Standardised Data on Initiatives (STARDIT): Beta

STARDIT is an open access data-sharing system to standardise the way that information about initiatives is reported.

STARDIT is free to use, and data can be submitted by anyone.

STARDIT reports can include data about which tasks were done by different people, and can be updated at any point to include outcomes and impacts.

Read the peer-reviewed article about STARDIT:

Create a or edit a STARDIT report

Simple instructions for completing a STARDIT report.

  1. A STARDIT report is created by completing a simple online form (Please note: To save your report create a free Wikimedia account)
  2. Create or search for a report by typing in the name of your report, and hit ‘create or edit’
  3. Add data, such as information about an initiative including the title (description), the aims, methods, who was involved, how it was funded and any impacts or outcomes
  4. Complete all the data fields and then hit ‘save page’ at the bottom of the page
  5. Once submitted, Editors will check the data the STARDIT report will be entered into the database.
  6. The STARDIT report is then findable and editable by anyone

More detailed video instructions coming soon

Learn more about STARDIT

Why STARDIT was developed

All major problems, including complex global problems such as air pollution and pandemics, require reliable data sharing between disciplines in order to respond effectively.

Such problems require evidence-informed collaborative methods, multidisciplinary research and interventions in which the people who are affected are involved in every stage. However, there is currently no standardised way to share information about initiatives and problem-solving across and between fields such as health, environment, basic science, manufacturing, education, media and international development.

STARDIT (Standardised Data on Initiatives) was co-created on the understanding that such problems require evidence-informed collaborative methods, multidisciplinary research and interventions in which people who are affected are involved in every stage. STARDIT is being created to help everyone in the world find and understand information about collective human actions, which are referred to as ‘initiatives’.

STARDIT can help create high-quality standardised information on initiatives trying to solve complex multidisciplinary global problems. STARDIT also offers a way to add updates throughout the lifetime of an initiative, from planning to evaluation, and allows reporting of data (including data about any impacts) in many languages.


STARDIT is free to use and data can be accessed or submitted by anyone.

STARDIT is designed to be interoperable between multiple databases and can help link these kinds of data. The authors of the data can be verified (to improve trust), and the data checked for quality, offering a potentially important source of high-quality standardised information on initiatives trying to solve complex multidisciplinary global problems.

STARDIT can be used at multiple stages of an initiative. It can also be used prospectively to map how people might be involved in designing, doing, reporting and evaluating initiatives, starting with ‘idea sharing’.

Benefits of STARDIT

STARDIT can help get essential, verified and high-quality data to the people who need it.

Among its main benefits, STARDIT offers those carrying out research and interventions access to standardised information which enables well-founded comparisons of the effectiveness of different methods, including data on impacts of citizen science.

A STARDIT report can be created without it needing to go through lengthy (and often unaffordable or expensive) traditional peer-review. The data also remains structured and machine readable. Automatic integration with the peer reviewed Wiki Journals and Wikipedia can also help ensure data is automatically integrated and disseminated as widely as possible, to help ensure translation and improve evidence-informed decision making.

In this way, STARDIT could be used to share information which makes research more reproducible, improving accessibility to the information required to critically appraise research and evidence and thus improving trust in processes such as the scientific method. It can also facilitate an appraisal of different knowledge systems, including Indigenous knowledge systems.

Sharing data using STARDIT could also improve the translation of trusted, quality research and data, by empowering people to both access and appraise relevant data. For example, improved access to more standardised information (in multiple languages) about data and outcomes, could help to facilitate more informed collaborations between researchers and those affected by the research. For example, monitoring pollution or protecting critically endangered species, particularly where there is no common language.

STARDIT is designed to be future-proofed so future data standards can also be added, with an open and transparent governance process (currently hosted by the charity Science for All, in partnership with the Wiki Journals).

Limitations of STARDIT

The current version of STARDIT is a working prototype, built in Wikidata by volunteers and a limited number of paid engineers.

Accordingly, the user interface has a number of usability and accessibility issues, which would be improved by an appropriately budgeted human-centered design process, in order to improve both the usability of the report creation and access and analysis of the data. In the future, learning and development opportunities will need to be co-created help include more people in report creation, for example, to support Indigenous peoples around the world to be involved.

Who is involved in STARDIT?

Over 100 international participants co-designed STARDIT.

STARDIT is designed and run using a ‘participatory action research’ paradigm, which aims to involve all stakeholders (the public, experts and others with a ‘stake’ in the work) in every aspect of the initiative. The participatory action research process is currently being hosted pro-bono by the charity Science for All, informed by their work in citizen science to monitor and restore biodiversity, and work with health research organisations. It provides a standardised way of reporting many kinds of data, including who was involved in which tasks, how data was collected (for example, how environmental DNA samples were collected, prepared and analysed) and any impacts or outcomes. STARDIT uses the Wikimedia Foundation’s ‘Wikidata’ project, and involves over 100 different experts from multiple disciplines and academic institutions. 

Learn more about who has been involved so far and how:

Summary of the STARDIT co-design process which began in 2019

How STARDIT works

Anyone can access STARDIT data, and anyone can add or edit the data – much like a Wikipedia page.

This allows STARDIT reports to be updated overtime, unlike peer-reviewed journal articles and traditional published reports.

Data can be added in both structured (standardised) forms and as free text. Once the form is completed, a unique Wikidata number is created, along with a permanent stable version of that form. Each STARDIT report is assigned a unique Wikidata item number and all previous versions are navigable in a transparent history.

Subsequent updates will log any changes and preserve a record of the updates. Information includes who (or what) created or updated the report (for example, a person with an ORCID or a machine learning algorithm), and who (or what) checked the report. Future versions will also assign each report a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

STARDIT data is stored in a machine-readable format using structured Wikidata, based on the widely used Resource Description Framework (RDF) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Further information about how STARDIT works can be found in the STARDIT Beta Version Manual.

A summary of how STARDIT report data is stored

STARDIT Beta data fields

Each STARDIT data field has been mapped to relevant Wikidata items and properties.

The ‘Minimum Contribution Reporting Form’ (MICRO) specifies the minimum information required to make a STARDIT report. These data fields are in bold.

The table below summarises some of the STARDIT data fields and associated Wikidata encoding. A full version of the STARDIT Beta data fields can be found in the peer-reviewed article here, with the full Wikidata encoding here.

STARDIT + existing data standards (STARDIT +) columns will be added to the right of this table to map to STARDIT data fields, or create new ones when required (see STARDIT+GBIF for a proposed example).

STARDIT Data fieldWikidata encodingMICRO (Compulsory)
Initiative nameLenCompulsory
Geographic location or scopeP937Compulsory
Purpose of the initiative ‘stated as’ free textP3712 P3712 Q P6001Compulsory
Start date of initiativeP580Compulsory
End date of initiativeP582
Organisations or other initiatives involvedP664Compulsory
Ethics approval (org)P793 Q98550700 P1027
Ethics approval (date)P793 Q98550700 P585
Ethics approval (ID)P793 Q98550700 P1932
Funding sources (org)P8324Compulsory
Funding sources (dept or scheme or grant ID)P793 Q P1932
Relevant URLsP856
keywords, metatags, mesh terms, raid termsP921
Date of reportP793 Q37260 P518 Q10870555 P793 Q37260 P585 or P793 Q37260 P580 and P793 Q37260 P582Compulsory
Methods of the initiative (what is planned to be done, or is being reported as done)P4510Compulsory
Link to a public domain methodology documentP4510 Q P973
theoretical or conceptual models or relevant ‘values’ of peopleP4510
Name of report author (person or algoritm)P50Compulsory
ORCIDauthor item P496
Public domain profile / institutional pageauthor item P856
Key contact email at initiative for confirming report contentP793 Q37260 P968Compulsory
Who has checked the quality of the data in this report?P4032
Who was involved (named individual, organisation) Who was involved (group of anonymous individuals acting in role)P767 P767 Q P1114Compulsory
Specific tasks of this person or groupP767 Q P2868Compulsory
Methods of involvement of participantsP767 Q P2283
What was the outcome or output of the involvement?P1542Compulsory
Were any publication produced as part of this?P921Compulsory
Methods of appraising and analysing involvement (assessing rigour, deciding outcome measures, data collection and analysis)
Facilitators of involvement (what helps the contributors in achieving the project’s outcomes?) ‘stated as’ free textP1552 Q101097118 P5102 P1552 Q101097118 P6001
Barriers of involvement (what inhibits the contributors from achieving the project’s outcomes?) ‘stated as’ free textP1552 Q16515105 P5102 P1552 Q16515105 P6001
What was the outcome or output of the involvement of these people? What changed as a result of involving people? Were there any impacts?P767 Q P1542
Which stage of the initiative were these people involved?P767 Q P585 or P767 Q P580 and P767 Q P582
What was the estimated financial cost for involving each person or group How much time did it take to involve each person or group Were there any other non-financial costs in involving each person or groupP767 Q P2130 P767 Q P2047 P767 Q P1542
Financial relationship or other interest this person has to this projectP767 Q P1932 P1542 Q99429881 P6001Compulsory
Conflicting or competing interests ‘stated as’ free textP1552 Q99429881 P1932 P1552 Q99429881 P6001Compulsory
What was the estimated financial cost for the overall initiative. How much time did it take.P2130 P2047
Findable: How is information about this data disseminatedP1056 Q42848 P1552 Q100451967 P1056 Q42848 P7228Compulsory
Accessible: How is it stored and hostedP1056 Q42848 P4945Compulsory
Interoperable: What analyses wereP4510
Interoperable: What format is it inP1056 Q42848 P2701
Reusable: Access restriction statusP1056 Q42848 P7228 Q66739888Compulsory
Reusable: LicenseP1056 Q42848 P275
Who owns itP1056 Q42848 P1552 Q2587068 P1056 Q42848 P127Compulsory
Where is it storedP1056 Q42848 P276Compulsory
Access restriction statusP1056 Q42848 P7228Compulsory
How to access (email) How to access (url)P1056 Q42848 P968 P1056 Q42848 P2699
Data steward/curatorP1056 Q42848 P1640
Has anything changed or happened as a result of this initiative that isn’t captured in previous answers?P1542Compulsory
What new knowledge has been generated? (if appropriate, include effect size, relevant statistics and level or evidence)P1542 Q133500Compulsory
What part of the initiative was the learning about What topic was learnedP1542 Q133500 P518 P1542 Q133500 P921
Describe how the learning or knowledge generated from this initiative has or will be usedP1542 Q133500 P1542
How has or how will this be measured?P1542 Q P459
Who is involved in measuring this?P1542 Q P767

Who is using STARDIT?

The STARDIT Beta version is already being used by a number of projects and organisations.

In health and medicine, organisations and initiatives using STARDIT include:

  • The Australian Genomics working group ‘Involve Australia’ (see below)
  • Cochrane (see below)
  • A participatory action research projects involving a large cohort study of 15000 elderly research participants (article)
  • A protocol for precision medicine for Aboriginal Australians (see below)
  • A participatory research project involving a group of patients and families affected by a rare immunological disorder (article)
  • A participatory research project project involving extended family of donor-siblings (article)
  • Wiki Journal of Medicine (article)

In environmental research, initiatives using STARDIT include:

  • A citizen science project to track invasive species (article)
  • Science for All’s ‘Wild DNA’ citizen science project to find species using eDNA (report)

Read STARDIT reports

These reports show how STARDIT has been used by different types of initiatives.

Example STARDIT Report 1

Co-designing genomics research with donor-conceived siblings.

A STARDIT report was created to describe how participatory action research methods were used to involve members of a sibling group in online discussions about how they would like to be involved in future research. The STARDIT report describes who was involved in co-creating and checking the report, as well as reporting impacts and outcomes from the research.

Example STARDIT Report 2

A Pathway to Precision Medicine for Aboriginal Australians: A Study Protocol.

A STARDIT report was created to prospectively describe how different people would be involved in the co-creation of a genomics precision medicine, working with a remote Aboriginal community.

Example STARDIT Report 3

Involve Australia Prospective Report 2021-2023.

Involve Australia will investigate how the public are involved in Australian healthcare research and develop guidelines specifically for genomic research.

Example STARDIT Report 4

Cochrane Values Statement.

This prospective STARDIT report outlines a process for co-creating a Cochrane’s Values Statement. The intention of this process is that anyone in the world can have an opportunity to be involved in giving feedback and helping shape Cochrane’s values.

Anyone can get involved in the STARDIT project

Tasks include helping shape future versions, giving feedback on using STARDIT and suggesting ways of improving it, or becoming a co-author on our forthcoming ‘STARDIT Beta Implementation’ article.

Become a partner organisation

Science for All interested in hearing expressions of interest from any organisations seeking to use STARDIT. We are already working with a number of organisations internationally to explore how STARDIT could be used to report their work. If your organisation is interested in the following, please get in touch:

  • Reporting your work using STARDIT
  • Integrating existing data standards into STARDIT + (technical information summary)
  • Developing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to create and edit STARDIT reports
  • Using machine learning to generate STARDIT reports
  • Featuring your organisation’s use of STARDIT in a peer-reviewed article
  • Any other uses of STARDIT or ways of supporting the project

Contact Us

If you would like to get in touch about using STARDIT, need support in creating or editing reports, or you or your organisation would like to partner with the project, you can get in touch in the following ways:

About the STARDIT name and logo

The novel and pronounceable word ‘STARDIT’ was purposely created, and it is proposed that the name for STARDIT in other languages be a phonetic way to spell the purposely invented word, with standardized spelling or signs to follow future co-design processes.

A culturally neutral logo was required for STARDIT in order for it to be recognised, including one which does not contain Latin alphabet letters so it could work across other scripts. Working with a professional graphic designer, the logos were co-designed, with anyone invited to give feedback and rank their favourite options.

Inspiration for the logo was drawn from multiple traditions, with both tally sticks and DNA codons being integrated into the design of the logo, as both are systems of knowledge transfer which require a complementary half, representing the checking or tallying of the STARDIT data.

Information about ownership and usage of the STARDIT logo can be found in the STARDIT Beta Manual here.