Research:Technical needs of external re-users of Commons media

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Duration:  2018-May — 2018-June

This page documents a research project in progress.
Information may be incomplete and change as the project progresses.

Wikimedia Commons is one of the largest repositories of freely licenced media on the internet. This makes Commons one of the most potentially valuable sources of free-to-use images and video for individuals and organizations—including academic researchers, artists and designers, journalists, and other free culture projects—who seek to remix, repurpose, or otherwise incorporate visual media into their own creative works. However, it can be difficult to find the media you want on Commons, and it is not always clear how to correctly attribute Commons media that has been re-published on its own or incorporated into a larger creative work.

Project overview[edit]

The Structured Data on Commons program seeks to implement technical changes to Wikimedia Commons that will make it easier to search for relevant media and re-use those media with correct attribution. Other technical improvements that may be within the scope of the program include interfaces for editing media items and tracking re-use outside of Wikimedia websites on an opt-in basis.

The current project will involve soliciting feedback from individuals and organizations that already re-use Commons content outside of the Wikimedia Movement (i.e. outside of Wikimedia projects or other Movement publications). The goal of the project is to understand the current painpoints and unmet needs of these individuals and organizations, in order to inform the design of new software features and functionality for searching, browsing, downloading, and re-publishing Commons media.


A list of candidate orgs can be found on the /Candidates subpage.

We'll be soliciting input from external re-users via surveys, email interviews, or semi-structured interviews—depending on the number of orgs we identify and our ability to secure the time and attention of the relevant subject matter experts within those orgs.


  • May 2018: Identify and recruit participants
  • June 2018: Conduct research and write up report


Once your study completes, describe the results an their implications here. Don't forget to make status=complete above when you are done.

See also[edit]