Wikicite/e-scholarship/Evolution and Evolvability (WikidataR for Wikicite)

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Project name[edit]

WikidataR: Expanding read-write capabilities for R to write enhanced publication metadata to Wikidata

Contact information[edit]

application type


your name and/or Wikimedia username

Evolution and Evolvability (Thomas Shafee) - Melbourne


Your nearest city and country

Melbourne, Australia

Details of team members (optional)

If this application is for a team project, each additional team member (up to 5 total) should have their name/username, project role, location, and contact details here:

  • Canley (Alex Lum) – Melbourne: co-developer, experienced in R programming, SPARQL and QuickStatements. Email:

The activity/project[edit]

Tell us about your proposed project. What will you get achieved with this time?

Current situation

The scripting language R is the most used data science language, well suited to. There has been a R packages around for a while to read from wikidata (reading single items with WikidataR and submitting SPARQL queries with WikidataQueryServiceR). However no package exists that can write to wikidata from R.

Proposed action

I am therefore creating an expanded and updated WikidataR to have this ability to write to Wikidata via the quickstatements API (by expanding the functionality of the old read-only WikidataR package, since its original creator is no longer a developer).


The ability to write to Wikidata from R will greatly enhance the community's ability to enrich publication items in Wikidata. These include properties such as funding scheme (P6195), editor (P98), reviewed by (P4032), or describes a project that uses (P4510) for methods and equipment; significant events such as ethical approval (Q98550700) or rectification (Q56478729); and author/editor/reviewer properties such as declared conflict of interest (Q99429881). Similarly, journals can be indicated as predatory publisher (Q65770389) or hijacked journal (Q17300027). As a language, R is particularly well suited to the sort of data handling necessary to cross-reference existing databases and write to appropriate wikidata items, and this R package will act as an equivalent for the to the python PyPl package.

Your qualifications[edit]

Describe how you (and, if applicable, your team)are able to achieve this project. What skills, expertise, and motivation do you have which will enable you to succeed?

  • I have experience in publication metadata open metadata from my work with the WikiJournal User Group
  • I have experience in research output metadata (including non-traditional research outputs)
  • I have experience in R package development and basic web interfaces
  • I have already implemented some basic proof of concept functions and tested them:

Proposed activity dates[edit]

Four days total:

  • 10-11 Oct 2020
  • 17-18 Oct 2020

Budget (Standard WMF per-day living allowance - 75% of the "M & IE rate" for relevant city)

  • US$145 x 4 days x 2 people = US$1160 x 0.75 = USD $870 ( ~$1220 AUD)


Optional: Community members are encouraged to endorse your proposal and leave a rationale here.