Wikipedia and open access

Wikipedia is a well-known platform for disseminating knowledge, and scientific sources, such as journal articles, play a critical role in supporting its mission. The open access movement aims to make scientific knowledge openly available, and we might intuitively expect open access to help further Wikipedia’s mission. However, the extent of this relationship remains largely unknown. To fill this gap, we analyze a large dataset of citations from Wikipedia and model the role of open access in Wikipedia’s citation patterns. We find that open-access articles are extensively and increasingly more cited in Wikipedia. What is more, they show a 15% higher likelihood of being cited in Wikipedia when compared to closed-access articles, after controlling for confounding factors. This open-access citation effect is particularly strong for articles with low citation counts, including recently published ones. Our results show that open access plays a key role in the dissemination of scientific knowledge, including by providing Wikipedia editors timely access to novel results. These findings have important implications for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the field of information science and technology.

AI Is Tearing Wikipedia Apart

“As generative artificial intelligence continues to permeate all aspects of culture, the people who steward Wikipedia are divided on how best to proceed.  During a recent community call, it became apparent that there is a community split over whether or not to use large language models to generate content. While some people expressed that tools like Open AI’s ChatGPT could help with generating and summarizing articles, others remained wary.  The concern is that machine-generated content has to be balanced with a lot of human review and would overwhelm lesser-known wikis with bad content. While AI generators are useful for writing believable, human-like text, they are also prone to including erroneous information, and even citing sources and academic papers which don’t exist. This often results in text summaries which seem accurate, but on closer inspection are revealed to be completely fabricated….”

First grants announced from the Wikimedia Endowment to support technical innovation across Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects – Wikimedia Foundation

“The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia, and the Wikimedia Endowment Board today announced the first recipients of grant funding from the Wikimedia Endowment, the long-term fund established in 2016 to support the future of Wikimedia sites. The initiatives that will receive grant funding include Abstract Wikipedia, Kiwix, Machine Learning, and Wikidata. The projects were selected for their ability to foster greater technical innovation on Wikimedia projects, crucial to keeping the sites relevant in a rapidly-evolving landscape….”

CFP Program/Submissions – Wikimania 2023, Singapore + online | deadline March 28, 2023

“The ESEAP Wikimania 2023 Core Organizing Team invites you to submit a program idea for Wikimania. The program submission form is available in Arabic, English, French, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese. We are working on including Indonesian. Submissions are accepted from Tuesday, February 28 until Tuesday, March 28, 2023….The theme for Wikimania 2023 is Diversity, Collaboration, Future. It is intended to be cross-cutting and to apply as a lens to all programming ideas. Your submission should have elements connecting to at least one of these. A lot of what we do every day in Wikimedia – on the projects or in the community – is already reflective of the theme and very much in line with how the ESEAP regional collaboration identifies and operates….”

Twenty years of Wikipedia in scholarly publications: a bibliometric network analysis of the thematic and citation landscape | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Wikipedia has grown to be the biggest online encyclopedia in terms of comprehensiveness, reach and coverage. However, although different websites and social network platforms have received considerable academic attention, Wikipedia has largely gone unnoticed. In this study, we fill this research gap by investigating how Wikipedia is used in scholarly publications since its launch in 2001. More specifically, we review and analyze the intellectual structure of Wikipedia’s scholarly publications based on 3790 Web of Science core collection documents written by 10,636 authors from 100 countries over two decades (2001–2021). Results show that the most influential outlets publishing Wikipedia research include journals such as Plos one, Nucleic Acids Research, the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, IEEE Access, and Information Processing and Management. Results also show that the author collaboration network is very sparsely connected, indicating the absence of close collaboration among the authors in the field. Furthermore, results reveal that the Wikipedia research institutions’ collaboration network reflects a North–South divide as very limited cooperation occurs between developed and developing countries’ institutions. Finally, the multiple correspondence analysis applied to obtain the Wikipedia research conceptual map reveals the breadth, diversity, and intellectual thrust of the Wikipedia’s scholarly publications. Our analysis has far-reaching implications for aspiring researchers interested in Wikipedia research as we retrospectively trace the evolution in research output over the last two decades, establish linkages between the authors and articles, and reveal trending topics/hotspots within the broad theme of Wikipedia research.


Wikipedia is twenty. It’s time to start covering it better. – Columbia Journalism Review

“In the first years of the site, the press enjoyed noting funny instances of Wikipedia vandalism. But, as the tone of the coverage shifts toward praise, and on the site’s 20th anniversary, we feel journalism should help readers better understand Wikipedia’s policies and inner workings—in other words, improve the general public’s Wikipedia literacy. We have identified two major themes that might help reporters in this effort….

Although it is true that Wikipedia is, broadly-speaking, an openly editable project, journalists who suggest that the encyclopedia itself is a free-for-all do a disservice to their readers. Over the years, the Wikipedia community has created a large number of mechanisms that regulate its market of ideas. Perhaps the most important one is the ability to lock articles for public editing. 


Anyone can edit Wikipedia, but temporarily disabling people from editing it anonymously can go an extremely long way in preventing disinformation. Articles such as the “COVID-19 pandemic” are subject to semi-protection, meaning that anonymous IP editing is not allowed and that any contributors must register an account. Other articles have more extensive protections, such as the article on Donald Trump, which has long been subject to extended-confirmed protection, meaning that only Wikipedia editors who have been active for 30 days and who have performed at least 500 edits can directly edit Trump’s page….


Wikipedia, in the singular, does not “decide” or “ban” anything; rather, the community, or different groups within it, reach a temporary consensus on certain issues. That’s understandably hard to pack within a headline. But journalism suggesting that Wikipedia is a monolithic agent with a single point of view simply misses the mark. …


A key determinant of notability is whether the subject has received significant coverage from reliable media sources. The volunteer Wikipedia editor who declined the draft page about Strickland did so because, according to the guideline, there wasn’t enough coverage of Strickland’s work in news articles and other independent secondary sources to establish her notability. Katherine Maher, executive director of the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, later wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times headlined “Wikipedia Mirrors the World’s Gender Biases, It Doesn’t Cause Them.” Rather than cast the blame on Wikipedia or its policies, Maher challenged journalists to write more stories about notable women like Strickland so that volunteer Wikipedians had sufficient material to source in their own attempts to fix the bias. The media can do more than just call out biases on Wikipedia; it can also help address them. …”

2023:Wikimania | 16-19 August in Singapore

“…This 18th edition will be a collaboration among volunteers, chapters and user groups of the Wikimedia East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific (ESEAP). Wikimania 2023 will run from 16-19 August in Singapore. There are 30 weeks, 4 days, 19 hours, 53 minutes and 44 seconds until Wikimania 2023. (refresh) This year’s theme is Diversity. Collaboration. Future. Diversity. Wikimania will be an opportunity to showcase ESEAP as an example of inclusion: different volunteer groups, individuals, and affiliates, at different stages of development, different cultures but closely involved in an equitable way. Collaboration. As a distributed growth mechanism, Wikimania will be a way to learn and share new knowledge like tools usage, organizing events / online campaigns, solving a Wiki-related problem and many others. Future. Wikimania is also significant to many Wikimedians as Wikimania 2023 will also be a forum to discuss implementing the Wikimedia Movement Strategy (#Wikimedia2030) and discuss other future-thinking topics. Note: We are still setting up the pages for Wikimania 2023. For more details visit: m:Wikimania 2023….”

Saudi Arabia jails two Wikipedia staff in ‘bid to control content’ | Wikipedia | The Guardian

“Saudi Arabia has infiltrated Wikipedia and jailed two administrators in a bid to control content on the website, weeks after a former Twitter worker was jailed in the US for spying for the Saudis.

One administrator was jailed for 32 years, and another was sentenced to eight years, the activists said.

An investigation by parent body Wikimedia found the Saudi government had penetrated Wikipedia’s senior ranks in the region, with Saudi citizens acting or forced to act as agents, two rights groups said….”

DPLA to make cultural treasures freely available on Wikipedia with new Sloan Foundation support | DPLA

“A $750,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the Digital Public Library of America will fuel a multi-year effort to connect America’s cultural heritage institutions with Wikipedia, the world’s free online encyclopedia. This grant will offer an opportunity to make millions of cultural treasures from hundreds of American libraries, archives, and museums freely available online, including Renaissance manuscripts from Philadelphia’s Science History Institute; historic photos of the Pacific Northwest from Seattle Public Library; and portraits of 18th-century actors from the University of Illinois….”

Please help with OpenCitations’ entry in Wikipedia – OpenCitations blog

“The Wikipedia entry for OpenCitations is woefully out of date, inaccurate and brief. As Directors of OpenCitations, Silvio and I are unable to improve this situation because of Wikipedia’s proper conflict-of-interest restriction on self-promotion.

OpenCitations is actively seeking greater involvement from members of the global academic community, as explained in our Mission Statement. One way in which such individuals, particularly those who are both existing Wikipedia editors and already know about OpenCitations, can help OpenCitations, while at the same time supporting Wikipedia in its quest for accurate information, is by revising and expanding the present Wikipedia entry on OpenCitations to reflect the infrastructure’s current activities and data holdings, while maintaining perspective and a neutral point of view. This will increase the availability of reliable knowledge about OpenCitations and its place in the ecosystem of Open Science infrastructures….”

Guest Post – Wikipedia’s Citations Are Influencing Scholars and Publishers – The Scholarly Kitchen

“A well-written Wikipedia page will cite scholarly publications with links to the articles in those citations that can be accessed immediately by users. At the 2019 Charleston Conference keynote, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle claimed that 6% of Wikipedia readers click on a link in the footnotes (although another study found that it was more like 0.03%). In 2016, Wikipedia was the 6th-largest referrer for DOIs, with half of referrals successfully authenticating to access the article. External links on Wikipedia produce an estimated 7 million dollars of revenue per month. Given that Wikipedia is such a popular website, it’s unsurprising that academic publishers are actively pursuing ways to promote their work on Wikipedia. 

Scholarly publishers have reported increased traffic as a result of giving access to their publications to Wikipedia editors, and a controlled experiment on Wikipedia shows that they are right to value Wikipedia citations. Works cited on Wikipedia have an outsized influence on scholarly work — specifically in its literature reviews. Additionally, one research article found that open-access (OA) articles were cited more frequently than non-OA articles on Wikipedia in 2014, an idea supported by the generally increased readership of OA articles compared to paid-access articles (all of these ideas are explained in more detail below). …”