Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Facilitating the use of Wikidata in Wikimedia projects with a user-centered design approach

A lot of students learn the ropes as an intern working on Wikidata. They do their thing, write a thesis and the good news is that their work is appreciated and used. 

Charlene Kritschmar is the latest to write a thesis and it is on an approach to the use of Wikidata in other Wikimedia projects. The central question is how to manage Wikidata data from a Wikipedia. I like what I have read, there are a few things that need to be considered.

Wikidata notability and the thesis have it that "everything that has an entry in Wikipedia can also be an entry in Wikidata". Technically it is the other way around; every item in Wikidata may have an article in a Wikipedia. The difference is profound because a new article in a Wikipedia may have a pre-existing item on the topic in Wikidata.  It follows that statements may already be present. It makes it less cumbersome to write an article and fill an info box with data. 

Wikidata includes 17,677,925 items and the biggest Wikipedia knows about 5,164,030 articles. This makes Wikipedia centric thinking problematic. What any Wikipedia offers Wikidata is a big community who may improve the data quality on Wikidata and by inference improve the quality of all Wikipedias. The flip side of this coin is that there is no Wikipedia leading on what Wikidata has to say on any given subject.

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