Wikidata:Requests for comment/Improving Wikidata documentation for different types of user

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This RFC aims to provide clear paths for different types of user to develop their understanding, skills and abilities in Wikidata, from new users without a technical background to database designers, partner organisations and Wikipedia contributors. We need better documentation for both online independent learning and for in-person workshops and other structured learning environments.

Please disuss on the talkpage:

  1. The types of user that are presented, if they need to be refined, if more are needed, examples of these kinds of users you have experience working with.
  2. What these users want to do on Wikidata and what they need to be able to do it, it is especially helpful to hear from these types of user in person, also case studies will very helpful.
  3. The resources needed, the existing resources available and new resources that are needed.

John Cummings, Navino Evans and others will work to synthesise the discussions on the talk page to expand this page.


In considering the requirements for different kinds of contributors it may be useful to think about how Wikidata being easier to understand, contribute to and reuse helps fulfil the Wikimedia 2030 Strategic Direction of Service and Equity and the new opportunities and members the direction might bring.

By 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us.

We, the Wikimedia contributors, communities, and organizations, will advance our world by collecting knowledge that fully represents human diversity, and by building the services and structures that enable others to do the same.

We will carry on our mission of developing content as we have done in the past, and we will go further.

Knowledge as a service: To serve our users, we will become a platform that serves open knowledge to the world across interfaces and communities. We will build tools for allies and partners to organize and exchange free knowledge beyond Wikimedia. Our infrastructure will enable us and others to collect and use different forms of free, trusted knowledge.

Knowledge equity: As a social movement, we will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege. We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities. We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge.


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Contents

Next steps[edit]

After the RFC is complete we will:

  1. Create a master list of all resources needed will be created on this page.
  2. Create Wikimedia Phabricator tasks (Wikimedia's central to do list) for each of the resources outlined to improve or create.
  3. Encourage the Wikidata community, groups and organisations to work on the list of tasks outlined on Phabricator.


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Background[edit]

Wikidata is expanding extremely quickly, in 5 years the project has grown to almost 50 million items, with a sharp increase in the rate of growth in the past year.

Wikidata is becoming more integrated with many Wikimedia projects, however there is significant resistance to use of data from Wikidata on some Wikimedia projects. This is in part due to a lack of documentation, which is also acting as a barrier to growing the Wikidata community. Whilst documentation is being created, it is being done with no overall strategy or organisation.


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Guidelines[edit]

  • Whilst this page is a summary of the resources needed please feel free to go into as much detail as you want on the talk page; this information will be very useful when the resources are created. Additional RFCs could be created on a resource or set of resources.
  • There will be many documents that appear on different kinds of users journeys, these can be one document but take into account different needs of different kinds of users.
  • The first user journey is Resource creator which outlines the resources needed by people who will be writing the documentation.
  • Assuming knowledge when trying to provide information to people will mean that lower-skilled people are not able to take part.
  • Not all steps are necessarily needed for all users of that type.
  • The types of user are intentionally broad but could be more clearly defined or broken down further if needed.
  • Please let people and groups know who you think would be interested in taking part in this discussion


Types of user[edit]

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Resource creator[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

Us, people interested in improving resources on Wikidata for other types of users.

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

Without the proper resources we cannot serve the different kinds of users who want to contribute to Wikidata

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources
1 Understand what documentation is needed for different audiences This RFC
2 Be able to write good documentation for different audiences
3 Be able to create attractive documentation Page design and formatting (requires additional examples and more background information to make it easier to reuse the examples).
4 Be able to Organise translations and bringing in resources from several languages
5 Be able to create resources to help people gather metrics
6 Be able to create, collate and keep updated resources to help people tell narrative stories
7 Provide mechanisms to understand that learning is happening for the user types described in this RFC


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Wikipedia editor wanting to contribute data to Wikidata manually[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

An experienced Wikipedia editor who is interested in finding out more about Wikidata and possibly contributing. He may have existing opinions about Wikidata.

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

  • Lack of understanding of Wikidata on Wikimedia projects: Lack of documentation about Wikidata prevents easy understanding of the project.
  • Resistance to Wikidata on other Wikimedia projects: Wikidata is increasingly becoming useful and used on Wikipedia however some users on some language Wikipedias are resistant to reusing Wikidata, partially because of the lack of basic documentation on contributing to Wikidata.
  • Growing the community: Wikipedia editors have a lot of the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to Wikidata.

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources
1 Understands what Wikidata is
2 Understands why contributing to Wikidata is beneficial
3 Understands the terms used on Wikidata
4 Understands the basic structure of Wikidata pages
5 Is able to add properties and statements with references to Wikidata Wikidata tours (needs additional tours) A page of documentation of community agreed structures for different kinds of data
6 Is able to contribute to the understanding of datasets available on a subject
7 Is able to propose properties


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Wikipedia editor who wants to reuse Wikidata data on Wikimedia projects[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

An experienced Wikipedia editor who is interested in finding out more about Wikidata and possibly contributing, they may have existing opinions about Wikidata.

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

  • Lack of understanding of Wikidata on Wikimedia projects: Lack of documentation about Wikidata prevents easy understanding of the project.
  • Resistance to Wikidata on other Wikimedia projects: Wikidata is increasingly becoming useful and used on Wikipedia however some users on some language Wikipedias are resistant to reusing Wikidata, partially because of the lack of basic documentation on contributing to Wikidata.
  • Growing the community: Wikipedia editors have a lot of the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to Wikidata.

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources
1 Understands what Wikidata is
2 Understands why contributing to Wikidata is beneficial
3 Understands the terms used on Wikidata
4 Understands the basic structure of Wikidata pages
5 Is able to add properties and statements with references to Wikidata Wikidata tours (needs additional tours) A page of documentation of community agreed structures for different kinds of data
6 Is able to contribute to the understanding of datasets available on a subject
7 Is able to propose properties
8 Can import datasets into Wikidata
9 Understands how to reuse data on Wikimedia projects


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Wikipedia user who wants to import datasets into Wikidata[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

An experienced Wikipedia editor who is interested in finding out more about Wikidata and possibly contributing, they may have existing opinions about Wikidata.

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

  • Lack of understanding of Wikidata on Wikimedia projects: Lack of documentation about Wikidata prevents easy understanding of the project.
  • Resistance to Wikidata on other Wikimedia projects: Wikidata is increasingly becoming useful and used on Wikipedia however some users on some language Wikipedias are resistant to reusing Wikidata, partially because of the lack of basic documentation on contributing to Wikidata.
  • Growing the community: Wikipedia editors have a lot of the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to Wikidata.

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources
1 Understands what Wikidata is
2 Understands why contributing to Wikidata is beneficial
3 Understands the terms used on Wikidata
4 Understands the basic structure of Wikidata pages
5 Is able to add properties and statements with references to Wikidata Wikidata tours (needs additional tours) A page of documentation of community agreed structures for different kinds of data
6 Is able to contribute to the understanding of datasets available on a subject
7 Is able to propose properties
8 Understands how to import datasets into Wikidata and record the import
9 Understands how to maintain data they have imported into Wikidata


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Database expert[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

A person or group of people who are experts in databases

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

  • Specialist knowledge that could help Wikidata: understanding of the theory and practice of running large databases and previous solutions to issues that Wikidata faces.

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources
1 Understands what Wikidata is
2 Understands how concepts in Wikidata relate to concepts in academic understanding of databases
3 Understands the terms used on Wikidata
4 Learn how to interact and work with the Wikidata community
5 Contribute to the understanding of datasets on a subject




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Partner organisation with data[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

An organisation who is interested in sharing their data on Wikidata and understanding the benefit of doing so

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

  • Specialist knowledge of the data: An understanding of the meaning of the data and may have information about the dataset and the collection methods that are not well documented.
  • Specialist knowledge of the subjects area: An understanding of the context of the data and an understanding of the datasets available on a subject.

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources
1 Understands what Wikidata is
2 Understands why they should share their data with Wikidata
3 Understands how to share their data in a way that can be used on Wikidata
4 Is able to request that their data is imported into Wikidata
5 Is able to interact and work with the Wikidata community
6 Is able to measure the impact of sharing their data on Wikidata
7 Is able to contribute to the understanding of datasets or a subject




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Partner organisation with subject matter expertise[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

An organisation who could be interested in sharing knowledge of a subject on Wikidata but may not hold their own data

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

  • Specialist knowledge of the subjects area: An understanding of the context of the data and an understanding of the datasets available on a subject.

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources
1 Understands what Wikidata is
2 Understands why contributing to Wikidata is beneficial
3 Is able to contribute to the understanding of datasets or a subject


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Wikidata outreach volunteer[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

An existing Wikidata community member who wants to start to work with partner organisations

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

  • To be added

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources




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Academics and researchers[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

  • Researchers can help the community to understand better what is happening in Wikidata

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources
1 Understands that Wikidata is a potential research resource
2 Understands that the data they collate as part of their research potentially is very valuable on Wikidata for other researchers and non academics
3 Understands their subject matter expertise is valued on Wikidata
4 Understands how to contribute their subject matter expertise to Wikidata


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Teachers and students[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

Teachers and students

May or may not contribute data to the project

Understand how data can be used

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

  • Widening the the understanding of Wikidata
  • Growing the Wikidata community

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources
1 Understands what Wikidata is
2 Understands the terms used on Wikidata
3 Understands the basic structure of Wikidata pages


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Data reusers[edit]

Description of user type[edit]

People and organisations who want to run queries and build tools to reuse data from Wikidata. These could be students, researchers, educators, people building tools, businesses etc.

Importance of supporting this kind of user[edit]

  • Visualising the data in new ways will help more people learn from the data collected.
  • Visualising the data in new ways will help highlight errors and gaps in the data.
  • The potential to increase the awareness of Wikidata and its value.

User journey[edit]

Learning goals Documentation needed Tools needed
Order Description Existing resources New resources Existing resources New resources


An editor has requested the community to provide input on "Improving Wikidata documentation for different types of user" via the Requests for comment (RFC) process. This is the discussion page regarding the issue.

If you have an opinion regarding this issue, feel free to comment below. Thank you!