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Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research Fund/Wikidata to Gender Rescue on Wikipedia (WiGeData)

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statusnot funded
Wikidata to Gender Rescue on Wikipedia (WiGeData )
start and end datesJuly 2023 - July 2024
budget (USD)48.665,94 USD
fiscal year2022-23
applicant(s)• Núria Ferran Ferrer and Miquel Centelles Velilla




Núria Ferran Ferrer and Miquel Centelles Velilla

Affiliation or grant type

Universitat de Barcelona


Núria Ferran Ferrer and Miquel Centelles Velilla

Wikimedia username(s)

Núria Ferran Ferrer: User:Nferranf; David Ramírez Ordóñez; Camelia Boban: User:Camelia.boban; Ester Bonet: User:Tiputini; Miquel Duran: User:Quelet; Julià Minguillón: User:Julià_Minguillón; Laura Fernández: User:Lauferagui

Project title

Wikidata to Gender Rescue on Wikipedia (WiGeData )

Research proposal




Description of the proposed project, including aims and approach. Be sure to clearly state the problem, why it is important, why previous approaches (if any) have been insufficient, and your methods to address it.

This proposal aims to make a research contribution by reducing the gender gap in Wikipedia by visualizing gender diversities collected in Wikidata. Therefore, we seek to provide a search engine and a navigational system using the ontologies of Wikidata in order to provide access and more visualization of the diversity of gender identities in Wikipedia.

In some Wikipedias such as the Italian or the Catalan, there is specifically a bias in terms of access and visualization of content on the diversity of gender identities. In these cases, categories like “women” or “non-binary person” are banned from information organization and retrieval. These decisions develop some dysfunctions which are especially critical in non-English languages that use grammatical gender.

The solution we foresee is using the ontologies of Wikidata which could bring organization and a better representation of what is known in Wikipedia. In fact, Wikipedia already generates categories that emerge from Wikidata, like “living people”.

Wikidata has the particular challenge of modelling gender as structured data. This project proposal aims to present a specific case study (on the Catalan Wikipedia) of the gender gap in content (biographies) and categories of Wikipedia (folksonomies) for better visualization and access to the diversity of gender identities through the Wikidata ontologies.

However, Wikidata is no more biased than the real world (Zhang & Terveen, 2021). That is why the approach to the problem and possible solutions follows a twofold approximation, on one side technological and on the other cultural. Technology is not neutral, and both approximations influence each other. The solution must come from both.

The project proposal will produce a diagnosis by analyzing the knowledge organization system of Wikipedia (categories/folksonomies) and Wikidata (ontologies) from a gender perspective. The approach will be technological but also cultural in the decision-making processes. Then the technical requirements for the search and knowledge organization systems (Wikipedia, WikiBase) and the user requirements will be gathered. And last but not least, the proposal includes the development of a prototype to be tested on the Catalan Wikipedia.


  • Theoretical background Team:
    • Laura Fernández, social and cultural anthropologist, PhD in communication and post-doc with Juan de la Cierva scholarship, Universitat de Barcelona.
  • Ontologies Team:
    • Juan-José Boté, lecturer at the Faculty of Information and Communication, Universitat de Barcelona.
    • Julià Minguillón, associated lecturer at the Faculty of Computer Science, Telecommunications and Multimedia, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
    • David Ramírez Ordóñez User:Hiperterminal, PhD student (postdoc in April 2023), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
  • Logic, Philosophy Team
    • Manolo Martínez, associate lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy, Universitat de Barcelona
  • User experience Team
    • Yessica Macià, PhD student
  • Community Team
    • Ester Bonet, Wikimujeres and Viquidones
    • Camelia Boban, Chair and co-founder of WikiDonne User Group
    • Women in Red (Núria Ferran)
  • Pilot:
    • Miquel Duran , Viquipèdia, Catalan Wikipedia [Community: Amical Wikimedia]



Approximate amount requested in USD.

48.665,94 USD

Budget Description

Briefly describe what you expect to spend money on (specific budgets and details are not necessary at this time).

Hiring positions: Postdoc 8 months (20.730,40), a UX consultant (2monts part-time: 3.195,94) and a developer (2 months: 6.391,87).

Travel expenses for meetings(3.000).

Open access publishing costs (3000) and attendance to conference (3000)

The organisation of a seminar on Wikidata, Wikipedia and gender gap (3000).

And finally, the UB overhead is 15% (6.347,73).

We were wondering if we need to include the budget for the cloud computing services or if the WMF will provide these.



Address the impact and relevance to the Wikimedia projects, including the degree to which the research will address the 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction and/or support the work of Wikimedia user groups, affiliates, and developer communities. If your work relates to knowledge gaps, please directly relate it to the knowledge gaps taxonomy.

Our proposal (methodological approach and outputs) is totally aligned with the new strategic direction of the Wikimedia Movement, which sets the goal of delivering knowledge as a service and knowledge equity (“focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege”. “It will break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge”).

This strategy document has set the principles of inclusivity and people-centeredness (understood as addressing people’s needs) as the core of the recommendations. It establishes that the goal by 2030 is to eliminate the gender gap.



Plans for dissemination.

4 Scientific papers on decision-making processes in Wikipedia and Wikidata on gender identities and about knowledge organization systems in order to avoid gender bias.

Social dissemination through gender groups involved in the project, sister projects, etc. through a seminar where recommendations and guidelines will be shared and participation to conferences such as Wikimania and others.

Past Contributions


Prior contributions to related academic and/or research projects and/or the Wikimedia and free culture communities. If you do not have prior experience, please explain your planned contributions.

Project Women and Wikipedia (W&W) (2021-2024) funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain.

PhDs already working on the gender gap on Wikipedia (2023) and Wikidata (2025).


Centelles, Miquel; Ferran-Ferrer, Núria (2022). “Categorización con perspectiva de género en Wikipedia: la aportación de Wikidata y de los datos abiertos enlazados” at the Conference Libraries and Digital Humanities: Projects and Challenges, UNED, Madrid, 13-16 de septiembre.

Minguillón Julià, Meneses Julio, Aibar Eduard, Ferran-Ferrer Núria, Fàbregues Sergi (2021) Exploring the gender gap in the Spanish Wikipedia: Differences in engagement and editing practices. PLoS ONE 16(2): e0246702. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246702

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