Friday, July 26, 2019

Authorities relieve us from the tedium of completeness and enable functionality

At Wikidata we do not rely on any one authority and we refer to many. As a consequence we bring many links to authorities to our users and only when they know how to value them, it is of value.

The link for William Shakespeare to the Open Library gains you access to his work.. It links those works to the Library of Congress to indicate that it is indeed that work of the bard.

When authors we know are linked to the Open Library, it does not really matter if we know their books. People find them regardless. When we want people to read, all we need to do is promote these links to Open Library and to local libraries.. Such promotion could be done in the Wikipedias. Like we do for WorldCat and WorldCat could be so much better if it is about local attention for the user and consequently have more of a purpose.

One project on Wikidata has been to include scholarly works that are free to read. Free to read enables for those works and their authors an additional audience and increased relevance. However among all the works we represent, we do not know what works were added. That makes it a fail. There is an authority for that. It is Unpaywall. However even when we have a link to Unpaywall it only makes a difference when people use it and read articles. This effect is something we can measure when people go to the free version of an article.

We can get the database of Unpaywall and add just another authority. Next is the issue of maintenance. We could partner with Unpaywall and have a hybrid system where we import the database and regularly check those articles we do not know to be open.

In this way we still do not see the effect of more reads of open science. To achieve that we should mark free articles with an Unpaywall icon in Scholia and Reasonator. Measuring the amount of reads is now possible and we positively acknowledge authors with free to read articles.

Next could be an Unpaywall icon in Wikipedia for all free to read references..


SJ said...

The "Cite Unseen" project on wp could help add an icon for thid

Federico said...

We are already using Unpaywall data to add URLs to citations:

Next on the line is a bot to mark the 200k or so DOIs which already warrant a doi-access=free (which adds an OA icon):

The Italian Wikipedia already links from all citations with a DOI.