Submissions:2024/WikiCite - proposed as Wikimedia sibling project

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This submission has been noted and is pending review for WikiConference North America 2024.


WikiCite - proposed as Wikimedia sibling project

Type of session:

Lecture (15-30 min)

Session theme(s):

Community Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, Education, GLAM (Galleries/Libraries/Archives/Museums), Governance & Strategy, Legal & Advocacy, Open Data, Partnerships, Reliable Sources, Research, Technology, Wild Ideas


WikiCite is a community project which curates the Wikimedia collection of citations. Although various experimental projects have tried to organize citation data since 2005, the project became very popular starting in 2014 when we developed Wikidata processes for reference data management.

In May 2024 I wrote an announcement in The Signpost that Wikidata is splitting the WikiCite collection from the main graph, which means that Wikidata now has two official pieces, a WikiCite dataset and a dataset for everything else. This is good because Wikidata has grown too big to function, but it is a challenge because 1) Wikidata has reached its limit for managing data and 2) we are at a decision point for determining how committed Wikimedia projects are for having robust infrastructure to examine the sources we cite.

In this talk I make the case to elevate WikiCite to become the next official Wikimedia sibling project. The benefits of this would include the following:

  • Wikimedia provides its own "scholarly profiling service", comparable to Google Scholar
  • Wikimedia opens a pathway for every university in the world to convert their research metadata into structured, open data. It may surprise many users to learn that typical universities cannot, for example, provide a list of the research papers that their faculty published in the last year, and even if they did, they have no where to publish such things. WikiCite is a path to sharing their research with the world.
  • Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects finally start the path to universal multilingual fact-checking. There will never be automated citation management in Wikipedia if we cannot first build our own citation database, and WikiCite is that first step.

Costs of making WikiCite a sibling project include the following:

  • Permanent continuous staff and financial investment and upkeep
  • Greatly increased visibility of Wikipedia citation biases, even as we show the strengths
  • Over time, everyone would feel pressure to convert more citations to structured data

Author name(s):

Lane Rasberry

Wikimedia username(s):


E-mail address:

Affiliated organization(s):

School of Data Science at the University of Virginia

Able to attend without scholarship?


Estimated length of session

15 minutes

Will you be presenting remotely?

Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

Previously presented?


Special requests:

prefer video recording if possible