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This page is designed to lay out the details of the collaboration and facilitate a working partnership with HighBeam Research. Comments are welcome on the talk page.

Background: CREDO Reference[edit]

A similar relationship exists with Credo Reference, which donated 400 free "Credo 250" accounts to Wikipedia in 2010 and 2011 (project page). Applications required not having free online access to Credo through membership of ones university or public library, and the editor had to use the account to create or review content at any Wikimedia Foundation project.



  • Access to high quality published sources enhances the encyclopedia's mission, improves our reliability, and enhances the efficiency of vital research.
  • A variety of free sources are available in local libraries, university libraries and through Google (search, news, archives, books, scholar).
  • Free and universally accessible sources are always preferable to use on Wikipedia.
  • Many sources are not free or not accessible, requiring one to be in physical proximity to a building or have a subscription to view content.
  • HighBeam Research provides paid access to a variety of sources that Wikipedians would find useful in their regular content work.
  • HighBeam Research is not inexpensive and would be unaffordable to a majority of volunteer editors who work on the encyclopedia.
  • A collaboration between HighBeam Research and Wikipedia would be mutually beneficial.

What's in it for Wikipedia?[edit]

  • Access to 6500 publications, some of which are not indexed by Google or only provide an abstract without paying a subscription fee
  • Enhanced community relations with a provider of education resources
  • A pilot program for similar collaborations with research databases
  • Another tool in the community's and editors' bag for improving articles

What's in it for HighBeam?[edit]

  • Opportunity to improve the content on the largest encyclopedia in the world
  • Visibility within the community as having helped out with an essential aspect of site operations
  • In line with policies, promotion of this collaboration
  • Direct links within references back to
  • Greater awareness among readers who follow links that HighBeam exists and provides a useful service

What it's not[edit]

  • A formal partnership or contractual relationship
  • A formal endorsement of HighBeam over other similar and competing research services
  • An agreement to advertise HighBeam's services beyond what is normally done for the use of any source
  • An agreement to use HighBeam's sources where free versions of the same publications are available elsewhere


What it needs to work[edit]

  • Consensus on the number of editors and free HighBeam accounts that will be involved
  • A mechanism for allocating accounts to editors, managing their use, and retrieving accounts that are no longer being used
  • Collaboration with WikiProject Resource Exchange
  • A WP:Wikipedia information page that explains the project

How to move forward[edit]

  • Sort out the parameters and constraints with the Wikimedia Foundation
  • Discuss options with HighBeam to determine best way forward
  • Generate discussion at Village Pump Idea Lab
  • Solicit feedback from WikiProject Resource exchange and WikiProject Libraries
  • Design a mechanism for editors to apply for accounts, rules for using them, and a way to re-obtain central access if unused
  • Propose the project at Village Pump proposals
  • Create a project page, subpage, or section at an existing project
  • Start accepting applications and assigning accounts
  • Promote the collaboration at various community Fora
  • Get feedback from involved editors
  • Recover unused accounts



  • Who qualifies? Who decides?
  • Where to host it? (WP:HIGHBEAM ?)
  • Autoconfirmed editors, minimum number of edits, active within last x months with x edits
  • Demonstrated need in content work or other area, specific pages or specific sources
  • Not available through public library or university
  • Preference for GA/FA writers, serious content work, reliable source patrollers, peer review, DYK, article rescue, unreferenced BLP rescue, copyright clean-up
  • Demonstrated experience in the above areas


  • Free sources must always be used where available
  • Original citation information must be provided so editors can attempt to locate the article themselves; a bare link to a non-free HighBeam article is not sufficient
    • This means using one of the citation templates or manually putting in an author, title, date, publication title, and page range (all if applicable).
  • If a paid version is available elsewhere, for example at a Newspaper's archive, it must be linked in the reference
  • A reference to the HighBeam page

Account management[edit]

  • Tracking who has accounts
  • Tracking when they were last used
  • Metrics on how often they lead to references being added to an article
  • Checking to make sure original citation information is provided and "(subscription required)" is in the citation
  • Options for notifying editors within the citation that free access is available?
  • Feedback page
  • Articles-expanded -with page

Account recovery[edit]

  • Specific, limited duration of account access? (1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, indefinite?)
  • Centralized password database?
  • Good faith alone account return?

Feedback from CREDO[edit]

  • I think overall CREDO went well. One problem is there was no ability to reassign accounts once an editor became inactive. The most important thing is to advertise it in all the rigt places, village pump, to the projects, at FAC and DYK, etc. And give a fair amount of time for people to sign up, like one week. I don't think so, our criteria was pretty fair. If a limited account duration could be tied with reassigned accounts from inactive editors, that would be good. Could you have centrally managed passwords? - I don't think so. Should you have assigned accounts randomly not on a first-come basis? - With the amount of account Credo donated, we actually had more accounts than people who signed up. So this was not a problem. Who decided which editors got accounts? - I did actually. After everyone signed up, I went through each applicant and made sure they met the criteria.--User_talk:Charles_Edward
  • The first time this was done with Credo accounts, they were given out first-come, first-served, and people added their names immediately after the announcement was made on, as I recall, one of the mailing lists. The second time, which you can see here, we announced it a week or more in advance; we opened the list at a time when most of our editors around the world were likely to be awake (which turned out to be 22:00 UTC); and we kept it open for seven days. We required regular editing for at least 12 months and throughout the last 12 months, on any language edition of Wikipedia; and 3,000 non-minor edits to articles, focused on content creation, expansion, sourcing and review; and involvement in FA, GA, DYK, article rescue, or peer review, etc. I don't think we were too lenient. If anything we were too strict, though in the end it worked out well because everyone who asked for an account within the time limit -- including those on our spillover list, which we created for editors who didn't fit the criteria -- was given one. Charles Edward was the editor who decided who was eligible. It's best that the editor deciding eligibility is not herself asking for an account. Limiting account usage duration is a good idea, but passing accounts from one editor to another after a certain time involves more administrative hassle, for you as organizer and/or for the donor. It's probably best to say that the donation is for one year, and after that the account is closed. We promoted it on several of the global mailing lists (Foundation-l, etc), on meta, [2] [3] and possibly on some WikiProjects on the English Wikipedia. Notification is difficult, because invariably people will complain that you did not notify widely enough, or that the notification was unfairly distributed. But realistically you can't cover every mailing list and every page that all Wikimedians are likely to read. So you will have to decide in advance just to do your best, and to suck up any criticism. "What rules did editors follow for using and referencing non-free sources in articles?" I don't know what most people did, and I didn't follow up to check. I know that some people credited Credo in the citation, with a link that only worked for subscribers, and others credited the original publication. Not so sure about randomly assigning them -- personally I would start at the top of the list and work down -- but I can see the attraction of your suggestion too. --User talk:SlimVirgin

Possibility of partnerships with similar entities[edit]


The following userbox can be added to your use page by entering {{User:Ocaasi/highbeam_userbox}}

H This user had access to HighBeam through The Wikipedia Library.

HighBeam project administration signup (for account sign-ups, go here)[edit]

This project is looking for editors who want to assist in promoting and overseeing the application process. If you're interested in helping out, please sign your name below, with a brief note about what you'd like to do.

  1. Ocaasi t | c 21:45, 13 March 2012 (UTC) I've been in contact with HighBeam to work out the details of the program, and am setting up these project pages.
  2. Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 13:52, 14 March 2012 (UTC) I believe I could help review the applications.
  3. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 22:22, 14 March 2012 (UTC) I will help in whatever way possible, as I am enthusiastic about this resource.
  4. The Interior (Talk) 23:59, 14 March 2012 (UTC) I'm learning about managing online database access as part of my studies, excited that this opportunity came up. Let me know what I can do.
  5. Dipankan says.. ("Be bold and edit!") 14:26, 15 March 2012 (UTC) I will be spreading the news to the Wikipedia community.
  6. --Elitre (talk) 20:14, 15 March 2012 (UTC) I am going to notify the Italian communities.
  7. -- Agathoclea (talk) 07:57, 16 March 2012 (UTC) Can help review and sort - including communication in German if needed.
  8. --JayJasper (talk) 20:09, 19 March 2012 (UTC) Let me know what help is needed. I'll do what I can. HighBeam is an excellent resource, and it will truly be a boon for wikipedians to have greater access to it for sources.
  9. --NCurse work 08:03, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
  10. --ViswaPrabha വിശ്വപ്രഭ (talk) 21:32, 1 April 2012 (UTC) To return the respects to both Wikipedia and the HighBeam, I would like to (1) propagate this great vista of surprising opportunity to the fellow-editors within my communities , (2)aid in the application processing framework and (3) possibly setting up a long-term results assessment program by auto-surveying citations and references. Thanks.
  11. Puffin Let's talk! 09:55, 12 April 2012 (UTC) - I can help in any way possible, especially with reviewing the applications. Puffin Let's talk! 09:55, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  12. LivitEh?/What? 14:55, 13 April 2012 (UTC) Can help with the access code distribution, or whatever else is needed.
  13. Shearonink (talk) 01:09, 14 April 2012 (UTC) Let me know if there's any sweeping-up to do.
  14. Victuallers (talk) 15:16, 15 April 2012 (UTC) (Trustee of Wikimedia UK) - I'd like to publicly thank you and user:ocaasi. Wonderful Victuallers (talk) 15:16, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  15. Zepppep (talk) 15:27, 15 August 2012 (UTC) Let me know if I can be of any assistance. Reviewing applications, getting the word out, etc.