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If you run research-support services such as databases or repositories, can the editors of the biggest and most popular encyclopedia access and cite your material?

The Wikipedia Library is a set of arrangements that gives Wikipedia editors access to sources they can use to improve articles.

Wikimedia has thousands of volunteer editors, often highly skilled but working outside traditional educational institutions, who need reliable sources for their work on Wikipedia or other sites, but lack access to subscription databases.

Under Wikipedia's "Say where you got it" policy, citations have to mention and link the service they used to access the source. The Cochrane Collaboration, Highbeam Research, JSTOR and Questia are among those who have offered free access to experienced Wikimedians, and have increased links to their sites as a consequence.

These arrangements are administered by volunteers in the community. It is possible to restrict access to experienced contributors, or those working in a particular area. However, the more users have free access, for longer, the greater the chance that your resources will be used in Wikipedia citations.

Wikipedia and its sister sites have tools for counting the number of links to a particular domain, and find the articles that have those links. This gives one way to evaluate an access arrangement. For example, Highbeam Research gained nearly five thousand additional links in the first year of its Wikipedia Library pilot agreement.

What else could you do?

  • If you want the widest public to benefit from the knowledge you produce, consider opening up access to the public for some or all of it, or better still, making some of it available under free licences such as CC-By-SA or CC-By.

Next steps

  • If you are in a Jisc-funded project, contact the Jisc Wikimedia Ambassador, Martin Poulter, (
  • If you are based 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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