A new Australian Wikipedia project has launched to increase discoverability of Australian artists online.
Right now, if you search for Beat magazine, National Indigenous Music Award nominee Stuart Joel Nuggett or composer Robin Fox, none of these currently have Wikipedia entries.
Wikimedia Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts have partnered to present The Record - Australian Music on Wikipedia, a series of four edit-a-thon events in partnership with GLAM organisations across Australia, to grow the low number of Wikipedia articles about Australian musicians, organisations and publications.
Launched on Saturday 11 December 2021 with podcaster and writer Sosefina Fuamoli, in partnership with the Australian Music Vault, the first edit-a-thon at Collingwood Yards saw the creation of ten new pages from a target of 50.
“We have identified a long-list of artists and organisations who need new or improved Wikipedia articles, but we want to hear from music fans too about who they want to see represented”, project coordinator James Gaunt said.
“We’d like to make it easier for people to find great Aussie artists. And we want to equip people with the skills to get started with editing content for Wikipedia so that they can continue to apply these skills well beyond this project.”
Australia Council Head of Music Kirsty Rivers said the partnership connects with its strategic aims to champion and digitally enable the creative sector.
“The Australia Council is committed to ensuring Australian creative and cultural content is accessible and easily discoverable, as part of the broader aims of our Digital Culture Strategy. And we are pleased to partner with Wikimedia on this project that aims to connect more audiences with Australian music.”
Three more edit-a-thon events are planned for January, February, and March in partnership with APRA AMCOS, the Australian Music Centre, the Country Music Association of Australia and more.
This is the first contribution from Croatia to this newsletter and obviously trying to pack more than a month of reporting, but without local Wikimedia affiliates and organized work for a decade, it will not be as huge as imaginable. Though Croatian Wikipedia was often in media focus in the past decade due to its governance failures to self-manage and resist nationalist bias, its recent changes in governance, as well as the first efforts in establishing Wikimedia work beyond on-wiki work, is what marked 2021 a turning point.
The first interactions with cultural institutions were already taking place in 2020 with the first ever Wikimedian-in-residence, done at the City Library of Rijeka (IFLA blog). This, pre-covid, was an experimental effort to capture the momentum of the City of Rijeka being the European Capital of Culture 2020... but one pandemic year later, the partnership was mostly virtual with zoom-based programs for librarians, with exemplary Wiki content and shared promotion and enthusiasm for Wikipedia approaching its 20th year (GkR.hr).
In Spring 2021 we had our first contact with the Ministry of Culture and fixed bad permissions for the use of two of their website content (back from 2008 so a part of 16 thousand articles was in jeopardy of deletion). We approached modern and contemporary art museums, to start planning work for 2022 (the first brief WiR visit from abroad was made in December with MSU.hr).
With the capital also being shaken by earthquakes, floods, turmoil over elections, and city bankruptcy, our focus was on a smaller and more elastic independent culture network, Clubture.org, establishing the basis for the first Wiki-mediation of their archives, as well as the archive of the Center for Documentation of Independent Culture (whose interns and volunteers we trained). We hope to gain support from WMF and CreativeCommons OpenGLAM in dealing with these less obvious subjects and entities.
In 2021 she invited me, Siobhan Leachman (User:Ambrosia10) and Tamsin Braisher (User:DrThneed) to discuss the project further. Deborah had the opportunity to present this proposal to her university library colleagues at an online conference, and we quickly realised that if we could convince other libraries to join us in a data upload, it would be a world-first: a national university Wikimedia collaboration which would set the standard for thesis metadata in Wikidata, and would add tens of thousands of new items. The four of us prepared a slide deck to outline the value of the project and convince the other New Zealand university repositories to export a CSV of their thesis metadata for upload. Siobhan prepared a Cradle schema to map the database fields into Wikidata, and Tamsin tested the workflow with a small dataset of theses.
Deborah prepared a follow-up one-page document for librarians to share with their managers to encourage them to join the initiative. Her arguments in summary were:
If managers want to know what's in it for the library/uni: citations. Sources cited in Wikipedia get more views and citations. If managers are concerned about staff time: by leveraging our Wikidata experts, the time for each institution is minimised. If managers are concerned about data: this is all public data anyway but if libraries are involved then you can make sure the data meets your own standards and any data you don't want public is excluded.
After discussion, most of the university librarians decided to participate in the project, even those who had expressed reservations about the amount of time and effort it might require. A Hackathon with representatives of each university library was scheduled for 6 December to sort out which data fields and formats to export from their repository.
In preparation for this meeting the three Wikipedians developed a set of recommendations, based on what metadata would be need for CiteQ references to display correctly in Wikipedia, and compared with four standard citation formats commonly used in academia. While there were numerous thesis properties that could be modelled in Wikidata, many of them were deemed optional as long as this core goal was met. The presentation at WikidataCon 2021 by Jeannette Ho (Texas A&M University Libraries), Enhancing Discovery for Dissertations, proved helpful (although the video was not made available until long after WikidataCon, so only a brave New Zealand Wikimedian who stayed up until the small hours was able to see it). This process revealed the kind of data cleanup that would need to be done on export or in OpenRefine, and incidentally flagged some problems with CiteQ (it currently doesn't list the institution, the type of thesis, or the repository name). Tamsin and Siobhan presented the recommendations document at the hackathon, which was amended by the participants during discussions of how to handle the upload process.
The result was a detailed list of instructions sent out by Deborah to all the participating institutions to walk them through the data export process. The next step is to collate the CSV files, and for the Wikimedians to run a second hackathon where we clean up and upload the data to Wikidata.
Many libraries use controlled vocabularies such as MeSH and ANZSRC to add keywords for dissertations. Tamsin is coordinating a small group of editors to complete the mapping of the 2008 and 2020 ANZSRC controlled vocabularies to Wikidata so that they can more easily be used to add "main subject" statements to New Zealand and Australian dissertations in Wikidata. Adding "main subject" statements will make dissertations on Wikidata more accessible.
A full CC0 description of the New Zealand Wikidata Thesis project can be read here.
Help us translate historical articles and preserve memory of a Jewish community
The Auschwitz Jewish Centre has begun a project aimed at filling some gaps in Wikipedia related to the community that existed in the city of Oświęcim before the Second World War, the people living in the city, their culture and the collections of the Auschwitz Jewish Center itself. The project is called "Digital Heritage: Memory for the Future".
Before the Second World War, Oświęcim was a bustling town with a mostly Jewish population with synagogues, study houses, clubs, and schools. The Jewish community had lived there for centuries and were active in all spheres of life. Out of over 20 synagogues, only one survived the war, and only a few traces of the community remain.
The Wikipedian in residence and a group of students from several universities have already written or expanded the first batch of articles. The Center hopes to find Wikipedians interested in Jewish culture who might be interested in translating the articles into more languages. Hebrew and German translations will be provided by local volunteers. In particular we are looking for contributions in Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Spanish, Italian - but any translation will be greatly appreciated! Please see the table of articles and their language versions - any additions or modifications are welcome.
The AJC is also uploading its open collection of images into Wikimedia Commons. It includes high-quality digitised historical items from the Great Synagogue, belongings of the "last Jew in Auschwitz", photographs of the community members before the war and other valuable media.
We would like to invite volunteers from your communities to participate in this project! We are looking for interested Wikipedians to help verify, translate or illustrate related articles in other languages, as well as make suggestions regarding the selection of articles.
Commons project with Göteborg museums was a success
As the year came to an end, the four museums in Göteborg participating in an upload project concluded their work. The project was a success, as all the 2021 photos and artworks (and a couple more to be on the safe side!) selected by the staff were uploaded.
Swedish Wikipedians, especially those specializing in the culture and history of Göteborg, embraced the new material and immediately proceeded to categorize the images and put them in relevant Wikipedia articles. But not only that! They found several cases of errors and incomplete information in the image descriptions that the museums had provided. On the project's discussion page, the museum staff quickly responded to them, in many cases leading to them adding corrections to the museums' own systems. An inspiring case of Wikimedians and GLAM professionals working together!
This project was just a first step in the museums' strategy to get involved in the Wikimedia projects as a regular part of their work. We're looking forward to this!
Digital humaniora meets Wikidata
In Sweden the project "Welfare State Analytics project" is looking into how to better use Text Mining for Modeling Swedish Politics, Media & Culture... one lesson learned when working with the Swedish parliamentary proceedings is that the people speaking in the parliament are not mentioned with the normal name instead they have a specific name form e.g. Wikidata Q6255268 is mentioned Åkerlund i Lidingö
as Wikipedia articles often mention this "name form" we are now moving this information "down to" Wikidata so it can be easier used bý the ML experts in the project Welfare State Analytics se new sv:Wikipedia article about this old name form sv:I riksdagen kallad
by doing this we also hope that sv:Wikipedia will get better access to Swedish parliamentary data and maybe we also can find how to use "Parla-CLARIN" a TEI Schema for Corpora of Parliamentary Proceedings. Example how this format makes it possible for filtering who is speaking in the parliament... see Notebook.
my guess is that it would be interesting to follow how a specific subject has been discussed in the Swedish PM. The Swedish korpus is abt. 3 million pages and started in 1521...
The Wikipedia in libraries – Project HBTQI has continued, and on 20 December held an edit-a-thon.
The meeting began with a lecture, in English, by Adrian Murphy from Europeana. He talked about Europeana and what resources they have regarding Pride and the LGBTQI movement.
Larissa Borck from Sörmland Museum continued with showing everyone how you can find images from Europeana and then upload them to Wikimedia Commons and add them to an articles on Wikipedia.
The lecture and how to upload images to Wikimedia Commons was streamed on youtube and that way reached more people than the edit-a-thon itself.
Present at the meeting was also a new Wikimedian in Residence (Sofie Sigrinn), jointly employed by Sörmland Museum and Biblioteksutveckling Sörmland (the library development). The residence is a part time employment for six month between 1 December and 31 May.
This has been a very productive year for the Khalili Collections partnership, creating more wiki content and reaching an even larger audience than the previous year.
Views on uploaded images: 33.7 million. This number excludes views for images that were included on the English Wikipedia front page in the Did You Know? section. These added 15.5 million further views.
Khalili Collections images are now used in 71 Wikimedia sites, up from 50 last year (data from BaGLAMa2)
Views of articles about the Collections, including the Nasser Khalili article: 62,492 in English; 23,803 in other languages (mainly Persian) (data from Pageviews and Langviews)
Views on other articles created by this project: 41,628 (data from Pageviews)
Images uploaded: 1,163 (including some higher-resolution versions of previously-uploaded images)
Images added to a total 901 Commons categories (the tool that counts these was something I programmed this year)
New articles created: 16 (6 in English, 5 in Persian, 3 in Arabic, 1 in French, 1 in Italian). The total number of articles created as a result of this project has reached 32 (17 in English, 7 in Persian, 3 in Arabic, 2 in French, 1 in Italian, 1 in Malay, 1 in Vietnamese).
Articles passing Good Article review: 3 (Khalili Collection of Enamels of the World, Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents, Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage)
In the coming year, the project will focus on adding much more detail about the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, more articles relating to the Hajj, and other content relating to the collections of Japanese Art and of the Enamels of the World. There will be new articles about Japanese Meiji era textiles and about bibliomancy in Islam.
During December 2021, I added images to various articles such as Ihram, Kufic, and Prophetic Medicine and worked on Wikidata visualisations of the Khalili data set. A volunteer translated the Muhammad Sadiq (photographer) article into Arabic, bringing the total of articles created by this project to 32. The total number of Wikidata statements about objects in the Khalili Collections has reached 9,603.
Smithsonian Institution Wikimedia Tech/Dev Training
On December 15, 2021, Andrew Lih gave a talk (slides) about the Wikimedia technical and development environment to the Smithsonian Institution Data Carpentries group. Made up of librarians, data scientists, and specialists at the Smithsonian's various museums and departments, the Carpentries group has focused on Python, R, Jupyter notebooks, and OpenRefine as GLAM data tools. The talk introduced the Wikimedia computing resources that could help in similar GLAM-Wiki work including PAWS, Toolforge, and Wikimedia Cloud.
Since September 2021, Wikimedia Sverige has been adding SDC statements to photos from Wiki Loves Monuments around the world. You can find a summary of the project and a list of countries we have worked on on this page.
The last photo set we worked with in December was India, thanks to the tip from Bodhisattwa. A country of prolific cultural heritage photographers and one of our largest photo sets to date.
This means that we ended the year with a significant milestone – over 500 000 processed WLM photos and over 1 million new SDC statements. We are very happy to have contributed to the work done by, among others, Multichill and his bot.
As we announced in the October newsletter, the Structured Data team at the Foundation is working on adding references to the Structured Data on Commons interface. The steps towards the launch are being shared through this phabricator ticket (T230315).
According to the developer team, this feature is about to be released, in the second week of January, as it is in its final testing phase. At the moment, users are able to test the feature, as it can already be enabled by appending ?MediaInfoEnableReferences to any file page link.
The SDC references will function and look similar to the way a qualifier does on the SDC interface. However, when editing and adding the data, users will find the option for references below qualifiers. Among the data users will now be able to add are properties such as publication date (P577), stated in (P248), among others. To visualize how the adding references process will look like, there's a video recording available on the phabricator ticket.
SDC references have been a wish from some Commons contributors, especially those working on GLAM-related activities, for some time now. The feature will allow contributors to attribute the metadata's provenance in a better way, which will be especially interesting for GLAM institutions to receive credit for the metadata they share, and it will allow them to more easily identify and update their metadata without overwriting community contributions.
Improved support for the Wikimedia Commons Query Service (WCQS)
The Wikimedia Commons Query Service (WCQS) will soon be in production for general availability, with a release date planned for 1 February 2022. This SPARQL endpoint for the Structured Data on Commons (SDoC) dataset has been available as a beta service since July 2020. Moving WCQS from beta to production comprises some key updates to enhance stability and functionality of the service. The Foundation will aim for 99% of updates to SDoC to be handled within 10 minutes (this dashboard tracks performance). Keep in mind that, similarly to WDQS, while the new Streaming Updater resolved some of our issues with latency, Blazegraph’s instability can still affect update lag.
The biggest change to user behavior will be the requirement for user authentication to use all endpoints. While we recognize that this may make it more difficult for some users to use WCQS, it allows us to address problematic queries that can cause service disruptions for all users, as frequently happens on Wikidata Query Service (WDQS). Please let us know if you experience any issues adapting to this change.