This lesson is being piloted (Beta version)

Introduction to editing


Teaching: 0 min
Exercises: 0 min
  • How to create and edit a Wikidata item?

  • Be able to create and edit a Wikidata entry.

  • Know properties and relations, and where to find lists of approved properties and relations.

  • Be able to add new statements that link to other items.

  • Be aware of property constraints.

  • Know community norms around Wikidata and why they are important.

  • Be able to add references appropriately.

  • Know what identifiers are and how to add them to a statement.

  • Know different stable identifiers (e.g. ORCID for authors, DOI for works) and why makes sense to use them as properties.

  • Know the correct use of properties.

3.1 Introduction

Here we will work in the test instance of Wikidata so you will not break anything. Also keep in mind that the editing history is kept in Wikidata so error can also be easily fixed there. The test instance is cleaned regularly. You can quickly figure out if you are on the Wikidata instance (colored logo) or the test version (black-and-white only).

3.2 Create new items

In the following we will create new items. In order to avoid to fill Wikidata with test entries, we will use the test instance ( and not the official, production version (

Go to the test instance at

Click “Create a new Item” link on the left site. You will see a form that looks like this:

Front Page of the test instance

Empty create form of the test instance

Empty create form of the test instance

Freshly created Item of Mae Jemison

You can compare the entry that you have generated on the test instance with the current version of the item in Wikidata (Q34091).

Wikidata Jemison

3.3 Add Statements - birth reference

Why Wikidata uses references: Like in Wikipedia it is important that content can be verified by others to make sure it is correct and comes from a reliable source of information, such as a book, scientific publication, or newspaper article. A Reference (or source) is used to point to specific sources that back up a claim in Wikidata. A reference can be a link to a URL or an item; for example, a book. Wikidata does not aim to answer the question of whether a statement is correct, but only whether the statement appears in a reference.


3.4 Add Statements - Add ID to Mae Jemison

Task: Support a person by it’s IDs. Give the participtants the identifiers and source page for an ID and let them add it on the Mae Jemison item on the test instance of Wikidata:

3.5 Norms and good practices

Key Points

  • create new items

  • add new statements