Invade Wikipedia! « Quædam cuiusdam
Invade Wikipedia!
Sunday 15 May 2005 @ 11:35 pm

The Shifted Librarian had a bad experience at Wikipedia: a library link she added anonymously was quickly deleted by an admin with little explanation. Dire suspicions were evoked: Walt Crawford wondered whether this was evidence of an anti-library bias. Upon investigation, it turned out that Wikipedia already has an automated system for linking ISBNs to libraries and booksellers, rendering one-off links unnecessary.

One should not be overly sensitive when entering a new collaborative space, at least until you know how things work. But the sense that libraries and librarians are not well-represented at Wikipedia is, I think, bang on. And if, as Walt rightly says, the ISBN page is a “monstrosity” (but at least it puts the library links before the booksellers!), there’s scope for librarians to move in and improve it. Wikipedia ought to know about OpenURLs, for example, especially now that latent OpenURLs are coming into focus.

There’s a lot we could do for Wikipedia, and nothing to stop us from taking over. Invade! To this end, I’ve just created a Wikipedia project page for librarians interested in working on Wikipedia. As a first step, I’ve posed the question: what should the ISBN linking page look like?

(Not that I’m proposing to lead the invasion; I don’t have any more time for this sort of thing than you do. It is my modest hope to play John Brown at Harper’s Ferry, not Eisenhower in Normandy.)

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 5 responses to “Invade Wikipedia!”

  •   randy wrote:

    While I confess to not really understanding how Wikipedia works, how one creates the project page you created, and how said page ties into the larger Wikipedia, my question is, why isn’t the page you created visible on the Wikipedia: WikiProject page?

  •   Peter wrote:

    Good point. The answer is, because I didn’t think to add it. I’ve just created a new subheading “Library and Information Science” for it, under “Science”.

  •   Violet/Riga wrote:

    I apologise for both the vague edit summary and the delay. Many comments above have been correct insofar as me seeing this as spam and seeing it as too “Americocentric”.

    Having been particularly busy in the past month I’ve not seen responding to anon users as a priority when it’s about the reasons for removing an external link. Perhaps such actions were inappropriate. You may wish to note that I’ve not removed the link since that first time, though I still see the ISBN route as the best option.

    The “Wikipedia:WikiProject Librarians” looks very good and I wish you all every success in your endeavours – it’s all for the benefit of Wikipedia which, I hope, you still see as a valuable resource.

    “Homepage” links to my Wikipedia talk page should any of you wish to continue discussion of this, or my email address is also provided.

    Kind regards, Violet/Riga.

  •   Omegatron wrote:

    Not only did I add latent OpenURLs to Wikipedia, I left a note about it on the Librarian WikiProject, and no one seems to have noticed or responded for a month…


  •   Julie wrote:

    Had the same experience with Wikapedia. Added some references and an explanation in an article and some guy from San Francisco deleted it — never did receive an explanation — no verification process of ANY kind .. I guess reader beware!!!!

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