Wikidata for Research: Enabling Open Science and Resource Discovery

Dr Ewan McAndrew –  21 August, 2017 


“The eagerly awaited promise of linked open data seems to have finally arrived: a multilingual, totally open database in the public domain, which can be read and edited by both humans and machines.” (Hinojo, 2015)

Wikidata, the database that anyone can edit, serves as the semantic backbone for structured data in Wikipedia and its sister projects. It represents a massive development step for online collaboration and is designed to share “the sum of all human knowledge”, including all domains of scholarly and scientific knowledge. It has already become a hub for cultural heritage and a major focus point for sharing scholarly, as well as technical information. With 32 million unique data items added in just over four years, it is set to become the main open data repository worldwide.

Using Wikidata, information on Wikipedia can be queried & visualised as never before. This alone has generated enormous excitement but the sheer versatility of how this data can be used to further research discovery is only just beginning to be understood & explored. Beyond this, SPARQL queries can also analyse datasets not just from Wikidata, but through federated queries, analyse data from multiple other sources.

This session will also include a look at how data can be added to Wikidata and how it can be consumed, queried and visualised; whether it’s Voltaire’s works, the collections of the National Library of Wales, the Zika corpus of scientific research papers; the WikiGenomes model organism database for the biological research community; the Atlas of Hillforts project, an analysis of MPs’ occupations or the 3 million linked citations visualised using the new Scholia tool.

Who should attend?
Absolutely anyone can use Wikidata for something, so people of all disciplines and walks of life are encouraged to attend this session.