Saturday, July 18, 2015

#Wikidata - collaborating on data #sources

#Freebase's data found a home at :BaseKB and that is a great opener to an alternate approach to the Freebase data for Wikidata. This proposal has many parts that makes for great cooperation between multiple sources.
  • items always have a link to its source(s)
  • statements always state its source
  • an indicator for the status of a statement is added
Linking to external sources is something Wikidata does a lot. It allows us to have a look at the source itself. When it is the origin of the data, it follows that the statements from that origin have to be exactly the same. When they are not, it should be indicated with a status.

When a statement differs from a source, we have identified something that needs work. In essence. such statuses have a function in a workflow as well. Because this is where intervention makes a difference. 
  • we set the flag for people to investigate the difference
  • we can flag the source itself that we found an issue 
  • we can find alternate sources to find what is likely correct
  • we can find corroboration in literature
  • we change the statement when needed and set a flag to indicate the status
In this way, we spend our human capital wisely. We do not blindly spend time on "approving" any and all statements. We do it only where we know some research is needed. 

As far as I am aware, you can not copyright facts. We compare our facts against facts known elsewhere. We include our missing data where we may and we always investigate differences. We signal the work we have done and, in this way we not only improve our quality, we also provide a path to the sources we work with for them to work on their quality.

In this way we spend the time and effort of our community wisely and, we optimise the amount of information available in Wikidata. In this way everyone is a winner.

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