• The Wiki Science Competition 2023 will be held from November to December. Only the images uploaded during this period will be eligible for the competition, except when a local competition is held in a different time-frame. Times for the local competitions are listed here.
  • Everyone is allowed to add images, except the members of the jury or their family members. There’s no limit to the number of images a participant can upload.
  • The uploader must be the author of the photo, or in the case of institutional uploads, the representative of the organization. You can only participate with your own images, or with images of which you are one of the authors (i.e. you must own the copyright). In the latter case, all the co-authors’ names must be provided.
  • For the photo to be considered scientific, it needs to have a good description. Every photo must have an English language description, but descriptions in other languages are also welcomed. The description should provide information about what is on the image, how and where it was made, and what is important to notice.
  • Alteration of images such as the insertion of watermarks should be avoided. Compositions or insertion of shapes and texts should be explained as part of the scientific value of the file.
  • The images must be published under a free use license or as public domain. The possible licenses are CC-BY-SA 4.0, CC-BY 4.0, CC0 1.0, and similar.
  • As this is a photo competition, we expect images of good quality and size. The image size should be at least 2 megapixels unless the technology used doesn’t allow it. The bigger the file, the better.
  • There are seven competition categories. Organisers can change the competition category of whatever submission if they see, that this submission would be more suited for another category or could achieve a higher recognition there.
  • Files will first compete at the country level and up to seven finalists in each of the seven competition categories per country may advance to the international final. All images from countries without a local organizer will compete in a separate “other country”.
  • Local organizers could add an article writing competition if they wish to do so.


The competition is not limited to only “classical” photographs, as images in science can come at many shapes and forms. We do accept even computer-generated images and we are fully aware that drawing specific boundaries to various categories is nearly impossible. It will even be possible to add thematically linked images as sets: images added as one set would compete as one image for a prize in their respective category (for the set images the image names must be similar to each other). Sets start from 2 linked images and may include up to 10 images. The author must provide in what category the image is competing, but the jury has the right to change that category if needed.

The preferred file formats are .jpg for images, .webm or .ogg for video files, and .png for computer-generated files. Wikimedia Commons is now also supporting .stl format (3D files). You should always try to provide the best possible quality. If the images are too small, consider presenting them as a compilation in one file.

Images are collected to Wikimedia Commons, which is an online repository of free-use images, sound, and other media files. To add the files, it is necessary to first create an account there. You could use your own name as an username or a pseudonym. All alphabets are supported. Please link your e-mail with your account so that it would later be possible to contact you if needed. You can see the files you have added under the link “Uploads”.

The uploader should be the author of the file or, in the case of material from institutional archives, they can be the representative of the organization, and, in the case of research groups, the principal investigator. It is possible that the commons community might require proof of the validity of the licensing usually through VRT tickets. The organizers are there to help you in case of doubt and you can contact them in advance.

Categorization: this image has been placed
into the categories of “Lepidoptera antennae”,
“Scanning electron microscopic images
of Arthropoda” and “Aglais io anatomy”.
Author: Pavel Kejzlar.
European Science Photo Competition 2015.
CC BY-SA 4.0.

Besides the seven competition categories, Wikimedia Commons also uses its own separate category system to link together similar files. You may skip adding those categories, but they would later be added to make images more easily findable. Still, one of the main goals of this competition is to spread scientific knowledge, and making more scientific images publicly available has a great part in it.

The category system inside Wikimedia Commons is built on the principle that images should be placed only in the most specific categories there are. This is necessary for sorting the images. Examples may be SEM images from Tallinn University of Technology, Multi-walled carbon nanotubes, Videos of Caenorhabditis elegans, Dallmann laboratory, Fossils of India, Ornithologists from Italy, Archaeological bog finds, etc. One image may be placed into many distinct categories. Commons categories may be added and changed after the image has been added to Wikimedia Commons.

Image descriptions can be altered after the files have been added. The goal is to have as good descriptions as possible. Feel welcome to upgrade the descriptions you have written.

After images have been added to Wikimedia Commons, they could also be used inside every Wikipedia language version and added to wiki articles, and be used within other Wikimedia projects as well (Wikiversity, Wikivoyage, Wikiquote, Wikidata, etc).

Users in Wikimedia Commons can also give images some special statuses. Some outstanding images may be selected among Featured pictures or be given Quality image status.