On 26 January 2016 at 11:24, Magnus Manske <magnusman...@googlemail.com>

> On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 7:33 AM Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > (Note: I'm creating a new thread which references several old ones; in
> the
> > most recent, "Profile of Magnus Manske," the conversation has drifted
> back
> > to Wikidata, so that subject line is no longer applicable.)
> >
> > Andreas Kolbe has argued in multiple threads that Wikidata is
> fundamentally
> > problematic, on the basis that it does not require citations. (Please
> > correct me if I am mistaken about this core premise.)
> Every statement on Wikidata /should/ be referenced, unless the statement
> itself points to a reference (e.g. VIAF, images). However, at the moment,
> this is not a requirement, as Wikidata is still in a steep growth phase.
> Over the last few years, many statements were added by bots, which can
> process e.g. Wikipedia, but would be hard pressed to find the original
> reference for a statement.

To extend Magnus' point...
This is also the case on Wikipedia. Every Wikipedia sentence /should/ be
verified to a reliable source, and those without footnotes can be removed.
But, it is not a /requirement/ that every statement be verified. In short -
'verifiable not verified' is the minimum standard for inclusion of a
sentence in Wikipedia. The ratio of footnotes-to-sentences in Wikipedia
articles is on average probably much lower than the ratio of
references-to-statements in Wikidata. It's just that we have more easily
available /quantitative/ statistics for Wikidata that we do for Wikipedia,
which makes it easy for Wikidata-critics to point to the number of
un-referenced statements in Wikidata as a simple measure of quality, even
though many of them DO meet the "verifiable, even if not yet verified"
minimum standard that we accept for "stubs" on Wikipedia.

For example: even in a Feature Article Wikipedia biography, I've never seen
a footnote /specifically/ for the fact that the subject is "a human". That
reference is implied by other footnotes - citing for the birthdate, or
occupation for example. By comparison, in Wikidata, some people seem to be
a feeling that statements like "instance of -> human", "gender-> male" need
to be given a specific reference before they can be considered reliable.
This is even when there are other statements in the same Wikidata item that
reference biography-authority control numbers (e.g. VIAF).

Yes, ideally, every statement could be given a reference in Wikidata, but
ideally so should every sentence in Wikipedia. In reality we do accept
"stub" Wikipedia articles that have 5 sentences and 1 Reliable Source
footnote. Furthermore, we also do also have Wikidata properties that are,
in effect, "self verifying": like the "VIAF identifier" property - which
links to that authority control database, or the "image" property - which
links directly to a file on Commons. So, simply counting the number of
statements vs. the number of references in those statements on Wikidata and
concluding that Wikidata is therefore inherently unreliable is both
simplistic and quite misleading.


Peace, love & metadata
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 

Reply via email to