Table of Contents
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What is WikiRate?
WikiRate is an open data platform that allows anyone to systematically gather, analyze and share publicly available information on corporate ESG practices. By bringing this information together in one place, and making it accessible, comparable and free for all, we aim to provide society with the tools and evidence it needs to spur corporations to respond to the world's social and environmental challenges.
To date, WikiRate is the largest open source registry of ESG data in the world with more than 1,600,000 data points for over 70,000 companies.
WikiRate is an open source platform. What does that mean?
Open-source software is software that makes its source code openly available to all. Unlike machine code, which is a bunch of ones and zeros, source code is understandable to software developers. By embracing open source software, WikiRate is both (a) contributing to code that others can reuse for their own purposes and (b) inviting others to contribute to our development.
What is the difference between WikiRate and Wikipedia?
Both WikiRate and Wikipedia are wikis; websites or databases developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add and edit content. Wikipedia is part of Wikimedia (a collection of wikis with which WikiRate is not affiliated), and can be described as an online encyclopedia that organizes (mostly free text) articles of information.
Whilst Wikipedia increasingly has overviews related to a company's sustainability as part of these articles, WikiRate goes beyond the surface coverage. Instead, WikiRate hosts data on companies, most of which is structured and standardized data which enables comparison of those companies. Furthermore, on WikiRate all data points must cite public sources, whereas on Wikipedia not all information is referenced.
Is WikiRate affiliated with WikiLeaks?
WikiRate has no affiliation with WikiLeaks. Although both use the term "wiki" in their name, they have always been completely separate and unaffiliated projects
Who owns WikiRate?
WikiRate is not owned by any organization. It is a non-profit association incorporated in Germany with a Board of Directors, formally represented by our Founder & Chairman Philipp Hirche and his brother Florian Hirche, and supported by our Advisory Council including representatives from civil society, academia, the private sector, the open data and open source communities, media, and financial sector.
WikiRate receives funding from a number of organizations, please see our Grants & Donations History for more information.
What is a ‘Company’ on WikiRate?
Companies are the central subjects of WikiRate.org and are flexibly defined as ‘reporting entities’, be it a holding company, brand, production facility, institutional investor, university or NGO. For the full definition check out our Glossary.
What are the benefits of creating a WikiRate account?
Signing up for a WikiRate account allows you to contribute to the site by adding Sources, Metric Answers and editing pretty much any information on the website. Furthermore, when you are logged into your account, your Bookmarks will be saved and you are able to extract data in bulk through exports or by generating your own API key.
To create and manage your account visit Manage your Account.
Is my profile page public?
Can I erase my contributions from WikiRate?
Contributions to WikiRate are public data and may be anonymised but not erased.
Who can edit WikiRate?
Anyone with a user account can edit (and add to) WikiRate. You can edit values if you have added incorrect data or found a better answer.
In some cases, Metrics are ‘Designer Assessed’ which means that for that metric, values can only be added or edited by the person or organization that created that Metric. In those cases, anyone can still leave Comments to let the Metric Designer and wider Community know if they found contradictory or supplementary evidence.
To learn more about how you can edit data on WikiRate, see ….
Do you follow any editing principles?
Taking your first steps to editing WikiRate can be daunting, but the resource only exists because of the vibrant Community of users like you who collaborate together to add, edit, and curate the content. These Editing Principles provide some tips that set the stage and will help you start on your editing journey.
Sources & Data
What can be a source on WikiRate?
Any publicly available information can be added as a source on WikiRate, including annual reports, sustainability reports, news articles, civil society studies, academic research and so on.
You can add sources in three different formats - URL, file or pdf report. Further guidance on adding sources is available here.
Who owns the data on WikiRate?
All the data hosted on the WikiRate platform is open and free to share and adapt under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons - Attribution 4.0 International License.
How is the data kept current?
As corporate reporting frameworks, standards, legislation, and entity structures constantly change, what companies are disclosing and are expected to disclose, is constantly changing too. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to keep all data up to date. A metric question that had lots of data one year, might be barely disclosed in another year.
It is also important to note that by design, WikiRate is an imperfect database in the sense of data “completeness”. The reason being that as a wiki, we allow anyone to create questions that they believe companies should have an answer to. That means the amount of answers available for that question can vary a lot.
That said, current and consistent company data is absolutely worth striving for.
All data on WikiRate is associated with a specific calendar year and includes a timestamp of when the information was last updated. While most data is published annually (following financial year cycles), some data types might be produced quarterly, or rather every couple of years, or even at irregular intervals (like violations data).
Semi and fully structured datasets, collected through automated techniques like API integrations and scraping, are updated by the WikiRate Team on a regular schedule.
The regularity of updates for data coming in through bespoke Research Projects on WikiRate is dependent on a few different factors, including the availability of funds and the fit with research and campaigning interests of the Community.
For research data that is produced off-platform and is added in bulk by project partners, the WikiRate Team reaches out to encourage updates when new data is published.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure that data associated with your organization or the topics and companies that interest you is kept current, is to create a profile on WikiRate and maintain the data yourself.
Is the data verified?
Several mechanisms help us ensure the quality of data on WikiRate. Most importantly, all data is referenced, meaning it must cite a public source, so that anyone can review where the data came from and whether the value on WikiRate accurately reflects the information in the source. Furthermore, there is a flagging and double-checking mechanism that allows the Community to mark and correct dubious data.
As a result, you can filter the data based on the following layers of verification:
Flagged - Dubious data for which an extra review has been requested
Community Added - Data that has been added by members of the community
Community Verified - Data that has been checked and confirmed by members of the community
Steward Added - Data that has been added by members of the community that have significant experience on that particular topic, methodology or company
Steward Verified - Data that has been checked and confirmed by members of the community that have significant experience on that particular topic, methodology, or company
On WikiRate, data is only considered ‘verified’ if two or more individuals came to the same conclusion. That means, if a value were added by a community member and checked by a steward who then made changes to that value, it will be marked as ‘Steward Added’ seeing that so far only one individual has come to that particular answer.
Note: It is important to note that even when the data on WikiRate is verified (meaning the value on WikiRate is an accurate reflection of what is disclosed in the cited source), there is another layer of data quality that should be considered; is the source accurate? The way in which WikiRate can help answer this question is through data volume and the identification of outliers.
For example, if there is a company that discloses that it received 17,000 grievance reports while the majority of companies report receiving zero grievances, it is worth taking a closer look. Of course, it could be an indication of particularly bad practice on the part of that one company, but it could also mean that companies define ‘grievance reports’ differently or it might even bring into question whether the majority of companies has a properly functioning grievance mechanism.
I am considering using WikiRate to archive and disseminate my organization’s research. How can I mass upload data sets?
You certainly can upload standardized datasets to WikiRate. First, you should, however, make sure there is a Metric framework that can capture that data. If these Metrics do not yet exist on the platform, you can also mass upload those. Find more on how to use the import tool or the RESTful API to upload content to WikiRate here.
The WikiRate team is available to support you in this process. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!
We have “old” research. Is that data still valuable for WikiRate?
Absolutely! While recent data is great to help us understand the current situation, historical data can help us understand trends; how and why things have changed over long periods of time. It helps us grapple with questions like: Did working conditions improve in the aftermath of the pandemic? As emissions decreased on the road to net zero, did other kinds of pollution increase? With more legislation focusing on transparency in supply chains, did supply chains become more or less fragmented over the past decade?
So, while data might be old, by archiving it in an open repository like WikiRate, you can extend its life cycle and allow it to continue to be of value to society.
Who uses WikiRate and why?
WikiRate is an open and inclusive community that welcomes all company stakeholders, ranging from civil society, academics, students, and engaged citizens, to policy-makers, company representatives, employees, manufacturers, unions and investors.
The precise reason for using the tool will vary depending on the user, but all users will benefit from the access to and improved quality of company data that WikiRate provides, which enables better, more responsible decision-making and collective action to tackle the world’s social and environmental challenges.
How can I help?
Join the Community and help gather, improve, analyze and share company data.
As a nonprofit, we rely on grants and donations to continue our work and ensure we stay free and independent. Every donation, big or small, is greatly appreciated!
Are you a data provider that sells company data and analyses? You might consider donating the (old) data you no longer sell, for the great good of society. Contact us to learn more.
Support & Feedback
How can I share feedback?
We truly welcome all feedback. Tell us what you hate, love, and miss in the WikiRate universe and we’ll keep at it to make your experience better each day!
We have developed and deployed lots of different features over the years, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
You can make a feature request or vote on feature requests that you'd like us to prioritize! We tally up all these votes and requests to create our roadmap and make sure we're building the right stuff.
I found a bug! What should I do?
Please provide the following if possible:
What version(s) of the platform (desktop/web/mobile) are you seeing this bug occur in. If using a desktop, then Mac or Windows? If accessing it on mobile, which operating system, Android or iOS? If via the web, what browser were you using, Firefox, Chrome, Safari?
The URL of the WikiRate page where the bug is occurring, if applicable.
Screenshots, GIFs, and videos of the bug are super helpful if you're able to send them our way!