Saturday, June 15, 2019

@Wikipedia - could give a clue to #deleted articles

Even deleted Wikipedia articles have "false friends". In a list of award winners a Mr Markku Laakso used to have an article. This Mr Laakso was actually a conductor and not the diabetes researcher the list was there for. For whatever reason, the article for the conductor was deemed to be not notable and it was deleted.

When you are NOT a Wikipedia admin, there is no way to know what was deleted.

One solution is for all blue, red and black links to refer to Wikidata items. When an article is deleted, the Wikidata item is still there making it easy to prevent cases of mistaken identity like with Mr and Mr Laakso.

A more expanded proposal you may find here.
Thanks,
     GerardM

Monday, June 10, 2019

@Wikipedia: #notability versus #relevance

I had a good discussion with imho a deletionist Wikipedia admin. For me the biggest take away was how notability is in the way of relevance.

With statements made like: "There are only two options, one is that the same standards apply, and the other is the perpetuation of prejudice" and "I view our decisions of notability as primarily subjective--decisions based on individual values and understandings of what WP should be like" no/little room is given for contrary points of view.

Notability has as its problem that it enables such a personal POV while relevance is about what others want to read. For a professor Bart O. Roep there is no article. Given two relevant diabetes related awards he should be notable and as he started a human study for a vaccine for diabetes type 1, he should be extremely relevant.

A personal POV ignoring the science that is in the news has its dangers. It is easy enough for Wikimedians to learn about scientific credentials, the papers are there to read but what we write is not for us but for our public. Withholding articles opens our public up to fake facts and fake science. An article about Mr Roep is therefore relevant and timely particularly because people die as they cannot afford their insulin. Articles about the best of what science has to bring about diabetes now is of extreme relevance.

At Wikidata, there is no notability issue. Given the relevance of diabetes all that is needed is to concentrate effort for a few days on a subject. New authors and papers are connected to what we already have, genders are added to authors (to document the gender ratio) and as a result more objective facts available for the subjective Wikipedia admins to consider, particularly when they accept tooling like Scholia to open up the available data.
Thanks,
      GerardM

Sunday, June 09, 2019

#Wikidata - Exposing #Diabetes #Research

People die of diabetes when they cannot afford their insulin. There is not much that I can do about it but I can work in Wikidata on the scholars, the awards, the papers that are published that have to do with diabetes. The Wikidata tools that are important in this are: Reasonator, Scholia and SourceMD and the ORCiD, Google Scholar and VIAF websites prove themselves to be essential as well.

One way to stay focused is by concentrating on awards and, at this time it is the Minkowski Prize, it is conferred by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. The list of award winners was already complete so I concentrated on their papers and co-authors. The first thing to do is to check if there is an ORCiD identifier and if that ORCiD identifier is already known in Wikidata, I found that it often is and merges of Wikidata items may follow. I then submit a SourceMD job to update that author and its co-authors.

The next (manual) step is about gender ratios. Scholia includes a graphic representation of co-authors and for all the "white" ones no gender has been entered. The process is as follows: when the gender is "obvious", it is just added. For an "Andrea" you look them up in Google and add what you think you see. When a name is given as "A. Winkowsky", you check ORCiD for a full name and iterate the process.

Once the SourceMD job is done, chances are that you have to start the gender process again because of new co-authors. Thomas Yates is a good example of a new co-author, already with a sizable amount of papers (95) to his name but not complete (417). Thomas is a "male".

What I achieve is an increasingly rich coverage of everything related to diabetes. The checks and balances ensure a high quality. And as more data is included in Wikidata, people who query will gain a better result.

What I personally do NOT do is add authors without an ORCiD identifier. It takes much more effort and chances of getting it wrong make it unattractive as well. In addition, I care for science but when people are not "Open" about their work I am quite happy for their colleagues to get the recognition they deserve.
Thanks,
      GerardM

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Perspectives on #references, #citations

Wikipedia articles, scientific papers and some books have them: citations. Depending on your outlook, citations serve a different purpose. They exist to prove a point or to enable further reading. These differing purposes are not without friction.

In science, it makes sense to cite the original research establishing a fact. Important because when such a fact is retracted, the whole chain of citing papers may need to be reconsidered. In a Wikipedia article it is imho a bit different. For many people references are next level reading material and therefore a well written text expanding on the article is to be preferred, it helps bring things together.

When you consider the points made in a book to be important, like the (many) points made in Superior, the book by Angela Saini, you can expand the Wikidata item for the book by including its citations. It is one way to underline a point because those who seek such information will find a lot of additional reading and confirmation for the points made.

Adding citations in Wikidata often means that the sources and its authors are to be introduced. It takes some doing and by adding DOI, ORCiD, VIAF, and or Google Scholar data it is easy to make future connections. When you care to add citations to this book with me, this is my project page.
Thanks,
     GerardM

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Be #Excellent - science in Europe / Holland - #wetenschapper2030

At the "Wetenschap 2030 / Evolutie of revolutie" conference in The Hague it was all about excellence. Confusion set in when the question was raised: what is excellence.

Two big Dutch science funding organisations invited young scientist to consider scientific practice in 2030. It was a great gathering, more than half of the public were women, one prominent speaker told them she had two children and we were reminded that a more diverse team is a more successful team as shown in a recent paper.

One of the introductions set the tone. In science itself there is no room for all of us. It would take exponential funding, funding that is not available. In a few panels the subject of the daily practice was discussed and indeed, it is cut throat. Many people do not share expertise, results; there is no common good, everything to win in a rat race to move up the ladder towards tenure. Some say these practices are on the way out, others indicate that it depends on the field you research.

And then there is this guy from Europe who says, only excellence will get you funding from the EU..

What helps; scientists that may indicate what their primary concern is to be, what they want to be evaluated on; education, research.. Counter intuitively, such focused reviews have the effect that results outside the track benefit as well. In this way it is the university itself who finds excellence and improves its processes.

Another perspective on excellence; what value does research offer. Not to the scholars, nor the universities but to the ones bearing the burden of the costs and expect results. Are these results truly the best that can be achieved, does it reflect cooperation, are the numbers reproducible and the papers readable. For Europe to fund; the proposal must have merit.

My take away message; all those scientists that do not collaborate, back stab and think it acceptable because that is the way it is done, they do not deserve my taxeuro going forward towards 2030. The good news; thanks to Open Science and everything related change is underway but we are not there yet. Important: it does not follow that getting funding is a sign of quality, there is too little money to go around for all proposals with merit.
Thanks,
       GerardM

Sunday, May 19, 2019

#Scholia: on the "requirement" of completeness

Scholia, the presentation of scholarly information on authors, papers, universities, awards et al is at this time not included in the "Authority control" part of a Wikipedia article. The reason I understand is because Wikipedians "that matter" insist that its information is to be complete.

That is imho utter balderdash.

The first argument is the Wiki principle itself. Things do not need to be complete, in the Wiki world it is all about the work that is underway. The second is in the information that it provides: its information is arguably superior to what a Wikipedia article provides on the corpus of papers written by an author. The third is that with the prospect of all references of all Wikipedias ending up in Wikidata, value is added when a paper can be seen in relation to its authors and citations. It matters when it is known what citations a paper is said to support. It matters that we know the papers that are retracted. The fourth argument is in the  maths of it all; typically scientific papers have multiple authors. It takes only one author with an ORCiD identifier to get its papers included. The other authors have not been open about their work, it is their own doing why they are not known in the most read corpus on the planet. They still exist but as "author strings". When a kind soul wants to remove them from obscurity they can.

As to the "Katie Bouman"s among them? There are many fine people that are equally deserving, that have not been recognised yet for their relevance. Fine people that have a public ORCiD record. For them it is feasible to have their Scholia ready when they are recognised. For the others, well it is not a Pokemon game, it is a Wiki.
Thanks,
      GerardM

Sunday, May 12, 2019

@Wikidata Women in science - Lesley Wyborn

For Lesley Wyborn a Wikipedia article exists. She "built an international reputation for innovative leadership in geoinformatics and global e-research, particularly in the geoscience area" according to the motivation for the "Outstanding Contributions in Geoinformatics" award. Notability, no issue.

When the article was written in 2016, no attention was given to the "authority control" and consequently in 2018 an additional item was created with an ORCID identifier. In 2019 additional work was done and the two items were merged. A Google Scholar identifier and the award was added potentially addressing the issues raised on the Wikipedia article.

Arguably both the Wikidata and the Wikipedia information could be more informative. However, given that both are Wikis that is quite acceptable. It is quite likely that many more papers are already on Wikidata and just need attribution. That is something for others to do.. we are a community remember.
Thanks,
     GerardM