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Proposal:Wikischolarships (individuals are granted online access to paid scientific publications)

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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


Quality science and medical articles are an important part of wikipedia. However creating and editing such articles in regard to the most current information and research is often restricted to those with access to university subscriptions to academic journals and databases. Most of these are proprietary and not open access but behind paywalls. Those with such access usually have commitments that bar active contribution while those with the time such as the retired or private scholars lack such esubscription access. Wikischolarships would provide that access and might do so without cost.


Wikischolarships would be awarded to provide online access to such research resources with continued access being linked to active quality editing and creation of articles.

  1. Such wikischolarships could be sponsored by foundations seeking to encourage the growth of human knowledge.
  2. Another possibility is that universities and other educational/research establishments might extend honorary fellowships to those making a nonstandard but still meritable scholarly contributions.

Such esubscription access would be decided by the record of editors past contributions on wikipedia and by selection by the wikipedia community. It is not proposed that the names of the individuals would be known by those involved in the selection with the only factor being their past wikipedia contributions. It is not proposed that any other support would be provided except for esubscription access.


  • To encourage the creation and editing of quality articles by those with the time but who at present lack of access to esubscription research tools such as independent scholars and retired academics.
  • To provide a means by which foundations could actively encourage at low cost the communication of human knowledge.
  • To create awareness of the problems that many independent scholars and retired academics have in accessing online research resources.

Key Questions

  • Are foundations interested in innovative means of supporting improved dissemination of medical and scientific knowledge?
  • How many individuals with the appropriate expertise exist that would be interested in such scholarships?
  • Would it be possible to award esubscription access without an individual's identify being known?
  • How would nonWikischolarship editors react to the edits made by such editors?

Potential Costs

It is possible none since such wikischolarships would be supported from outside wikipedia.

  • They may be free by agreement with academic institutions as departments in them have discretion in who they award honorary fellowships: some might be interested in extending such honorary fellowships to individuals selected by the wikipedia community.
  • Some topic focused foundations for example the Dana Foundation might be also interested in a low cost way of increasing the quality of wikipedia in their area (in this case neuroscience).


Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal Talk:Wikischolarships (individuals are granted online access to paid scientific publications).

Want to work on this proposal?

  1. .. Sign your name here!