Creating missing Wikipedia articles for iNat's Observations of the Week

Thanks to Hyperik on wikipedia for doing this one already!


Which license you recommend?


I’ve chosen to license my works with CC-BY-SA.

However, others have argued that it is better to use an even more permissive license, such as CC-BY. I have released some works under this license on other sites, such as my YouTube videos, and I’ve been seriously considering changing the licenses on my iNaturalist uploads to this one.

Both CC-BY-SA and CC-BY, as well as CC0 (public domain) are compatible with use on Wikipedia.

All three do allow commercial use of the work, which some people see as a downside (i.e. if they don’t like the idea of someone else making money off the work.) Personally though, I see this as an upside. The fact that the work is freely available and must be cited and attributed to the author, limits the amount of money people can make off it (no one is going to pay much for a freely available work), so if someone is making money, they are probably adding their own value and mainly making money primarily from that added value. With CC-BY-SA, there is a requirement that their derivative works also be available for free. And, both licenses require citation, so they’re also helping me (and iNaturalist) gain visibility through citing the source of the work. And to me, the idea of generating additional economic activity is appealin to me; it’s like, I’m stimulating the economy!

CC0 is best if you want the widest possible distribution of the work itself, but don’t care about citation. It might encourage casual use but you’d be more likely to get someone profitting off it without citing you, like posting the image on their social media accounts without crediting you, etc.


I’ll just pop in to say my images are licensed CC0 because I want them to be used as widely as possible and I want people to not be nervous about using those images for any purpose. I like CC-BY-SA in theory, but I think it scares off educators, non-profits, individuals who are unfamiliar with CC licenses and wouldn’t be violating CC-BY-SA but are still hesitant. My pictures also aren’t that great and I’d be surprised if anyone could use them to profit (but good on them to try!). I tend to release my scientific datasets and articles as CC-BY and my curricula CC-BY-SA, so it does somewhat depend on my own valuation of my work and who I want to use it and how.


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Second Wikipedia article now created at


All of this is a great subject, and directly related to my issue. I find the Wikipedia connection is pretty essential to the function of iNat. I’ve been wondering what to do with the group of beetles in which I specialize. Wikpedia pages don’t exist for the vast majority of these 170 or so species of aquatic beetles, but there are thousands of observations. I’ve been working my way through these and naming to species where possible. One issue users/observers will have is when they click on “More on iNaturalist” to read up on suggestions, there is no Wikipedia page. Consequently they pick whatever the top suggested option is, if any, even if it is European. I’m reviewing the North American observations and began by correcting the many incorrect ID’s to European taxa - which have fouled up the CV function of iNaturalist. I’m really the only person who could write those for this group… but I have no idea where to start with that.

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Perhaps someone will create the WIKI stubs for you to work on?
Someone who shares your interest in beetles, or insects.

I have written a few for plants. You need a Wikipedia account first; then familiarize yourself with the markup language (Wikipedia has an information sheet on this). Then gather your source material so that you can provide citations. The template provided on the taxon pages is a good guideline, but not every section is needed if the information is not available.

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Hi Ingolf, perhaps I can help you here. What are the top taxa that we could start with that you would be able to add more than just a stub/intro line to?

I could start them off for you and you could practice editing them with my help. Although helpful (and recommended) for you to have a Wikipedia account, it is also possible to add edits without one. With an account, you would then also be able to create additional articles after a period of 4 days and a minimum of 10 edits added.

Once you are familiar with how to read the syntax of the edit mode(s), learning is mostly a matter of cut-and paste from existing articles. Small incremental additions, followed by the use of a stub template for future articles is the best approach. There are instructions (and policies, guidelines, consensus rulings, manuals of style, etiquette, discussions and more) but they are too vast to consume all at once, especially at the beginning.

If you create an account, let me know your user name and I will send you a welcome message with a link to a short tutorial/introduction.