Wikicite (metadata proposal)

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This page is a proposal for a new Wikimedia Foundation Sister Project.
Status Closed (could be re-opened under new policy).
Reason Inactive proposal.--Sannita (talk) 17:14, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
What is the proposed name for the project? Wikicite
Project description
What is the project purpose? What will be its scope? How would it benefit to be part of Wikimedia?
How many wikis?
Will there be many language versions or just on one multilingual wiki?
How many languages?
Is the project going to be in one language or in many?


Technical requirements
If the project requires any new features that the MediaWiki software currently doesn't have, please describe in detail. Are additional MediaWiki extensions needed for the project?
Development wiki
Interested participants


Project idea: a separate database containing citation information, which one could query to extract a full and standardized citation for the References: section of an article. See also related discussions at OCLC.

see also this related Nichtich/PatrickD project

Implementation[edit]

The idea is for the expansion to be carried out on save, perhaps from a separate database. A simple expansion might be an external link to a canonical page on the wikicite project, with perhaps a weekly script that worked through all such links and subst:ed in full cites as appropriate.

English Wikipedia wikicite test project

Van houtte octopus.jpg

There is a real need for a separate Wikicite project; However, it is useful to start on en: and discuss how and where to focus initial efforts in gathering citation information. User feedback on what kind of syntax for citations would be most useful, is also needed.

Project idea: a separate database containing citation information, which one could query to extract a full and standardized citation for the References: section of an article.

Possible syntax[edit]

  cite:tit:In Our Hearts We Were Giants, pp 54–55

which would expand to a link to the wikicite page about books with that title. or:

  cite:isbn:0786713658, pp 54–55

which would expand to a full citation for that volume and a link to the wikicite page about it (for discussion of its reliability, variuos editions and corrections, etc).

Implementation[edit]

The idea is for the expansion to be carried out on save, perhaps from a separate database. A simple expansion might be an external link to a canonical page on the wikicite project, with perhaps a weekly script that worked through all such links and subst:ed in full cites as appropriate. +sj+

Project Members[edit]

see also the English-Wikipedia project

You!

Related Projects[edit]

External links[edit]

Project Purpose[edit]

Introduction[edit]

A fact is only as reliable as the ability to source that fact, and the ability to weigh carefully that source. Wikipedia's community, in an effort to expand its useful sphere of users, increase its reliability, usability and credibility has held several related discussions on improving the scholarly apparatus of Wikipedia. The need to cite sources is now in the community standard's list, the desire to upgrade the citation of articles is the subject of the Fact and Reference Project, and the Encyclopediac Standards project has discussed automatic, or at least software assisted citations. There has also been a coding effort to support footnoting.

Need for Live Data[edit]

These projects need not only to be joined together but to be joined together in a live manner, which allows for the creation of bibliographic apparatus. The Library of Congress is working on such a project for its purposes, it is the purpose of this project to create an open wiki system which will allow:

  1. Software assisted citation. To make it easier for editors to cite, and to make citations comprehensive to include a link to an author article, the book's card and the date as a wikilink.
  2. Card catalogs which will allow users to annotate the work, and to link to other works, which could include later editions, bibliography and textual apparatus. To make the card catalog live data, rather than dead data.
  3. Support a footnote system in wikimedia. To improve the ability to assess credibility and standards compliance of articles and their information.

Reasons[edit]

The reason for having such a system goes beyond the need to cite: there must also be the ability to annotate, and provide, at least, some summary for the user that does not have access to the book. This is particularly important if a work is obscure, hard to obtain, or in a different language from the reader's base language. This means that having the card "body" being a wiki space for editing is essential to tying together the functions of citation.

Moreover, this tool would have use in itself beyond Wikipedia, or even Wikipedia and wiktionary. It would allow, for example, the ability to search through the webs of paper citation, it would allow scholars to cite works against a public database. It would allow googling to find credible links within the citation web of the paper universe.

By this means Wikipedia could not only match the ability of external sources to have bibliographic tools, such as are commercially available, but leapfrog them by making the information live, and linked. Books annotation could have information which is critical of them, or extends or expands them.

Just as Amazon has user reviews and credibility rankings, so too should Wikipedia have ratings on the utility of a particular work for the purposes of judging the credibility of the citation.

Additional Functionality[edit]

  1. Add journal articles, at least for the major journals, this is particularly important in the case of many fields in the sciences where the paper, rather than the book, is the basic means of information distribution.
  2. Edition linking, so that editions of the same book could be compared.
  3. Bibliography project, to add the bibliographies of books themselves, so that searches can go down, and not just up, the chain.

Referencing[edit]

Reference in Article[edit]

  • [[cite:type:identifier]] Link to card in database
  • {{cite:type:identifier}} Expands to bibliographic reference

type would be defined by look ups to the database, and would include at least ISBN.

Additional fields:

  1. edition

Expansion[edit]

The macro would expand to the following fields if present:

  1. Author Link to Wikipedia article in local namespace.
  2. Author Card Link to wikicite author card, listing all works by that author
  3. Editor Link to Wikipedia article in local namespace
  4. Editor Card Link to wikicite author card, listing all works by that editor
  5. Title Link to Wikipedia book article in local namespace. All book entries should have a link at the top to their wikicite added.
  6. Publisher Link to wikicite publisher card.
  7. Date Link to Wikipedia article in local namespace
  8. ISBN Link to wikicite book card. Or primary key if no ISBN
  9. Source Link to wikisource, if any, for cited material, or external link if no wikisource.

Original Proposal[edit]

[1]

A Brief Discussion of ISBN[edit]

Since the first level of wikicite implementation would be to make available ISBN numbered books, or some subset, a short discussion of ISBN is in order.

Format of an ISBN number[edit]

An ISBN is a 10-digit number that identifies a book, it is used for commercial and citation purposes. It has 9 significant digits and a check digit. The check digit is base-11: that is 0 through 10, represented by the digits 0 to 9 and an "X" for 10.

The ISBN code is broken into 4 parts:

  • Group/Country id
  • Publisher id
  • Title id - by format
  • Check digit

The standard says hyphens are to be placed between these four parts, but often they are not.

Obtaining ISBN data[edit]

One can purchase commercial data for ISBN databases from the Library of Congress and other sources. However, Wikimedia would probably begin by taking MARC Records downloaded from Z39.40 sources.

A MARC record is a card catalog format, and the Z39.50 protocol is used to for records in this format. This means an initial test implementation could be "sparse" by creating records which are linking to the ISBN page as citations.

Wikipedia:List of ISBN ranges


Specification Requests[edit]

BibTeX[edit]

Entries in the Wikicite database should be "compatible" with BibTeX entries. BibTeX is the citation format of choice for math, physics, computer science and some other areas. This means that a BibTeX entry should be structurally a subset of the WikiCite entry, so that some trivial text processing with perl or gawk can extract BibTex from the Wikicite entry. Possibly a BibTeX entry by itself could be a minimal Wikicite entry. This is a design issue.

Wikicite would have numerous advantages over a raw BibTeX entry. One could it to direct readers to specific sections of a book, warnings about pitfalls in other sections, summaries, of what you "really need to know" to understand a paragraph, POV's and so on. This is impossible in BibTeX.

Namespace[edit]

Wikicite entries should be in their own namespace equally accessible to all wikiprojects.