Thursday, March 07, 2024

A Red&Blue approach to Wikipedia references.

Elisabeth Bik is according to her Wikipedia article a "scientific integrity consultant". Her work is often to the detriment of the reputation of scientists and the work they do. Many of the scientists have a Wikipedia article and retracted publications serve as references in Wikipedia articles.

Many more publications are retracted, most if not all are registered at Retraction Watch. It is reasonable to expect that many publications serving as references in a Wikipedia are retracted. Arguments used to achieve a Neutral Point of View based on a retracted publications, are wrong by definition. 

When all references of a Wikipedia are registered in a Red&Blue Wikibase and, when all books with an ISBN and scientific publications with a DOI are ALSO known at Wikidata, it becomes possible to offer a new service. A service providing information about retractions and citations to the publications used as a reference.

Such a service is to be interactive as well.. Just consider: a Wikipedian wants to check the quality of a Wikipedia article. An update button, first checks for retractions and for all citing publications. It then checks for missing data like citations and authors. At the same time new references are added; they are  all processed in the same way.

In the background, all publications will be checked by a batch functionality for updates at Wikidata. Particularly for new retractions, authors who claim a publication.. In this way the information on any topic will be as good as we can make it.

  • scientific publications are retracted and these retractions impact our NPOV
  • publications may be used as a reference in multiple Wikipedias
  • keeping information on sources up to date protects our NPOV
  • making the latest references available to all our Wikipedians ensures an optimal result
So what is not to like? 

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Another Red&Blue application; the epidemiologist who wrote the book on "Smoking Kills"

Professor Richard Doll of Oxford is considered one of the best epidemiologists of the 20th century. There are 20 Wikipedias who consider him notable enough for an article yet Wikidata had until now no scientific paper associated with him. That was easily solved by disambiguating "author strings" for Mr Doll. 

With currently 54 publications to his name, none of his books are included. At the Open Library, Mr Doll is known five times and several books were known by these different Mr Dolls. All books have now been attributed to the Mr Doll with id OL1150080A. This identifier is now linked on Wikidata and reading the available books can be read by an international public.

All publications known at Wikidata for Mr Doll are represented in his Scholia. Given that there is much more to explore, this representation will evolve over time. People may add books or publications and additional co-authors may be disambiguated (currently a potential of 159 authors). 

The English Wikipedia has a Scholia template and it is implemented on the Richard Doll article. Functionality like this makes all the effort worth it bringing information to a next level of exposure. It works both ways. Suppose that all references of all Wikipedia articles in any Wikipedia are to be found in Wikidata. All of these references will be known in the Red&Blue Wikibase. All references with an identifier like a DOI or an ISBN can easily be integrated in Wikidata for re-use in other Wiki projects. 

With some additional work, it is even possible to associate references to individual statements and have them known in Wikidata as well. Again this promotes exposure of all the work we do and it promotes re-use in other Wiki projects.
  • Scholia is/could be available as a template on any and all Wikipedias
  • You can read books when available at OpenLibrary
  • Anyone can contribute to the tapestry of information for any scholar
  • References can easily be added in Red&Blue Wikibase
  • These references can be linked to Wikidata making for one stop shopping for updates
So what is not to like? 

Monday, March 04, 2024

A Red&Blue Wikibase disambiguation on the English Wikipedia

Mark Edward Hay is an American marine ecologist. There is a Wikipedia article about him in two languages and there is an article in Wikispecies. Consequently there is an item in Wikidata.

In a template it says: "[[Lowell Thomas Award]] (2015)". The link it a redirect to [[Lowell Thomas]] the man the award is named after. This is accepted practice in Wikipedia and it is not a problem. The redirect page has 23 links to articles mostly of people who received the same award.

With a Red&Blue Wikibase for the English Wikipedia, it will be possible to associate a relation with the award. This could fit in a template and additional red links can be added based on the source

When a Wikipedia adds new links, it is done by typing in the name of an potential article. Given that people who received an award are notable, consequently new blue links are highly likely to occur. New red links are entered in a template so there is this implied relation. 

At Wikidata an item for the Lowell Thomas award was recently added because of Mr Hay. It currently only refers to one recipient; Mr Hay. The 23 relations known at the en:red&blue are more than welcome to be added to Wikidata. Red links are more tricky as Wikidata is a superset of data of all the Wikipedias  articles of all Wikipedia and then some. 

So when Wikidata already knows about a recipient, it can make a red Wikibase link blue. When any Wikipedia adds the Lowell Thomas Award as a link, all the information can be populated from Wikidata making it much easier to have sanity checks indicating where data may be right or wrong..

  • Hidden data in redirection articles are given an additional use
  • Data available in multiple Wikipedias is actually shared making knowledge more complete
  • Data only available in one Wikipedia becomes more generally available
So what is not to like?