Critical issues presentations/Citations needed for the sum of all human knowledge

From Wikimania 2016 • Esino Lario, Italy
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Submission no. 136
Title of the submission

Citations needed for the sum of all human knowledge

Author of the submission
  • Daniel Mietchen
  • Dario Taraborelli
Country of origin

Germany; United States of America


Projects, Research, Technical

  • references
  • sources
  • citations
  • bibliographic metadata
  • author disambiguation
  • altmetrics
  • Wikidata
  • Wikischolar
  • Wikicite
  • Librarybase
  • GLAMwiki

The idea of a repository to store all citations and source metadata across Wikimedia projects has been proposed in different forms for the past 10 years. Wikipedia is one of the most popular entry points into the scientific literature and ranges among the top 5 referrers of scholarly citations. However, as of today, references and source metadata are still a second-class citizen in Wikimedia projects.

References are one of the most fundamental building blocks of every Wikipedia article, but:

- they are still served by fragile mechanisms such as citation templates;

- they are inconsistently represented across (and sometimes within) articles, languages and projects;

- the data they store is curated in multiple places and often ill-formed, incomplete and not machine-readable;

- they often fail to use identifiers such as DOIs or PubMed IDs, even when such identifiers are available for the cited source.

Reusing sources across articles, languages or projects is still a complex task, and conducting research on the use of references and citations in Wikimedia projects requires sophisticated information extraction skills. In addition to that, a large number of statements in Wikidata are currently not sourced at all or generically sourced to a Wikimedia site rather than specific references.

In this session, we will review the state of citations and source metadata in Wikimedia projects. We will discuss in particular progress made so far towards the vision of building a centralized database of all citations and source metadata through Wikidata. Focusing on scholarly journal articles, the session builds on initiatives that go back to Wikimania London 2014 and have continued over the years via a number of "Citathons" and events, thanks to the dedication of several Wikipedians, Wikidatans, librarians, software developers, and partner organizations. The technology needed to sustain this effort is maturing, the modeling of a schema to represent scholarly article metadata is nearly completed, and Wikidata already counts over 20,000 items for individual scholarly works that are identified by unique identifiers, have begun to be used as references for Wikidata statements and could be used to improve the handling of references on other Wikimedia projects .

The time is ripe for the Wikimedia movement and our partners to identify the necessary steps towards achieving this vision.


Not accepted