For several months now, our team at the Open Science Lab has been working with Wikibase to provide research data management services for the NFDI4Culture community. We have already shown its advantages when it comes to real world data with a specific use case for architectural and art historical data [1, 2]. At the monthly NFDI InfraTalk last week, there was an interesting question at the end of the session regarding the potential of Wikidata to be used as an application for science and research. We take this as an opportunity to expand the answer to this question with some more details about Wikidata, its potential applications, its relation to standalone Wikibase instances, and what Wikibase can offer in its own right.
“Over the past two years, Smithsonian Libraries and Archives has embarked on a linked data journey along with many other libraries in the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Wikidata pilot project. From October 2020 to August 2021, the Libraries Wikidata team experimented with creating and maintaining name authority in a completely new way, including plans to install a decentralized Wikidata instance (Wikibase) that would meet the Smithsonian policies and best practices. This is the second part in the Wikidata blog post series, be sure to read our previous post for additional information.
Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ Wiki initiation commenced with a Wikidata workshop held in November 2019 with Andrew Lih, currently the Wikimedian-In-Residence for the American Women’s History Initiative. The outgrowth of the workshop was a name reconciling project using carefully curated name data. During the pandemic, this process was expanded to include additional staff and two name datasets: 1) the Art and Artist Files database and 2) a portion of Smithsonian American Art Museum’s artist names from its database….”
“n late July the OCLC Research Library Partnership convened a discussion that reflected on the current state of linked data. The discussion format was (for us) experimental — we invited participants to prepare by viewing a pre-recorded presentation, Re-envisioning the fabric of the bibliographic universe – From promise to reality* The presentation covers experiences of national and research libraries as well as OCLC’s own journey in linked data exploration. OCLC Researchers Annette Dortmund and Karen Smith-Yoshimura looked at relevant milestones in the journey from entity-based description research, prototypes, and on to actual practices, based on work that has been undertaken with library partners right up to the present day….”
“In June 2018, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) charged a task force to look at Wikidata. The task force emerged from several years of discussion between ARL and the Wikimedia Foundation on where the two communities can effectively collaborate. The focus on Wikidata and Wikibase came from two points of alignment in particular: interest in linked open data for both library discovery systems and Wikipedia, and advancing a diversity and inclusion agenda in the cultures of both libraries and Wikimedia….”
“Wikibase Repository is a MediaWiki extension that lets you store and manage structured, non-relational data in a central, collaboratively managed repository.