WMBE collaboration with ULB History Art and Archeology

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Universities are changing their viewpoint regarding the use of Wikipedia in education. Until recent years Wikipedia could not be used in an academic world, due to the negative viewpoint of the universities against Wikipedia. This makes that (some specific) knowledge has a risk of being lost/forgotten, or underused by the general public/society. The universities have a responsibility to publish their work publicly.

Therefore (university) libraries, and faculties have an important role to play. The university receives grants from the government — from all of us — so has the obligation to return the results of their research back to the public. Wikipedia is considered more and more as reliable, even by universities. One way could be by documenting their discoveries to Wikipedia, and by uploading data collections to Wikidata. Instead of only remaining in academic libraries, or scientific papers, and being forgotten.

More youngsters have a primary reflex of using internet, Google, and Wikipedia to lookup information, and discover new domains of interest.

Looking up information is more easy than ever before.

Therefore the Center Modern and Contemporary Worlds (MM&C)[1] at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Faculté de Philosophie et Sciences Sociales, Département d'Histoire, Arts et Archéologie) has asked Wikimedia Belgium (WMBE) to assist them into discovering the possibilities to use Wikimedia applications and projects to fulfill their public obligations described above.

A first discovery meeting took place on 18 Oct 2017 in the ULB of Brussels.


Geertivp (chairman WMBE), Pieter Lagrou (prof), Víctor Fernandez-Soriano (post-doc), Barbara Caspers (doc), Yoanna Alexiou (doc), and Karsten Marhold (doc).

The project[edit]

Restrictions and Policies[edit]

  • Respecting copyright rules
  • Apply open licences
  • Being neutral and correct
  • Being respectful


  • No original research
  • No private advertisements (promotion)
  • (special rules) about describing living persons (and privacy)

The Wikimedia Foundation only owns the servers and the infrastructure, not the content. Every wikipedia author owns his contribution but makes it available under the open license of CC BY-SA, CC BY, or CC0. Authors must be mentioned, and article content must be made available "alike". Once content has become CC BY-SA or CC0, it can never be undone.

Correct sequence[edit]

  • Internal research
  • Publication of scientific papers, theses, doctorats
  • International symposia
  • International publications
  • Books

Then you can use the above material in Wikipedia articles, as references, or in Wikidata, Wikibooks, etc. Historical books in the public domain can be described in Wikisource.


Install, configure, run, and maintain a private Mediawiki instance to back the research project. Private wikidata instance to store data collections. Project mode (budget, planning). University servers and disk space.

Who are the collaborators at the ULB?[edit]

Do you have IT personel? Training, technical help, Linux servers.

Other (internal) faculties and services that could be involved: Legal, ICT, the university library, ...

Specific projects[edit]

  • Histoire contemporaire
  • Dictionaire historique de Bruxelles



MediaWiki is Open source, developed by Wikimedia, running all Wikimedia applications: Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, etc.

Wikidata is a Triple store database running on Wikibase.

Languages: Lua, SPARQL, RDF (W3C standard), Python.

Install and configure[edit]

A private (public) and an optional public (read-only) Wikipedia/Wikidata instance could be created.

Requirements: server, application, database, IT specialist, Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Semantic MediaWiki (MediaWiki extension).

Collaborate with WMBE (training, advise).

Wikimedia collaboration[edit]

Collaboration with the Wikipedia community[edit]

  • Training
  • Advice
  • Download/Upload of collections
  • Quality control

Wikimedia projects[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation has developed the following project, and others:

Wikimedia applications
Project Description
Wikipedia The internet Encyclopedia
Wikidata Public domain open database
Wikimedia Commons Media archive
Wikiversity Research projects and methodologies
Wikibooks Collaborative book writing and publishing
Wiktionary Multi-language dictionary
Wikisource Historical books in public domain


The goals of Wikidata has always been to centrally gather public domain knowledge. It has consecutively replaced Wiki body text into structured data. Since 2012 it has been developed in phases:

  1. Interlanguage links for Wikipedia
  2. Generic public domain database
  3. Infoboxes on Wikipedia
  4. Wikimedia Commons metadata
  5. Wiktionary central database

Other collaborations of WMBE[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Research Center Modern and Contemporary Worlds (MM&C)