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Wikiversity logo.
Detail of the Wikiversity multilingual portal main page.
Screenshot of home page
Type of site
Educational, self study
Available inMultilingual (17 active)[1]
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
Created byWikimedia community
LaunchedAugust 15, 2006; 15 years ago (2006-08-15)

Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project[2][3] that supports learning communities, their learning materials, and resulting activities. It differs from Wikipedia in that it offers tutorials and other materials for the fostering of learning, rather than an encyclopedia; like Wikipedia, it is available in many languages.

One element of Wikiversity is a set of WikiJournals which publish peer-reviewed articles in a stable, indexed, and citable, format comparable with academic journals; these can be copied to Wikipedia, and are sometimes based on Wikipedia articles.

As of September 2021, there are Wikiversity sites active for 17 languages[1] comprising a total of 130,329 articles and 800 recently active editors.[4]


Wikiversity's data phase officially began on August 15, 2006, with the English language Wikiversity.

The idea of Wikiversity began with the initial development of the Wikiversity community within the Wikibooks project, however when it was nominated for deletion from Wikibooks, soon there was a proposal to make Wikiversity an independent Wikimedia project,[5] with the fundamental goal to broaden the scope of activities within the Wikimedia community to include additional types of learning resources in addition to textbooks.

Two proposals were made. The first project proposal was not approved (2005) and the second, modified proposal, was approved (2006).[6]

The launch of Wikiversity was announced at Wikimania 2006 as an idea to:

host learning communities, so people who are actually trying to learn, actually have a place to come and interact and help each other figure out how to learn things. We're also going to be hosting and fostering research into how these kinds of things can be used more effectively.[7]

— Wikimania, 2006

Project details[edit]

Wikiversity is a center for the creation of and use of free learning materials, and the provision of learning activities.[8][9] Wikiversity is one of many wikis used in educational contexts,[10] as well as many initiatives that are creating free and open educational resources.

The primary priorities and goals for Wikiversity are to:

  • Create and host a range of free-content, multilingual learning materials/resources, for all age groups in all languages.
  • Host scholarly/learning projects and communities that support these materials.[11]

The Wikiversity e-Learning model places emphasis on "learning groups" and "learning by doing". Wikiversity's motto and slogan is "set learning free",[12][13] indicating that groups/communities of Wikiversity participants will engage in learning projects. Learning is facilitated through collaboration on projects that are detailed, outlined, summarized or results reported by editing Wikiversity pages. Wikiversity learning projects include collections of wiki webpages concerned with the exploration of a particular topic.[14] Wikiversity participants are encouraged to express their learning goals, and the Wikiversity community collaborates to develop learning activities and projects to accommodate those goals.[15] The Wikiversity e-Learning activities give learners the opportunity to build knowledge.[16][17] Students have to be language-aware in order to be able to correct their classmates. By doing this, students develop their reflection skills. Secondly, they enable students to be autonomous deciding what to write or edit, also when and how to do it. Students are able to free resort to any mean of support. At the same time, it fosters cognitive development, engaging students to collaborate.[citation needed]

Learning resources are developed by an individual or groups, either on their own initiative, or as part of a learning project.[18] Wikiversity resources include teaching aids, lesson plans, curricula, links to off-site resources, course notes, example and problem sets, computer simulations, reading lists, and other as devised by participants – but do not include final polished textbooks. Texts useful to others are hosted at Wikibooks for update and maintenance.[19] Learning groups with interests in each subject area create a web of resources that form the basis of discussions and activities at Wikiversity. Learning resources can be used by educators outside of Wikiversity for their own purposes, under the terms of the GFDL and a Creative Commons license (like Wikipedia).

Wikiversity "administrators" are metaphorically referred to as "custodians".[20]

Wikiversity also allows original research (in contrast to Wikipedia which does not).[16][21] Such research content may lack any peer review.[21]


WikiJournal of Science on display at Athlone Institute of Technology Library, 2019

Several WikiJournals operate with an academic journal format on the Wikiversity website (under the WikiJournal User Group). Submitted articles are subjected to peer review by external experts before publication of an indexed, citable, stable version in the journal, and an editable version in Wikipedia. They are wholly free, offering open access to readers and charging no publication fee to authors (diamond open access).[22] Some articles are written from scratch, and others are adapted from Wikipedia articles.[23] They therefore aim to encourage experts to contribute content creation and improvement (as authors and peer reviewers), and provide an additional quality control mechanism for existing Wikipedia content.[24] This activity started with WikiJournal of Medicine in 2014.[25] The sister journals WikiJournal of Science and WikiJournal of Humanities both began publishing in 2018.[23][26] The WikiJournal User Group received an open publishing award in November 2019.[27]


WikiDebates on Wikiversity allow compiling arguments of both sides on controversial topics such as the legality of cannibis, to create an overview. For fairness, users are encouraged to add arguments of their opposing view too.[28][29]


There are currently seventeen different Wikiversities: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish (locked since 17 June 2021); Wikiversity projects in other languages are being developed at the "beta" multilingual hub.[30]

For newly established specific language Wikiversities to move out of the initial exploratory "beta" phase, the new Wikiversity community must establish policies governing research activities. Wikiversity may act as a repository of research carried out by the Wikimedia Research Network, or others who are involved in wiki-based, or other research. Wikiversity hosts original research in addition to secondary research, unless a specific language group decides upon no research. It is expected that researchers will respect and update guidelines for appropriate research through a community consensus process.[31][32] Currently the English Wikiversity hosts more than 376 research pages.[33]

As of September 2021, there are wikiversity sites for 17 languages of which 17 are active and 0 are closed.[1] The active sites have 130,329 articles,[4] There are 3,256,716 registered users of which 800 are recently active.[4]

The top ten Wikiversity language projects by mainspace article count:[4]

Language Wiki Good Total Edits Admins Users Active users Files
1 German de 57,879 115,144 705,951 12 35,120 75 2,995
2 English en 28,791 210,236 2,293,221 17 2,925,948 337 34,191
3 French fr 15,969 50,949 847,877 10 66,587 54 84
4 Chinese zh 5,483 13,184 172,074 3 8,289 52 7
5 Italian it 4,854 26,534 248,557 4 37,979 27 47
6 Russian ru 4,533 20,764 145,655 4 31,455 12 662
7 Czech cs 4,174 12,422 122,621 4 11,470 32 1
8 Portuguese pt 2,763 18,222 136,837 3 32,774 67 114
9 Spanish es 1,967 14,680 163,942 4 52,632 46 1
10 Slovenian sl 701 3,218 62,384 3 3,690 31 102

For a complete list with totals see Wikimedia Statistics: [34]


PCWorld reported the Wikiversity project in 2007, when the most popular course was on film-making. It compared the project to Massachusetts Institute of Technology's "MIT OpenCourseWare", noting however that while free, MIT's offering was "not free enough for Wikiversity".[35]

In their 2008 book on Empowering Online Learning, Curtis Bonk and Ke Zhang noted that if "the Wikimedia Foundation can nurture credible resources and communities within Wikiversity, it will send serious shock waves throughout higher education."[36] Steven Hoffman, in his 2010 book on teaching humanities, wrote that Wikiversity could do for higher education what Wikipedia had done "for the traditional encyclopedia". Hoffman noted that Wikiversity courses could look much like traditional online university courses, except that they were open in every sense. He did not expect Wikiversity to replace traditional universities, but could supplement them for "retiring baby boomers" spending time and energy on "education as leisure".[37]

The Association for Psychological Science noted in 2018 that Wikipedia, often "Internet users' first source of information", is constantly changing in search of accuracy, accompanied in this by Wikiversity, its "lesser-known sister site".[38]

J. Rapp et al., writing in 2019, commented that Wikiversity allowed readers to become active contributors; writing materials "can be regarded as a learning task for advanced Wikiversity authors in general." They noted that the Wikijournals differed from conventional journals in being transparent about reviewers' backgrounds, possibly facilitating interdisciplinary discussion, and in revealing the stages in the development of an article (by versioning).[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Wikimedia's MediaWiki API:Sitematrix. Retrieved September 2021 from Data:Wikipedia statistics/
  2. ^ Jimbo Wales (2006). "Welcome speech". Wikimania.
  3. ^ Jimbo Wales (2006-08-04). "Wikimedia Opening Plenary". Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  4. ^ a b c d Wikimedia's MediaWiki API:Siteinfo. Retrieved September 2021 from Data:Wikipedia statistics/
  5. ^ Reswik (2006-08-22). "Wikiversity:History of Wikiversity". Wikiversity. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  6. ^ Wikimedia Foundation contributors (2013-03-25). "Resolution Wikiversity". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  7. ^ Wikimania contributors (2007-02-17). "Opening Plenary (transcript)". Wikimania. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  8. ^ Nystedt, Dan (2007-08-04). "Wikiversity Gains Momentum". PC World. Archived from the original on 2016-12-25.
  9. ^ Foster, Andrea L. (2005-12-16). "Wikipedia, the Free Online Encyclopedia, Ponders a New Entity: Wikiversity". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on 27 December 2005.
  10. ^ Perrin, Donald; Downes, Stephen; Muirhead, Brent; Perrin, Elizabeth; Betz, Muhammad (January 2007). "Wikis and Wikipedia as a Teaching Tool" (PDF). In Konieczny, Piotr (ed.). International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. 4. p. 19. ISSN 1550-6908. by Piotr Konieczny; International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning;January 2007, Vol. 4, No. 1.
  11. ^ Wikiversity contributors. "Approved Wikiversity project proposal". Wikiversity.
  12. ^ "Wikiversity:Learning". Wikiversity.
  13. ^ "Wikiversity learning model". Wikiversity.
  14. ^ Wikiversity learning projects portal, Wikiversity
  15. ^ Friesen, Norm; Hopkins, Janet (2008-09-27). "Wikiversity; or education meets the free culture movement: An ethnographic investigation". First Monday. 13 (10). doi:10.5210/fm.v13i10.2234. Archived from the original on 2017-02-01.
  16. ^ a b Singh, Satendra (March 2013). "Use of Wikiversity and role play to increase student engagement during student-led physiology seminars". Advances in Physiology Education. 37 (1): 106–107. doi:10.1152/advan.00096.2012. ISSN 1043-4046. PMID 23471258.
  17. ^ Hladnik, Miran; Polajnar, Jernej (2016-12-21). "Wikiji v izobraževanju - Po desetih letih izkušenj". Andragoška Spoznanja. 22 (4): 73. doi:10.4312/as.22.4.73-83. ISSN 2350-4188.
  18. ^ Kennedy, Ian; Pass, Delia; Cadir, Roxan. One Laptop Per Teacher: Content and Curriculum for (in-service) Teacher Training. Ed/ITLib Digital Library. pp. 2564–2569.
  19. ^ "Wikiversity:What Wikiversity is not". Wikiversity.
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b Nentwich, Michael; König, René (2012). Cyberscience 2.0: Research in the Age of Digital Social Networks, Volume 11 of Interaktiva, Schriftenreihe des Zentrums für Medien und Interaktivität, Gießen. Interaktiva Series. Campus Verlag. p. 95. ISBN 9783593395180.
  22. ^ Shafee, Thomas (2017-11-24). "Wikipedia-integrated publishing: a comparison of successful models". 26 (2). Health Informatics. doi:10.13140/rg.2.2.27470.77129. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. ^ a b Editorial Board (2018-06-01). "The aims and scope of WikiJournal of Science". WikiJournal of Science. 1 (1): 1. doi:10.15347/wjs/2018.001. ISSN 2470-6345.
  24. ^ Shafee, Thomas; Das, Diptanshu; Masukume, Gwinyai; Häggström, Mikael (2017-01-15). "WikiJournal of Medicine, the first Wikipedia-integrated academic journal". WikiJournal of Medicine. 4 (1). doi:10.15347/wjm/2017.001. ISSN 2002-4436.
  25. ^ Masukume, Gwinyai; Heilman, James; Häggström, Mikael (24 May 2016). "Why getting medical information from Wikipedia isn't always a bad idea". The Conversation. Archived from the original on 2016-05-25. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  26. ^ Miles, D; et al. (2018). "Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians". WikiJournal of Humanities 1 (1): 1. doi:10.15347/wjh/2018.001. ISSN 2639-5347.
  27. ^ "Open publishing awards in category open publishing models". Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Scope of research on Wikiversity (in development)". Multingual Wikiversity hub.
  32. ^ "Wikiversity research guidelines (in development)". Multilingual Wikiversity hub.
  33. ^ "Category:Research". Wikiversity.
  34. ^ "Wikiversity Statistics". Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  35. ^ Nystedt, Dan (4 August 2007). "Wikiversity Gains Momentum". PCWorld.
  36. ^ Bonk, Curtis J.; Zhang, Ke (2008). Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing. John Wiley & Sons. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-7879-8804-3.
  37. ^ Hoffman, Steven J. (2010). Teaching the Humanities Online: A Practical Guide to the Virtual Classroom: A Practical Guide to the Virtual Classroom. Taylor & Francis. p. 170. ISBN 978-1-317-45898-2.
  38. ^ "Students Learn Science Communication Through Wikiversity". Association for Psychological Science. 29 August 2018.
  39. ^ Froehlich, Annette (2019). Embedding Space in African Society: The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Supported by Space Applications. Springer. pp. 248–249. ISBN 978-3-030-06040-4.

External links[edit]