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Tulliana launch.png Completion status: this resource is just getting off the ground. Please feel welcome to help!

Als je vindt dat informatie gratis moet zijn: ga naar Wikipedia.
(If you think that information should be free of charge, go to Wikipedia).
— Tom Reller, spokesman for the publisher Elsevier, about open access.[1]

The Wikimedia Foundation wikis (see list in sidebar) provide a lot of tools that are useful to academics and researchers. These tools are free to use, available from any internet connection, and backed up on servers with mirrors worldwide, with good internationalization, scalability, and accessibility. Near-instant publication establishes research priority. The wiki software, Mediawiki, is designed for large-scale worldwide collaboration.

The quid pro quo is that content here must generally be under an open license (with wiki-specific exceptions). Academics who favour open access anyway may not consider this a drawback. This page gives information on how academics can use Wikimedia tools in their day-to-day work.


Open research notebooks[edit]

You can keep an open research notebook on Wikiversity. Every edit is automatically recorded, credited, and timestamped. It is reasonably easy to access and store data in structured, machine-readable formats. List formatting is easy. For tabular data, create a blank table, then edit individual cells with Visual Editor. For an example, click on the "edit" link next to the section title above, and edit the table below.

Example of tabular data (meaningless)
x Treatment 1 Treatment 2 Control
1 21 3 9
2 23 4 5
3 23 2 8
4 24 1 7
5 19 1 5

While hosting is in theory unlimited, please don't upload gigabytes of data without asking first.

Data processing[edit]

Wikidata contains a large and rapidly-growing amount of structured data, and an excellent query service. A query can product a list of all metals with a melting point between 365 and 380 Celsius, or a list of composers who contemporaneously lived in the same city as one of the Bach family's spouses.

Code can also be posted on wikis. Editors are encouraged to upload scripts used to generate images and other data. Syntax is highlighted by placing the code between <syntaxhighlight lang="[language-specific label]">...</syntaxhighlight> tags. Example:

import random
greetings = ['Hello', 'Hi', 'Greetings, earthling'] #This list should be extended
print (random.choice(greetings) + " world")

Data visualization[edit]

Images created with external tools can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. However, there are also some wiki-native tools. There are simple tools to generate some simple graph types. More sophisticated Wikidata tools can be used to make much more complex interactive visualizations (examples).

Writing up and publishing[edit]

Compiling sources[edit]

Citations on Mediawiki are formatted automatically; the format can be automatically changed[Provide more detail]). Citations are stored in a structured bibliographic-database-like format. However, they mostly do not need to be added or formatted by hand. Mediawiki has good integration with many bibliographic management tools (for instance, drag-and-drop interaction with Zotero). Mediawiki has citation auto-complete tools on many wikis (but not on Wikiversity?). To use them, select the drop-down "cite" menu at the top of the editing box. Cut-and-paste the URL or DOI into the relevant form, and click on the button below to auto-complete the citation. There are a variety of other ways to cite sources.

Writing up[edit]

Collaborative scholarly writing is what Mediawiki software was fundamentally designed to do. Multiple editors edit one online document, hosted and backed up on servers around the world. Each author's contribution is documented, edit by edit, in the page history. The editing interface is localized to a large number of languages.

Preprint and peer-reviewed publication (free)[edit]

Some conventional publishers (including PLOS) use Mediawiki software to run an internal wiki, and translate anything submitted to them into Mediawiki format. If you may not submit in Mediawiki format, Wikipedia:Pandoc and other sharealike software conversion tools deal well with Wikipedia markup.

Several academic journals now provide a dual-publishing model where suitable academic review articles are published as a stable, indexed version of record, and also copied as a Wikipedia page.[2] These generate a citeable version of the article for the author as well as providing peer-reviewed content for the encyclopedia.

Examples include:

There are also the WikiJournals, hosted by Wikimedia on the Wikiversity wiki. They have open peer-review and are diamond/platinum open-access, meaning no fees are charged by anyone. The peer reviewers are volunteers, and the costs paid by the Wikimedia Foundation, the same charity that funds Wikipedia. Articles can be submitted to via the WikiJournal Preprints submission form. Wikipedia articles can be submitted to WikiJournals via Wikipedia:WikiJournal article nominations.


All appropriately-licensed or public domain publications can be archived on Wikisource after being published elsewhere.

Publication of supplementary media: text, images, sound, and video[edit]

Appropriately-licensed photos, diagrams, videos, sound files, and some 3D models can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, regardless of whether they have previously been published elsewhere (and can then be used to illustrate Wikipedia articles). Images and sounds that are useful, but would otherwise never be published, can be published on Commons.

Communication; talks, posters, and scholarly societies[edit]

Posters, slideshows, and other presentations can be uploaded to a Wikimedia wiki and accessed from anywhere with an internet connection; others can be given a copy of the presentation by giving them the URL.[Provide more detail] Posters are best uploaded in SVG format to Wikimedia Commons, but PDF format is also acceptable. Slideshows can similarly be uploaded in PDF form.[Provide more detail]

It is also possible to run a scholarly society on Wikiversity; see HGAPS for an example.

Education: courses, self-tests, textbooks, and outreach[edit]

Educators find, write, and post course material on Wikiversity. For examples, see User:Dave Braunschweig or User:Jtneill/Teaching.

Quizzes are easily made on Wikiversity. As the answers are public, these cannot be used for grading, but only as a self-check of comprehension. Quizzes may be multiple-choice (one or more answers correct), or have a typed text or numeric answer (simple quiz example).

Textbooks can be written and published on Wikibooks. You can also pick a book off this listing of Wikibooks by department, and modify or extend it as needed to suit your course. Wikibook copies weigh and cost nothing, which is convenient for course textbooks, and gives access to education in the developing world (proprietary e-textbooks actually cost more than used paper textbooks, as they cannot be re-sold.[7]) Wikibooks can be searched, and quickly corrected and updated. If you want an entirely stable text for the sake of setting required readings, you can host your own modified version, or you can, more simply, assign any version you like as the course textbook, as all past versions are archived online. Generally, though, mature textbooks are quite stable; there is no publisher incentive to rearrange the text and force new readings lists.

Public education and outreach can be done through Wikipedia; see Help:Wikipedia editing for research scientists for a starting point. This is also a way to get used to the technical details of editing; modifying a few Wikipedia articles that others have written may be an easier introduction than writing your own content from scratch.

Offline access[edit]

5-minute documentary on medics using Internet-in-a-Box in the Dominican Republic

Internet-in-a-Box is an inexpensive updatable local server for Wikimedia wikis ($30-$40 US preinstalled hardware; software and updates free)[8]. Content from a number of wikis can be accessed from areas without internet connectivity.

See also[edit]


  1. Keulemans, Maarten (4 September 2018). "11 EU-landen besluiten: vanaf 2020 moet alle wetenschappelijke literatuur gratis beschikbaar zijn". De Volkskrank (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 September 2018. 'Als je vindt dat informatie gratis moet zijn: ga naar Wikipedia.'
  2. Shafee, Thomas (2017-11-24). "Wikipedia-integrated publishing: a comparison of successful models". Health Inform 26 (2). doi:10.13140/rg.2.2.27470.77129. 
  3. Wodak, Shoshana J.; Mietchen, Daniel; Collings, Andrew M.; Russell, Robert B.; Bourne, Philip E. (2012-03-29). "Topic Pages: PLoS Computational Biology Meets Wikipedia". PLOS Computational Biology 8 (3): e1002446. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002446. PMID 22479174. 
  4. Luk, Ann (2017-04-12). "Continuing to Bridge the Journal-Wikipedia Gap: Introducing Topic Pages for PLOS Genetics". PLOS Biologue. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  5. Tsueng, Ginger; Good, Benjamin M.; Ping, Peipei; Golemis, Erica; Hanukoglu, Israel; Wijnen, Andre J. van; Su, Andrew I. (2016-11-05). "Gene Wiki Reviews—Raising the quality and accessibility of information about the human genome". Gene 592 (2): 235–238. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2016.04.053. 
  6. Butler, Declan (2008-12-16). "Publish in Wikipedia or perish". Nature News. doi:10.1038/news.2008.1312. 
  8. Meta:Internet-in-a-Box/Buy