There's a difference between a project to
centralize the various
references in Wikipedia, and an attempt to build a universal
bibliographic database. The first is a reasonable project, though I
think everyone involved has underestimated the extent to which
normalization and manual aggregation will be needed.
Well said. Reminds me on Erik Möllers Wikimania talk about Free
Knowledge projects beyond the Encyclopedia: You need a clearly
articulated mission. There already are many projects to create a
universal bibliographic database (Worldcat, The Open Library,
LibraryThing etc.) and all either failed or have a specific scope. A
wiki-based bibliographic database for sources in Wikimedia projects
("citations version of Commons") is a reasonable scope, I think. "Lets
just collect all bibliographic data we can get onto a gigantic pile of
data" is not. Let's better focus on real use cases, such as citations
in Wikimedia projects.
I like the French model of using "Article name
(Authors)" as a key.
Perhaps with "Article name (Authors, Year)" if needed to disambiguate.
This shares a design principle with the move away from CamelCase to
freeform article titles: one should be able to insert an article name
into a natural sentence, and link the appropriate section of the
sentence, and have it take you to the appropriate article.
With free form titles there will be no general 100% schema (there are
always exceptions) but a general rule to start with is needed. There
at least 32 ways to combine only title and authors: which to put
first, which character to separate author names, order of names and
name-parts, ways abbreviate etc. - and this are only the possibilities
if its a simple English title with English author names!
If you are looking for a method to define one schema please have a
loot at the Citation Style Language and use or define a citation style
in CSL so users of Zotero, Mendeley and other bibliographic software
can automatically create a key from given bibliographic data.
To DGG's question: in the long run, the scope of
"all cited works" can
be captured in such a project, at least for the works cited on a wiki
Project -- anyone making a new citation would either find it already
in the project or would add it. Whether this covers all works cited
by active academics of scholars depends on how effectively we draw
them into our community and help them see where an extra minute of
work on their part will help thousands of their readers, reviewers,
Again: there already *are* communities that collect and share
bibliographic data - why should they move to a new project with
unclear mission and unusable software (we need much more then Liquid
Threads) that was never created for this task? Everyone talking about
a Wikimedia project with bibliographic data should *at least* have a
look at Zotero, CSL, The Open Library, and LibraryThing first and make
clear then what a new project should copy from this existing projects
and what should be done differently. Please do not reinvent a wheel
that nobody beside some Wikimediacs want.
Don't get me wrong: I also want such a free bibliographic wiki
database. But to attract more then a little fraction of the declining
number of Wikipedia authors we need a clear mission and usable
software for this task - I seen neither the one nor the other.