Persondata was a special set of metadata that could be added to biographical articles only. It has now been removed. From now on, such data should be added, with a citation, to Wikidata instead.

It consisted of standardized data fields with basic information about the person: name, short description, birth and death dates, and places of birth and death. This structured format, unlike the main body of the article, was designed to facilitate automatic data extraction.

Adding the ((Persondata)) template to a biographical article did not affect its normal display, since the information was not meant to be read by human beings and remained hidden unless users changed their personal stylesheet specifically for it to appear.

A WikiProject worked to improve the usage of Persondata, WikiProject Persondata.


One of the primary issues with Persondata is that the data is invisible which meant that casual editors were unaware of the existence of the Persondata template. If the information is not visible in the article, people will not necessarily be aware to keep it up-to-date. However this also meant it was useful for anti-vandalism.


Wikidata is a sister project to Wikipedia, which holds data about subjects. Usable information from Persondata was partially copied to Wikidata. An RFC officially deprecated Persondata. Do not add new Persondata templates to pages. The consensus is now to remove Persondata from articles. You are encouraged to get involved with Wikidata.

Wikidata correlation

Parameter Type Property ID
NAME Firstname Lastname label (e.g. Michel Velleman (Q151605))
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Other Name1, Othername2 alias
SHORT DESCRIPTION Claim to fame description
DATE OF BIRTH day or year of birth p569
PLACE OF BIRTH birthplace p19
DATE OF DEATH day or year of death p570
PLACE OF DEATH deathplace p20

Migration to Wikidata

Some data was found not to have been copied completely to Wikidata. Kaspar's tool[dead link] has the entirety of the remaining data set and provides semi-automatic migration. The tool contains descriptions, aliases, places, and dates in different sections. The information is stored as 'challenges' which are shown randomly to the user. On every challenge, the user chooses one of the following options:

User choices are processed via OAuth and appear on the user contribution page on Wikidata.


What is Persondata?
Persondata was a special set of metadata that could be added to biographical articles only. It was stored using the ((Persondata))-template. It contained names, alternative, short descriptions and places and dates of birth and death.
What is Wikidata?
Wikidata is a Wikimedia project to create an open and collaborative database. It stores relational statements about an entity as well as the interwiki links associated with the pages on the Wikimedia projects that describe that entity. The English Wikipedia use these interlanguage links stored at Wikidata, and has some limited applications for the statements made in Wikidata.
Why does KasparBot delete the Persondata template from many articles?
Persondata has been deprecated by this RfC, which closed on May 26, 2015. The community decided that Wikidata would be a better place to keep structured information about people.
Who is KasparBot?
KasparBot is a bot operated by T.seppelt. It was approved within this BRfA. Feel free to ask questions or point out malfunctions at the operator's talk page.
What is KasparBot doing exactly?
The KasparBot's task included two steps: First all remaining Persondata information as of November 23, 2015 was copied into a special database in order to make the data accessible for the Wikidata. This process is finished. Secondly the bot removes all ((Persondata))-transclusions from the English Wikipedia. This step started in February 2016 and will take approximately 3 months.
Is it safe to remove ((Persondata)) manually?
Yes, it is. The dataset was entirely copied in November 2015. KasparBot will remove all transclusions but there is nothing to be said against doing it manually.
What is this database about?
The Wikidata community had concerns about the quality of the Persondata dataset. Therefore it was decided to do the migration semi-automatically. For every piece of information in the database a user needs to manually decide if adding this data would increase the quality of Wikidata. The database includes a challenges system for aliases (former names and alternative names), descriptions, places of birth and death and dates of birth and death. Users make basic decisions (accept, reject etc.) for each challenge. Based on the decision the data is added to Wikidata or not.
How is this working exactly?
Before you can start solving challenges you have to authorize the Wikidata/Kaspar tool. This means that you give the Kaspar page the permission to edit Wikidata in your name. The tool was written by T.seppelt. None of your personal data is transferred to the tool. You can withdraw the permission at any time. Please see the guide on OAuth, the technology which is used for authorization and editing for more information. After you authorized the tool you can start resolving challenges from these four categories: aliases, descriptions, places and dates. When you press the deciding buttons your decision is saved in the database and in those cases where you decide to accept the information an edit is made at Wikidata. Nothing is changed anywhere else by this action.
What is OAuth?
OAuth is a means of giving outside ("connected") applications the ability to perform edits and other actions on your behalf. Using this authentication protocol, you can authorize ("grant") a connected application the ability to act on your behalf without the need to divulge your password. The OAuth protocol is very stable and widely used by other websites, including major sites such as Google and Flickr.
Can I review my decisions / the decisions of other users?
Recent decisions can be accessed at a special page[dead link] at the tool. Your edits on Wikidata appear on your contributions page. All edits made with the tool can be found at Wikidata's recent changes page.
Why does the process after making a decision in a challenge take so long?
First, the Kaspar database, and updating the database, is very slow. Second, time is needed to perform the edit after making the decision. Third, the Wikidata servers take some time to finish the whole process. Attempting to reduce the second and third sources of time would be complicated and error-prone.
A workaround is to have multiple tabs open to resolve challenges. When a challenge is resolved, you can select another of the open tabs, which should have finished loading a new challenge. Then you can flip back and forth between tabs as each takes its time to resolve a challenge.
What can I do if I have further questions?
Feel free to add your questions here or ask at T.seppelt's talk page. Another good place to ask is Wikipedia talk:Persondata.

See also[edit]