Submissions:2023/Image credits on Wikipedia

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2023.


Image credits on Wikipedia


Recent Changes, GLAM / Heritage / Culture, Credibility / Mis and Disinformation (WikiCred)

Type of session:

Lightning talk


Image credits on Wikipedia, and particularly citations for historical imagery, have been a subject of much discussion in recent years—as many believe changes are needed in order to ensure greater reliability and attribution in articles.

Currently, credits for images on Wikipedia are not done, as a practice. While not explicitly prohibited in all cases, they are frowned upon. This is despite the fact that other reliable sources and reference works, such as the news media and academic scholarship, commonly provides image credits. In the cases where Wikipedia is using historical imagery or artistic works, not created by Wikimedians, image credits provided in standard citation format would enhance the verifiability of the content. Additionally, with millions of images on Wikimedia projects that have been shared by or uploaded from libraries, archives, and museums, credits would provide attribution to the source repository, and improve the value proposition for knowledge institutions interested in contributing to Wikimedia projects.

There is an ongoing effort to change this current practice. Justifications and example image credits can be found at Wikipedia:Image_citation. The introduction of Structured Data on Commons provides more opportunities for image credits, with the possibility that SDC data could be used to populate citation data for images.

This talk will address the current current state of image credits on (primarily English) Wikipedia, including a roundup of issues and proposals related to image credits on Wikipedia and discussion of next steps for the effort.


Author name:

Dominic Byrd-McDevitt

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:

Affiliated organization(s):

Digital Public Library of America / Wikimedians of Indiana

Estimated time:

30 minutes

Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

Not in this form

Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)

Yes: this is my second proposal. I consider this one secondary, and would prefer this be converted to a lightning/unconference talk rather than the other, if needed.