Wikimedian in Residence


A free and open knowledge base.

What is Wikidata?

Wikidata is one of the projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation which is a non-profit and charitable organisation.

It is a free and open knowledge base that turns information into structured and machine-readable data.

Wikidata is:

  • a repository of the world's knowledge 
  • a database that anyone can read and edit
  • multilingual 
  • free and open source software
  • all data is CC-0 licenced meaning it can be used by anyone

Why should you use Wikidata?

The possibilities are endless!

The power of the linked data in Wikidata is how it can be consumed, queried and visualised in a variety of ways; whether it’s Voltaire’s works, the collections of the National Library of Wales, an analysis of MPs’ occupations or the over 3 million linked citations visualised using the Scholia tool. See Use Cases for more information and examples.

An introduction to Wikidata:

You can read more about Wikidata in this Introduction page.

Here is a short 3 minute video on Wikidata by Jason Evans at the National Library of Wales.

Wikidata Tours 

Wikidata Tours are designed for new users and are a great way to learn more about Wikidata. They show you how Wikidata works and how you can add data.

There are currently tours for Wikidata basics, such as editing items, and for Wikidata activities.

Further resources

Getting started

An overview of the homepage on Wikidata and how to set up an account.

Editing Wikidata

The different ways you can edit and add to Wikidata.

Using Wikidata

An overview of the different ways you can use the data on Wikidata.

Processing and importing data onto Wikidata

The different tools that you can use to bulk import and reconcile data onto Wikidata.

Use Cases

Examples of Wikidata in action.

© Ewan McAndrew and Hannah Rothmann, University of Edinburgh, 2020, CC BY-SA 4.0, unless otherwise indicated.