Technical Wikibase

Data Partnerships at Wikimedia Deutschland

1. March 2021
Georgina Burnett
Anton-kurt, Tägliches Brot Wiener Neustadt 04, Colored by Elisabeth Giesemann , CC BY-SA 3.0
Technical Wikibase

In recent years interest in Wikidata and Wikibase outside of the Wikimedia projects has grown. Institutions and projects are increasingly interested in Wikidata and Wikibase, particularly those from the GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, archives and museums). Our data partnerships team works together  with these institutions and recently published a data partnerships model.  

What kind of partners do we work with? 

We work with partners from all over the world, with a particular focus on Europe and the United States of America. Potential partners include institutions, nonprofit organizations, volunteer projects and for-profit corporations. The bulk of our recent partners have been organizations from the GLAM sector, as well as a number of scientific and research institutions and projects. Recent partners include the German National Library and Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

What phases do partnerships go through?

Data partnerships typically go through six phases: initial contact, feasibility and profiling, assessment, implementation, conclusion and debrief, and post-project monitoring and support. The data partnerships team is there to help institutions navigate each of these steps.  

What kind of partnership scenarios do we engage in?

There are five scenarios that are most common in our current data partnerships work. 

Structured data donations: data donations are the most obvious and, historically, the first kind of data partnership: a partner has a set of data that they want to donate to Wikidata, creating new Wikidata Items. 

Linking to data: This can be seen as a special case of data donation. An institution’s data sets may contain identifiers that can be linked to Q-IDs in Wikidata, thus strengthening Wikidata’s role as a hub in the Linked Open Data Web. 

Enriching data: This is another special form of data donation. An institution may be an expert or an authority in a field and may work to add new statements to existing Wikidata Items, thereby enriching the data.

Institutional Wikibase instance: A fourth scenario is when an institution is interested in installing their own Wikibase instance that may or may not be linked to Wikidata. We actively explore this option for institutions that have structured data which may not be within Wikidata’s scope. 

Hybrid partnership scenario: Lastly, partners vary, and so may their needs and the data they can provide. Thus, partnerships may be a mix of some or all of the scenarios mentioned above, or they may start as one scenario and develop into another.

Are you interested in one of these forms of cooperation? Then find out more about our data partnership model here. 

Why are data partnerships important? 

Data partnerships are a key component within the larger strategy and vision for Wikidata and Wikibase. High-quality data donations from partner institutions improve the quality of data on Wikidata and new actors help to enrich and broaden Wikidata and build the Wikibase ecosystem. By providing the software to build a thriving Wikibase ecosystem we hope to increase access to data currently hidden in silos, providing more people with more access to more knowledge.

Do you have questions? Then contact the partnership team at

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