Thursday, February 29, 2024

A Red&Blue Wikibase for the red, blue and black wikilinks of each @Wikipedia

Wikipedia uses blue links to maneuver between its articles. When there is no article it is called a "red link". This text based functionality works reasonably well but it has important limitations.

  • article names are constructs that makes them unique
  • disambiguation pages need to be maintained
  • there are false positives linking to the wrong articles

When you know your Wikipedia history well, one of the most effective innovations was to remove the interwiki links from the Wikipedias and replace them with links to Wikidata. Wikidata makes use of identifiers and as a consequence the change of an article name has no effect, this ensures that articles on the same subject remain properly linked.

The Wikidata project uses the Wikibase software and this enables the "federation" of multiple databases. This means that data may exist in multiple databases but it all work together. 

Suppose that you replace both the blue links and the red links in a Wikipedia with identifiers of a separate Wikibase. Almost all blue links will implicitly be linked to a Wikidata item and Wikidata already knows about the relations between blue links it has items for. Consequently a Wikipedia Red&Blue Wikibase will be richly populated from the start.

Every Wikipedia remains autonomous and we keep it that way. But we DO know more at Wikidata because it is a superset of all Wikipedias. So when a Wikipedia knows about an award, so does Wikidata. When Wikidata knows about more recipients, it is suggested to include them as red links. It must be a suggestion because a Wikipedia may have another script, another naming convention for names and this has to be correct before it becomes available as text in the Wikipedia proper. 

When a label is correct for a Wikipedia, it is obvious that there is to be a link to the item AND that the label can be used for that language as well. With 200+ Wikipedias enriching Wikidata in this way, both the multilingual and the multicultural quality & quantity of Wikidata will sky rocket.

  • Wikipedias remain autonomous in their content
  • Wikidata will progress from a technically multi lingual project to a functional multi lingual project
  • Disambiguation will be technically available for all accepted Red&Blue labels
  • Known relations with a reference will be available with a reference to every Wikipedia.

So what is not to like?

Thanks,  GerardM

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Be both Anthony G. and Αντώνης Γ. Καφάτος as a scientist and have an ORCiD identifier

Anthony G. Kafatos is a co-author on many papers that are part of the "Seven Countries Study". When you want to know about the many papers he was involved in, it helps when they are all linked. The papers known at Wikidata are linked to his item. When papers are still known as a string, an "author name string", they are hard to spot AND they may be spelled differently AND even be in a different script.

Anthony was also spelled as Antony.. Both work in the same department at the same University making it safe to consider them the same. Someone has to decide, this time it was me. That is not great because what do I know. One alternative is that nothing gets decided but it is much better when scientists themselves are involved.

Data is an ecosystem. Best is when any and all scientists have one ORCiD identifier and authorise the institutions they trust to update their profile with their latest and greatest work. This has profound implications. This data will now be available for many applications including Wikidata. It will become easier to understand what the neutral point of view on a subject is.

This is the Scholia for Mr Kafatos. At this time there are 18 links to papers on the "Seven Nations Study", four more than for Mr Ancel Keys the architect of the study. 

Thanks, GerardM

Friday, February 16, 2024

Food for thought; statistics and Wikidata - DONT BE A KARELIAN

The lumberjacks in Karelia Finland got all the physical activity you can expect for lumberjacks, they looked the part and they died in droves before their fifties. This was as well known in the world of health scientists as well as the fact that in Japan people had the least problems with heart failure. Epidemiologists started one of the most famous studies, the "Seven Countries Study" to learn about these phenomenon. The Karelians ate a lot of meat and butter, this caused arthrosclerosis and it was identified as the cause of all these early demises. 

The Finish government wanted this to change, the lumberjacks loved their meat but their wives loved their hubbies more and they started them on a different diet. The government did a double blind research project and the fine Karelian gentlemen started to outperform their fellow Fins... As a consequence the Finnish government promoted healthy food to all Fins.

In Wikidata we have MANY scientific publications with "Seven Countries Study" in the name of the publications. With more than 100 such publications tagged, many authors, publications and subjects have become apparent. This can be seen in the Scholia for the Seven Countries Study. Statistically it is likely that when another 100 publications are added, the patterns found may slightly differ. Additional authors may be represented but the relative weight of existing authors is likely to remain the same. 

Ancel Keys is the architect of the Seven Countries Study, he authored both papers and books with many publications and publishers and he collaborated with many of the most prominent scientists in his time. The results of all these published studies are profound and not only for the Karelian lumberjacks. Not everybody is happy with the results. Influencers have us believe that Mr Keys misrepresented the facts of the study. However, when you look at the co-author graph, Mr Keys is not really central to all the collaborations. It is also obvious that there were many different publishers involved. 

The meat of the matter is obvious. Don't be a Karelian of centuries past, be smart, be there for your nearest and dearest and understand that a traditional Japanese diet or the Mediterranean diet gives you more mileage. The Seven Countries Study had a run for over fifty years, it knows about what people ate and the mortality that is the consequence of their diet. You can ignore this at your own peril :)

Thanks, GerardM