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summaryAutoresAr is a database to increase awareness on the importance of public domain. We work with AutoresUy.
targetSpanish Wikipedia, Spanish Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata.
strategic priorityimproving quality
amount8,000 USD
contact• scannopolis(_AT_)gmail.com
this project needs...
created on17:04, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
round 1 2016

Project idea


What is the problem you're trying to solve?


The concept of public domain is a vague concept for most of the people, even for those who are directly involved with making cultural heritage available. Besides that, Berne Convention establishes the principle of "automatic protection", and because of that there's no formality required for an author to get copyright granted, which makes difficult, if not impossible, in some cases, to determine if a work is whether in the public domain or not. There are also no instruments, such as a centralized database, to search for this information. In countries from the South, the situation is even worse: copyright offices don't have this information, and the information is in disperse, hard to find, expensive, bibliographic sources.

Alongside with that, public domain works for a specific country, and specially for countries from the South, are also hard to find. Unfortunately, Internet Archive doesn't solve all the problems, and sometimes Wikisource and Commons, with all their possibilities, are limited by the 'wiki experience', in the sense that they don't present or showcase information in an easy way for a beginner.

There are also no unique identifiers for argentinean authors from all artistic disciplines.

What is your solution?


We want to expand a centralized database of argentinean authors from all artistic disciplines + a public domain works database, called "AutoresAr". The experience is based in the database of authors from Uruguay, called AutoresUy. The database works by data entrying the authors from bibliographic/reference sources, putting basic information of authors (birth location, date of birth and date of death if applicable), and then applying, via an algorithm, the legal provisions in argentinean intellectual property law (11.723) for establishing if a work is still in copyright or not. Alongside with that, there's the infrastructure to upload, link and categorize public domain works, as AutoresUy is already doing.

We already have more than 20 bibliographic sources, we are researching to know which ones we're missing (some info available here), and we've already put more than 800 authors in the database (in less than a month).

We want to expand and build the database, use it also as a resource for Wikipedia, and engage people in building the database and creating and improving Wikipedia articles of argentinean authors (all index cards of authors link to Wikipedia articles, if the article exists. For example, index card of Juan Bautista Alberdi links to Wikipedia article of Juan Bautista Alberdi: http://dominiopublico.org.ar/node/8967).

Project goals

  • Solve a difficult problem that most users (from Wikipedia, but also libraries & archives in general) have when deciding whether is legitimate or not to digitize, use, reuse or link a work in the public domain.
  • Improve 'diligent search' time by unifying registries of authors.
  • Improve access to public domain works.
  • Show the strategic importance of public domain for cultural heritage.
  • Increase the number of participants in Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons projects.

Project plan



Activities Months Expected outcome
Buy and digitize bibliographic sources June-November Release bibliographic sources to enrol more volunteers
Run a digitalization workshop May Enrol volunteers for the project; Increase participation in WMF projects
Link public domain works to AutoresAr database, that are already here, scanned by Wikimedia Argentina & GLAM institutions June-July Gain visibility of PD works; Showcase PD cultural heritage
Exchange of experiences with AutoresUy team June / September Know their experiences to apply them in our work
Make workshops in two libraries, with digitalization challenges for PD works and edit-a-thons to write and improve argentinean author's profiles in Wikipedia August-November Increase participation, awareness, quantity & quality
Upload 50 PD works to AutoresAr, Wikimedia Commons and Spanish Wikisource June-November Increase quantity & quality
Data entry 4000 authors in AutoresAr database from bibliographic sources June-November Increase quantity & quality
Make an online course on digitalization to share the experience of the project. The final exam will be the creation of a Wikipedia article using AutoresAr database October Increase participation, quantity & quality


  • Graphic design: 850 USD
  • Buy bibliographic sources: 2,000 USD (we're going to share it with AutoresUy)
  • Buy two cameras for the DIY Book Scanner that we already have: 1,500USD
  • Programmer to finish details of the website: 1,000 USD
  • 2 travels roundtrip Argentina-Uruguay: 400 USD
  • Project management: 550 USD
  • Tutor for online courses: 500 USD
  • Printing of graphic materials (volunteer giveaways and outreach): 1,200 USD
  • Total Budget: 8,000 USD

Community engagement


We've identified two types of communities that might be interested in the development of this project.

  • Librarians: we know that librarians are always eager to digitalize the works that they have in their libraries, but sometimes determine if a work is in public domain or not is difficult. We'll help them to solve that problem, explaining the database and also the basics of Wikipedia so they can add authors to Wikipedia as well.
  • Art students: by "arts students" we mean a broad community of people studying things such as cinema, literature, visual arts, that are interested in the vast amount of bibliographic resources regarding authors & argentinean works. Since this project will help them also to identify how and under which conditions PD works can be reused, they will be likely to help in broadening the database.

To reach these communities, we'll do the following.
  • With the graphic material that we propose to create, we'll reach libraries/groups of interest and have conversations with them to teach them how to use the database of AutoresAr and how to create content if they see that there's a Wikipedia article missing on a particular author. We'll reach at least three libraries or groups of interest with this proposal.
  • We'll make workshops on digitalization of the public domain with them.



We're asking the money for infrastructure. Most of our work is pro-bono, so we'll keep working that way.

We do think that part of the success of this project is the number of groups involved in it, that allows the database to don't fall under maintenance on a short notice.

Enrolling more volunteers is part of the activities proposed. To keep them engaged with the work proposed, we believe that's fundamental to keep them motivated as well. For doing this, we have the following plan:

  • Make workaround projects. Sometimes volunteers get tired of working in the same project or just doing data entry of authors. We believe that the good thing of this project is that you can do different things, such as making Wikipedia articles or holding a workshop. Part of our strategic plan is to develop more work-around projects to get volunteers interested in keep working with us.
  • From students to teachers. We think that an important aspect for volunteers is to feel that they have understood a subject fully. Since we're going to held some workshops, we think that it's possible to engage some of the participants in those workshops to teach others after they've received training. Involving them in the discussions and in the preparation of future workshops will help to keep people motivated and with the feeling that they also belong to the project and the decision-making process.
  • Encourage groups of interest to make their own project. We can include a 20-minute session in each workshop to explain a little bit on how others can make their own project (and fortunately get funded!) inside Wikimedia, or even held their own workshop. We think that it's possible for us to held a pool of shared knowledge to encourage others to make similar projects or projects related to ours, without us needing to take the lead of each of the projects.
  • Sharing is caring. After the project is finalised, we're going to invite volunteers and interested people to share a meal. Social activities help strengthen bonds inside projects, and also allow people to keep their interest as they share a topic relevant to them with peers.

Measures of success

  • # of sources bought and digitized;
  • 50 books in the public domain digitized, linked properly in Wikimedia Commons and in AutoresAr;
  • 50 new articles of argentinean authors created;
  • 50 articles of argentinean authors improved;
  • # of participants in workshops (min. 15) and online course (min. 50);
  • # of new users;
  • # of libraries outreached with the proposal (min. 3);
  • 4000 authors in the database as new entries;
  • # of volunteers enrolled (min. 5);
  • approval of AutoresAr as unique identifier for Wikidata.

Get involved





  • The team of AutoresUy will provide us support and advise. They've already cooperated with us by giving us the structure of the site and by allowing us to use the same logo format. We already share resources with them, but we want to share even more, such as bibliographic sources, and time for improving the code.

PRI Group: Copyright from a historical perspective in Argentina

  • This team is composed by Matías, Carla, Guido, Ezequiel (not listed in this particular project) and me. We've been working in the last 4 years in a research project recognized by the School of Literature & Philosophy, called "Copyright from a historical perspective in Argentina". The main goal of the group is to gather historical sources to build and tell the history of copyright in Argentina, in the intersection between law and literature. As part of the activities we dom we've giving a public, open and free seminar on Copyright/Copyleft, to introduce people to the rationale of copyright law in Argentina in places such as the School of Law of the University of Buenos Aires (second semester, 2014), and the School of Literature & Philosophy, University of Buenos Aires (4 times), the last one was in the first semester, 2014. We've also presented papers in some academic conferences regarding the main subject of our work, some of which is posted in our website.


  • ArticaOnline is an online cultural center, specialized in giving online courses for people working in the cultural field. They're also part of AutoresUy. They'll be providing us their experience in tutoring online courses. We've been working with them in several different online courses we have done on copyright & cultural rights.

Individual participants

Scann. I'll be the team leader of the group. I'm finishing my degree on Literature. I'm part of the DIY Book Scanner project (since 2012). My main interests are, since 2007, copyright, access to knowledge, libraries & archives and digitalization. I've built book scanners & digital libraries, written articles about copyright and the impact of copyright in human rights, but definitely my real passion is teaching. I'm also a proud worker of Vía Libre, an NGO in Argentina that works in the intersection of digital technologies and human rights. Lastly, I'm also part of Wikimedia Digitalization User Group.

Matías Raia (User:Mhraia). Matías has a degree on Literature by the School of Literature & Philosophy (University of Buenos Aires). He teaches in high-school and he works publishing books of all kinds, from philosophy to high-school textbooks. He's also interested in libraries & archives, and in the past he was a strong collaborator in the building of a digital library for the students in the School of Arts & Philosophy, University of Buenos Aires.

Carla Actis Caporale (User:CarlaAc). Carla also has a degree on Literature by the School of Literature & Philosophy (University of Buenos Aires). She's a librarian in elementary school, and also gives special lessons for kids in a library in Buenos Aires. She's a graduate assistant in Argentine Literature II (twentieth century).

Guido Gamba (User:Guidog87). Guido has as well a degree on Literature by the School of Literature & Philosophy (University of Buenos Aires), and a master degree in Communication (Paris Sorbonne). He's a junior research in CONICET, where his main area of research is the cultural prestige in relationship to technology and how this circumvents political-decision making.

Community Notification




Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the talk page of this proposal).

  • Community member: add your name and rationale here.
  • I support the proposal, as I know and frecuently use autores.uy. The work of autores.uy has become essential, making known and spreading our public domain, often forgotten and unknown. I think that would be great to contnue working, growing, and making good synergias with other organizations. Ileanasilva (talk) 17:44, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I think this project should be awarded the grant, because it will greatly improve the information and sources about Argentinian authors and works. The project fills a gap of information about author's biographical data and the status of their works (public/private domain) in Argentina. It has also a great potential for digitization of Argentinian public domain. The people involved in the project have been working in digitization projects for some years and they have a lot of experience. Lastly, the project will spread the implementation of this kind of authors' databases in Latin America, as it will follow the experience of Autores.uy, the Uruguayan database. Pepe piton (talk) 18:25, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I believe it would be very important to Improve access to public domain works. Jaluj (talk) 22:39, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I support this proposal and seeing that it would be a cool project in Argentina. ··· 👦 Rachmat04 · 💬 02:56, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I know AutoresAR project. It began with volunteer work and, in a short time, it showed promising advances. The recovery of public domain in South countries is an essential task, but needs support. I think this team is committed with this goal and will be able to achieve it. Señoritaleona (talk) 23:55, 12 April 2016 (UTC)