimpse of the result:

  • First place: Hasnat Abdullah
  • Second place: Syfur007
  • Third place: T. Galib

It is a pleasure to note here that User:Hasnat Abdullah is a complete newcomer and he joined Wikipedia during the contest. As mentioned before, the experienced Wikipedians were highly active to check the submitted articles from time to time. Among them, User:SHEIKH reviewed 40 articles alone!

It has been a wonderful learning opportunity for the organizers to arrange something like this in the time of the pandemic. The contest attracted many newcomers. Bengali Wikipedia got the fourth-highest number of monthly active editors in the month of March since its beginning! Considering both content and non-content pages, the active editor number was the highest this month. Heartfelt thanks to all the participants, reviewers, and to the whole Bengali Wikipedia community for making this happen!

The number of active editors (content and non-content) in Bengali Wikipedia since the beginning. Generated from Wikimedia Statistics.

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