Rising Number of Wikipedia References


Jasmina El Bouamraoui, Karabo Poppy Moletsane – CC0

Founded in 2001, Wikipedia is an online collaborative, multilingual, and universal encyclopedia, with over 30 million entries written and updated by volunteers from the community.

The encyclopedia, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is free for use and managed by a non-profit. The platform is visited by more 500 million monthly visitors and is available in nearly 300 languages. Its popularity has reached staggering heights, making it one of the world’s 15 most visited websites. In addition to its uniquely independent mode of governance and funding, Wikipedia plays a major role in democratizing knowledge worldwide.

The Wikipedia Library

The Wikimedia Foundation, which handles the various iterations of Wikipedia, has also put forth initiatives such as The Wikipedia Library, whose main goal is to offer high-level bibliographic resources to its regular contributors in order to support and strengthen the information shared in their articles. Érudit is proud of its collaboration with Wikimedia as part of this project and has been providing access to its scientific corpus since 2018. This partnership serves not only to improve the quality of the encyclopedia’s entries, but also to ensure the global outreach of Canadian research in the humanities and social sciences. Accordingly, over the course of 2020, we have been able to observe that a record number of journals disseminated on erudit.org have been referenced in Wikipedia articles.

The rising number of links on Wikipedia to Érudit over the course of 2020

Rising number of links as of January 1, 2020 (%)]. The data shows that the increase was steeper during the fall and winter months.

Rising number of links as of January 1, 2020 (%)]. The data shows that the increase was steeper during the fall and winter months.

This number increased by 21% between January 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021. In total, some 6,300 mentions in Wikipedia entries link to articles disseminated on erudit.org. Furthermore, nearly 4,750 papers available on Érudit, from both scholarly (~60%) and cultural (~40%) journals are referenced on Wikipedia pages. In a media environment submerged with fake news, we are proud to partner with Wikipedia to foster the rise of open knowledge and of an informed citizenry.


Since all of its content has to rely on quality secondary sources, Wikimedia contributes to initiatives aiming to generally improve the quality of its references. One of the more prominent of these initiatives is the #1lib1ref (One Librarian, One Reference) campaign, which invites librarians from around the world to participate by adding at least one quality source to an article of their choice. This campaign is based on the idea that “if each librarian on the planet spent 15 minutes adding a citation, the combined effort would eliminate English Wikipedia’s backlog of 350,000 [citation needed] notices.” The event is held every January since 2016, and the 2021 instalment ends on February 5, 2021. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the efforts of the exceptionally vibrant Canadian team: https://ca.wikimedia.org/wiki/1Lib1Ref_2021