Wikidata: A New Way to Disseminate Structured Data

Martinelli, Luca Wikidata: A New Way to Disseminate Structured Data., 2014 . In Faster, Smarter and Richer. Reshaping the library catalogue, Roma (Italy), 27-28 February 2014. (Unpublished) [Presentation]

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English abstract

Wikidata is the newest project of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the non-profit U.S.-based foundation that runs Wikipedia and its sister projects. Officially released on October 30, 2012, and developed by Wikimedia Deutschland (WMF’s German counterpart), Wikidata is a free knowledge base that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike, published under a free license, allowing to everyone the reuse of the stored data in many different scenarios. The main goal of Wikidata is to centralise access to and management of structured data about every subject covered by Wikipedia and its sister projects (i.e. the exact number of inhabitants of a country, the apparent magnitude of a celestial body, the birthplace of a Chinese Emperor, and so on). Data are organised into “statements,” i.e. a property-value pair such as “Location: Germany,” with optional qualifiers and with their original sources (such as books, reviews, authority databases…). Wikidata is run by a community of voluntary editors, who decide on the rules of content creation and management, and is based on open-source software MediaWiki – the same software of Wikipedia – with the addition of the Wikibase extensions, specifically created for this project. At the moment, Wikidata is already a test-field for several collaborations with Italian and international libraries: for example, it has already 30+ properties related to National Libraries’ authority files, included a property that links to Italy’s Servizio Bibliotecario Nazionale. Acting as a hub of properties and identifiers, Wikidata is so becoming a “super” authority control. Moreover, there is also an official cooperation between the Association Wikimedia Italia and the National Central Library of Florence, in order to connect BNCF’s thesaurus to Wikipedia articles through Wikidata. As of November 21, 2013, more than 1600 SBN authority codes have been imported to Wikipedia, as long as around 10,000 BNCF’s thesaurus entries. Both data are still growing. There are also plans for future collaborations: an informal “task force” for books (both as sources and as “items”) has been set up on Wikidata, in order to uniform Wikidata properties to the Dublin Core metadata scheme and allowing the basic description of documents. An Italian mailing list has been also set up, to which some Wikipedia and Wikidata users and a growing number of librarians subscribed, in order to discuss how librarians can contribute to WMF projects. This led to the organisation of a series of meetings, called “biblio-hackathons” (a portmanteau for “biblioteca,” “hacking,” and “marathon”), in which librarians are asked and “incited” to get their hands on and improve Wikipedia and its sister projects, with the help of some Wikipedian volunteers.

Item type: Presentation
Keywords: Wikidata, libraries, open data
Subjects: I. Information treatment for information services > IE. Data and metadata structures.
Depositing user: Ilaria Fava
Date deposited: 20 Mar 2014 08:17
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:30


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