Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Wikidata/Bibliographical references/sources for wikidataitems

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Bibliographical references/sources for wikidataitems

  • Problem:

Items (e.g. buildings, archeological sites, paintings, artists ...) described on various Wikimedia platforms benefit largely from good bibliographical sources. However, today one can only add such a source in an individual Wikipedia article (per language) and/or on a specific statement in Wikidata. As a result, many sources relevant for items/subjects remain hidden in all the languages of Wikipedia and knowledge remains "unused" and "undiscovered".

  • Who would benefit:

Editors on Wikipedia, the user community in general (more available sources = better articles) and all readers

  • Proposed solution:

The possibility to add a list of bibliographical references in a standard way, and data driven, (different from f.i. a list of works by a specific author) in a structured way per Wikidata-item. As a result, a list of bibliographical sources linked to the Wikipedia page via its corresponding Wikidata item would be automatically available in each language. For example, one could use this to link to historical sources/ archeological reports/ historic maps ... to for instance a town/artist/ ...

  • More comments: Advantages:
    1. More sources on Wikimedia platforms will be used
    2. More references per article add to the discussion as well as Wikipedia as a third source
    3. More data/research becomes visible through Wikimedia platforms and thus adds to its overall value within the information community
    4. Link between scientific research and valorisation of knowledge for a large scale audience through Wikipedia
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Hilke Arijs (talk) 17:15, 19 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]


  • I love this proposal. Wikidata has everything it requires. It is multi-lingual. You can register already today references described by source (P1343) to link an item e.g. to a book/edition. The only thing that is required is a Wikidata module for Wikipedia to extract a bibliography from Wikidata. Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 17:49, 19 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • @Hilke Arijs: While in principle this proposal would improve Wikidata items, I feel like the proposal suffers from a lack of clarity, and it's not clear whether you're proposing a technical change that would somehow enable this or a comprehensive import that would actually allow this to be useful in the short term (at the moment, there's not enough relevant Wikidata data for such a feature to be genuinely useful). There are already properties that exist to relate works and subjects (main subject (P921) and described by source (P1343)), and there are already modules which allow data from multiple statements to be extracted (Commons' Wikidata infobox already does it). Either way, the proposal could be fulfilled without any changes to the underlying software, so it's possible that this wouldn't be within the survey's scope to begin with. Jc86035 (talk) 19:08, 20 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Could also be related to/benefit from mw:Global templates. Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 11:08, 21 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Actually, it could be implemented as an option, like we currently have with Wdsearch. Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 11:08, 21 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • We could first do two simple things:
    • copy a (structured) reference from a wiki to wikidata
    • use this multiple times in the wikidata item for the properties it refers to.
Example: We have most info about person from ref1. Then we can use ref1 for the person's name, profession, place and date of birth, nationality, family. It would be enough to fill in ref1 as reference and ref1 to be a nicely formatted, full reference, copied from the wiki. Now we can only do that by leaving a simple URL multiple times (or filling in several source fields in every property, again and again). --FocalPoint (talk) 06:37, 24 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
You can edit once the reference and then copy-paste the whole reference data to each relevant statement using DuplicateReferences gadget. Any reference structure has to take account the possibility to retrieve data for one statement. Having a kind of redirection of the reference is a dangerous tool unless it is well built to be automatically updated. Just take the case where the reference is deleted and not the redirections ? From my point of view this will generate more problems. Snipre (talk) 08:29, 24 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]