WikiCite offers inspiration for future Wikidata projects

At the end of November, I attended the 2018 edition of WikiCite, an annual gathering of librarians, Wikimedians, and others in the open knowledge space dedicated to creating an open repository of bibliographic data. While this was the third edition of WikiCite, it was the first that anyone from Wiki Education had attended, and it was a great opportunity to see all the amazing work that’s happening globally related to citations, open knowledge, and Wikidata. Learning from others’ work is critically important to us as we begin to develop our plans around a Wikidata Student Program this year.

WikiCite is organized as a three-day event, with the first day devoted to presentations, the second day devoted to a summit with strategy and tutorials, and the third day devoted to a “doathon” — getting people in a room to actually work on projects. In the first day, I was particularly inspired by the work Mairelys Lemus-Rojas at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has done around creating scholarly profiles for academics at her institution using Wikidata and Scholia. Seeing more examples of Scholia in use is something librarians, educational technologists, and others on university campuses get very excited about. Wiki Education’s Visiting Scholar at Northeastern University, Rosie Stephenson-Goodnight, presented on her work related to gender diversity visibility, some of which is made possible through her work with us as a Visiting Scholar.

I also appreciated working with several librarians and others interested in Wikidata in creating the initial outline of modules and learning objectives therein for a training on Wikidata for librarians. Our group also met via Google Hangout a couple of weeks after the conference to keep working on the modules, and it was a really valuable learning experience for me as Wiki Education starts to craft Wikidata modules for insertion into the library and information science curriculum. Also helpful in this regard was a great tutorial from longtime Wiki Education friend Andrew Lih; watching how other experts teach something is always helpful for learning how you should be presenting it!

Of course, some of the best parts of any conference are the conversations during breaks and social events. It was great to both catch up with old friends in the Wikimedia movement as well as meet new potential collaborators for future projects. Wikicite was a great opportunity to network with others in the professional space whose work intersects with Wikidata, and I very much appreciated all the excellent conversations I had with fellow attendees.

If you weren’t able to attend WikiCite 2018, I encourage you to read the documentation on the various Etherpads and follow along with the video stream on YouTube. Many thanks to all the organizers and documenters!


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