So what can we use Wikicite for?

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Wikicite is a term for the combination of bibliographic information and Wikidata. While Wikipedia often records books of some notability it rarely records bibliographic information of less notability, i.e., individual scientific articles and books where there little third-party information (reviews, literary analyses, etc.) exists. This is not the case with Wikidata. Wikidata is now beginning to record lots of bibliographic information for “lesser works”. What can we use this treasure trove for? Here are a few of my ideas:

  1. Wikidata may be used as a substitute for a reference manager. I record my own bibliographic information in a big BIBTeX file and use the bibtex program together with latex when I generate a scientific document with references. It might very well be that the job of the BIBTeX file with bibliographic information may be taken over by Wikidata. So far we have, to my knowledge, no proper program for extracting the data in Wikidata and formatting it for inclusion in a document. I have begun a “wibtex” program for this, and only reached 44 lines so far, and it remains to be seen whether this is a viable avenue, whether the structure of Wikidata is good and convenient enough to record data for formatting references or that Wikidata is too flexible or too restricted for this kind of application.
  2. Wikidata may be used for “list of publications” of individual researchers, institutions, research groups and sponsor. Nowadays, I keep a list of publication on a webpage, in a latex document and on Google Scholar. My university has a separate list and sometimes when I write an research application I need to format the data for inclusion in a Microsoft Word document. A flexible program on top of Wikidata could make dynamic lists of publications
  3. Wikidata may be used to count citations. During the Wikicite 2016 Berlin meeting I suggested the P2860 property and Tobias quickly created it. The P2860 allows us to describe citations between items in Wikidata. Though we managed to use the property a bit for scientific articles during the meeting, it has really been James Hare that has been running with the ball. Based on public citation data he has added hundreds of thousands of citations. At the moment this is of course only a very small part of the total number of citations. There are probably tens of millions of scientific papers with each having tens, if not hundreds of citations, of citations, so with the 499,750 citations that James Hare reported on 11 September 2016, we are still far from covering the field: James Hare tweeted that Web of Science claims to have over 1 milliard (billion) citations. The citation counts may be compared to a whole range of context data in Wikidata: author, affiliated institution, journal, year of publication, gender of author and sponsor (funding agency), so we can get, e.g., most cited Dane (or one affiliated with a Danish institution), most cited woman with an image, etc.
  4. Wikidata may be used as a hub for information sources. Individual scientific articles may point to further ressources, such as raw or result data. I myself have, for instance, added links to the neuroinformatics databases OpenfMRI, NeuroVault and Neurosynth, where Wikidata records all papers recorded in OpenfMRI, as far as I can determine. Wikidata is then able to list, say, all OpenfMRI papers or all OpenfMRI authors with Magnus Manske’s Listeria tool.
  5. Wikicite information in Wikidata may be used to support claims in Wikidata itself. As Dario Taraborelli points out this would allow queries like “all statements citing journal articles by physicists at Oxford University in the 1970s”.
  6. Wikidata may be used for other scientometrics analyses than counting, e.g, generation of coauthor graphs and cocitation graphs giving context to an author or paper. The bubble chart above shows statistics for journals of papers in OpenfMRI generated with the standard Wikidata Query Service bubble chart visualization tool.
  7. Wikidata could be used for citations in Wikipedia. This may very well be problematic, as a large Wikipedia article could have hundreds of references and each reference needs to be fetched from Wikidata generating lots of traffic. I tried a single citation on the “OpenfMRI” article (it has later been changed). Some form of inclusion of Wikidata identifier in Wikipedia references could further Wikipedia bibliometrics, e.g., determine the most cited author across all Wikipedias.

One thought on “So what can we use Wikicite for?

    E.L. Willighagen said:
    September 30, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Lars Willighagen wrote a tool to convert one or more Wikidata items to BibTeX:

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