On Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 4:33 PM, Jodi Schneider <jodi.schneider(a)deri.org>wrote;wrote:
On 21 Jul 2010, at 19:47, Brian J Mingus wrote:
I'm not a fan of including a portion of the the title for a couple of
reasons. First, it's not required to make the key unique. Second, it makes
the key longer than necessary. Third, the first word or words from a title
are not guaranteed to convey any meaning.
Regarding a Reference: namespace, I can see how this has some utility and
why projects have moved to it. However, I consider it a stopgap solution
that projects have implemented when what they really want is a proper wiki
for citations. Here are a few quick things that you can't do (or would have
to go out of your way to do) with just a Reference namespace that you can do
with a wiki dedicated to all the world's citations:
- Custom reports that are boolean combinations of citation fields, ala SMW.
This requires substantive new technology as SMW doesn't scale.
- User bibliographies which are a logical subset of all literature ever
Not sure why a Reference namespace couldn't do this.
- Conduct a search of the literature.
Or this (you can search just one namespace)
- A new set of policies that are not necessarily NPOV, regarding the
creation of articles that discuss collections of literature (lit review-like
concept). The content of these policies will emerge over years with the help
of a community. These articles could, for instance, help people who are
navigating a new area of a literature avoid getting stuck in local minima.
It could point out the true global context to them. It could point out
experimenter biases in the literature; for example, a recent article was
published where it was found that citation networks in academic literature
can have a tendency to form based on the assumption of authority, when in
fact that authority is false, bringing a whole thread of publications into
I'm not sure that literature reviews belong in the same wiki as citations.
That's definitely a different namespace. :)
- Create wiki articles about individual sources.
This might or might not be the same wiki -- but that could be interesting.
I could imagine a page for a journal being pulled in from several sources:
the collection of citations in the wiki for that journal, RSS from the
current contents (license permitting), a Wikipedia page about the journal
(if it exists), a link to author guidelines/submission info, open access
info from SHERPA/ROMEO, .... In this vision, very little of the content
"lives" in this wiki itself. Rather, it's templated from numerous other
places.... Perhaps in the way "buy this book" links are handled in
librarything -- there are numerous external links which can be activated
with a checkbox, and some external content that is pulled in based on
While I am not dedicated to any of these things happening, I also do not
wish to rule them out. The hope is that a new community will emerge around
the project and guide it in the direction that is most useful. My hope in
this thread is that we can identify some of the most likely cases and
imagine what it will be like, so that we can convey this vision to the
Foundation and they can get a sense of the potential importance of the
Scoping is a big problem, I think -- because it would help to have a vision
of which of several related tasks/endpoints is primary.
I think an investigation of what fr.wikipedia is doing would be really
useful -- does anybody edit there, or have an interest in digging into that?
Questions might include: What is the reference namespace doing? What isn't
it doing, that they wish it would? Did they consider alternatives to a
namespace? How is maintenance going? Do they see the reference namespace as
longstanding into the future, or as a stopgap?
More broadly speaking, a reference namespace does not accomplish the goal of
having a free repository of all citations, complete with collections of
citations curated by the community, and documentation of those citations by
the community, in various forms to be determined by the community. While it
is possible to create specialized cases that suit the narrow needs of
individual projects, I and many of the people I have spoken to see a
justification for a broader vision. This broader vision is directly in line
with the WMF mission of giving free access to the world's knowledge. One of
the first steps must be making the Wikipedia's aware of that knowledge, and
enabling them to build linked networks of information around it.