Wikipedia talk:The Wikipedia Library/Databases

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Where's the man page?[edit]

Where's the descriptive text that is behind this rather short front page? How did this get going? Is it legit? If writer/editors get access, will wiki[\-readers who follow the link be able to see the journal/source text? Etc.

If so, I'm quite interested as I do a good bit of content building and better sources would be quite welcome. Cheers. N2e (talk) 06:47, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Can't answer the first two, but yes this is legit. No as with any paywalled access this does not break the paywall for others. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 16:09, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Sign up! How?[edit]

I can't even figure out how to sign up for JSTOR, Newspapers. Bellagio99 (talk) 21:07, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Sign here Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 16:12, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
This link just goes to a talk page. I don't get what you are saying. GeneCallahan (talk) 17:53, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Shouldn't this page itself describe how one signs up? GeneCallahan (talk) 17:52, 9 October 2015 (UTC)[edit]

I want to use to research articles I am working on. The wiki page indicates these are free resources yet the website wants a payment.

When writing articles I don't really want to pay for this privelage. Surely this page should facilitate displaying free resources rather than promoting commercial ones? Phenss (talk) 22:11, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Hi Phenss, did you sign up for access at WP:BNA? Ocaasi t | c 00:58, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Eager to sign up[edit]

Ocaasi, greetings old friend. Today I got an invitation on my Watchlist header to sign up for free Wikipedia Library access, which landed me on this page. Where do I sign up? It is not clear. I am in the USA and meet all the guidelines. I was one of your TWA Alpha testers. Cheers! Checkingfax (talk) 20:37, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Checkingfax Hi there! Take a look at the available journals here. Sign up for the ones that interest you. Enjoy and nice to hear from you again! Cheers, Ocaasi (WMF) (talk) 00:55, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
Ocaasi, Before starting this thread here I tried following a link to one of them but it had no signup sheet that was apparent. Later I went to JSTOR and stumbled upon their signup thread. For some reason my request reset their numbering from #48 all the way back to #1. BTW on a mobile device it is tedious to scroll all the way to the bottom to post new requests. But I guess that's for numbering reasons. It will be really bad when the list is 500 applicants long. So, I have to sign up for each feed individually? That's tedious too and hopefully you'll figure out a single source signup template with checkboxes. Cheers, again! Checkingfax (talk) 01:34, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
Checkingfax, you accidentally broke the # chain, no big deal and easy to fix. I admit our pages are not mobile-optimized, and it's on our radar. Most importantly, we just put out a call for developers in september to BUILD that 'single sign-up' system as you described. Cheers, Ocaasi (WMF) (talk) 02:17, 18 September 2015 (UTC)


As it stands this page irritates me. All it contain is a hook: "Partner database requests: Sign up for free access to high quality paywalled journals, newspaper archives, and online reference works". Yeah, wow!! Free access to paid access databases!! Sign me up! But hold on, besides the come-hither (with broadway size text!!) the page contains nothing, no details, just a list of databases trumpeting their assets.

We're all plagued by spam: "Beat cancer.. Stay up all night.. > Click here." This looks the same, more like phishing than wikipedia.

Instead of the unnecessary advertorial why not just say what's going on, eg: "The following databases allow free access to wikipedia editors who fulfil certain criteria. For details please follow the individual links below"??

However it would be more appropriate to wikipedia imo if the page gave the background of the deals on offer, how they got to be done, what those deals are, and of course, what the criteria for getting the "FREE OFFER " are. Assuming these databases haven't thrown open their doors to wikipedia's 28 million readers, or the 125,000 active editors a month, then this FREE offer is really just a mechanism to stream wikipedians to the databases' sales teams. Demographic marketing in action.

So, why does this page exist in the form it does, and why are these deals being promoted as they are? Anybody out there in a position and who'd like to clean it up?

LookingGlass (talk) 21:10, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

@LookingGlass: Sorry for not seeing this sooner, and also for the page not communicating to you in a way that seems appropriate to you for Wikipedia. We have streamlined the signup pages to be as transparent as possible including the text of limitations placed on the accounts and how we plan to use personal information, while also helping our editors understand our program and find access.
We are very much interested in preserving as much user privacy and anonomity as possible. We have had only a few instances where the partner uses the information they have to do marketing, and when that happens we have worked with them to stop that usage -- to be frank most databases providers would rather not have individual subscriptions or purchases, but institutional ones through libraries, etc, which require less user management. We also place limits on what kind of personal data we collect from editors, and that we share with the publishers. Typically, the only information we share with the publisher is the email address of the users -- other demographics and information are not collected. We have a few exceptions, but we are transparent with what we are collecting at the time editors sign up for those accounts.
Does that address your concern? Astinson (WMF) (talk) 18:17, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for replying, and to be frank in return, your response seems to side-step what I wrote to address something similar but distinct.
On a minor matter your own frankness regarding "database providers" seems to refer to an outdated paradigm. But this isn't the forum for an exchange on that. LookingGlass (talk) 12:09, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

Cancelled without warning[edit]

It doesn't seem altogether satisfactory that access to Highbeam (at least) is chopped each year without any advance warning or indication of how to get it back. I very nearly added my name to the list of applications on the relevant project page, as was procedure last year, then noticed that other renewal applicants were now being turned back.

We are required to provide email access: wouldn't it be possible to send a message a couple of weeks before the end of a subscription saying "this account is about to expire - if you still want access do so-and so". Thank you: Noyster (talk), 10:19, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

@Noyster: Renewals are not being turned away; they can request renewal via email as described repeatedly above... As for warnings, well, I could do that. I'll warn a few sometime in the next few days. Tks!  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 13:17, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Details regarding number of accounts[edit]

What's the exact mechanism? for instance:

  • What happens to inactive (or blocked) editors who have such accounts?
  • There's "wait" being the status of some; what does that mean? all accounts have been taken and the publication will provide more?

So what I'm asking is, whether the total number of provided accounts is fixed. Ugog Nizdast (talk) 02:54, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

In most cases there is a fixed number of accounts available (listed at the top of the specific signup page) and no easy way to withdraw access prior to expiry if the user goes inactive. Sometimes that publisher opts to provide additional accounts when all accounts are claimed, sometimes they do not. Nikkimaria (talk) 16:50, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, then what about these "renewals"? The provided accounts are limited for a period of time? And then need to be renewed by posting here? That's it? Again, I'm sure that's a case-by-case thing is this what do publishers usually do? Doesn't that solve the inactive/blocked editor issue? The project page doesn't explain much. Ugog Nizdast (talk) 23:05, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
Most accounts last for one year, and usually this is specified on the specific signup page. If there are accounts available after that year, people whose accounts expire can request renewal at the signup page - and those who are are blocked or inactive will not do so. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:43, 11 December 2016 (UTC)


Hi, I was just wondering if there is an assistant for The Interior on the McFarland access? S/he has not been editing much recently, and there seems to be a bit of a backlog building. All the best, The Bounder (talk) 10:38, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

@The Bounder: Looking into it :) Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 18:45, 8 March 2017 (UTC)