Murray G. Phillips | Tensions, Compromises and Achievements: Developing the Australian Paralympic Wikipedia History Project

Watch Murray’s talk on YouTube.

The Australian Paralympic Wikipedia History Project began a decade ago as a result of a partnership between Paralympics Australia, The University of Queensland and Wikimedia Australia. The project has been very successful with a diverse community of practice generating over 1000 articles which have been viewed more than 15 million times. The project, not surprisingly, has raised some historiographical questions, not about factual accuracy, but more important questions about how historians negotiate the three pillars of Wikipedia contributions. In this presentation, I will engage with Wikipedia’s key core content policies of verification, no original research, and neutral point of view (NPOV), as well as the collaborative premise that underpins the online encyclopaedia to demonstrate the process of negotiation that was central to the success of the Australian Paralympic Wikipedia History Project.

Murray Phillips is a Professor of Sport History in the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Queensland. He has been the Interim Head of the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences and former Acting Director of the University of Queensland’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health. He is President of the North American Society for Sport History, former President of the Australian Society for Sport History, and former Editor of the Journal of Sport History.

His research areas are focussed on Indigenous identities and sport, as well as disability sport, philosophical debates about sport history, understanding the role of sport museums, and conceptualising changes to sport history in the digital age. He has secured funding from the Australian Research Council and his most recent books are Representing the Sporting Past in Museums and Halls of Fame (London: Routledge, 2012), Critical Sport Histories: Paradigms, Politics and the Postmodern Turn (West Virginia: FIT, 2013), Sport History in the Digital Era (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2015), the Routledge Handbook of Sport History (London: Routledge, 2022) and Fit, Able and Willing: A History of the Australian Paralympic Movement (Forthcoming, 2023).