Introduction to Wikidata

What is Wikidata?

Wikidata is a free linked database of secondary data that can be read and edited by both humans and machines.

Wikidata acts as central storage for the structured data of its Wikimedia sister projects including Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wikisource, and others.

NB: You can access the other projects from the foot of Wikipedia’s front page and from the foot of Wikidata’s front page.


What is Wikidata actually?

  • A repository of the world’s knowledge.
  • A database that anyone can read and edit.
  • multilingual.
  • designed to deal with the reality Wikidata has to deal with.
  • free and open source software.
  • All data is CC-0 licenced.


The main links you need to be aware of:


Some stats about Wikidata:

  • 44 million unique items of data. (11 million more items since November 2017).
  • 393 million statements within these items of data.
  • 635,657,169 edits since it launched in 2012.
  • 19,812 active users.
  • More detail at Wikidata Statistics.


A short intro to the main tools when adding data to Wikidata

NB: Firstly consult Wikidata’s Data Import Hub.


1.Manual editing by user. (Video tutorial 1) (Video tutorial 2).

2.Mass editing using tools e.g.

a)The Mix n Match tool allows you to match an external data set to Wikidata items.

b)Importing data from Google Spreadsheets into the Quickstatements tool. (Video tutorial 1) (Video tutorial 2). (Exemplar sheet). The syntax you need is explained in QuickStatements v.1 and you can use the Wikidata plug-in for Google Sheets to make wrangling the data in Google Sheets easier.

3.Bot editing (making edits over the API) e.g. ProteinBoxBot

See the Bots request section of the Data Import Guide.