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Journal to wiki publication is the process of creating or improving Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikiversity or similar sites by adapting suitably licensed peer-reviewed research, with author attribution and a link to the original paper.

This is made possible by open access research with Creative Commons licences (CC-By, CC-By-SA or CC0).

Not all research is suitable for journal-to-wiki publication. As well as being peer-reviewed and suitably licensed, a paper or book chapter needs to be suitably broad in its scope to give an overview of current knowledge. Individual pieces of primary research are not usually suitable. However, review papers or other works that review, synthesise, or summarise the research around a topic are ideal for Wikipedia.

If a paper is more specific than an overview, you can still invite its use as a source.

Adapting a paper for Wikipedia

The process of converting a paper for Wikipedia involves

  • making the language accessible to a lay audience
  • explaining technical terms and acronyms on their first appearance, with links to other Wikipedia articles
  • adopting the relevant structure, which on Wikipedia means a short lead section summarising the whole article, then sections with headings
  • removing subjective or speculative material: Wikipedia's function is descriptive rather than persuasive
  • uploading figures to Wikimedia Commons from where they can be included in Wikimedia sites

If there is already a Wikipedia article on the topic, don't erase that work, but think about how the old and new content can be combined. Experienced Wikipedians can help you with this.

Other Wikimedia projects

Wikibooks is a collection of open-content textbooks, allowing a less constrained style of text than Wikipedia. Just like Wikipedia, Wikibooks forbids original research: all content has to based on material that has already been published and peer-reviewed.

Wikiversity is more liberal, allowing original research.

Circular permutation in proteins: a freely-reusable figure used in both a peer-reviewed journal and Wikipedia


  • Bring research to an enormous audience of lay people and academic peers
  • Support Wikimedia's charitable goal of free knowledge for everyone
  • Encourage redistribution and translation
  • Get credit and citation of the original published paper


Next steps

  • Remember that publishing research through a non-open-access publisher, or a publisher with a non-commercial licence, typically prevents journal-to-wiki publication, though details depend on the terms of the agreement with that publisher.
  • If you are in a Jisc-funded project, contact the Jisc Wikimedia Ambassador, Martin Poulter, (
  • For other inquiries in the UK, contact Wikimedia UK (
This page has been created as part of the 2013-14 partnership between Jisc and Wikimedia UK
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