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This page is a proposal for a new Wikimedia Foundation Sister Project.
Status Under discussion
What is the proposed name for the project? WikiJournal
Proposed project tagline Open access peer reviewed academic journals with no publication costs.
Project description
What is the project purpose? What will be its scope? How would it benefit to be part of Wikimedia?
A site where authors can write their works directly online. The works then undergo independent scholarly peer review before being officially published in the journal.

Currently hosted in Wikiversity: WikiJournal User Group, with the main current journals being WikiJournal of Medicine and WikiJournal of Science.

It provides a way of bridging the Wikipedia-Academia gap by enabling academics, scholars and professionals to contribute expert knowledge to the Wikimedia movement in the familiar academic publishing format that directly rewards scholars with cite-able publications.

See also: v:WikiJournal of Medicine/About
How many wikis?
Will there be many language versions or just on one multilingual wiki?
Many language versions
How many languages?
Is the project going to be in one language or in many?
Initailly English, eventually many
Proposed project website address Current: hosted within Wikiversity (with link from )

Ideal: (now negotiating with the current domain holder)
Alternatively: or

Proposed logo for the project WikiJournal logo (flat blue yellow).svg

Proposed logo matches current WMF sister project styles
uses 2014 WMF colour palette
WikiJournal logo.svg
Current logo of user group
WikiJournal of Medicine logo.svg WikiJournal of Science logo.svg
Logos of specific journals within the group
WikiJournal logo (flat black).svg WikiJournal of Medicine logo (flat black).svg WikiJournal of Science logo (flat black).svg
Flat black version for small icons (including specific journals)

Technical requirements
If the project requires any new features that the MediaWiki software currently doesn't have, please describe in detail. Are additional MediaWiki extensions needed for the project?
A number of unique features needed:
  • It should be possible to categorize users as authors, editors and/or peer reviewers.
  • Separate namespaces for articles yet to be peer reviewed equivalent to Wikipedia's Draftspace, e.g. Draft: or Preprint: or equivalent. (Currently stored in category and as list)
  • It is also important to have the option of certain pages not being publicly accessible (i.e. only viewable by author and editors). This avoids violating press embargos for unpublished articles and allows re-submission to other journals if rejected from here. (Currently confidential works must be emailed to submissions(at)
  • Preferably, there should be an option to have restricted access to some files and discussions.
  • A bot-aided submission system similar to Wikipedia's AfC (currently two submission system experiments here and here)
  • Ideally a way of semi-automated formatting accepted articles into a specific PDF format (currently docx template)
  • Specific left menu items.
  • Specific title fonts
Development wiki Not yet any separate technical-development wiki (e.g., in Wikimedia Labs)
Interested participants 22 participants as of 2016-08-21


  • Wikipedia lacks information.
  • Wikipedia is viewed with suspicion by the academic community.
  • Original research cannot be published on Wikipedia.
  • Lack of quality images for articles.
  • Lack of contributions from academic community.
  • Academic authors often seek recognition more than a mere mention of the history tab of the article.
  • Lack of standard procedure to maintain notability parameters of an article.

Possible solution[edit]

The Wikipedian community and the academic community can be converged and unified through a journal initiative under Wikimedia banner. The journals needs to adhere to international guidelines and standard procedures in addition to being open access and editable by all. WikiJournal can provide a prototype based on which journals for various themes and subjects can be built upon.

This involves two broad aspects: The background structure and the journal contents.

Background structure[edit]

Background structure comprises of:

  • Journal policies: This can be customized based on the journal theme and subject but would be common overall.
  • Templates: Specific templates need to be designed for journals. These templates would probably not be relevant to any other wikiproject.
  • Technical parameters:
    • Unlike other wikiprojects, the journal project calls for specialized logins as authors, editors and/or peer reviewers.
    • The possibility of one individual having multiple capacities, and the specific capacity being specified for an edit also need to be considered.
    • Custom PDF rendering facility.

Journal contents[edit]

  • Anybody would be able to make a submission. Specification of legal name and contact details might be required.
  • The contents would undergo a public peer review before submission.
  • The submitted contents would be reviewed by the Editorial board and considered critically before it is accepted or rejected.
  • After acceptance, the editing capacities for the article would be restricted.
  • A permalink in the form of Digital Object Identifier or DOI would be awarded to each article after publication.
  • A citation format for academic publications would be specified.

Present scenario[edit]

WikiJournal of Medicine has been developed under Wikiversity and has been operational since 2014. More information about this journal is located at WikiJournal of Medicine/About. Based on this initiative a separate initiative, Second Journal of Science has come into being. A composite journal user group has been formed in order to overlook the development of such journals. This project is currently located in Wikiversity: Wikiversity:WikiJournal User Group


A wiki that is open for everyone to contribute, and at the same time having the features of scholarly journals in that the published works undergo independent peer review by experts in the subject before publication. Also, the authors are clearly credited at the top of their articles, making it more attractive for researchers and scholars to contribute. Works may include images and reviews that are supported by secondary sources. Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sister projects can subsequently use material from these publications.

Why separate Wikiproject[edit]

  • An internal discussion revealed a consensus for a move to a separate Wikiproject.
  • It calls for custom structure that would probably not be required by other Wikiprojects.
    • The users would need to specify their real names and contact details.
    • Login types might need to be specified.
    • Custom templates.
  • Better visibility and awareness. The current journals have limited viewership possibly due to lack of awareness across Wikimedia users.
  • Grant requirements would follow a definite prototype.
  • The scope is unique. The uniqueness needs to be identified.
    • A separate link as another sister project will enhance its visibility to Wikimedia users would therefore enhance participation and impact.
  • The scope does not exactly merge with:
    • Wikiversity: Although there is partial overlap in relation to open research, the scope of WikiJournal goes beyond that. Academic publications are not necessarily same as open academia, open educational resources or learning projects.
    • Wikibooks: Academic publications are not necessarily same as open-content textbooks.
    • Wikipedia: Although Wikipedia is most read information source, it is often not given the credibility it deserves. While a few journals have started taking Wikipedia seriously, it is can still not claim the equivalent to the academic recognition that WikiJournal could claim.
  • Impact metrics may not be applicable to any other wikiproject and may call for additional support from Wikimedia labs.
  • Translation to other language wikis would call for standard protocols to be followed, unlike in any other sister project.
  • It is essential for journals to get enlisted in various databases and follow various international protocols. A single repository for all such journals will help in minimizing the hassles of separate enlistment in such databases or central bodies.


  • Support. Mikael Häggström (talk) 18:18, 21 August 2016 (UTC) Editor-in-chief, WikiJournal of Medicine
  • Disagree with split I don't see why it's valuable to split this from WV--this is perfectly within its scope. In fact, it is one of the real triumphs of that project and splitting it off would probably be to the detriment of that site. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:52, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Support A journal needs specific tools. Having it as its own sister site would be ideal. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:00, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Very promising proposal --Athikhun.suw (talk) 00:52, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Support I agree with the split. I don't think it belongs with Wikiversity at all, which is for courses and curricula. It makes more sense to me, if anything, that it should be part of Wikibooks, as that is a place for publication of original scientific works. The process for a journal paper is different than a book however so I agree it should be separate. As for the project in general, I think the wiki approach to writing a scientific paper is potentially really great. I know PLOS has their own internal wiki for writing Topic Pages, which are review papers that are written and then eventually transferred to Wikipedia. Non-review papers, however, don't really make sense as part of Wikipedia, so it makes sense to develop them on their own wiki. Mvolz (talk) 17:44, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Disagree with split (Changed vote to neutral with the understanding that the real question is whether the wiki hosts confidential or "private" conversations) Original text: Keep in mind that I speaking from the biased perspective of a Wikiversity Custodian who is only marginally involved with this WikiJournal project. One reason Wikiversity would want to host the journals is that the software developed for WikiJournal could be useful on Wikiversity. An example of such software might include confidential communications between editors and referees that are held on-wiki (instead of on a remote user group). I have no idea whether Wikimedia is willing or even able to host such confidentiality, but it would also allow students and authors to collaborate privately. Also, Wikiversity would be interested in hosting student-run journals. I concede that the prospect of amateaurish student-journals might not be appealing to board members, and fully understand why the board might wish to separate from Wikiversity. If the board chooses to split, I will support that decision. --Guy vandegrift (talk) 01:35, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Confidential talks are currently held on a Google Group, which can be used for students and authors even if WikiJournal is split from Wikiversity. Likewise, students have at least the same ability to start journals after a split. Mikael Häggström (talk) 12:57, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Allowing for confidential conversations on a Wikimedia sister-wiki would be a major departure from protocol. The wiki that does it will need an independent governing body for each journal or organization that uses it. Someday, it would be nice for universities, laboratories, and journals to have such capabilities. I am neutral about the current proposed split if the confidentality is not included: Without the confidentiality option, I see neither a reason for the split, nor any harm done by splitting away from Wikiversity. But if this new wiki is created with confidentiality options, it will likely recruit university and laboratory-based journals that wish to utilize this option. The question of whether to allow this confidentiality option is likely to go to the top levels of the Wikimedia corporation...Perhaps what we really need is for Google groups to host discussions in wikitext.--Guy vandegrift (talk) 19:03, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
@Mikael Häggström: The private option is already availablae at vandegrift (talk) 16:46, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Support The scope is unique and can extend to a number of domains. Specific tools needed. Access rights need to be different. It is also important to have the option of certain pages not being publicly accessible such that press embargo for unpublished articles do not get violated and yet editors or peer reviewers get to work in wiki format. DiptanshuTalk 12:21, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Support I definitely agree with this. If it does air how would the three statutes you mentioned be done? Would peer reviewer, editor, and author have different edit rights or be purely decorative, and would you have to apply for them? Iazyges (talk) 04:55, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Good questions, Iazyges. I see no reason for editors to need any particular edit rights, and readers without any account should be able to edit too, even published works under certain conditions. I think the author role is also rather decorative, since it's the quality of their works that matter. I think the peer reviewers should need to apply, so that we know they fulfill the criteria. Mikael Häggström (talk) 18:55, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
  • support per DocJames--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 11:59, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
  • support Because an open access journal is very different from WV and WB. --Netha Hussain (talk) 09:03, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Support because I'm looking for a project like this to publish some ideas. --Felipe (talk) 16:29, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support - If this happens, I can read well the promising journal articles by academics. Though I can't write well the stuff, I can be a good reader to this. --George Ho (talk) 22:20, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Support -Richard923888 (talk) 15:39, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - there is no reason why a separate journal cannot continue to link with WV but there is immense potential that cannot be achieved by remaining a sub-project. Green Giant (talk) 15:09, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - This proposal has evolved and improved significantly since first proposed in 2016. The flagship WikiJournal of Medicine exemplifies what the project can achieve (see 2017 editorial). Starting up within Wikiversity was useful to incubate the project and prove that such a novel format is even feasible. Becoming a sister project would further support the initiative by adding legitimacy, support, and extra control of sidebar contents etc. There would remain a strong focus on generation, improvement, peer-review and re-integration of high-quality content into other WMF projects (especially Wikipedia), and a WikiJournal sister project would maintain strong ties to the other projects. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:03, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Alternative proposal[edit]

WikiJournal as a publishing house I am a little confused about how a WikiJournal project would work: would other users be allowed to come along and edit already published research? Would it be like Scholarpedia where you need credentials? Rather than make a separate project as such, maybe "WikiJournal" could be a regularly-published periodical or a publishing imprint that has stable versions of articles that have been collaborated on at Wikiversity. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:13, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

As summarized at the structure of WikiJournal of Medicine, anyone may edit pages, even published ones, but substantial edits to the main text of such articles would be reverted. Instead, users should then make a separate draft, and have that draft peer reviewed as well. Peer reviewers must be experts in the subject, but authors do not necessarily have to be. Collaborations at any site with a permitting license may be submitted. Mikael Häggström (talk) 19:16, 2 September 2016 (UTC)