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The HandWiki [1] is a internet Wiki-style encyclopedia for professional researchers in various branches of science and computer science. As other Wiki type encyclopedias, HandWiki is designed for collaborative editing of articles. One notable feature of HandWiki is that uses dedicated namespaces for each science topic, unlike the traditional Wikipedia that uses the MediaWiki category concept for all articles. In addition to the categories preserved from Wikipedia, HandWiki has its own categories for local articles. According to the Handwiki designers, this can simplify organization of articles according to each particular topic. The HandWiki is designed using the MediaWiki software with additional extensions for including programming codes. HandWiki has the following topics included in the dedicated namespaces: Mathematics, Computers, Analysis, Physics, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry.

HandWiki registration policy

Unlike Wikipedia, HandWiki does not allow anonymous editing. The login to HandWiki is restricted [2] for professional researchers after indicating an evidence for their qualification by imposing the requirement that the users who can edit HandWiki articles should have at least one publication in peer-reviewed journals. This is enforced through providing ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) number during the registration, which uniquely identifies scientific and other academic authors and contributors. As an alternative, a researcher can send an email to the support team indicating his/her published research article.

According to the HandWiki documentation [2], the registered users can create manuals and tutorials using dedicated MediaWiki namespaces, and use different type of licenses. In particular, some articles (especially manuals and tutorials) posted on HandWiki may contain license restrictions imposed by their authors.

Article acceptance policy

HandWiki, in its original form [2], has a more permissive policy for acceptance of articles than Wikipedia. In particular, it does not enforce the Wikipedia notability for scholarly content. One important requirement for article submission is the article should have at least one reference to an "external source", without a clear indication about the nature of this source. It also does not have a super-user or administrator [3] who is in charge of removing articles depending on its content. The main idea behind this decision [3] is that the articles submitted by researches will be sufficiently scrutinized by other researches, and its mistakes and scientific rigor can easily be determined via collaborative discussions of qualified researches.


HandWiki was first announced [4] in October 2019 as a research encyclopedia for data science. The main motivation was to mitigate Wikipedia's deletionism (also see the article [5]) for scholarly content, thus acknowledging the problem with the Wikipedia's notability concept [6] for wiki-style public resources that expose scientific knowledge (see also the article [7]). In October 2019, the project is being carried out under the auspices of the members of the jWork portal [8] The technical aspect of HandWiki was executed following the standard data analysis principles [9]. The creation of HandWiki was triggered by limitations of Wikipedia for scholarly content.

Currently, HandWiki is supported by JWork.ORG <ref=jwork</ref>, which is a non-for-profit community web portal. It is supported via donations and membership fees that go to web services, documentation projects and user support.

Current statistics

In November 2021 HandWiki contained about 950,000 scholarly articles. Most articles, unless stated otherwise, have the standard Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License. Many articles are imported from the current version of Wikipedia, as indicated in the footnotes attached to such articles. The articles are synchronized with Wikipedia, but giving preference to local edits. The articles were reformatted by removing some standard Wikipedia templates, and all internal references were redesigned to include articles from different HandWiki namespaces. A fraction of articles was imported [2] from the previous versions of Wikipedia. HandWiki attempts to preserve Wikipedia articles were rejected by the Wikipedia editors because of the issues with the notability. In particular, HandWiki includes research articles from Deletionpedia[10] and Wikipedia archive dumps [11]. HandWiki also includes ordinal research articles and articles from other public resources after importing them to the MediaWiki format.

HandWiki documentation advises [3] to resubmit the HandWiki articles edited by professional researches back to Wikipedia, after such articles are sufficiently scrutinized on HandWiki, and can be inserted to Wikipedia following the Wikipedia policy.


  1. HandWiki. A Wiki Encyclopedia Dedicated to Science and Computing https://handwiki.org/, Retrieved in Nov 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 HandWiki acceptance policy. About Handwiki, Retrieved Nov 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 HandWiki FAQ, HadWiki FAQ. Retrieved in Nov 2019]
  4. "Wikis for publishing scholarly articles on data science and software", By R.Riviera (October 2019), Article, Data Science Central, October 2019
  5. Wikipedia. Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia Article
  6. Wikipedia notability Wikipedia:Notability
  7. Article "Criticism of Wikipedia", URL to article
  8. jWork.ORG. Data science with open-source software https://jwork.org
  9. "How to make you own Wiki from Wikipedia using Python", by S.Chekanov, Article, JWork.ORG (Retrieved in Nov 2019)
  10. Deletionpedia. http://deletionpedia.org
  11. Wikimedia Downloads Historical Archives URL, Retrieved in Nov 2019