Wiki Papers

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Not to be confused with WikiPapers, the project already existing since 2012.
This is a proposal for a new Wikimedia sister project.
Status of the proposal
Reasonno interest. Pecopteris (talk) 07:44, 19 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Details of the proposal
Project descriptionA wiki that lists all published scientific papers. Each paper gets its own editable page with meta-information. Key features are the search function (like Google Scholar or Crossref), bibliographic statistics (like Web of science or Scholia) and a wiki-based categorization tree.
Is it a multilingual wiki?Just one version is probably best.
Potential number of languagesMostly English (as papers are in English anyway), alternative language templates could be used like in Wikimedia Commons
Proposed taglineThe wiki library for research papers
Proposed URL,
Technical requirements
New features to requireExisting features should mostly suffice. Automatic import of publication metadata will certainly be important to reach a critical mass
Interested participants

WikiPapers will be a wiki library for (eventually all) published research papers from peer-reviewed scientific journals. Online bibliographies are an indispensible tool for researchers these days. This is where people go when they want to find a paper and information about it. As a wiki this is much more than just a list of published papers. Every paper will have its page where bibliographic information is stored alongside many other information about the paper such as its relation to other papers, the research group and place, research type (theory/experiment), errata, comments, links to news coverage, impact or a summary for non-experts. If the paper is freely licensed, the pdf-document itself can be added.

An important and probably most-used feature is the search engine, that allows finding papers in the first place. It will allow settings like research area, time of publication or open-access availability.

Another very important feature is categorization. There will be category pages and every paper page can have an arbitrary number of categories. Categories can be categorized as well, just like in Wikimedia Commons. Through this, all papers about one specific topic can be sorted and found. The build-up of such a category tree is really where hitherto existing databases perform poorly and a wiki-based platform has its strength.

WikiPapers is not a new journal or an alternative publishing platform. Much like Wikipedia it is not for establishing new knowledge, but to present a structured access to it.

Of course WikiPapers will have much of the functionality that existing citation databases provide: Listing citations, creating citation graphs, computing impact factors, h-index etc.. Handling of bibliographic data (as in the proposed WikiCite project) would also be an important task. WikiPapers will provide bibtex and other formated outputs. A connection for citations in Wikipedia would also make a lot of sense, but as I understand, this is currently being implemented through WikiCite.

Apart from the Paper namespace, there could be additional pages for research institutions and authors, which provide information such as identifiers, list of published articles, publishing history, research awards etc.. Of course each journal would get a page in a "Journal" namespace. Another namespace could be about research topics, where e.g. introductory papers, milestones and latest highlights are listed.

WikiPapers is really the project I miss most on the internet. There are millions of researchers with a strong interest to present their papers with as much information as possible, and to be found by other scientists. This creates a huge potential for people willing to contribute to WikiPapers. In return, WikiPapers will be an indispensable resource for researchers and everyone else.

Proposed by[edit]

Geek3 in 2018

Alternative names[edit]

WikiScholar, WikiCite, WikiJournal, Bibli, Wikibib

Comparison to other proposed projects on Wikimedia[edit]

  • WikiCite: Certainly the most active project related to research papers. Aims to develop a database of open citations and linked bibliographic data, which can then for instance be referenced from Wikipedia. WikiCite is not meant as a “sister project” like WikiPapers, but rather a “service project”. While WikiCite is more of a database “in the background”, WikiPapers aims to be used directly by people who want to find papers and information about it. There might be a possibility to combine the two projects like front-end and back-end.
  • Scholia: Implements many of the features that WikiPapers should have, such as citation graphs, paper pages and author pages. Scholia is based entirely on information from WikiData. It's not a wiki to gather information, but more a tool to display it in new and interesting ways.
  • WikiScholar: Closed proposal from 2006, which shares many ideas of WikiPapers. It is not so clear if WikiScholar was meant only as a database or more Wikipedia-like, as WikiPapers.
  • WikiResearch WikiPapers: Only about open-access papers, thus not sufficient for people who want to browse all existing research.
  • Wikidata: Existing project for all sorts of structured data. Not a front-end and not suited for browsing research articles. Also includes a lot of information unrelated to research papers, thus making it harder to find the desired information.
  • Wikireference: Rejected project which was about a bibliography database, much like realized by WikiCite.
  • Acawiki: Provides openly licensed summaries about papers, so far around 1600. Such summaries will be part of WikiPapers as well, however not mandatory. It's more important to have the entry of a paper at all.
  • Wikiresearch: More about a loose incomprehensive collection of research articles and for doing original research on the Wiki.
  • WikiScientists: Not mainly about existing papers, but about information for scientists and also for original research.
  • WikiPAPER: According to the brief description it sounds like a platform where new papers can be created.
  • WikiJournal: A place where new open-access research articles can be created or submitted.
  • WikiResearch: Closed and very brief proposal about “information and research sources”.
  • Wikicite/WikiTextrose: More about relations between different texts.
  • Wikiabstracts: Database of existing texts, with newly written abstracts for each text.

Comparison to existing non-Wikimedia projects[edit]

There is a large number of existing platforms around this topic:

  • Crossref: A non-profit project to extensively list scientific publications. Focused on references between publications. Lacks wiki-editable meta-information. In fact, Crossref does many things right and can be a role-model in several respects.
  • Google Scholar: Does a great job for searching papers, however has very limited meta-information and page functionality and lacks the wiki-aspect. Wrong bibliographic data cannot be cleaned up by users. No category tree, very limited meta-information. User privacy is not ensured.
  • Web of science: Mostly focussed on citations between papers. Commercial project, that provides much of its informaition only to paying customers.
  • Pub Med: Research article database with search function. Mostly focussed on life sciences and biomedical information, lacking many papers from other fields. No wiki functionality.
  • ResearchGate: Lists research papers and larger amounts of meta-information. In contrast to WikiPapers it also aims to create a social network. ResearchGate is commercially and not community- driven. Community-generated information is not free. There's a long list of criticisms such as copyright infringements and deception of users. The platform tries to keep users trapped on their pages for instance by hiding links to the original publication site. All this makes many researchers uncomfortable using it.
  • Scopus: Elsevier’s abstract and citation database with search function.
  • Microsoft Academic: Research paper search engine with large amount of entries.
  • Paperity: Aggregator of open access journals and papers.
  • CiteSeerX: Search engine and digital library for scientific and academic papers, primarily in the fields of computer and information science.
  • WikiPapers: a structured bibliography of papers related to wikis.

There are many other projects, focused on certain research topics only, such as INSPIRE-HEP or the Astrophysics Data System.

The crucial aspect of WikiPapers is that it's a wiki. It is editable by anyone, which allows to collect much more information and refine it than otherwise possible.

Domain names[edit]

Technical stuff[edit]

Automatic Imports[edit]

There are some hundred million existing research papers, which are impossible to import manually until a solid user-basis is reached. Therefore the project can only start out with automated imports of existing freely available basic metadata. A suitable source could be the Crossref API. Data available in Wikidata can be used as well. Once the database of WikiPapers is big enough to attract users, it can probably work without automatic imports. The publishing scientists themselves would be interested enough to add each newly published paper.


The page name will probably be just the paper title, with some special characters simplified. In case of colliding titles, "Title (Author Year)" may be used. For each unique Digital object identifier there can be a redirect to the paper page.


Some of the namespaces in WikiPapers can be

  • Paper: Main namespace with one page per research paper. There will be sections for bibliographic information, link to publication website, preprints, cited references, trivia...
  • Thesis: Doctoral theses, as well as master's, bachelor's and other theses can be listed in a similar manner as papers.
  • Book: Scientific books may be added as well
  • Doi: Direct redirect to each paper by entering the doi.
  • Journal: One page for each of the ~104 existing peer-reviewed journals. Various information as well as automatically generated citation statistics can be presented there.
  • Author: Page for each individual author of research papers. Will show a machine-created list of assigned papers and manually added infos such as the ORCID.
  • Researchgroup: One page for each research group, listing affiliation, research topics, researchers and papers.
  • Portal: A user friendly place to start out with some research topic and find information in a well-arranged way.
  • Category: The native category tree will be used for research topics with all levels of specialisation, e.g. Chemistry, Computational Fluid Dynamics or GW150914

Apart from that of course the usual ones, such as Help, User, Talk, Template, Special etc..

Search function[edit]

A high quality search function is crucial. It should be eventually better than the one on Wikipedia. For CC-BY articles, the full text can be used for the search. With copyrighted articles, the search can use title, abstract, keywords, wiki-page content, categories and connections to other papers.




Yes there is a relation between the two. I already mentioned WikiJournal in the above list. But clearly WikiJournals is about creating new research, much like another journal just that the content is not fixed and many people can contribute. WikiPapers on the contrary will not create any new papers. It is documenting all existing papers, specifically also the ones that are not free, and it is supposed to help people find papers as easily as possible. So the two are not the same, and they could co-exist without a problem. --Geek3 (talk) 11:08, 27 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]