Wikicite/e-scholarship/Evolution and Evolvability (WikidataR for Wikicite)

Project name


WikidataR: Expanding read-write capabilities for R to write enhanced publication metadata to Wikidata

Contact information

application type


your name and/or Wikimedia username

Evolution and Evolvability (Thomas Shafee) - Melbourne


Your nearest city and country

Melbourne, Australia

Details of team members (optional)

If this application is for a team project, each additional team member (up to 5 total) should have their name/username, project role, location, and contact details here:

  • Canley (Alex Lum) – Melbourne: co-developer, experienced in R programming, SPARQL and QuickStatements. Email:

The activity/project


Tell us about your proposed project. What will you get achieved with this time?

Current situation

The scripting language R is the most used data science language, well suited to. There has been a R packages around for a while to read from wikidata (reading single items with WikidataR and submitting SPARQL queries with WikidataQueryServiceR). However no package exists that can write to wikidata from R.

Proposed action

I am therefore creating an expanded and updated WikidataR to have this ability to write to Wikidata via the quickstatements API (by expanding the functionality of the old read-only WikidataR package, since its original creator is no longer a developer).


The ability to write to Wikidata from R will greatly enhance the community's ability to enrich publication items in Wikidata. These include properties such as funding scheme (P6195), editor (P98), reviewed by (P4032), or describes a project that uses (P4510) for methods and equipment; significant events such as ethical approval (Q98550700) or rectification (Q56478729); and author/editor/reviewer properties such as declared conflict of interest (Q99429881). Similarly, journals can be indicated as predatory publisher (Q65770389) or hijacked journal (Q17300027). As a language, R is particularly well suited to the sort of data handling necessary to cross-reference existing databases and write to appropriate wikidata items, and this R package will act as an equivalent for the to the python PyPl package.

Your qualifications


Describe how you (and, if applicable, your team)are able to achieve this project. What skills, expertise, and motivation do you have which will enable you to succeed?

  • I have experience in publication metadata open metadata from my work with the WikiJournal User Group
  • I have experience in research output metadata (including non-traditional research outputs)
  • I have experience in R package development and basic web interfaces
  • I have already implemented some basic proof of concept functions and tested them:

Proposed activity dates


Four days total:

  • 10-11 Oct 2020
  • 17-18 Oct 2020

Budget (Standard WMF per-day living allowance - 75% of the "M & IE rate" for relevant city)

  • US$145 x 4 days x 2 people = US$1160 x 0.75 = USD $870 ( ~$1220 AUD)



Optional: Community members are encouraged to endorse your proposal and leave a rationale here.