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Research:Wikimedia Foundation support

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Research support

This page describes how to get support for research projects from the Wikimedia Foundation.
For other kinds of support, please refer to the Research FAQ

Wikimedia Research Index Wikimedia Research Index

The Wikimedia Foundation now has an open-access policy (background).

The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to supporting initiatives such as open access and open data to foster the free reuse and redistribution of research data and unconstrained access to research publications. In order to support these initiatives, the Foundation is currently designing policies that tie support requests to different kinds of incentives to openness.

The following is a preliminary attempt at matching different levels of support WMF provides to researchers (in the form of technical help for data collection, support for subject recruitment or financial support) and openness requirements. Other types of support currently not included should be added with a corresponding list of requirements.

We envisage that, at least in the early days of the policy, researchers will be able to opt out of these requirements if they justify their request in public, and it is approved by the Research Committee.

Type of support OA (Gold)[1] OA (Green)[2] Open licensed output [3] Open licensed data [4] Open source code [5] Reuse rights [6] Documentation [7] Score [8]
Technical - Data Collection Recommended Required Recommended Required[N 1] Recommended Required Required 4-7
- Non-public data Recommended Required Recommended n/a[N 2] Recommended Required Required 3-6
API Permissions [N 3] Recommended Required Recommended Required Recommended Required Required 4-7
Institutional - Subject recruitment Recommended Required Recommended Recommended[N 4] n/a Required Required 3-6
- WMF Endorsement Required Required Required Required Required Required Required 7
- WMF hosted Required Required Required Required Required Required Required 7
Financial - Financial support Required Required Required Required Required Required Required 7
No WMF support Recommended Recommended Recommended Recommended Recommended n/a Recommended 0-6


  1. Gold OA is provided by authors publishing in an open access journal that provides immediate OA to all of its articles on the publisher's website. (Hybrid open access journals provide Gold OA only for those individual articles for which their authors (or their author's institution or funder) pay an OA publishing fee.)
  2. Green OA is provided by authors publishing in any journal and then self-archiving their postprints in their institutional repository or on some other OA website. Green OA journal publishers endorse immediate OA self-archiving by their authors.
  3. The publication itself (or the self-archived version) is released under an open license (e.g. CC-BY-SA) that allows free reuse and redistribution. Note that neither OA Gold nor OA Green explicitly require that the publication's contents be open licensed to allow reuse and redistribution. A publication can be OA Gold and retain full copyright restricting derivative works
  4. The datasets used in this study are deposited on an open data repository and released under an open license (e.g. CC-BY-SA or CC0) that allows free reuse and redistribution
  5. The code produced as part of a research project is released under an open license and deposited in a publicly accessible repository
  6. The author(s) of the manuscript retains a non-exclusive right to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt their work, and grants WMF a non-exclusive right to do the same
  7. The project is extensively documented in the Wikimedia research directory
  8. An openness score is calculated on the basis of the number of conditions a project meets. The score is used to make decisions as to what projects to feature or showcase on WMF's official outlets


  1. Data produced by WMF may need to be anonymized and cleared of privacy-sensitive information before being released
  2. Due to their nature we cannot request that non-public data be deposited on an open repository, unless in an aggregate form
  3. This involves access to deleted edits, without which many research datasets would be skewed, Research Committee/Areas of interest/Non-public data permissions
  4. Survey data must be anonymized and cleared of privacy-sensitive information before being released

See also