Grants:IEG/The Wikipedia Library/Renewal/Final

The Wikipedia Library

Final Report

What we're up to, and how it's making an impact


The Wikipedia Library
June 2013 - June 2014
Total unique users1,940
Total accounts2,924
Total value$1,263,011
Users this round864
Accounts this round1,005
Value this round$714,010
Visiting scholars5
Library tech tools2
Global branches3
Grant amount$28,700
  • Access: In the past 6 months alone, 864 unique users signed up for 1005 accounts. To individually purchase just these last round of accounts would have cost $714,010.00. This combines with the prior $547,000 from the first 6-month round of the grant for a total of 1,950 unique users with 2,924 separate research accounts. Individually purchasing these accounts would have cost $1,263,011.
  • Access: We formed, renewed, or expanded partnerships with 9 publishers in the last 6 months; on that list are reference icons such as Oxford University Press and JSTOR (by far the most heavily demanded resource in our editor survey).
  • Global: Even though we have been English Wikipedia-centric in our management 428 editors from 64 other language projects (which they identify as their home or major project) have signed up for 623 accounts since 2011. In all, 22% of our editors have a major home on a non-English Wikipedia project.
  • Global: The first global TWL satellite launched with Arabic Wikipedia Library, testing a new book purchases program co-organized by WMF Grants. Chinese Wikipedia Library also launched, and talks are well-underway with the Spanish and German communities.
  • Diversity: We've increased the diversity of our offerings with science and medical content (Royal Society, Cochrane, BMJ), global events (Keesings), genealogical records (FindMyPast), regional newspapers (British Newspaper Archive and, classics of women writers and religious history (Past Masters), and multicultural historical archival collections (Adam Matthew).
  • University: 5 visiting scholars were placed at 4 top research institutions with full library access.
  • Coordination: The TWL Team has grown significantly. We have three project-organizers, four technical coordinators, one outreach coordinator, a growing team of volunteers overseen by our head of volunteer coordination, and global satellite coordinators for Arabic, Chinese, German, and Spanish Wikipedia.
  • Tech: We have released working tech with the WikipeDPLA tool as a userscript and chrome browser extension. We have a working alpha version of the OCLC Full-text Reference tool.
  • Promotion: We developed crisp and lucid one-page pamphlets persuasively summarizing our main offerings for potential partners. Included in these are impact charts showing 300-600% increases in external links to partners and 200% increases in incoming referral traffic from Wikipedia. We pitched over 30 top research databases and publishers.
  • Outreach: We presented at WikiConference USA, the American Library Association midwinter and annual conferences, Stanford's Open Everything speaker series, and Turnitin's Education and Plagiarism online conferences. We'll be presenting at Wikimania in London.
  • Outreach: We wrote about TWL or were written about in the Signpost, Wikimedia Foundation Blog, OCLC blog, Library Journal, Digital Shift, and the Wiki Education newsletter. Our Twitter account @WikiLibrary has 1,116 followers.
  • Motivation: Experienced editors repeatedly tell us how happy they are with receiving access to partners: that they 'need' it and go through 'withdrawal' without it. Whereas major WMF initiatives (Visual Editor, Flow, MediaViewer) sometimes frustrate experienced editors because that investment focuses on other audiences, such as new-editors and the public user bases, Wikipedia Library access to reliable sources directly supports super/top/power editors, helping them recognize how the Foundation's efforts support their own interests.


  • Partners: Increase the number, value, and diversity of our journal and database access partnerships
  • Global: Community organizing further by developing the meta portal and local project pages
  • Global: Move from global strategy to global construction and operation
  • University: Improve the scale and execution of Visiting Scholars
  • Metrics: Regularize partner metrics through automated or semi-automated database dumps or search queries
  • Promotion: Consolidate promotion and impact charts into pamphlets and wikipages designed for promotion
  • Promotion: Broaden internal outreach to raise awareness of signup opportunities among editors
  • Coordination: Define and fill roles for volunteer coordinators
  • Tech: Explore and further new pilots related to open access signaling and oa button integration
  • Tech: Build a full-text reference tool that leverages our OCLC partnership and their KnowledgeBase API
  • Outreach: Layout a plan to invite and involve librarians, library interns, and archivists to contribute to Wikipedia using GLAM best practices
  • Outreach: Expand external outreach by networking and communicating with library and information professionals



Access Partnerships

  • New partnership: Oxford University Press donated a Humanities package to 150 editors, which bundle five of OUP's popular online products for our editors. Included in the package are Oxford Art Online, Grove Music Online, American National Biography, Dictionary of National Biography and Oxford Bibliographies Online
  • New partnership: Royal Society: RSUK donated 27 journal packages which came about through the efforts of John as Royal Society's Wikipedian-in-Residence. The venerable Society has offered access to its journal archives in three disciplines: Biological sciences, Physical sciences, History of science
  • New partnership: Keesing's World News Archives: A World News Aggregator who provides summaries of major global events, and fact checks the information reported in the news, donated 25 accounts.
  • New partnership: British Newspaper Archive: A partner of the British Library, has donated 100 accounts for Wikipedians to access local newspapers throughout the British Isles.
  • New partnership: provides an American complement to the regional British Newspaper access, providing 100 editors access to thousands of regional and local newspapers from the United States. includes a "Clippings" function that allows Wikipedia users to move newspaper articles and pages out from behind their paywall to become open access for Wikipedia references.
  • New partnership: FindMyPast: A sister project of British Newspapers Archive, FindMyPast is a genealogical database that will provide 50 editors access to primary documents marketed for a British genealogical focus. However, as previous usage of the database on English Wikipedia shows, Wikipedia editors creatively have used those sources to supplement all kinds of Biographical and non-biographical content on Wikipedia.
  • New partnership: BMJ (British Medical Journal): One of the world's premier medical publications, BMJ publishes some of the foremost medical scholarship, major trials, and important review articles in the field. 25 editors will have access.
  • Expanded and renewed partnership: JSTOR: JSTOR is an excellent all purpose database for accessing thousands of academic journals. Not only did JSTOR extend access for the original 100 subscribers from January until June, but we are very excited to see that partnership expand from 100 to 500 total accounts! When we announced the expanded partnership in June, we saw hundreds of applicants. We also conducted a JSTOR usage survey, with 40 responses (40% response rate), that helped tremendously in persuading the expansion through quantitative data and great usage stories.
  • Expanded and renewed partnership: Credo: We were initially approved to renew 500 accounts and add 140 new ones. Credo is currently rethinking the collection editors will have access to, switching from 350+ reference works instead to a collection of topic pages which closely overlap with our highest importance, most trafficked articles. This may be a reduction in access compared to where we started with Credo; we're still exploring the details.
A graph representing the 300-600% growth in external links to one of our partners, Credo Reference
  • Pitches: Made in person pitches at ALA midwinter to Duke University Press, NY Times, Oxford University Press, Wiley, Newsbank, Ovid, MIT University Press, Cengage, InfoTrac, Science (AAAS), ArtSTOR, Geo Science World, De Gruyter, and Cambridge University Press, and Royal Society UK.
  • Pitches: Call blitz: made phone and email pitches to the 20 top contacts prioritized by editor interest in the December survey.
  • Pitches: Had a high level meeting with 8 LexisNexis department heads. It was ultimately unsuccessful due to licensing barriers, but was proof of interest and infiltration
  • Pitches: Made progress with IEEE (Xplore Digital Library)
  • Pitches: Between ALA midwinter and ALA annual, TWL coordinators made a push to contact the next group of publishing partners from our January survey. We talked to Cambridge University Press, NewsBank, NewsStand, Project Muse, Literature Online (Proquest), British Newspaper Archive,, Handbook of the Birds of the world, Lyell Collection, Keesings Record of World Events, OVID, BMJ, HathiTrust, HighWire, InfoTrac, PaperOfRecord, PsycInfo, The Washington Post, America's Historical Newspaper's, Taylor & Francis, and The Times. Having a team of four coordinators doing outreach is helping us follow-up at an even bigger scale.
  • Promotion: We refined and expanded the Partner Program page where our main donor proposal lives: Partner Program
  • Promotion: New one-page promotional material, flyers, and charts: Access Partnerships, Impact Metrics, and Visiting Scholars
  • Metrics: New, more targeted, easier-to-run monthly linksearch (won't require labs account or tech contracting, easy to scale, and can do all partnerships each month in under an hour): [1]
  • Metrics: Did a link analysis for The Cochrane Library which we presented to Cochrane: Link analysis. We can't yet run the full metrics until Wiley sorts their urls by publication.
  • Metrics: We ran our first ever qualitative post-usage survey for a specific resource donation partner (JSTOR). We shared those results with JSTOR helping to persuade them to expand from 100 to 500 editors.

University Visiting Scholars and Interns

A promotional pamphlet for the Wikipedia Visiting Scholars program
  • Visiting Scholars: Contacted 150 libraries, with 40 responses, 10 seriously interested in participating and 4 committed. Confirmed 5 Wikipedia Visiting Scholar positions with George Mason University, Rutgers, Montana State, and University of California Riverside (UCR). Collected position descriptions for Rutgers, Montana State, and UCR visiting scholar applications. Developed standard Visiting Scholar application with standard résumé or curriculum vitae and cover letter
  • Library Interns: Sadads's first projects was to compile best practices for library interns contributing to Wikipedia; he is compiling best practices from the Wikipedia Education Program, GLAM-Wiki movement and published case studies in professional library publications at the main resource page. The plan is to support volunteers monitoring interns throughout the Fall through a new course page. We see this as a gateway tool for bringing libraries and librarians into Wikipedia and TWL activities.

Global expansion

  • Arabic - Partnered with Wikimedia Foundation through Siko Bouterse, head of Individual Engagement Grants and selected Arabic Wikipedia community as first pilot target. WMF approached Arabic Wikipedia about potential microgrants in a community consultation. Consultation zeroed in on a novel source-access approach, book purchases. We developed an Arabic pilot plan and held weekly meetings with WMF staff and TWL coordinators to plan pilot launch. We ran local Arabic account coordinator signups; interviewed, and selected two new Arabic Library Coordinators, Abbad and Mohamed; tested book purchase mechanisms for and; and, investigated preload payment options for book purchases. Arabic Wikipedia Library book requests are rolling in and 11 books have shipped through the newly launched Arabic Wikipedia Library! We're working on improving the scale and efficiency of that program despite major barriers in shipping to parts of the Middle East.
The Arabic Wikipedia Library Homepage
  • Chinese - Launch of Chinese Wikipedia Library! TWL homepage is up with a free resource collection growing! Many thanks to Addis Wang for his help organizing the localization and page development. We're organizing future expansion at a new Meta TWL subpage just for Chinese development.
  • Spanish - Talks are underway with Hahc21, Maria Sefidari, and Wikimedia Mexico about creating a Spanish Wikipedia Library. We hope to meet up at Wikimania and further discussions in pursuit of a fall launch. We're compiling progress notes here.
  • German - Talks are progressing with Aschmidt and WMDE about launching a German Wikipedia library in the fall as well. Aschmidt is contacting 10 top German publishers including Genios, De Gruyter, and Juris. We're tracking progress here.
  • Localization kits: To spur the creation of more TWL branches on other Wikipedia projects, TWL has put together a "kit" of resources, templates, and instructions. Any editor wishing to start a branch in their language is free to use the kit to get started.


An overview of the Wikipedia Library interns project
  • ALA Midwinter: Exhibited at ALA midwinter and annual with OCLC in the main exhibition hall at the American Library Association conference. We gave away Wikipedia merchandise and pamphlets to attendees highlighting the pilot partnerships. (Thanks to Yana and the rest of the WMF legal team for making mission-aligned event promotion with mission-aligned organizations possible under the new Trademark Policy).
  • WikiConference USA: We presented at WikiConference USA: Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia. At the conference we met Anton Ninkov, who is now coding our OCLC server setup.
Ocaasi presenting at WikiConference USA on The Wikipedia Library
  • ALA Annual: We presented at ALA 2014 annual conference with OCLC, Rutgers, and Montana State: Wikipedia and Libraries: Increasing Your Library's Visibility. We distributed promotional materials to librarians and publishers with our newly designed, color one-sheet flyers. We had in person talks with numerous publishers from ALA which led to post-conference email and phone calls. We talked with EBSCO, ProQuest, Elsevier, SAGE, Gale, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Intelex Past Masters, Addam Matthew, Science (AAAS), Nature, E-Libro Spanish ebooks and others. We also dropped by Credo, Cengage, and JSTOR to say thank you for our existing partnerships.
  • DPLA: Met with DPLA head Dan Cohen and DPLA tech lead Mark Matienzo, as well as DPLA staff Frankie and Kenny. Discussed forming a Wikipedia DPLA 'hub' or 'community representative', how to expand FindDPLA to include more national collections, and how to showcase the FindDPLA app on the DPLA website. Spoke with DPLA staff about a WIR position, which we postponed for future talks in the fall.
  • LITA: Approached the leadership of the Library Information Technology Association, an ALA division. Held online meeting about potential collaborations with the LITA Vice-President. Discussed an annual LITA membership to create a LITA Wikipedia interest group.
  • OCLC: We presented to OCLC All Staff meeting (San Mateo, CA and Dublin, Ohio). We kicked off OCLC partnership with presentation to 20 university libraries at ALA's midwinter presentation on the Wikipedia Visiting Scholar positions and the coming OCLC Full-text access script. We held a follow-up webinar with 25 more schools interested in hearing about the two pilot opportunities: Watch, Slides. We presented video on the pilots with Cindy Cunningham (OCLC) to the Public Library Association meeting in Indianapolis: [2].
  • Open Everything speaker series - Presented ‘’WikiOpen’’ to Stanford Medial Library Open Everything speaker series, 50 attended: [3].
  • NISO - Attended NISO open access webinar: What is Open Access?.
  • Turnitin: Presented twice at Turnitin's speaker series, both times on Wikipedia's role in education (attended by several librarians and academics). Between the two events, over 1000 listened to "The Future of Wikipedia in Education" ([4],[5]).
  • Editathons: TWL participated in the January LibHack event before ALA midwinter, and won! At ALA annual, as part of the preconference activities, User:Merrilee and User:Kosboot ran an edit-a-thon at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas' Lied Library, on Friday, June 27th. This event was specially directed at Rare Books and Manuscripts/Special Collections librarians: Wikipedia description page.
  • Press and Publications:
    • OCLC and Merrilee Proffitt wrote a great blog to their network about TWL.
    • Signpost featured TWL in the March 5th News and Notes: [6].
    • Wrote about TWL in the Education Newsletter.
    • Wrote Books and Bytes newsletter 4 times: January February, March, and June.
    • Wrote a Wikimedia Foundation blog post for open access/copyright week [7].
    • Ran a feature article in leading library and library tech publication, Library Journal's Digital Shift: Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia.
    • Wrote a blog for the British Newspaper Archive partnership, which was published, in two different versions, for both the British Newspaper Archive Blog [8] and the WMF blog [9]. The WMF blog was reblogged by Library Journals' Info Docket.
  • Wikimania: Accepted to present at Wikimania: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia
  • Wikimedia Foundation - We visited WMF offices in SF three times (January, March, and June) to meet about library grant and global library expansion. When Jake (Ocaasi) and Patrick Earley (The Interior) visited last we met new ED, Lila Tretikov: she was excited about the work TWL is doing and wants to see a whole lot more of it!!
  • 2014/2015 Conferences: We're planning our 2014-2015 conference schedule now. It includes ALA midwinter, ALA annual, ACRL, ARL, SAA, Charleston Conf, CNI, WikiConference USA, and Wikimania 2015.


Sadads talking about other Digital Humanities outreach at WikiConference USA in June.
  • Sadads is our new project manager, working on developing new partnerships with multiple other publishers and helping process existing signups, developing reporting and communications material, and getting feedback and participants for our Library interns program during Fall 2014. He is bringing outreach experience from the Education Program, GLAM-Wiki and the Digital Humanities field.
  • The Interior, now WMF staff, had been conducting outreach to new donors in our call blitz, writing the Books & Bytes newsletter, and co-planning the Arabic pilot launch. He's also working as a volunteer on a project to guide archivists in contributing further research section entries about their archival collections and building a citation template for archive holdings. He also processed 500 JSTOR signups!
  • User:Nikkimaria is now onboarding the 11 editors who signed up to help process accounts as volunteer coordinators. In addition, she has been the main coordinator processing CREDO, BMJ, OUP, and several other signups. Thanks Nikki!!
  • User:Nischayn22 tested the OCLC full text API against Wikipedia citations and wrote a spec to build the tool. He has coded an alpha version of the OCLC full text reference tool which works on a generic labs i.p. address but needs its own server to localize links.
  • Anton Ninkov is setting up our own server Instance on Wikimedia Labs so we can localize ip lookups for sending queries to the OCLC API for Nischay's tool.
  • Eric Phetteplace has built FindDPLA into a working and just released an improved Chrome extension called WikipeDPLA. His next step is to construct a framework to include other National metadata APIs.
  • User:Madman is emailing signup forms to hundreds of editors for multiple partnerships. The next step is to create a web-interface to semi-automate that process so we can conduct more efficient contacting of editors at scale.
  • ChrisGualtieri is handling Questia account requests. The application backlogs have been consistently clear.
  • User:Johnuniq downloaded monthly link dumps and did a link analysis for Cochrane. He's also taking a bit of a coding wikibreak, so we found some neat ways to streamline the work around his absence.
  • User:Mohamed Ouda and User:عباد ديرانية, the new Arabic Coordinators, are setting up the local satellite pages and getting ready to purchase books for editors.
  • AddisWang is coordinating Chinese Wikipedia Library--it's home page and free resources collection.
  • Aschmit is coordinating setup of German Wikipedia Library, contacting publishers and liaising with the German community.
  • Hahc21 is coordinating setup of Spanish Wikipedia Library, contacting interested editors and liaising with the Spanish community.


WikipeDPLA finds images from DPLA collections and surfaces them on live Wikipedia articles
  • FindDPLA (WikipeDPLA): Attended LibHack at ALA, and won best hack. Ocaasi and coder/librarian Eric Phetteplace (Phette23) built FindDPLA, a tool to surface Digital Public Library of America content for relevant Wikipedia articles. We built one-click guided tour to install script with just a click.
  • OCLC Full-text Reference Tool: Held weekly planning meetings with Cindy Cunningham and Merrilee Proffitt at OCLC. Extended Nischay's contract from researching code for tool to writing code. Created OCLC Full-Text API testing pages:[10][11]. Coordinated OCLC KB API testing coordinated for pilot partners: [12]. Created legal/privacy disclosure statement for OCLC Full Text Tool. Coded working alpha version. Onboarded coder to set up localized server on Wikimedia Labs.
  • Ask-a-librarian: Liam Wyatt evolved prior TWL experimentation into discussion to create direct external links from all Wikiproject Australia talkpage templates to the National Library's "Ask a Librarian" page and, where applicable, to the relevant State Library's equivalent page. We're in talks with the Medical Library Association and National Library of Medicine to replicate this approach for medical articles.
  • OAuth: EBSCO had stated a need for OAuth integration, but then dropped communications with us. Still, we met with Chris Steipp at WMF in March to research OAuth integration and collected list of prior OAuth implementators for finding potential code spec authors. We've decided to wait on OAUTH implementation until we have a definite use case.
An example of the ask-a-librarian feature now on all Wikiproject Australia talk page templates

Library redesign

  • New Theme: We met with our designer to redo the logo, header, font, and page frame. The new design kit incorporates those elements: Wikipedia Library redesign with logo (see this report for the new design!)
  • New Signup Pages: We created redesigned workflows for book and journal signup pages: Books, Journals. We created a resource exchange page workflow: Share.
  • New Localization Kit: We created localization kit for local adoption and translation: Kit.
  • New Meta Portal: We have created a new Meta Portal, centralizing our landing page and about information, program descriptions, localization kit, and language-specific global coordination forums.

Outcomes and impact




Looking back at our progress, since 2011 when we started with Credo, we have served 1950 users 2924 free accounts. Even though we have been English Wikipedia-centric in our management 428 editors from 64 other language projects (which they identify as their home or major project) have signed up for 623 accounts[Outcome notes 1]. In the past 6 months alone, 864 unique users signed up for 1005 accounts. To individually purchase just these last round of accounts would have cost $714,010.00. We formed, renewed, or expanded partnerships with 9 publishers in the last 6 months; on that list are reference icons such as Oxford University Press and JSTOR (by far the most heavily demanded resource in our editor survey). We've also increased the diversity of our offerings with science and medical content (Royal Society, Cochrane, BMJ), Global Events (Keesings), and Genealogical records (FindMyPast). The TWL Team has grown significantly as well. We have three project-organizers, four technical coordinators, one outreach coordinator, a growing team of volunteers overseen by our head of volunteer coordination (Nikkimaria), and global satellite coordinators for Arabic, Chinese, German, and Spanish Wikipedia.

TWL Lifetime Subscriptions

Since TWL's inception in 2011, we have served 1950 users 2924 accounts!

Source Count
Highbeam 1356
Questia 656
Credo 222
Cochrane 86
BNA 72
Keesings 15
OUP 93
BMJ 26
Unique Users Total Accounts
1950 2924

TWL Lifetime Non-English Subscribers

Although management and signups have been almost exclusively on English Wikipedia, 428 users have signed up for 623 accounts[Outcome notes 1] and identified their alternate, most active, or primary language project as one other than English. Overall, that's 22%.

Source Count
Highbeam 258
Questia 120
Credo 44
Cochrane 40
Keesings 4
OUP 51
BMJ 14
Unique Users Total Accounts
428 623[Outcome notes 1]

TWL Non-English Subscriptions by Country

Primarily non-English users from German, French, Spanish, Persian and 64 total other language projects have signed up for TWL accounts (even though signups were on English Wikipedia).

A Pie Graph representing non-English users by Language
The Percentage of English-only vs Users declaring significant editing in other languages
Language Count
German 164
French 59
Spanish 51
Persian 50
Italian 46
Dutch 26
Tamil 25
Russian 25
Hebrew 22
Polish 10
Norwegian 9
Malayalam 9
Indonesian 8
Hindi 8
Greek 7
Serbian 5
Javanese 5
Czech 5
Swedish 4
Slovene 4
Gujarati. 4
Arabic 4
Vietnamese 3
Ukrainian 3
Slovak 3
Sanskrit 3
Romanian 3
Nepali 3
Fijian 3
Croatian 3
Chinese 3
Catalan 3
Armenian 3
Thai 2
Marathi 2
Japenese 2
Hungarian 2
Estonian 2
Bengali 2
Azerbaijani 2
Amharic 2
West-Frisian 1
Urdu 1
Tok Pisin 1
Tagalog 1
Swahili 1
Sinhalese 1
Sinhala 1
Serbio-Croation 1
Portuguese 1
Portugeuse 1
Odia 1
Mazanderani 1
Mazandarani 1
Latin 1
Kurdish 1
Japanese 1
Italian 1
Frisian 1
Fiji Hindi 1
Esperanto 1
Emilian-Romagnol 1
Danish 1
Bhasa 1
Bangala 1
Grand Total 623[Outcome notes 1]

TWL Signups from This 6-Month Grant Round Only

864 unique users signed up for 1005 accounts in the past 6 months.

Source Count
Highbeam 175
Questia 134
Credo 0
Cochrane 86
BNA 78
Keesings 15
OUP 93
BMJ 26
Unique Users Total Accounts
864 1005

TWL Donation Value from This 6-Month Grant Round Only

The Individual Subscription Cost for each editor to purchase access themselves to the resources would have totaled $714,010.00. [Outcome notes 2]

A pie graph representing the proportion of total value of donations for this 6 month Grant Round from a total of $714,010.00
Database/Publisher Cost per individual access Account numbers (this round only) Sum value
BMJ $215.00 25 $5,375.00
Oxford University Press[Outcome notes 3] $3,632.00 150 $544,800.00
:Oxford Art Online (2 parts Grove Art Online, Benezit Dictionary of artists) $434.95 150
:Oxford Grove Music Online $295.00 150
:Oxford American National Biography $89.00 150
:Oxford Dictionary of National Biography $295.00 150
:Oxford Bibliographies Online (376*7.99 from Amazon or regular price 376*9.99) $3,004.24 150
British Newspaper Archive $136.89 100 $13,689.00
RSUK: Physical sciences $10,905.00 10 $10,905.00[Outcome notes 4]
RSUK: The Biological Sciences $12,958.00 10 $12,958.00[Outcome notes 4]
RSUK: History of Science $473.00 7 $473.00[Outcome notes 4]
FindMyPast $199.56 50 $9,978.00
Keesings $200.00 25 $5,000.00
JStor (100 renewed, 400 added) $199.99 500 $99,995.00
Credo (140 new, 500 renewed) 640 $0.00
Highbeam (227 re-newed, $200 already counted) $0.00 227 $0.00
Questia (131 renewed or approved $200 already counted) $0.00 131 $0.00
Cochrane $500.00 0 $0.00 $79.99 100 $7,999.00
2725 accounts donated or renewed $714,010.00

Outcomes notes

  1. a b c d A handful of users (less than 15) are counted multiple times (no more than 3) for one account in this count because they declared activity in multiple languages. We opted to try to represent the number of accounts/user/language impact of the donations to show the impact on non-English Wikipedias.
  2. The donation considers more accounts than we have given out because we are now counting the total value donated. In other words, this is a count of what we were given, not what we have yet given out; we have some in reserve. Totals for unique accounts are actually higher as well, because some of our accounts have automatically renewed each year and we are counting each year as a separate cost because real life purchase schemes would be for annual rather than perpetual access. This round's values are lower on the other hand, because we are not counting HighBeam, Questia, or Cochrane as we counted those in the last grant round. (That's why this grant round's cumulative total of accounts appears lower than last grant round's count, because last grand round we counted the number we were given and now we've switched to counting the value of what we were given but only the number of accounts of what we've given out!).
  3. For OUP, we chose to represent the estimate of cost from our contact who created the account. As seen in the individual parts accounting, this is a lower estimate of value than we were able to count from their webpage for users in the Americas.
  4. a b c These represent the cost of institutional subscriptions from They normally don't deal with individual subcribers.

Progress towards targets and goals


The progress with this grant has been steady and expanding. We hit nearly all of our targets, and adapted flexibly to needs and opportunities as they arose.

  • Create roles for 5 new volunteer coordinators: We have certainly done this with Anton, NikkiMaria, ChrisGualtieri, Merrilee, AddisWang, Hahc21, Aschmidt, Mohamed Ouda, Abbad, Anton, Nischay, The Interior, Madman, and 11 more new signups to help manage accounts.
  • Regularize usage metrics reports hosted on Labs: Rather than lean on Johnuniq, we have come up with a far simpler linksearch method which doesn't require special code. We are able to easily run this query in under an hour once a month.
  • Send out Books and Bytes 5 times: We sent our Books and Bytes 4 times not 5, combining some particularly busy months into special/double issues.
  • Identify and onboard 2 trained librarians to co-coordinate: We're very close here. Sadads has MA in Literature specializing in Digital Humanities, The Interior has a library science degree (although his role has waned due to being a WMF employee now), and Nikkimaria is nearly graduated from her masters program in library school.
  • Form 10 new visiting scholar positions: We formed 5 visiting scholar positions with 4 schools. We aimed high here and while we didn't hit our target of 10, we had enough to demonstrate proof of concept for the pilot. We are still waiting to gather quantitative and qualitative data from their experience come this fall. We will seek out new partners then as well.
  • Release a working version of the OCLC full text reference tool: We are close here. We indeed have a working alpha version hosted on Tool Labs. We still need to create our own instance on Wikimedia Labs so that the results will be targeted to specific user ips.
  • Create a spec for OAuth integration with at least 1 research donor: We decided to hold off on this goal, because we lost our use-case when EBSCO talks went quiet. We plan on engaging another partner in the future on this type of access model, but we are functioning fairly well without it for now, relying instead on manual or semi-automated distribution through spreadsheets, passwords, and emails.
  • Contact 30 new database partners; enter talks with 10; form or renew 5 partnerships: We definitely hit or exceeded our goals here in all areas. We contacted 35 partners (at least), entered talks with over a dozen, and formed partnerships with 9! We have multiple talks still ongoing, 4 new signups on the way next month, and lots of outreach and connections to follow-up on.
  • Receive $200,000 worth of donations (individual replacement value): We crushed this one, in part due to the mind-boggling expense of partner databases (Oxford University Press's package combines several resources that are very expensive in individual replacement value). Our final tally for replacement cost was $714,010.
  • Receive 2000 new accounts: We missed this one by half, hitting just over 1000 accounts. We were aiming high, and while we didn't hit it, we did make the partnerships we closed big ones (Oxford, JSTOR). Happily, most of our new partnerships are intentional 'pilots' of under 200 accounts; we fully expect future rounds of signups to be broader!
  • Pilot TWL satellites in at least one of German, Spanish, and Arabic communities: We met this goal by opening both an Arabic and a Chinese branch. We've advanced talks as well with German and Spanish community members and should be ready to launch this fall.

Indicators of impact


We increased participation by providing top editors with access to high quality reliable sources. Significant demand shows that this is what our top editors want and need to improve the quality of Wikipedia articles. By improving these articles in this donation-focused way, we make our top editors happy and serve our readers with more accurate and densely-referenced content. Experienced editors repeatedly tell us how happy they are with receiving access to partners: that they 'need' it and go through 'withdrawal' without it. Whereas major WMF initiatives (Visual Editor, Flow, MediaViewer) sometimes frustrate experienced editors because that investment focuses on other audiences, such as new-editors and the public user bases, Wikipedia Library access to reliable sources directly supports super/top/power editors, helping them recognize how the Foundation's efforts support their own interests.



What worked well


What didn’t work

  • Technical development that relies on volunteer coding has been hit or miss in terms of completing tasks on a reasonable timeline. Deadlines here, even for volunteers are simply necessary. Regular prodding is handy too, if done nicely.
  • We had a 'metrics debt' from insufficiently granular and complete tracking of prior signups. Getting information from on-wiki to a sortable spreadsheet took significant time, but was worth the effort (all credit here goes to Sadads).
  • We learned that shipping books to the middle east is really hard. We have more demand for book purchases from Arabic Wikipedia than we can find way to send the books that aren't prohibited. We're trying to cleverly route around those obstacles, but it raises the time and financial cost that much more.
  • We learned that not all global/local communities want all of our services/offerings. Chinese Wikipedia, for example, didn't want book purchases made for them. Adapting to the local context requires dialogue and accepting differences.
  • We learned that sometimes licensing issues get in the way of a willing partner donation, and it is as of yet unclear why some publishers can justify a donation and others end up delivering that as the reason they can't continue. Credo, for example, has shifted from providing 350+ reference works to only serving us topic pages. The publishing world is very delicate when it comes to licenses and sometimes we run into that wall.
  • We learned that in a global community, optics and place matter. By moving our main portal to Meta, advertising signups through global promotion, and offering to create satellite branches, we have significantly reduced the frustration that non-English editors have with an otherwise really sweet project.

Next steps and opportunities

Partners - More focus on high-touch, high impact journal partners, particularly those with a non-English language or focus
  • Goal: Support experienced Wikipedia editors in accessing high quality research materials
  • Measures of success:
    • Form partnerships with at least 5 major partners (i.e. NY Times, Elsevier, ProQuest, EBSCO, Sage, **Springer, Taylor & Francis, Wiley) and at least 5 additional partners
    • At least 5 non-English language resources
    • At least 1 non-English resource specializing in a high social-impact topic area for communities (i.e. Health, Agriculture, Business, etc.)
    • Serve 2500 editors with 2500 accounts
    • Receive $1,500,000 of individual subscription value
Global - More global satellite branches, open to all communities now, including but not limited to Spanish and German
  • Goal - Support non-English community members in accessing quality research materials
  • Measure of success:
    • Get journal signups locally running on all existing branches
    • Start 5 new global branches, at least 2 in global south languages
Access - More promotion of available accounts, especially global promotion
  • Goal: Effectively reach experienced users in global Wikimedia community.
  • Measures of success:
    • Create and use system of simultaneous global promotion of all established signups through watchlist notices, community noticeboards, mailing lists, coordinator communications, and social media
Universities - More visiting scholars at top universities, and a pilot with one outside North America
  • Goal: Expand the involvement of libraries and librarian professional investment in Wikipedia to create a better information access environment for Wikipedia editors and users and, secondarily to encourage further involvement in TWL and GLAM.
  • Measures of success:
    • Place 15 new visiting scholars at participating institutions
    • Run a library intern course with at least 10 students, assess and expand program if successful.
    • Involve a team of 5 archivists working on a best practices guide for adding information about collections to articles
Metrics - More regular and granular metrics for internally gauging and externally sharing impact, including qualitative impact quotes
  • Goal: Create assessment tools to support measurable reporting with both partners and the Wikimedia Community.
  • Measures of success:
    • Run monthly external link quotes
    • Deliver quarterly metrics reports to publishers
    • Solicit incoming referral traffic
    • Combine new metrics into promotional material
    • Run editor post-usage surveys and send qualitative feedback to publishers to encourage renewals and expansion
Coordination - More coordinators, especially those with library training and at the global level
  • Goal: Create more sustainable and cost effective use of paid coordination and create greater volunteer community investment in the project.
  • Measures of success:
    • Delegate all individual account management away from Jake, Alex, and Pat instead to our coordinator network led by Nikkimaria
    • Onboard at least 5 new account coordinators
    • Onboard at least 10 new global coordinators
    • Onboard 2 new technical coordinators
Tech - More tech development of tools that serve editors and project.
  • Goal: Create tool for making TWL account distribution more efficient and make it easier for research institutions to capitalize on Wikipedia’s relationship to a larger information ecosystem.
  • Measures of success:
    • Rollout of a localized and fully-functional OCLC reference tool and share it with universities and editors
    • Expand WikipeDPLA to query all major national and regional archives as a chrome and firefox browser extension
    • Build an web app for distributing account access to editors and communicating private information
Outreach - Attend major library conferences and events, including presentations about TWL and our partnerships/programs
  • Goal: Create institutional and community goodwill and support from libraries and library professionals.
  • Measures of success:
    • Attend and present at AAUP, ALA midwinter, ALA annual, ACRL, ARL, SAA, Charleston Conf, CNI, WikiConference USA, and Wikimania 2015
    • Join ALA, LITA, and IFLA

Part 2: The Grant




Actual spending


Jake coordination 12,000.00 contract Coordination
Pat coordination 1,875.00 check, email confirm Coordination
Alex coordination 4,125.00 check, email confirm Coordination
ALA mw hostel (3 nights, PHL) 119.74 Travel
ALA mw per diem (3 days, PHL, .75 * $66) 148.50 Travel
ALA annual hotel (4 nights, LV) 336.80 Travel
ALA annual per diem (4 days, LV, .75 * $71) 213.00 Travel
Transport (7 days, PHL & LV, travel to housing & venues) 130.48 receipts Travel
Printing (400 color double sided) 233.50 receipt Metrics
Nischay (contracted, 1st $600 paid, 2nd $600 pending completion) 1,200.00 contract, wire receipt, email confirmation Tech
Wire Transfer Fees to India (3 * $10) 30.00 wire receipt, email confirmation Tech
NISO open access webinar 74.00 online registration Tech
Travel 948.52 51.48
Coordination 18,000.00 0
Metrics 233.50 266.5
Tech 1,304.00 396
Spent 20,486.02
Total budget 21,200.00
Not Spent 713.98 713.98

Remaining funds


I underspent by $713.98.


  • Pending emails to Grants Admin

Confirmation of project status


Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?

  • YES

Is your project completed?

  • YES, but there is so much more to do

Grantee reflection


"You build a thousand castles, a thousand sanctuaries, you are nothing; you build a library, you are everything!" - Mehmet Murat ildan.

This has been a team effort. From John Dove, the visionary head of Credo Reference who first thought to donate accounts to us in 2011; to Patrick Earley, for spending his weekend processing 500 JSTOR accounts; to Madman who has used his coding skills to let us email thousands of editors; to Alex for mastering excel and showing the real impact we've made, and many others who helped me build something that works for our community at scale. I need to give a special shout-out for the little corner of the WMF that I've found a pseudo home in: Grantsland. Siko's inexplicable knack for knowing exactly what really needs doing and what questions to ask to get it done, Jonathan's rigor and creativity with analytics, Heather's whimsical and drop-dead witty designs, and Anasuya's warmhearted vision and encouragement have all given me such generous support, thoughtful guidance, room to explore and grow, and challenges to tackle. When I started with Individual Engagement Grants in round 1 of April 2013 I had no idea what this year would look like but I was afraid I wouldn't be up to it. It's been a tremendously productive and interesting whirlwind and I have shown myself what sustained energy towards a worthwhile goal can motivate you to do. The ways that I have grown as a manager of my own time and as a coordinator of others' efforts is only matched by the ridiculous opportunities I've had to travel and speak about Wikipedia and The Wikipedia Library project. This is just a hearty continuation of the satisfaction and purpose I've found in Wikipedia as a project, a community, and a mission. It's been fun, and it's kind of just beginning.