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Grants:IdeaLab/Tools for using wikidata items as citations

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Tools for using wikidata items as citations
Wikidata items for sources, such as a journal article, contain metadata that could be used to generate a citation from that item to be used on a wiki.
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created on11:23, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Currently on en wiki, citations are created using templates and the information is stored within the wiki-page itself. The data is not readily machine readable, and it is duplicated when the same source is cited on multiple pages. On other wikis, such as fr wikis, this data is sometimes transcluded from a single source, avoiding the duplication, but suffers the same issues with machine readability.

What is your solution?[edit]

A number of tools could be developed to use wikidata items within a citation.

The minimally necessary tool would be a template that would visually represent a citation within the page given a wikidata item. For instance, the representation could be in the format of a standard citation, but may allow additional information if the data in the wikidata item wasn't sufficient to represent the citation (for instance, the page number, if the citation was of a book).

Proof of concept template on en wiki

Additionally, other tools would need to be developed to support the usage of this new template, as manually creating or searching for an existing wikidata item pointing to a source for every citation made would be relatively tedious. These include tools to easily import a source into a wikidata item and tools to add or search for existing wikidata items to import.

For instance, a workflow might go like this in VE using the Citoid extension.

  1. Search for a URL or a search term, i.e. title. (Currently supported)
  2. Generate metadata using citoid service, and then search Wikidata using an API;
  3. Present the user with search results from Wikidata as well as those from other sources, which may not yet be in Wikidata;
  4. If the user selects a result which is not yet a Wikidata item, create the Wikidata item.
  5. Insert a template which uses the Wikidata item to perform lookup of metadata and format it.



Get Involved[edit]


  • Developer Expertise: VE Gadgets, Citoid Mvolz (talk) 20:45, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Needed expertise: Templates, Wikidata Query API, pywikibot or similar.

  • I would volunteer some pywikibot and wikidata parsing and item creation expertise. Maximilianklein (talk) 18:58, 29 September 2014 (UTC)


  • This hack could unify the citation structure. Maximilianklein (talk) 16:47, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Great project, Strong support Strong support --Tobias1984 (talk) 15:00, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This will allow an unique data structure allowing reuse of citations in any WP. Snipre (talk) 07:48, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This would replace a lot of manual work to create Wikidata entries for journal articles and newly published reference works. PKM (talk) 01:57, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
  • It is good idea. I support it. -Nizil Shah (talk) 13:12, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Such tools are much needed. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 22:18, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Very much needed -- especially tools to make data-entry easier and more consistent. Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 16:49, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support. This could solve far more problems than the ones mentioned. It could make finding and citing good sources much easier, especially combined with ContentMine functionality. It could also be used to track down all uses of a bad/retracted/discredited source. It could tie together translations of a work. And more... HLHJ (talk) 22:35, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support I've been dreaming of such a tool for years now. Every time I have to put the same book I used before in my bibliography, every time I have to fill in the blanks again and again. So far when editing Polish Wikipedia I usually use: the Google Books tool => manually correct errors and fill in the blanks => Cite to Cytuj converter => manually correct errors or fill in the blanks => ISBN converter to get a proper ISBN 13 with all the hyphens. BTW, too bad Zotero doesn't work that well with Wikipedia. Halibutt (talk) 00:16, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support I love this (and User:Mvolz: great, great stuff). Have a look at my collection of +20 tools to help build citations: de:Benutzer:Atlasowa/ref citation tools (by bookmarklets, firefox addons, toolserver tools, new tools.wmflabs tools, enWP RefToolbar, user scripts, standalone software etc) and some stats on refs in Wikipedia at de:Benutzer:Atlasowa/ref stats. Mapping DOI-refs to the corresponding journal's Wikipedia articles, mapping newspaper URLs to the corresponding Wikipedia articles on the newspaper, etc. We can leverage/use parameters in existing, widely-used templates like cite news (with 2.107.890 "URL" parameters, 873.437 "work" parameters, 592.638 "newspaper" parameters, in enwiki alone, according to templatetiger). --Atlasowa (talk) 10:07, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
  • This would make the data much more accessible. It would be important to practice good and close reviewing to avoid imorting the problmen of vandalism from wikipedia into wikidata. X black X (talk) 12:25, 16 April 2018 (UTC)