WikiPathways: connecting communities

Marvin Martens, Ammar Ammar, Anders Riutta, Andra Waagmeester, Denise Slenter, Kristina Hanspers, Ryan Miller, Daniela Digles, Elisson N. Lopes, Friederike Ehrhart, Lauren J Dupuis, Laurent A Winckers, Susan L Coort, Egon L Willighagen, Chris T Evelo, Alexander R Pico, Martina Kutmon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


WikiPathways ( is a biological pathway database known for its collaborative nature and open science approaches. With the core idea of the scientific community developing and curating biological knowledge in pathway models, WikiPathways lowers all barriers for accessing and using its content. Increasingly more content creators, initiatives, projects and tools have started using WikiPathways. Central in this growth and increased use of WikiPathways are the various communities that focus on particular subsets of molecular pathways such as for rare diseases and lipid metabolism. Knowledge from published pathway figures helps prioritize pathway development, using optical character and named entity recognition. We show the growth of WikiPathways over the last three years, highlight the new communities and collaborations of pathway authors and curators, and describe various technologies to connect to external resources and initiatives. The road toward a sustainable, community-driven pathway database goes through integration with other resources such as Wikidata and allowing more use, curation and redistribution of WikiPathways content.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)D613-D621
Number of pages9
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue numberD1
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2021




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