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Volunteer Response Team

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

The Volunteer Response Team (VRT) is a group of volunteers who handle queries, complaints, and comments from the public by email to Wikimedia projects since September 2004. Volunteers trusted to give courteous, helpful, and accurate responses are given access to the VRT software (VRTS) via the web at https://ticket.wikimedia.org/. More volunteers are always needed, so if you are interested in volunteering please read VRT/Recruiting for more information on how you can help out. Generally, if you are an experienced editor and feel qualified to help with answering emails in your language, please consider submitting an application to volunteer. If you would like to help set up an email address for a project/language that does not yet have a queue in VRTS, please contact a VRTS admin to set one up.

The Volunteer Response Team was previously known as OTRS, named after the software that powered the system, Open-source Ticket Request System (OTRS). ("Volunteer Response Team" was then used as an alternative name in some wikis.) In 2021, the open-source edition of OTRS is discontinued, and in Wikimedia it is replaced by an open-source fork, Znuny. The term "VRT software" is meant to prevent future renames in case of other software or structural changes.

There is also an IRC channel (#wikimedia-vrtconnect), private wiki, and several mailing lists dedicated to Wikimedia VRT. Access of VRTS wiki and other related resources are governed by the access policy. There is a global vrts-permissions user group; members in this group have access to at least one permissions-related queue.


E-mails received by the VRTS are sorted into "queues" based on the address they were sent to (and/or subject matter of the messager). VRTS volunteers (often referred to as "VRTS agents") have access to one or more queues, depending on their position within the Wikimedia community. Tickets in a particular queue are visible to all volunteers who have access to that queue. The Wikimedia Foundation cannot guarantee confidential treatment of any sensitive information you include in your message, although all volunteers are required to treat it with confidentiality. Users should be careful of revealing personally-identifying information of subjects or creators, particularly names, physical addresses, and emails.

Listed below are "community queues", which typically represent a specific project or language. Wikimedians interested in volunteering are able to apply to any of the queues listed below. Info and permission queue (other than permissions-commons) are categorized by language, not by project. For example, the info-zh queue deals with all matters written in Chinese, whether they are about Chinese Wikipedia, other Chinese sister projects or Chinese-related issue in multilingual projects such as Commons. There are many other queues within the system but they have restricted access (for example chapter queue access is approved by a chapter representative).

Daily reports of high-traffic queues are available on Toolforge.

VRTS queues are managed by VRTS administrators. To request a new queue, contact VRTS administrators.


These queues are the general information addresses that are displayed on the Contact us pages on the Wikipedia projects (See the English Wikipedia's page, for example). Emails to these addresses usually deal with questions from readers of Wikipedia and from the subjects of articles. Emails are sorted into queues based on the language that they are written in, not the project that they relate to, because the queues are staffed by Wikimedia volunteers speaking a certain language, not from a certain project. Info queues are currently available in the following languages:

  • info (for all other languages)
  • info-als (Alemannic)
  • info-ar (Arabic)
  • info-bn (Bangla)
  • info-ca (Catalan)
  • info-cs (Czech)
  • info-da (Danish)
  • info-de (German)
  • info-el (Greek)
  • info-en (English)
  • info-es (Spanish)
  • info-et (Estonian)
  • info-fa (Persian)
  • info-fi (Finnish)
  • info-fr (French)
  • info-he (Hebrew)
  • info-hr (Croatian)
  • info-hu (Hungarian)
  • info-id (Indonesian)
  • info-it (Italian)
  • info-ja (Japanese)
  • info-ko (Korean)
  • info-mk (Macedonian)
  • info-nds (Low German)
  • info-nl (Dutch)
  • info-no (Norwegian)
  • info-pl (Polish)
  • info-pt (Portuguese)
  • info-ro (Romanian)
  • info-ru (Russian)
  • info-scn (Sicilian)
  • info-simple (Simple English)
  • info-sk (Slovak)
  • info-sl (Slovenian)
  • info-sr (Serbian)
  • info-sv (Swedish)
  • info-tr (Turkish)
  • info-uk (Ukrainian)
  • info-ur (Urdu)
  • info-vi (Vietnamese)
  • info-zh (Chinese)


Sometimes Wikimedians would like to use images that do not have clear cut licensing information in articles. These images might not be licensed already, might have a license that is not permissive enough for use on Wikipedia, or might otherwise need confirmation that the copyright holder has agreed to the license shown on the projects. Wikimedians often contact the copyright holders of various images and ask them to license them so that they can be used on Wikimedia projects. The permissions team on VRTS is the one that processes these "permissions" e-mails and attempts to verify that the copyright holder releases the images under an allowable license, that they do so clearly while understanding what that means, and that they actually are allowed to license the images in such a way (e.g. they hold copyright). These e-mails are then stored in the ticket system so that they can be verified by anyone with appropriate access.

  • permissions-commons (for Commons-hosted media)
  • permissions-ar (Arabic)
  • permissions-cs (Czech)
  • permissions-de (German)
  • permissions-el (Greek)
  • permissions-en (English)
  • permissions-es (Spanish)
  • permissions-et (Estonian)
  • permissions-fi (Finnish)
  • permissions-fr (French)
  • permissions-he (Hebrew)
  • permissions-hr (Croatian)
  • permissions-hu (Hungarian)
  • permissions-it (Italian)
  • permissions-ja (Japanese)
  • permissions-ko (Korean)
  • permissions-ml (Malayalam)
  • permissions-nl (Dutch)
  • permissions-no (Norwegian)
  • permissions-pl (Polish)
  • permissions-pt (Portuguese)
  • permissions-ro (Romanian)
  • permissions-ru (Russian)
  • permissions-sk (Slovak)
  • permissions-sl (Slovenian)
  • permissions-sr (Serbian)
  • permissions-sv (Swedish)
  • permissions-tr (Turkish)
  • permissions-uk (Ukrainian)
  • permissions-vi (Vietnamese)
  • permissions-zh-hans (Simplified Chinese)
  • permissions-zh-hant (Traditional Chinese)


Wikimedia projects often lack good, freely-licensed images for certain articles, especially biographies of living persons. To mitigate this, the photosubmission queues were created on VRTS. They allow readers of Wikipedia and subjects (or their agents) of articles on the project to easily submit (via email to us) photos to help illustrate their articles.

Similar to the operation of permissions queues, the photosubmission team verifies that the person submitting the image is capable of freely licensing it, that they clearly state their intent to license it under a specific free license, and that they understand what they are doing. The team then helps by uploading and adding the image(s) to the relevant articles. The Dutch VRT has a similar initiative as part of their info-nl queue: Wikiportrait.

Sister projects

Multilingual projects






(outside Wikimedia)

Localized projects (one wiki for each supported content language)









Although the majority of our mail goes to Wikipedia-related queues, we do have dedicated queues set up for each of the "sister projects" shown above. These queues were created to give each of our projects the special attention they deserve so that we can seek out the best volunteer agents to serve on our team on those particular queues. If you have any particular knowledge about any of the Sister projects above, please feel free to request access to them individually as part of your application.

Other queues

There are many other queues in use within our VRTS implementation. They range in purpose but share one core purpose: to assist in facilitating communication amongst Wikimedia users, readers, customers and anybody else who has something to say! Through Wikimedia VRTS we support “Wiki Loves Monuments”, a number of Wikimedia chapters, several local oversight teams and numerous other foundation-related projects.

VRTS administrators

If you have any questions about applying or anything else relating to Wikimedia VRTS, feel free to contact one of the people below. You can also email volunteers-vrt@wikimedia.org or join us on the Libera IRC network in #wikimedia-vrtconnect.

If you disagree with an action that is linked to an VRTS ticket and would like it reviewed by other members of the VRT, please see VRT/Review or contact one of the administrators below.

User Languages Location Time zone IRC nickname(s)
DCB de, en-2 Germany UTC+01:00 – Central European Time
Emufarmers en USA UTC−05:00 – Eastern Time (North America) Emufarmers
Krd de, en-3 Germany UTC+01:00 – Central European Time Krd
Matthewrb en, es-3 Colorado, United States UTC−07:00 – Mountain Time Zone Matthew_
Reinhard Kraasch de, en-3 Hamburg, Germany UTC+01:00 – Central European Time
Ruthven fr, it, en-4, es-4 France UTC+01:00 – Central European Time ruthven

VRTS admins are appointed by cooptation.

See also