Tips for Summarizing Your Research

1. Expect to spend a little time on it. It took me about one day to distill the collected findings of my 6-year thesis project into a Wikipedia article. You don't have to do it all in one shot, but when you finish the page you will feel a real sense of accomplishment.

2. The detail level should be somewhere between an abstract and a review. Abstracts from your papers or your dissertation might be a good place to start. Did you recently write a review paper, or the first chapter of a dissertation? Consider using it as a  guide for your Wikipedia entry.

3. Don't just copy/paste verbatim from your published work. That would be self-plagiarism, and the language might be too technical for the public to understand. Try to figure out a way to phrase your research so that it can be understood by a wide audience. Use original language and cite references to avoid copyright issues.

4. Cite early and often. Citing sources is important for verifying your edits and the best way to make sure they don't get erased. It also provides a platform for interested readers to read more about a topic. Citing is a cinch on Wikipedia - you can learn how to do it here.

5. A picture says a thousand words. If you have unpublished illustrations or figures from a lab meeting, consider uploading them to Wikipedia commons. These may be the only images available on the internet for this topic.

6. You will quickly find it necessary to cite the work of others to explain your own research. Think about the papers that have had the biggest impact on you, and incorporate them into your summary with references. This is a great way to highlight your favorite publications.

7. Use hyperlinks! The internet is not limited to plaintext. Connect your research to as many Wikipedia articles as possible by using square brackets [[  ]] and the "pipe"| character. For example, this

codes for this:

8. Don't worry too much about making mistakes. Wikipedia is edited by everyone, and no one knows who wrote what. You should always try to post accurate information and cite it whenever possible, but honest mistakes do happen and you can always correct them later if no one else corrects you first.

9. Controversial statements do not last long on Wikipedia. Try to make factual, even historical statements wherever possible, and back them up with citations. Avoid making judgements. If you can make a statement everyone can agree with, it will stay on Wikipedia forever. That is the beauty of Wikipedia.

Next: how to cite your research easily in Wikipedia