What problem does this solve?
Credits refers to the acknowledgement of those who contributed to a work, whether through ideas or in a more direct sense (Wikipedia article). Every project – under all rights reserved or with an open license – is required to attribute work and ideas; furthermore including attribution is essential to properly mange relationships, partnerships and sponsorships. It is a duty of the people (individuals or institutions) managing a project or initiative.
What is the solution?
Properly include credits in communication tools.
- Include credits in all communication tools (websites, press communicates, publications).
- Follow or negotiate the guidelines you receive from individuals, partners and sponsors. Please note that institutions often have written guidelines about the use of their logo and name; in the same way when you receive a grant or a sponsorship details about credits can be included in the contract. It is fondamental to take into account guidelines and to review this issue on contracts before conclude the agreements; if you have special requests you can discuss about them and find a solution with people and institutions.
- If your project produces a TV spot or comics (the case of Wikipedia what is about), you might need to discuss credits further: it might be complicated to include long sentences and logos into certain communication tools, but you can credit the works on a description page (i.e. description on Wikimedia Commons and youtube, project page...).
Credits on different communication tools
|Support||What to include|
|Websites||On a project website credits can have a dedicated page where you can include a lot of information.
|Publications||In a book you can devote one or to pages to credits (follow the same suggestions presented above for websites); in a leaflet just use the information below with a short line and the logos.|
|Press communicates||Press communicates are news about a project or an initiative, meant to be used by journalists. Journalists can use your press communicate to get interested in your work (and write a proper article with research and interviews), to copy and paste your content to produce their article (maybe with some changes), to copy and past your content to create an unsigned news. A press communicate is normally structured into two pages (you can have much longer ones but they are normally used for very large events with a page for every single partner and sponsor, distributed into folders at press events)
|Videos||Credits can be included as
|Comics||Just include the credits in the description page when you upload content and send the credit line (see below) when you send comics to journalists, media or other people.|
|Artworks||Just include the credits in the description page when you upload content and send the credit line (see below) when you send comics to journalists, media or other people.|
Short attribution for different type of media
|Project||Project [name and link to the project], promoted by [...], in partnership with [...] with the support of [...]. Date, license.|
In small paragraph (with the title "History of the project" or "Credits"), you can add the attribution line and a short description of people and institutions who have contributed to the concept, brainstorming and start-up of the idea.
|Images||Author, Title or subject, date, license. When proving images to the press – instead of mention the full name of the project and all the partners and supporters – add at the end of word "Courtesy" and the name of your project. In general the media put the courtesy to avoid legal problems.|
|Video||Title, date, length, license. A video by [name of the filmmaker], produced within the project [name and link to the project], promoted by [...], in partnership with [...] with the support of [...].|
|Artwork||Artist, Title (or the word Untitled in italic), date, technique, dimensions, license of the artwork. Photo by [name of the photographer], date, license. A work produced within the project [name and link to the project], promoted by [...], in partnership with [...] with the support of [...].|
|Comics||Artist, Title (or the word Untitled in italic), date, series if relevant, license of the comics. A work produced within the project [name and link to the project], promoted by [...], in partnership with [...] with the support of [...].|
Crediting the support of Wikimedia Foundation
The policy of Wikimedia Foundation are very precise on the use of Wikipedia trademark.
- In case of a IEG Grant you should include the following sentence translated into the relevant language: "This project was funded by an Individual Engagement Grant from the Wikimedia Foundation".
Be careful with what you can not use
Do not claim relationships and partnerships you do not have.
- When you contact people tell them how they will be credited in the project.
- In case of doubts, ask people and institutions to review the credits and to check if they are happy with them.
- Wikipedia trademark. For the use of Wikipedia trademark the problem is to have the right of using Wikipedia trademark (name and logo). Make sure you can use by reviewing the trademark policy (and if you have doubt ask for help). In case of a proper use of Wikipedia trademark you should include the following sentence translated in the relevant language: "Wikipedia and the Wikipedia Puzzle Globe are registered trademarks of the Wikimedia Foundation used with permission."
- Check the credits, check the credits and check the credits again. It is impressive the number of mistakes we make (forgetting a person, making a mistake in a name or link, using not the right version of the logo...).
- You are producing the attribution line: make sure the attribution is next to the license you are using since (thanks to the open license) other people will have the same problem of attributing your work and project. Attribution is required on all the Creative Commons licenses (expect CC0). For other issues related to how to use licenses please refer to How to include the license in a contract or letter of appointment.
- If you are producing a database or a table under an open license, make sure people using your content are not required to attribute every single data of that very table (use a CC0 license). For other issues related to how to use licenses please refer to How to include the license in a contract or letter of appointment.
When to use
Every single project have to credit its authors and partners, unless you agree differently with them.
- How to include the license in a contract or letter of appointment
- Let the media know
- Guidelines to produce the communication tools Wikipedia what is about
- Project roles
- Governance Codex
- Using open licenses
This learning pattern comes from the experience of the project What is about - C'est quoi. A series of communication tools about Wikipedia. Cameroon pilot project.