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Frequently Asked Questions

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The basics

Q. What is Wikimania?
A. An annual social gathering of Wikimedia project contributors and users, and a conference for presenting research and observations related to the projects.

Q. Where is Wikimania held?
A. It changes from year to year. In 2006, it will be at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. See the Venue page for details.

Q. It's not in Boston, then?
A. Both MIT Media Lab and Harvard Law School campuses are in Cambridge, MA. It's across the Charles River from Boston. (The point in Cambridge for these coordinates is a kilometer's drive or walk from the nearest point in Boston, and three kilometers from Boston City Hall.)

Q. When is it?
A. The main conference will be August 4-6, Friday through Sunday. A small number of software, hardware, and other hackers will be hanging out before that for Hacking Days, from August 1-3. Some citizen journalists are sticking around on Monday, August 7, for a Citizen Journalism Event.

Q. Will I be able to participate even if I can't be in Boston?
A. Yes! Feel free to listen in or participate online.

Registration and housing

Q. I've registered for a dorm—where am I staying?
A. If you've registered for a single room, you'll be accommodated in the dormitories of the Gropius Complex at Harvard Law School; double rooms are on the campus of nearby Lesley College. See lodging.

Q. Where do I check in?
A. Check-in for the conference, located on the second floor of Pound Hall, begins at noon on Thursday and continues until 6:00 p.m. It resumes the following morning at 8:00 a.m. and continue into the afternoon, with a similar schedule for Saturday and Sunday. If you arrive on 8/2 or 8/3 and wish to check into the dorms, go to the Berkman Center (23 Everett Street). Follow the directions on the lodging page.

Q. Where do I park?
A. Driving in Cambridge is strongly not advised, but if you're arriving via automobile you may be able to park in one of the Harvard lots at a rate of $9 per day. E-mail Erica George <egeorge@cyber.law.harvard.edu> with a contact number and she'll call you about arranging a permit. You will need to have a credit card handy for her to call you to bill the permit to, and will need to be able to give her your car's plate number and state. See the parking info for more details and for information on public lots.

Travel and visas

Main information page: Travel

Q. Where is the conference?
A. Harvard Law School campus (Pound Hall and Austin Hall/Ames Courtroom), in Cambridge, Massachusetts. See our Map and Venue pages.

Q. How do I get to Pound Hall?
A. (Quote: main page) Harvard University is located on the subway's Red Line at Harvard Square station. Pound Hall, the main Wikimania venue, is located at 1563 Massachusetts Avenue, a few blocks north on Massachusetts Avenue from Harvard Square (when you walk north on Massachusetts Avenue, Harvard campus will be on your right-hand side). Pound Hall is the large building on the right-hand (east) side of the street. See Getting to and around Cambridge for more on the subway and getting to the Harvard campus.

Q. How do I get from the airport to the conference site?
A. Take the Silver Line diesel/electric bus from the airport to South Station and the Red Line subway INBOUND (towards Alewife) from South Station to Harvard Station. It will cost you $1.25 in exact change. Visit Getting to and around Cambridge for more information about getting from the airport to Harvard.

Q. From the train or bus station?
A. Most trains and buses arrive at South Station. Take the Red Line subway INBOUND (towards Alewife) from South Station to Harvard Station. It will cost $1.25, which you'll have to feed into a machine to get a Charlie Ticket. Be aware there is a 5 min walk within South Station from the trains and buses to the subway, and plan your luggage accordingly. Visit Getting to and around Cambridge for more information about getting from South Station to Harvard.

Q. Is there a place to discuss ridesharing or carpooling to Wikimania?
A. Yes, please see the travel page.

Q. How do I find out whether I need a special visa to come to the conference?
A. See our visa information page for details. You may need up to three months to get your visa, so plan ahead.

Q. "Hi, I need a visa to come to your conference. I really want to attend, please send me an invitation ASAP!"
A. If you are looking for an invitation from us and are not one of the presenters or invited guests, please provide us with information: where you live, which Wikimedia projects you use or contribute to most, how you found out about those projects, and what you hope to get out of the conference.


Q. How can I find out about the 2005 conference?
Q. What happened to the 2005 presentations?
A. You can find an archive of the 2005 site on Meta. The presentations are also currently on Meta, and are being archived on a dedicated wikimania2005 wiki.

Participating and Program

Q. I have something important to present at Wikimania. How do I do that?
A. Our call for submissions has now closed. However, if you are interested in presenting a poster or a lightning talk, particularly focused on the Wikimedia projects and their content, please email wikimania-program<<at>>wikimedia.org with your proposal. Additionally, we invite all attendees to participate in online discussions and sign up for informal Birds-of-a-Feather discussions on site. See the discussions page for more.

Q. I submitted something to your conference, but haven't heard back from you. Now what?
A. Please email wikimania-program<<at>>wikimedia.org for any questions regarding your submission.

Q. Is funding available for attendees or presenters?
A. A limited amount of funding will be available for students, attendees and presenters who would otherwise be unable to attend. If you would like funding assistance to come to the conference, or for more information, please email wikimania-info<<at>>wikimedia.org. Please describe how much funding you are requesting, where you will be travelling from, and what your affiliation with the Wikimedia projects is.

Q. What kinds of presentations are there going to be?
A. There will be workshops, panels, presentations, a poster session and more. We have five main conference themes; all submissions should be relevant to one or more of those themes. Please see our call for participation page for more details on what to expect.
Q. Who will some of the speakers be?
A. Please see the program page for speaker announcements.

Q. Will presenting at wikimania make me rich and famous?
Q. Cure my aching back?
Q. Land me my dream job?
A. No, no, and possibly.