On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 4:28 AM, Ray Saintonge<saintonge(a)telus.net> wrote:
Andrew Gray wrote:
> 2009/8/1 John Vandenberg:
>> On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 5:09 PM, Samuel Klein wrote:
>>> *A wiki for book metadata, with an entry for every published work,
>>> statistics about its use and siblings, and discussion about its
>>> usefulness as a citation (a collaboration with OpenLibrary, merging
>>> WikiCite ideas)
>> Why not just do this in the Wikisource project?
>> 99% percent of "every published work" are free/libre. Only the last
>> 70 years worth of texts are restricted by copyright, so it doesnt make
>> sense to build a different project for those works.
> I think your estimate's a little off, sadly :-)
I should have added more qualifiers, such as "important" / "valuable"
/ "interesting" / "highly referenced".
"sadly" is an apt way of describing a large proportion of modern works.
The research industry has been using quantity metrics for quite a
while, forcing university staff to publish *lots* in order to keep
being funded. However governments around the world are now adopting
quality metrics. e.g. the Australian govt has decided to stop
"counting" journal articles published in journals that they have not
approved and rated.
> <snip correction of John's copyright
> <snip correction of John's exaggerated estimate/>
Intuitively, I think your analysis is closer to
reality, but, even so,
that older 30% is more than enough to keep us all busy for a very long
time. <snip EB/>
In most topical areas, the 10%/30%/whatever that is "free" is far more
important than a large percentage of current publications, a lot of
which are republications, regurgitations, etc.
If we have the original PD texts...
- we can do free translations,
- we can be a resource of useful annotations of these works,
- we can analyse the raw data published by governments,
We could also create modern or simple translations of older novels,
making them more appealing to younger generations.
With a stronger collection of public domain works, Wikibooks and
wikiversity can build "free" resources, making a dent in the large
quantity of "new" publications that are emitted each year.
Sam's reference to "book metadata" is
itself an underestimate of the
challenge. It doesn't even touch on journal articles, or other material
too short to warrant the publication of a monograph.
Also, extensive bibliographies are an area that Wikisource is starting
to become a focus.
Currently the Wikisource "rule" is that we only permit a page in the
"Author" namespace if the person:
* is deceased,
* has at least one work that is "free", or
* is mentioned in at least one work that is "free"
This "rule" is intended to reduce our problem domain at the present
time, in order to prevent vanity authors on Wikisource dominating the
In the longer term, I think that Wikisource needs a better "rule" for
Author pages so that it can host bibliographies of modern influential
authors. However this may take quite a lot of discussion because the
Wikisource community is quite opposed to any sort of "notability"