Wikidata:Data donation

From Wikidata
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Data donation
This page is written for institutions, companies, organisations and individuals who are interested in adding data to Wikidata.

You may find these related resources helpful:

About Wikidata

Donating data to Wikidata (English)
Linked Data - San Francisco

Wikidata is a multilingual free knowledge base about the world that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike. It provides data in all the languages of the Wikimedia projects, and allows for the central access to data in a similar vein as Wikimedia Commons does for multimedia files, it is also used by many other websites. The data on Wikidata is added by a community of volunteers both manually and by using software, much like other Wikimedia projects including Wikipedia.

Wikidata has millions of items, each representing things like a person, a place, an artwork, an abstract concept, or some other type of entity. Each item has statements (key-value pairs), each statement in turn consisting of a property such as "birth date", and the appropriate value for the item. Properties have their own pages on Wikidata and are connected to items, resulting in a linked data structure. There can also be statements for external identifiers, such as a VIAF IDs.

Wikidata is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge.

What data we host

Wikidata focuses on a basic level of useful information about the world and links to other resources for specialized data on the subject. Sources for data on Wikidata must be:

  • Reliable
  • Publicly available

The best way to find out which parts of your data is suitable for Wikidata is to talk to the Wikidata community.

Why add data to Wikidata

There are many reasons to add data to Wikidata including:

Help more people to see your information

Data from Wikidata is used by many high traffic websites including Wikipedia which is one of the most used websites in the world receiving over 15 billion page views per month.

Improve open knowledge

Wikidata hosts data that can be used on Wikimedia projects and beyond. By adding data to Wikidata you create a framework and checklist to help your topic to be well covered and up to date in all Wikimedia projects in many languages.

Increase traffic to your website

Anyone looking at Wikidata or other sites that use Wikidata including Wikipedia can see a clickable reference link for the source of the data, making it easy to visit your website.

Make your data more useful for yourself and others

Under Tim Berners-Lee's (the inventor of the World Wide Web) 5-star Open Data plan, making your data available as a spreadsheet is rated as 2 stars, but adding it to Wikidata will rate it as 5 stars, allowing it to benefit from the network effect. By adding data to Wikidata it becomes more useful, you can:

  • Combine it with other data
  • Use Wikidata tools to explore the data
  • Visualise your data along with data from other sources

Organisations who have worked with Wikidata

Case studies

Many organisations are choosing to work with Wikidata. Case studies are available on the following projects:

Organisations whose data has been added to Wikidata

Data from many organisations have been added to Wikidata. These include:

  • Art UK (formerly known as BBC: Your Paintings)
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France: IDs, references and biographical data
  • British Museum: Thesaurus
  • National Library of Australia: People identifier
  • Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie: Artist biographies
  • UNESCO: Programme inscriptions eg. World Heritage Sites
  • National Nuclear Data Center: Nuclide stability, natural abundance, decays and half life

An overview of open data and data licensing is available at Wikidata:Open data publishing.

All data on Wikidata is released under Creative Commons CC0 (public domain). However individual facts and identifiers, such as numbers and IDs are not copyrightable. If you are an institution based in Europe, the whole of your ID list may be under database copyright, but we would not be copying the entire list in bulk; rather, volunteers add most of them individually, one at a time. For more information please see the Wikimedia Foundation’s guidance on database rights.

Every database is different. To define whether your organisation would need to make a license change on your data or if the section of data you would like to make available does not fall under copyright please contact the Wikidata community.

Reusing and combining Wikidata data

There are many tools to manipulate data on Wikidata, for a full list see the Wikidata external tools and the Tools Directory.

Reusing data

It's easy to access data on Wikidata. Data can be reused in Wikimedia projects and beyond, making exciting applications possible.

You can use our data including translated names, birth/death dates and locations, free images, you name it.

Matching your data with other data sets

Many tools exist to augment or cross-check your data with data from other sources. One example is BEACON which can give you a list of your IDs matched against any other we have for the same items, e.g Art UK artists against VIAF. Mix'n'match and OpenRefine can be used to create connections between your database and Wikidata.


Several tools exist to visualise Wikidata data including:

  • Histropedia: uses data from Wikipedia and Wikidata to automatically generate interactive timelines with events linked to Wikipedia articles. Example: The Apollo missions
  • Monumental: a tool that allows you to explore built heritage and learn more about monuments by collating information Wikidata, Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. Example: Paris
  • Wikidata Graph Builder: uses data from Wikidata to create graphs of concepts and their related concepts.
  • Wikidata Query Service: A service that offers the ability to run complex queries on items in Wikidata, and related tools e.g. World Heritage sites

How to add data to Wikidata

The process of adding Wikidata can be technically challenging but the Wikidata community is very happy to discuss with you the best approach and offer assistance where needed. The basic process is:

  1. Contact the Wikidata community describing what data you have and would like to include in Wikidata.
  2. Decide with the Wikidata community what data is suitable to import.
  3. Work with the Wikidata community to import the data.
  4. Keep the data up to date or share the resources needed for others to do so.

1. Contact the Wikidata community

There is a central noticeboard for contacting the Wikidata community called Project chat.

  1. Create your own Wikimedia account (do not use the name of an organisation in the title).
  2. Make sure you are logged in
  3. Go to the Project chat page.
  4. Click the blue Start a new discussion button.
  5. Write a message and make sure to include a title in the title line.
  6. Sign the message by writing ~~~~ at the end of your message.
  7. Click Show preview underneath your message to make sure your message has been written correctly, you will see that your username has appeared where the ~~~~ were added.
  8. Click Save page to post the message.

Users will either reply to your message on the Project chat page or on your userpage which you can access by clicking Talk at the top of the screen next to your username. Please note pages become archived after a short while to make room for new messages, to access old messages go to the Archive index.

You can also use IRC or Telegram.

2. Decide with the Wikidata community what data to import

Wikidata does not include all data available but just a useful subset. Please refer to our notability criteria for the minimum requirements.

3. Work with the Wikidata community to import the data

There are several ways to add data to Wikidata including

Manual data entry

Everyone can add data to Wikidata manually.

Online tools

There are a number of online tools to help with the import of data into Wikidata. Some of them that support specific workflows for data imports are:

  • Mix'n'match contains lists of important concepts from reliable sources and allows to match the names to Wikidata entries with one click. It is possible to get your list included. Read the blogpost about the motivation behind Mix'n'match.
  • The Primary Sources Tool allows for a curation workflow for data donations to Wikidata, where Wikidata editors can review, edit, or reject data offered to the community. It was initially developed for datasets from Freebase, but can be used for any collection of very large non-curated datasets.
  • QuickStatements allows users to create items and upload lists of statements based on input in tab-separated format exported from spreadsheets

Wikidata API

The Wikidata API is a web service that provides convenient access to wiki features, data, and meta-data over HTTP.


Bots (also known as robots) are tools used to make edits without the necessity of human decision-making. Bots on Wikidata can add interwiki links, labels, descriptions, statements, references, and can even create items, among other things. We also collect hints and inspiration for your own code to import data with a bot.

4. Keep the data up to date

Wikidata aims to share data with people and machines around the world for decades. Although some data may seem timeless, your import is likely to contain data that at some point will no longer be valid or complete. If the data is not maintained, it can not only lose its value, but also become misinformation.

Unless you have made an easily repeatable data import, please:

  • provide documentation, scripts and other technical resources under a free license so that the community can easily keep Wikidata in sync with the data source from now on, or
  • take responsibility for maintaining the data yourself.

One way to motivate yourself to maintain the data is to use it. Be sure to take advantage of Wikidata's potential for your benefit.

Other ways organisations can be involved with Wikimedia

There are a number of ways organisations can be involved with Wikimedia including:

  • Making media content available
  • Contributing to Wikipedia articles
  • Hosting Wikimedia events
  • Hosting a Wikimedian in Residence

For more information contact your local Wikimedia chapter.

An introduction to Wikidata
Community Portal
A glossary of Wikidata terms
Wikidata Tool Directory
Create a Wikimedia account (do not use the name of an organisation in the title).