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Wikimedia Commons Data Roundtripping

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The Swedish National Heritage Board has researched and developed prototype tools and pilots to provide improved metadata (translations, data additions...) from Wikimedia Commons back to the source institution. This project ran from November 2018 to June 2019 and was part-funded by the European Union within the Europeana Common Culture project.


The purpose of this project was to research, design and prototype technical solutions that would make it much easier and less work intensive for GLAM collections managers to review, copy and add to source additions to the metadata of the media files they have shared on Wikimedia Commons. The project aimed to:

  • Research the desirability and requirements of GLAM-collections managers in regards to retrieving metadata added to their files post-upload on Wikimedia Commons
  • Develop and test a prototype tool that supports GLAM-collections managers in identifying, reviewing and retrieving added or changed metadata to media files.
  • Report on lessons learned and recommend future actions (or inaction).

This project also did some early experiments with Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons.


Across the world galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) have chosen to share media files from their collections on Wikimedia Commons.

Once included in Wikipedia articles these media files are viewed, played and downloaded by more users than ever even visit most GLAMs websites. Those same users, Wikimedia community members, are not only free, but invited and encouraged to add their knowledge to the metadata and descriptions of those files on Wikimedia Commons. This can take many forms: corrected spelling mistakes, translations into other languages, categorisations, suggested corrections to errors, and new information are among them. With very very few exceptions, those additions remain on Wikimedia Commons and are not returned to the original source collections database of the GLAM. This means that quality improvements remain only on the Wikimedia platforms and are not available in the source collections databases themselves.

The project posits that this is a opportunity loss for the GLAMs participating in GLAMwiki collaboration and whose core mission typically includes researching and improving their own collections.

Links to key documents[edit]


Posts and presentations[edit]

Commons category[edit]

Category:Wikimedia Commons Data Roundtripping