Referential

You might be perusing through the latest issue of Refer Journal and come across my latest article Wikipedia in the Library. Andrew Gray of the British Library and I focus on the need and opportunity of bringing Library data in Wikipedia. Form the introduction,

Wikipedia has traditionally been a divisive topic among librarians and academics. Its goal is undeniably positive and almost utopian – access to all of human knowledge, in every language, offered freely to the world. In practice, however, it can typify “the problem of the internet” – a morass of disorganised information, of dubious accuracy and reliability, offered up without authority or control.

Adding identifiers such as Authority Control has been my main focus for the last year. It’s not the most obvious backbone support for a Wikipedia article, but for those who want to move past just satisficing themselves it’s key. When you get drawn into the debate around the reliability of Wikipedia you are tempted to choose a side in the warring factions. But of course the answer is to use both for what they’re worth. To link both we need identifiers, as we write,

The presence of the identifiers allows external services to link into Wikipedia, allows Wikipedia articles to reliably link out to library-hosted records, and helps curate and control the organisation of the articles themselves.

Read more in you’re library. REFER / JOURNAL OF THE ISG / Vol. 29, No 2 / Summer 2013 / ISSN 0144-2384

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