Introduction to WikiRate
Welcome to WikiRate, the open research platform that connects people across the world interested in corporate social responsibility. WikiRate is a collaborative platform that enables everyone to contribute publicly available environmental, social and governance (ESG) data.
WikiRate aims to be a platform where you find the answers to the questions that matter. Content on WikiRate is produced and maintained by its users and this page explains how the platform is structured and how you can browse, research and contribute.
Click here to read more about our values and principles.
Joining WikiRate allows you to contribute to the platform by researching metric values, writing overviews, adding sources, and editing pretty much any information on the website.
Anyone can sign up for an account and every user will have a profile page sharing information about their contributions and interest areas. To view your profile click your user name in the upper right corner of the window. Click edit to add a profile picture, description of yourself here and select some of your favourite contributions to showcase. Once you have finished editing your information, please click submit to ensure your information is saved.
If you have forgotten your password, continue to the sign in page and click on reset password. By following this link, WikiRate will ask you to provide us with the email address you have registered with. After providing us with your email address and clicking on reset my password, WikiRate will send you a link where you can update your account details.
You can follow content on WikiRate to receive a notification when someone else edits or votes on it. On every page there should be a follow button that you can click to receive these notifications. There are also following rules that you can change on your profile page (in the area under the profile image) – by default you follow all of the content you create.
Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with WikiRate.
Researching Metric Values
This video demonstrates how to add data and check a community assessed metric value on WikiRate. Additionally, you can edit values if you added something incorrectly or found a better answer, by clicking the value, which will take you to a separate edit page where you can click the edit icon to change the value.
Each step is very important to ensure we have quality data and by checking metric values we can improve the accuracy across WikiRate. If a value has been checked a small blue tick will appear next to it.
WikiRate has two types of metric research policies:
Community assessed - any user can research and add new values for these metrics, e.g. Total water withdrawals (G4-EN8-a)
Designer assessed - only the metric designer can add new values, e.g. Animal Testing
To determine a metric's research policy look on the details tab on the metric page (below contributing).
When adding, editing and checking data remember to leave comments so other users can easily understand where the value was found and any conversions carried out to arrive at the answer. If you have any feedback on the metric itself, please include a comment on the discussion tab on the metric page. Alternatively any user can double-click on any section of the metric page to edit.
Adding & Tagging New Sources
Adding new Sources
A source can be added to WikiRate as a URL, file upload or report. All metric values on WikiRate must be traced back to a source, these can be company reports, news articles, websites and so on.
This video demonstrates how to add a URL source to WikiRate (please note, the site has been updated - to get to the “Add Source” button, go to Browse > Sources).
WikiRate enables users to add sources in three different formats:
URL - a source with a web address can simply be added by pasting the URL in the box, e.g. BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. UN Global Compact Membership
File - upload the file and make a note of where you obtained the file in the description, e.g. Apple Supplier Responsibility 2014 Progress Report
Report - when a URL or file source is not available to support a metric value, add the metric value with a report source and explain the source was not available e.g. Siemens AG - Conflict minerals report not filed with SEC
It is important to assess the credibility of a source, researchers should consider who produced it and whether they have a good or bad track record of reliable, unbiased reporting. Leave comments in the discussion box on the source details tab to make a case for whether a source is credible or not.
WikiRate has a voting system to help assess the credibility of sources, users can up-vote sources that are useful and down-vote sources that are not or do not appear to be credible, votes help make the best sources feature more on the platform.
Any number of sources could be associated to one company, so WikiRate uses tagging to create order. With tagging, sources can be linked to one or more companies, and linked to relevant metrics through Report Type. To avoid confusion see quick tips below:
If you are researching GRI metrics, or other sustainability metrics, add the “Corporate Social Responsibility Report” tag under Report Type (see example here).
Company profiles display both the performance and contributions from any organisation (including corporations, NGOs, Universities etc.) represented as a company on WikiRate.
WikiRate has more than 5000 companies on the platform, and this number is growing all the time.
If you would like to add a new company to WikiRate simply click here and enter the company’s full name and upload their logo, then you can add sources relating to this company, research metric values and begin to build a picture of how they behave.
Join a Research Group
This new feature has been designed to facilitate users to join together around a specific topic, theme or area.
To join a research group, simply choose a research group you would like to join and click add researchers or double click on the space below Researchers, then add your WikiRate username to the field and hit submit.
Research groups track the work of the users who are a part of the group, in connection with a specific project, so that you can see your progress in relation to your peers. Each group also has a place to create conversations on different topics so that you can communicate between yourselves and other WikiRate users.
Projects allow you and other WikiRate users to contribute research on company sustainability through the lens of a specific topic or interest.
WikiRate hosts a wide range of projects, you can find the full list here, or add a new Project. There are two types of project pages:
Open - any user can add research to this project.
Moderated - a project designed for a specific group of users, generally projects being used as a teaching tool for a specific class or course. These groups should be clearly identifiable from the project title, logo and description.
Current open projects include:
UK Modern Slavery Act Research: designed in collaboration with the Walk Free Foundation (WFF), this project is currently in its early stages, the aim is to analyse all of the statements produced by companies in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act. WFF are looking for your help, not just with collecting data, but with improving the metrics and methodologies we use to collect data.
Investigating Mineral Sourcing Practices: designed in collaboration with Amnesty International, this project to set up to research what companies are doing to ensure they source minerals responsibly and to create a database of their mineral sourcing and usage practices.
Once you have identified or been assigned a project to research read over the project description, this should provide a summary of the project, along with the aims and further information about the topic.
Once you are ready to research metric values, click the research button next to the company of your choice (at the bottom right of the project page). By selecting a company it will take you to a new page where you can see all the relevant metrics listed.
Under each metric question you can view the methodology (by clicking on the drop-down) and then click add answer to view and cite the relevant source (click Cite!), research the value from the source and enter the answer. When available, please add data for multiple years and include relevant comments below.
Further guidance on adding, editing and checking data is available here.
Data on WikiRate is under creative commons licenses and is downloadable from project, metric, and company pages. From a metric, company or project page, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the text “Export: csv / json”, and click the preferred file type. Another way is to add ".csv" to the end of the URL (e.g. http://wikirate.org/Amnesty_International+Conflict_Minerals_Policy.csv) this will export a .csv file containing all of the data associated with the metrics and companies on that page.
Please note that this feature is relatively new, and in continued development - your feedback is welcome.
If you encounter any problems when using WikiRate we encourage you to submit a ticket or see if other users have encountered similar problems.
This video demonstrates how to submit a ticket on WikiRate.
When possible include the URL of where the problem occurred and take a screen shoot, this will help the developers fix the problem quicker. Once a ticket is submitted the WikiRate Team will try to respond as quickly as possible.
Alternatively you can:
If there is a question about companies' performance that you think is important to know about, and there are not any existing metrics that capture this information, then it’s time to create a new Metric! If you run into questions on the Add a New Metric page, click the Learn More button.
On the Metrics page click “Add New Metric”, which will direct you to a form where you can fill in the following information:
Metric Name: This follows the format “Metric Designer+Metric Title. Metric Designer is the person or organisation that thought up the metric. The Metric Title is a clear, succinct title that can be shown all over Wikirate when the metric appears in a list).– for example “Total Waste Recycled”, as seen in the image below.
Question: Formulate the question your metric is asking about companies. Try to be as concise and thorough as possible. Make sure to include the unit measure if relevant.
Topics: Topics function like tags, helping others to find your metric. Add topics such as a specific sustainability topic, Metric Designer (in the example case GRI), and codes that may be linked to the metric (such as G4-EN23)
Value type: Select one of the following types:
Number - Number cards can contain only numerical values
Money - this is automatically set as US dollars
Category – for example, 'Yes' / 'No'
Free Text – for questions that require a qualitative response, or have a variety of possible responses (like Country or Region)
Research Policy: To allow other WikiRate users to help research values for this Metric, select Community Assessed (this is the most common Research Policy selection for WikiRate users). Designer Assessed metrics are researched by independent organisations and imported onto WikiRate - these allow only the metric designer to add new values.
Report type: Select the type of report that can be used to find the values specific to this metric (CSR / Conflict Minerals).
The image below shows this form as filled out.
After clicking Submit, your Metric has been created, and the next stage is to fill in your About and Methodology sections. You can always add more detail or edit them after further research.
About: Provide a short description of what this Metric is about, its relevance, why companies report on this and how it is valuable. Any information that sheds light on what the metric means is important to note.
Methodology: Rule of thumb is to keep this simple to begin with, and improve upon it once the metric value research is underway. In the below example, we start with details from the GRI G4 compliant reports on determining the total volume of water withdrawn. If most companies only report on volumes for individual source types, then these should be added together to produce the value the Metric asks for. Noting this in the methodology helps provide clues for what others can look for in their research. The better the instructions in the methodology section, the more likely it is that people will contribute to the research effort.
Add more detail to the Value Type if needed:
Units are measurements like tonnes, joules, cubic metres, etc. Look at a few different reports to see how companies report on this specific data. Do most use kWh or rather Gigajoules? Fill in the most common measure as the Unit.
Range is applicable for values like percentages, which range from 1-100. In case there is no minimum/maximum amount leave this blank.
Options (under Category) are created to limit answers to specific categories, such as 'Yes' and 'No'.
Above the About section of the metric, there are four tabs. The Discussion tab is meant as a place for WikiRate users to discuss changes, methodologies and other anecdotes about the metric. Anything you write in this section will be added as a comment on your metric.