Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Scopus is "off side"

At Wikidata we have all kinds of identifiers for all kinds of subjects. All of them aim to provide unique identifiers and the value of Wikidata is that it brings them together; allowing to combine the information of multiple sources about the same subject.

Scientists may have a Scopus identifier. In Wikidata Scopus is very much a second rate system because to learn what identifiers goes with what people requires jumping through proprietary hoops. Scopus is the pay wall, it has its own advertising budget and consequently it does not need the effort of me and volunteers like me to put the spotlight on the science it holds for ransom. When we come across Scopus identifiers we  include them but Scopus identifiers are second class citizens.

At Wikipedia we have been blind sighted by scientists who gained awards, became instant sensations because of their accomplishments. For me this is largely the effect of us not knowing who they are, their work. Thanks to ORCiD, we increasingly know about more and more scientists and their work. When we don't know of them, when their work is hidden from the real world, I don't mind. When we know about them and their work in Wikidata it is different. It is when we could/should know their notability.


Egon Willighagen said...

Generally, I am of the type, the more the merrier. But there are some important points in your post. It reminds me of an identifier requested for chemicals recently, pointing to a database, but the database basically did not have unique reference material. Instead, it was aimed as a service. Scopus is like that. There is only some unique information (actually, mostly because the provider of this database put up a paywall, as you say, and they did not join the Initiative for Open Citations yet) and Scopus mostly acts as a service.

Other than that, identifiers that are not to databases that make identifiers available under a CCZero license (or better), are not expected to be ever complete. Therefore, I would not worry about just ignoring them.

GerardM said...

I take it a bit further, when we miss a Katie Bouman even Nobel laureates, it is not a big thing when they are not open about their work.