Sunday, December 05, 2021

Hierarchies of scientists from a personal @Wikidata/@Wikipedia point of view


As a hobby I add publications and scholars to Wikidata. I am particularly interested in hydrology, biodiversity and climate change. When I come across scientists, I look them up on Wikidata, I care most about scientists with an ORCiD identifier, I often add Google scholar and Twitter identifiers as well. ]

As there have been many, many papers and scholars for a long time, the impact I have is particularly in scientists new to Wikidata and attributing papers to them. This results in an improved representation that can be seen in their Scholia. When there is a Wikipedia article for a scientist, a template for the Scholia can be added; it will always show the most up to date information.

The way it works out is that I am a "browser", I read Twitter feeds by a scholar, find a publication they enthuse about and I may already be on a tangent adding the papers and scholars. In my job I do not have time to read and comprehend but I have time to mechanically add more papers. I read in the morning, make a pick for the day and I "search" using the Scholia search function with a DOI as the argument. When a paper does not exist I am presented with the option to add it to Wikidata. When its authors can be found because of their ORCiD identifier, they are linked from the start to their Wikidata item.

My personal hierarchy

  • I find a paper, a scholar on Twitter
  • They publish on a subject I am interested in
  • When they are already known to Wikidata, they are linked to the publication I search for
    • When search indicates that an ORCiD identifier exists, I search Wikidata and add a scholar or add an identifier.
    • When Twitter indicates Twitter handles, I add them
    • When I cannot guess the gender, I look at Google scholar for a picture, I add the identifier as well.
  • When a scholar is picked for the day, I add the latest pictures first because they include more ORCiD identifiers for co-authors.
A Wikidata/Wikipedia hierarchy
  • Most valuable are scholars with a Wikipedia article that includes a Scolia template
  • Scholars with a Wikipedia article
  • Scholars with a Wikidata item with many identifiers including an ORCiD identifier.
  • Scholars with only an ORCiD identifier
  • Scholars with no identifiers
  • Scholars only known because of an "Author string"
When I come across an Australian scientists who was rewarded with an award, who has a Twitter account, an ORCiD and a Google Scholar identifier but no Wikidata item, it is someone I will add. So a warm welcome to Heather Neilly. She is of interest to me because of her work as an ecological consultant and in natural resource management for local government. Her latest work is on vegetation change in sheep-grazed chenopod shrublands in South Australia.


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