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About Thing 4

Purpose: Wikidata is a collaboratively edited project maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation, the same group responsible for Wikipedia. Because of its low barrier to entry, Wikidata is a great way to get your feet wet with linked open data. 

Learning Outcomes: Users will learn about Wikidata and its structure, create a Wikidata account, and create a new statement within an existing Wikidata item.

Intended Audience: Beginner

Author: Violet Fox, Northwestern University

Expected Duration: 30-45 minutes

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Getting Started 

Wikidata, located at, is a linked open data project that can be edited by anyone, including you!


  • Watch this 3-minute video “An introduction to Wikidata,” created by the National Library of Wales.
  • Check out the Wikidata Tours page, which has multiple short tutorials walking users through the process of editing an item in a sandbox environment. 
    • Complete the three “Wikidata Basics” tutorials, demonstrating how to edit an item, create statements, and add references.
  • Create a Wikidata account by clicking on the “Create account” link at the top right of every Wikidata page.

Now you’re going to make an edit to Wikidata! 

  • Return to the Wikidata Tours page and complete the short “Official website” tutorial, listed in the “Wikidata activities” section.
  • Search for an organization near you within Wikidata and locate its item. (This could be a local theater, church, high school or college, etc. ; keep searching until you find an organization that does have a Wikidata item but doesn’t have a website listed.) 
  • Create a statement for “Official website” and add the organization’s website.


How does Wikidata differ from other metadata environments you’ve edited? Consider sharing your reflection responses in the Comments section at the bottom of the page.

Claim Credit

Need a certificate of completion? Answer the questions below, submit them, and you’ll receive an email confirmation with a link to download your certificate. 



How does Wikidata differ from other metadata environments you’ve edited? 

I've worked extensively in Sierra, dabbled some in TS360 (Baker & Taylor) and a long time ago worked in Aleph (currently interated as Alma) in an academic setting. The big differences are: no number tags for fields, i.e., 245 for title, 364 for publisher, 650 for subjects. etc.. In Wikidata it is rather clunky to move statements around or reorder them compared to the other three. While there are controlled vocabularies involved in all of these it's pretty tight with Wikidata, not as much wiggle room as the others. Also, Wikidata is "instantly" available whereas the others are much less so, often behind login barriers.
One other thing, Wikidata has a recoin feature, which I really, really like, that indicates data points/statements that are lacking for the entry.