Knowledge Integrity: A proposed Wikimedia Foundation cross-departmental program for 2018-2019

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Knowledge Integrity: A proposed Wikimedia Foundation cross-departmental program for 2018-2019

Dario Taraborelli-3
Hey all,

(apologies for cross-posting)

We’re sharing a proposed program
 for the Wikimedia Foundation’s upcoming fiscal year
 (2018-19) and *would love to hear from you*. This plan builds extensively
on projects and initiatives driven by volunteer contributors and
organizations in the Wikimedia movement, so your input is critical.

Why a “knowledge integrity” program?

Increased global attention is directed at the problem of misinformation and
how media consumers are struggling to distinguish fact from fiction.
Meanwhile, thanks to the sources they cite, Wikimedia projects are uniquely
positioned as a reliable gateway to accessing quality information in the
broader knowledge ecosystem. How can we mobilize these citations as a
resource and turn them into a broader, linked infrastructure of trust to
serve the entire internet?  Free knowledge grounds itself in verifiability
and transparent attribution policies. Let’s look at 4 data points as
motivating stories:

   - Wikipedia sends tens of millions of people to external sources each
   year. We want to conduct research to understand why and how readers leave
   our site.
   - The Internet Archive has fixed over 4 million dead links on Wikipedia.
   We want to enable instantaneous archiving of every link on all Wikipedias
   to ensure the long-term preservation of the sources Wikipedians cite.
   - #1Lib1Ref reaches 6 million people on social media. We want to bring
   #1Lib1Ref to Wikidata and more languages, spreading the message that
   references improve quality.
   - 33% of Wikidata items represent sources (journals, books, works). We
   want to strengthen community efforts to build a high-quality, collaborative
   database of all cited and citable sources.

A 5-year vision

Our 5-year vision for the Knowledge Integrity program is to establish
Wikimedia as the hub of a federated, trusted knowledge ecosystem. We plan
to get there by creating:

   - A roadmap to a mature, technically and socially scalable, central
   repository of sources.
   - Developed network of partners and technical collaborators to
   contribute to and reuse data about citations.
   - Increased public awareness of Wikimedia’s vital role in information
   literacy and fact-checking.

5 directions for 2018-2019

We have identified 5 levers of Knowledge Integrity: research,
infrastructure and tooling, access and preservation, outreach, and
awareness. Here’s what we want to do with each:

   1. Continue to conduct research to understand how readers access sources
   and how to help contributors improve citation quality.
   2. Improve tools for linking information to external sources, catalogs,
   and repositories.
   3. Ensure resources cited across Wikimedia projects are accessible in
   4. Grow outreach and partnerships to scale community and technical
   efforts to improve the structure and quality of citations.
   5. Increase public awareness of the processes Wikimedians follow to
   verify information and articulate a collective vision for a trustable web.

Who is involved?

The core teams involved in this proposal are:

   - Wikimedia Foundation Technology’s Research Team
   - Wikimedia Foundation Community Engagement’s Programs team (Wikipedia
   - Wikimedia Deutschland Engineering’s Wikidata team

The initiative also spans across an ecosystem of possible partners
including the Internet Archive, ContentMine, Crossref, OCLC, OpenCitations,
and Zotero. It is further made possible by funders including the Sloan,
Gordon and Betty Moore, and Simons Foundations who have been supporting the
WikiCite initiative to date.

How you can participate

You can read the fine details of our proposed year-1 plan, and provide your
feedback, on

We’ve also created a brief introductory slidedeck about our motivation and

WikiCite has laid the groundwork for many of these efforts. Read last
year’s report:

Recent initiatives like the just released citation dataset foreshadow the
work we want to do:

Lastly, this April we’re celebrating Open Citations Month; it’s right in
the spirit of Knowledge Integrity:


*Dario Taraborelli  *Director, Head of Research, Wikimedia Foundation • • @readermeter
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[hidden email]