I’m happy to announce that the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has
awarded an exploratory grant of $250,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation’s
Discovery department , in order to conduct research and prototyping to
improve how people discover and engage with information on Wikipedia and
The Discovery team has begun six months of research and prototyping, with
the goal of building better experiences to help people discover knowledge.
You can learn more about the team’s work here
Our deliverables include:
- User testing and research on current user flows to understand the
search and discovery experience
- Creation and maintenance of a dashboard of core metrics to use in
- Research on search relevancy and the possibility of integrating open
- Open discussion with the Wikimedia community of volunteer editors
- Creation of sample prototypes to showcase discovery possibilities
The need to improve our search experience has long been recognized across
the Wikimedia projects. We need better ways to help everyone discover the
most relevant, reliable information on Wikipedia and its sister projects. For
example, while people can search within one project (like Wikipedia or
Wikimedia Commons), they can’t easily search across the different projects.
Some people still receive zero results if they search and do not include
the right words in a search. There are open data sources that have the
potential to improve how people find information, and that should be
We look forward to discussing these projects with communities and anyone
with an interest. You can collaborate with the Discovery department in the
- Subscribe <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/discovery> to
the Discovery team’s public mailing list
- Read about these projects and others at the MediaWiki Discovery
- Reach out to the Discovery team on their IRC channel:
#wikimedia-discovery on Freenode <https://freenode.net/>.
A press release and blog post will follow shortly, and more information in
the form of an FAQ has been posted here .
Wes Moran, VP of Product