Open access policy

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The Wikimedia Foundation’s mission is to disseminate open knowledge effectively and globally. In keeping with this mission, the Wikimedia Foundation supports research in areas that benefit the Wikimedia community. We aim to make any work produced with our support openly available to the public and reusable on Wikimedia projects.

1. Expectations

Researchers will need to provide unrestricted access to and reuse of all their research output if their research receives support from the Wikimedia Foundation in the form of:

  • funds;
  • letter of endorsement;
  • equipment, hosting, or office space;
  • access to non-public data or special API privileges; or
  • other support under an agreement between researchers and the Wikimedia Foundation.

A. Proposal. Researchers will document their project on Meta-Wiki, including the original research proposal, main research questions, and key outcomes.

B. Supporting Materials. Researchers will deposit their work in a public repository by the time of publication of any respective research article or within three months after the termination of the project, whichever comes first. The deposited work should be licensed as follows:

C. Published Materials. Researchers will publish any output in an Open Access outlet under a Free License.

  • If a work based on the project is accepted for publication in a peer reviewed outlet that does not make its articles available online, free of charge, and under free licenses, an electronic copy of the author’s accepted manuscript will be submitted to a public and permanently archived repository by the official date of publication, without any embargo period, and released under a Free License.

2. Limited waiver

Specific waivers from the expectations above may be applied in limited circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Researchers wanting a waiver are required to submit to the Wikimedia Foundation, in writing, a detailed explanation of why they require the waiver. The Wikimedia Foundation will publicly post a summary of the request and its response.


Effective date: March 18, 2015

For more information about this policy, please read our FAQs.