WikiCite awards 23 grants & eScholarships to improve open citations

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A pre-1941 lontar of Bali. Now in the Netherlands Tropenmuseum collection.

Palm-leaf manuscripts from Bali; Legislation from Brazil; and Newspapers from Nigeria. These are just three of 23 groups and individuals across 15 countries which received WikiCite grants – the majority of which are outside the OECD. Project categories include: content creation & upload, outreach & training, software development, and documentation/localization. Combined these grants are valued at $69,000 USD, and we received more than double the number of excellent applications than the budget could support.

The WikiCite initiative focuses the development of open citations and linked bibliographic data to serve free knowledge and is itself supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 In August, we announced two grant programs were accepting submissions:

Project grants. Budgeted at USD$2-10k, these activities focus on content or communities which are historically underrepresented in Wikimedia. For the first time since March 2020, some in-person events could also be approved, in accordance with the recently announced Wikimedia COVID-19 risk-assessment process. [eligibility and selection criteria]

eScholarships. This is a new form of support that has not been tried before in the Wikimedia community. It provides a daily living allowance, paid in advance and requiring no expense report, for individuals and small [remote] groups to stay at home during this era of social distancing – to undertake short projects that might previously have been awarded travel scholarships for Wikimedia conferences and hackathons. [eligibility and selection criteria]

We are pleased to announce that the diverse topics, locations, and activities which are being supported by WikiCite grants.


Balinese WikiLontar – Indonesia

A program to collect metadata and cataloguing Balinese palm-leaf manuscript in Bali island area to add more reference for Wikipedia, especially Wikidata and Wikisource.

“Until now only 108 items about palm-leaf manuscripts or lontar exist in wikidata. This project will help to add more palm-leaf manuscripts, create first projects in palm-leaf manuscript catalogues, contribute quality reference into Balinese Wikipedia and upcoming Balinese Wikisource along with Indonesian Wikipedia…Our target is lontar which already preserved by many in our society but still not catalogued and digitized due to a lack of people who can read and write Balinese script anymore.”

Post-independence Nigerian newspapers & publishing houses – Nigeria

A 3-day event to create a bibliography for Nigerian Newspapers and its publishing houses since its independence in 1960 on Wikidata and link them with existing Wikipedia articles to make them available to the public and researchers.

“Between 1834 and 1937, only three newspapers were in circulation. After the Nigerian independence in 1960 up till now, the number has increased astronomically. As at the last count, there are over 100 newspapers published in the country (online and offline). However, the basic information about all the Newspapers published in the country since independence cannot be easily accessed.”

Modeling legislation in Wikidata – Brazil

A process to model and import the entire framework of Brazilian laws (and “law-decrees”) in Wikidata, documenting in detail the process and methodology for future replicability.

“The main objective of open data is to promote transparency. Transparency, especially when it comes to governments, is an important initiative to ensure the accountability of government officials and providing society with tools to obtain knowledge is an essential action in the ideal democratic process. As of today, there are only 129 items in Wikidata related to Brazilian legislation. There are 5958 references to the [legislative] website in Portuguese Wikipedia. In contrast, there are about 28 thousand laws and “law-decrees” and more than 260 thousand legislation acts (acts, ordinances, resolutions etc).”

Wikipedia Citations in Wikidata  – Italy

A project to develop a codebase to enrich Wikidata with citations to scholarly publications that are currently referenced in English Wikipedia. This codebase builds on the wikiciteparser and mwcites (et al.) tools, and integrates new components: a classifier to distinguish citations by cited source; a look-up module to equip citations with identifiers from Crossref or other APIs.

“These citations in Wikidata would make Wikipedia contents better discoverable and enrich Wikidata with a ready-to-use corpus for further analysis or for developing new services. In addition, Wikimedia projects and GLAM services that already leverage Wikidata knowledge base or alignments to Wikipedia pages, would benefit from having mechanisms that allow discovery of relevant works related to entities described in Wikipedia and distilled in Wikidata.”

Histo Cita-thon – Ghana

An event that seeks to educate Wikimedia volunteers and other open communities on how to cite using books, journals and newspapers in creating and improving Wikipedia articles and Wikidata items. Specifically, the events that took place during the Independence struggle of Ghana from the British.

Previous attempts by the Wikimedia community in Ghana to help increase content on the pre-independence history have been met with difficulty due to poor citations. In partnership with a resource person from the Ghana Library Board we will train volunteers on how to reach books, journals and newspapers that contain information on pre-independence events…”

Improving Wikidata-Wikisource Integration – India

A project to develop a technical product set that will enable users of a Wikisource to reduce duplication of data and effort. This involves exploration+experimentation and product development, and community consultation components.

Currently, Wikisource Index pages are where the metadata of a book is presented. However, Wikidata items are only linked to the Main Page of the book, but not the Index page...There is a lot of duplication on data between Wikidata and Wikisource – not only in terms of data, but also effort. Having the data written in various places individually on their own, leads to inconsistencies.”

Research Records of Tāmaki Paenga Hira  – New Zealand

This project will engage a Wikimedia in Residence (WiR) over a five month period. The WiR will help unlock the potential knowledge held within Tāmaki Paenga Hira’s academic outputs and research publications. 

The primary focus will be loading the 450+ articles of the Records of the Auckland Museum into Wikidata as well as other publications that the museum holds the copyright for, such as AWB Powell’s Native Animals of New Zealand. This material contains all the interdisciplinary research the Museum has undertaken in the last 165 years; including world leading research on New Zealand’s biodiversity, Mātauranga Māori, the wider Moana Pacific…”

WikiCite addon for Zotero with citation graph support – Argentina

A project to develop a plugin for Zotero is the most popular open source reference management software too, enabling users to understand how publications connect with one another and discover new works.

“Researchers and writers often use reference management software to organize their literature review. These collections tend to grow fast and it is often unclear how the different items relate to one another… The plugin for Zotero will fetch citation information from Wikidata, that lets the user easily fill in the gaps (and upload this information back to Wikidata), and that uses this information to easily show how the items in the user’s collection connect to one another, would expand how both projects talk to each other. Modules in this plugin include: Fetcher, Citation editor, Citation extractor, Data upload, and Citation Graph visualisation. 

Interactive Learning Pathways for Information Professionals – USA

A project to create a series of multimedia learning pathways designed to help beginners install and use Wikidata tools and get started editing – using the interactive story software Twine

The goal of the project is to develop and implement interactive learning pathways for information professionals to learn the fundamentals of WikiCite. With the notable exception of the Wikidata Tours tutorials few of the Wikidata training resources are interactive or allow for guided exploration of beginning Wikidata topics. We will discuss how to resolve common challenges such as determining whether an item already exists, rectifying duplicates, and identifying key properties associated with particular item types.”

Bibliography and citations of Hausa folklore – Nigeria

This project will provide reliability to Hausa Wikipedia articles and Wikidata, by providing references and making accurate citations to articles that are related to Hausa folklore in terms of Biography of persons, Culture and religion. 

“Currently, many articles in Hausa Wikipedia are lacking citations and bibliography, almost 70% of the articles lack references, citations and bibliography, while the remaining 30% lack reliable sources, this project is needed to add references, bibliography and citations.”


Wiki Masyarakat Adat, awarded to Wirjadisastra, Elicefa, Moentatoz, Afalranggajati, and RXerself – Indonesia. 

A project to collect Indonesian local regulations about indigenous groups across local governmental websites into one or two places in Wikimedia projects. “The outcome will be a category of Indonesian regulations on indigenous people in Wikimedia Commons that consists of at least 77 files along with their Indonesian Wikisource indexes and Wikidata items. Indonesian society is comprised of hundreds of indigenous groups; the number varies across governmental institutions, broadly ranging from 700s to 2000s. However, there has not been any national-wide law regulating specifically the indigenous people, especially about their ancestral land and cultural rights.”

Cite Q improvements, awarded to Mike Peel, Andy Mabbett, RexxS, Adamant.pwn, and Ederporto – of Spain, UK, Germany and Brazil.

A project to “rewrite en:Template:Cite Q so that it uses en:Template:WikidataIB. This would simultaneously improve the functionality of the template and address outstanding issues with the template. At the same time, test cases and documentation for the template would be improved. Optionally, the template parameters could be translated so that it works on other language Wikipedias.”

Guide about Editing Punjabi Wikisource, awarded to Hardarshan Benipal and Jagseer S Sidhu – India.

A project to create “a proper Guide in Punjabi, for new people will be able to self learn how to proofread, validate the works in a simple fashion to overcome the lack of on-wiki resources for Punjabi Wikisource.”

WikidataR for Wikicite, awarded to Evolution and Evolvability and Canley – Australia. 

A project to create an expand and update WikidataR, to have the ability to write to Wikidata via the quickstatements API. “The scripting language R is the most used data science language, well suited too. There have been R packages around for a while to read from Wikidata (reading single items with WikidataR and submitting SPARQL queries with WikidataQueryServiceR). However no package exists that can write to Wikidata from R.”

Internationalized Scholia tool, awarded to Mrbobax – Rwanda. 

A project to “improve Scholia and more functionalities that would enable to pull data from more other languages other than English Wikipedia, this project will use Kinyarwanda as a prototype along with a documentation on how, if another person would like to customize it to own language, would do it for a future local language customization. The project will be built from the source codes available on the Scholia GitHub.”

ORCID cleanup with National Library of the Czech Republic, awarded to Frettie, Vojtěch Dostál, and Ben Skála – Czechia. 

A project to obtain all items with an ORCID record, but without the Czech National Library ID, and to make a connection between them. “The result will be a table of possible links between ORCID items and entries in the Czech National Library… Those Library identifiers which already have items will be merged while ORCID items without National Library IDs will be enriched with a connection to the National Library, thus putting Czech researchers into a wider bibliographical context.”

Medical papers in Wikidata and the MeSH vocabulary, awarded to Jkcm – UK.

A project to improve the quality and coverage of main topics for medical papers in Wikidata and the Medical Subject Headings controlled vocabulary.

“Medical papers are published in great numbers and the MeSH vocabulary is updated annually. Therefore we propose to build two pieces of software: a small bot to significantly increase coverage of MeSH descriptor text taken directly from NLM; an interactive web tool to allow manual review, corrections and additions of main topics of medical papers (P921)”

Hello Santali!, awarded to Rajeeb, R Ashwani Banjan Murmu, Ramjit Tudu, Joy sagar Murmu, and ARYAN MURMU – India. 

A project to take dictionaries in Santali, a widely used but historically only oral language, and increase access to its digitised vocabulary and pronunciation. 

“The prime utilization of these e-scholarships is to have a pilot workshop that is focused on documenting, i.e. creating citations and bibliographic data for Santali spoken common words whose existence both spoken (pronunciation) or written are missing on Wikimedia projects like Wiktionary, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons (pronunciation as .wav files) and even on Wikipedia to a certain extent.”

Tools to add DOI information to Chinese articles, awarded to Stevenliuyi – USA

A project to write scripts for Chinese language scholarly publication websites to extract DOI metadata for Wikidata. “Although China has become world’s largest producer of scholarly articles, bibliographic data about Chinese articles are still very limited in Wikidata due to culture and language barriers….However, a key limitation of CNKI is the lack of DOI information for articles …There are no APIs, so web scrapers need to be developed to fetch those DOIs. Developing scrapers for several top publishers are already enough to cover many journals.”

Documentation of workflows for the ingestion of bibliographic data into Wikidata, awarded to Walkuraxx – Netherlands.

The project “will be based on the workflow employed by the African Studies Centre Leiden…The library adds journal articles via Zotero and QuickStatements and books via OpenRefine and QuickStatements. The ASCL workflow is applicable and replicable by other institutions as its constituents (e.g. bibliographic records in MARC 21) are used in many libraries.”

French Documentation for Wikicite Codes, awarded to BamLifa – Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A project to provide complete French documentation for Scholia and Citation.js. “I’ve noticed that most of the Wikicite projects are only available in English. I know how difficult it is for friends to join OSS. In this project, I want to help them get started without any language difficulty with Wikicite code.”

And finally, two eScholarships to host WikiCite 2020 Virtual Conference sessions. Awarded to EricaAzzellini and Sturm – Brazil; and Sic19 – UK. 

Respectively, coordinating and hosting the conference sessions Estruturação de projetos no Wikidata (Portugese) & Open Virus and Scholia interfaces, and Author items.

The WikiCite 2020 Virtual conference is happening this week – part of the celebration of Wikidata’s 8th Birthday.

Monday 26 – Wednesday 28 October.

Sessions across all timezones and held in many languages – livestreming on YouTube and Twitter.

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