2017 Community Wishlist Survey/Archive/Science templates

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⬅ Back to Archive The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

  • Problem: Generally, all edits need a reference. But science is arithmetics, so F= °C, miles= km and meter= feet conversion templates are allowed.

For example, cristalline minerals with a solved structure have a position for each atom. Chemical formulas need to be charge-balanced, but copies and typos make errors and these errors live forever (there are ions, but their half-life is less than one second). I think that in the next 25 years we should check more data on Wikidata. A scientist makes many experiments, he publishes some experiments, the papers are cited in a secondary literature, the secondary literature is cited in Wikipedia. The sources for errors are unbelievable infinite. Cristal structure, atomic volume and chemical formula are interlocked through arithmetics. There are many possible errors, at no time is everything right.

  • Who would benefit: science articles.
  • Proposed solution: the laws of physics should get more templates and bots.
  • More comments:
  • Citation (CNMNC Newsletter 39 (August and September, 2017)): "After the approval of the new mineral magnesiobeltrandoite-2N3S (IMA2016-073; see CNMNC Newsletter 34 (October and November, 2016)) the authors became aware that the approved chemical formula of the mineral was not charge-balanced."
  • Citation (rruff.info/ima): "Note that chemical formula is not charge-balanced in this report. The formula from the 1987 paper is kept."
  • Hogarth D D (2006) Fluoro-potassic-magnesio-arfvedsonite, KNa2Mg5Si8O22F2, from the Outaouais region, Quebec, Canada, The Canadian Mineralogist 44, 289-289.
  • Phabricator tickets:


  • How is this problem not solved by creating the templates and Lua modules yourself and having a community-run RFC for a find and replace? No development work is necessary. MER-C (talk) 12:50, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
    • This problem is huge (strategic). Science is arithmetics, Wikidata building must aim for interlocking its data. For example, the chemical formula would need a periodic table as data in the background. We do not have cristallographic data of a mineral structure, this would be a huge data input. Sure a programmer can make initial steps with templates and lua modules (maybe, the initial step should be physics). It is "just" a wake up call, and strategy is meta. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 05:53, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
  • @Chris.urs-o: If I understand correctly, you're talking about things like being able to, "list all statements citing a source that cites a specific journal article that was retracted"1 - if that is correct, see d:Wikidata:WikiProject Source MetaData and WikiCite for the people already working towards this. If I've misunderstood, please explain in a bit more detail. Thanks! Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 23:36, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
    • It is about strategy. Science is arithmetics. A chemical formula of a mineral should be charged-balanced. The measured density and the calculated density (atomic volume and mass) of a mineral structure should be the same; and so on... The physics of many numbers (data) should be interlocked to find out any typos. Something must be done in the future. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 04:54, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
      • @Chris.urs-o: Ah, now I think I understand. You are proposing something more akin to wolframalpha. This would be to help with various things within the existing content projects, such as prevent typing errors (perhaps by highlighting when an editor has typed something physically impossible, e.g. Al + O2 -> Al2O4 (should be Al203, per)). -- If that is correct (?) it is a grand idea, but much too big in scope for this wishlist process. I recommend starting a new page at Computational engine or similar, to give more detail to the idea and more time for slow discussion. I'll move this proposal to the archive section in a day or two. Cheers :) Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 20:31, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
        • Ok, you are right. The literature has typing errors as well. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 21:11, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Are you basically asking for arithmetic-based Wikidata constraints? --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 05:43, 18 November 2017 (UTC)