Friday, August 28, 2015

#Wikidata - Joseph Reagle not an #author?

The English Wikipedia article says: "Joseph Michael Reagle Jr. is an American academic and author focused on technology and Wikipedia". It seems obvious that the occupation "author" fits Mr Reagle.

Not so I am told, the word "auteur" is a generic term in French, so it is at best an anglicism. This gets us in a tricky position because it is suggested that if this appears in infoboxes which automatically import stuff from wikidata, it will create an absolute mess in the French wikipedia, with everybody being credited as an "auteur" which does not make sense at all.

When you analyse "author" in Wikidata, it is a subclass of "creator". Creator seems to me to be what the French understand for "auteur". Consequently, the labels used in French do not match what is meant by author in English.

Arguably, when items are labelled in a way where the meaning in one language is not the same as in other languages,  This has major consequences for the integrity of Wikidata.

NB Mr Reagle wrote a few books, that makes him more than an "essayist".
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