Conduct Foundational Work

We are building our foundational social and technical infrastructure to enhance our research community's ability to tackle large problems.

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Project overview

Wikimedia projects are created and maintained by a vast network of individual contributors and organizations with different roles and expertise. The Wikimedia Foundation, including Wikimedia Research, plays an important role in supporting these efforts, but our internal capacity and expertise will always be more limited than those of the Movement as a whole. Tackling the strategic challenges ahead requires an investment in ​foundational social and technical infrastructure that individuals, groups, and organizations across the Movement can use.

We see an urgent need for increasing the development and dissemination of foundational resources to grow research capacities across the Movement. These foundational resources take many forms: new tools for developing scientific knowledge about projects and contributors; new open data resources and improved tools for working with them; new methods and guidance for mission-aligned research and technology development; and outreach activities designed to foster a healthy, diverse, and dynamic community of researchers to be part of the Wikimedia Movement.

More information can be found in our white paper.

Recent updates

  1. Search Design and Wikipedia

    We released a blogpost with support from DuckDuckGo describing how readers get to Wikipedia and the particular role that information modules on Search play in this process.
  2. Analyzing the Wikipedia Clickstream

    We released a blogpost describing WikiNav, a tool for exploring clickstream data about how readers get to and from Wikipedia articles.
  3. Mental Health Information on Wikipedia

    We released a blogpost discussing how Wikipedia readers navigate content related to mental health.
    Content Warning: this blog post contains discussion of suicide.
  4. Searching for Wikipedia

    We released a blogpost and new dataset of which search engines readers use to access Wikipedia. The data is updated daily and can be split by country, language, OS, and browser.
  5. Fair Ranking Competition Data

    We released a dataset of almost 60 WikiProjects, associated articles, and relevant continents to these articles to spur research on fair list-building for WikiProjects.
  6. COVID-19 Dataset Release

    We release a dataset of COVID-19-related readership data from the first six months of 2020 to help researchers understand geographic and temporal trends of information seeking around COVID-19.
  7. Wiki Workshop 2021

    The 8th annual Wiki Workshop is scheduled for April 14, 2021 as part of the Web Conference 2021. You are invited to participate.
  8. Value of Wikipedia

    We published a paper describing how Wikipedia readers follow links to external sites, serving as a gateway to the broader Web ecosystem.
  9. Language-agnostic Topic Classification

    We published a paper describing our model for predicting article topics for every language of Wikipedia and principles for language-agnostic modeling.
  10. Fair Ranking Competition

    We are helping to organize a fair recommendation competition at the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) around building worklists for WikiProjects.
  11. Wikidata Transclusion in English Wikipedia

    We published a paper describing how English Wikipedia uses Wikidata as part of efforts to better understand the interconnected nature of the wikis.
  12. Saying Thanks on Wikipedia

    We published a blogpost describing how the thanks feature is used on Wikipedia and what effect it has on editor activity.
  13. Ethical AI Blogpost

    We published a blogpost detailing what a minimum viable process for ethical AI product development would look like at Wikimedia.
  14. Ethical AI White Paper

    We released a white paper that lays out some possible risk scenarios and process proposals for ethical and human-centered AI at Wikimedia.


Resources and links