Grants:IdeaLab/An open license text reuse tool for the Visual Editor toolbar

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An open license text reuse tool for the Visual Editor toolbar
A tool on the Visual Editor toolbar to add open license text to Wikipedia articles
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idea creator
John Cummings
this project needs...
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created on15:46, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Currently there are no clear instructions or clear mechanism for adding openly licensed text to Wikipedia articles. I have worked on improving a template to add openly licensed text, however the process is still fiddly and time consuming.

There are a huge number of open license sources compatible with Wikipedia including:

  • Around 9000 open license journals.
  • Galleries, libraries, archives and museums who produce text under an open license.
  • Government text that is available under an open license.

What is your solution?[edit]

A tool on the Visual Editor toolbar (on the insert menu) to make it very easy for people to add open licensed text

Open license text field
A free text field to import the open license text into Wikipedia, once the text has been copied into the box and the insert button has been pressed the tool creates visible copy and invisible copy of the text. The visible copy can be edited and improved upon, the invisible copy saves an original version of the open license text within the article. This will ensure correct attribution of the text, separating the original author's work with the Wikipedia editor's work.

Attribution fields
The same as the VE citation tool to create an attribution for the text added, a link underneath brings up another box to add in a licensing statement reference if that is not contained within the document itself. This box is not always visible, as it is not needed for all cases.

Citation tags

The tool would also add citation tags to the end of each sentence similar to the ref tags used for references that will clearly identify the openly licensed text used. This is important to show which sections of text are reused from that source, especially when the article is developed further and the sections may be broken up.

Clear guidance and instructions

Because reused open license functions as both the author and the reference it must follow the rules set out for both Wikipedia editors and references. Editors guidance that must be followed includes style, content, notability and the source of text used must be reliable.

Project goals[edit]

Make the process for adding openly licensed text to Wikipedia articles much easier

Get involved[edit]

Expand your idea[edit]

Would a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation help make your idea happen? You can expand this idea into a grant proposal.

Expand into a Rapid Grant
Expand into a Project Grant
(launching July 1st)


  • What's not to love - any mechanism that increases the likelihood of the addition of valuable content is worthwhile. Given that some of the leg work has been done developing the tool I doubt the cost implications or time implications would be huge - happy to help with user testing or similar if picked up for development. Leela0808 (talk) 10:49, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
  1. support, need some attribution verbiage like: "This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain" i.e. like these [1] but you will be running afoul of w:Template:Articles with close paraphrasing of public domain sources progress, so they will tag you. Slowking4 (talk) 21:54, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
  2. support. A very useful tool which will encourage the reuse of an increasing amount of openly licensed text, which will surely enrich Wikipedia articles. Jason.nlw (talk) 12:34, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  3. Support seems like a good way not only to incorporate free text, but also make sure that it is attributed properly which I think is often the larger hurdle for new editors. Wugapodes (talk) 18:53, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
  4. support worthwhile endeavor, will definitely help w/ editing Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 19:53, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
  5. Support Support This is certainly worth pursuing further — thanks for posting the idea! In terms of keeping a copy of the original text, I would like to see some discussion about the potential role that the relevant Wikisource(s) might or might not want to play here. As for "clearly identify the openly licensed text used", that is more easily said than done (some background), even when we assume that "open" is basically meant to mean compatible with use in CC BY-SA environments. Besides, I think that such licensing information of source texts should best reside on Wikidata, where the relevant workflows are beginning to emerge. Bringing such workflows around openly licensed scholarly publications together is the focus of the OA Signalling project, which would welcome support from initiatives like this. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 22:29, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
  6. Support This project should have a social component to it also. There is technical process of noting open text, but there is also the process of establishing what product the technical process should generate. I think that community support and consensus can be found but since there is little precedent for incorporating open text in any particular way, I think that it would be worthwhile to have some discussion before the technical process is developed. For context, I listed some example precedents on the talk page of this project. This is a high-impact idea which has big implications for all kinds of publication which seeks to give credit for authorship. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:23, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
  7. Support. I like this very much as I do a lot of free text work and can see how it would be helpful. --Rosiestep (talk) 15:14, 4 July 2016 (UTC)