Template talk:Authority control

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How many databases[edit]

How many databases should I be searching in? I see that sometimes the VIAF number forces other database identifiers to display. For other people I have to do a second search in the LCCN database, and then that forced WorldCat to display. What other databases should I be searching? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 21:00, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

1. If I understand what you mean: it is transclusion of template {{Authority control}} on the page, rather than assignment of its VIAF parameter therein, that "forces other database identifiers to display". The template message includes all those among our EN.wiki-selected identifiers whose values are provided on that Wikidata (WD) page, if any, which points here. Routinely (or universally?) the option Languages:"Edit links" appears in the left margin if a WD page points here; the option "Add links" appears if none does so.
Successful search at VIAF.org hits, among others, those clusters that show LCCN, GND, and other identifiers for the biography subject (literally "show" if you visit the cluster and mouseover the authority icon such as a national flag). Thus search at VIAF is commonly adequate.
interjection hours later: mouseover does not routinely show the template-ready ID format; eg, it does for GND but does not for LCCN -P64
2. The A.c. template message includes a WorldCat link if the LCCN value is at hand, either defined in the template or fetched from the WD page that points here.
Supposing that LC has not identified the person, thence assigned one or more LCCN, it may be valuable to add template {{Worldcat id}} with value np-lastname,%20firstname or viaf-[VIAF cluster number] --with a notice that WorldCat lists works by distinct people who share the name, if appropriate. Example: http://www.worldcat.org/identities/np-macleod,%20iain/ * {{WorldCat id|np-macleod,%20iain|Iain MacLeod}} generates
Similarly http://www.worldcat.org/identities/viaf-106143209/
--P64 (talk) 20:03, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Let me rephrase: Is there any way to automate the addition of LCCN once I add VIAF? Currently I am searching in the two databases and adding each, VIAF= and LCCN=. Nothing is coming from Wikidata since these biographies are being created ab initio. See for instance: User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/Octave Homberg where my template reads {{authority control|VIAF=267759514|LCCN=n90602432}} --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 20:20, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I suppose that we don't take identifiers from VIAF clusters automatically, nor does Wikidata, because more careful work here and at WD is part of the process that develops (improves, proves) the VIAF clusters. And that VIAF does not cluster identifiers automatically from Wikipedia footers and WD pages for the same reason. Libraries such as LC and DNB must hope, too, that we will report their failures to group works by creator.
Some knowledge of the VIAF workflow may be acquired at the companion Wikipedia talk page, and now its new subpage Wikipedia talk:Authority control/VIAF, where User:Ralphlevan from VIAF participates.
Re: Octave Homberg. Why select VIAF=267759514? Naive search for 'Homberg, Octave' at VIAF.org returns a list of hits from which I would select the first, VIAF: 89098578, rather than the second as you have done. In turn, for me that would conclude a "successful search" (per above) because VIAF has bundled many authority pages in that cluster, including all of those with identifiers that I would define locally--LCCN, GND, BNF, SUDOC--one of which is that LCCN you presumably found by search at LOC.gov (I say without checking validity of the Homberg cluster, except that its LCCN page looks good).
Commonly, useful identifiers must be gleaned only from multiple clusters that naive search returns (perhaps true for the majority of entries at Wikipedia:VIAF/errors#Parallel VIAF clusters for one identity, as for the majority of my entries there). Sometimes, multiple searches are fruitful. --P64 (talk) 23:33, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
@Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): "Is there any way to automate the addition of LCCN once I add VIAF?" Yes, some Wikipedias have tools like this, see for example de:Benutzer:Schnark/js/personendaten/normdaten. --Kolja21 (talk) 23:26, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Maintenance category?[edit]

Should a maintenance category be added to this template, similar to Category:Official website different in Wikidata and Wikipedia, so editors can review and make the appropriate fixes? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 21:33, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

@GoingBatty: There is the Category:VIAF different on Wikidata. Still missing: Category:GND different on Wikidata. --Kolja21 (talk) 00:31, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Category:Wikipedia articles with SBN identifiers[edit]

Can you please add the tracking category for SBN identifiers (i.e. libraries in Italy)?

Category:Wikipedia articles with SBN identifiers

See also the relevant Wikidata item to be connected (d:Q18174792)

Thanks, best regards, --Accurimbono (talk) 10:37, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

BTW: Wouldn't it be time to export all authority data to Wikidata (= delete them from the English Wikipedia)? This would save us a lot of work. --Kolja21 (talk) 15:47, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Agree, move already done in it.wiki. Authority identifiers are taken from Wikidata. --Accurimbono (talk) 08:59, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Its a bad idea until the template have a "edit on wikidata" buttom. Christian75 (talk) 07:14, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
My bot is currently removing all authority identifiers from enwiki after writing them to wikidata. Regards, --T.seppelt (talk) 07:42, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
What about the SBN category? --Accurimbono (talk) 08:09, 4 May 2015 (UTC)


The BNF parameter is not being imported from Wikidata properly and displays a second time as "(data)". I don't know how the template is importing that parameter, but it should be easy to fix. See Lawrence Kolb --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 23:33, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

I see in Module:Authority control [http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/' .. id .. ' ' .. id .. '] [http://data.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/' .. id .. ' (data)]' the second (data) part should be removed to fix this. It does seem to work sometimes, see Ahmed Abdul-Malik. Multichill (talk) 12:16, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Next steps[edit]

Already mentioned earlier on this talk page. I think it's time to take the next steps in usage of this authority control template. I see two main steps:

  1. Moving the data to Wikidata and removing it locally
  2. Adding {{Authority control}} to pages that have relevant authority control data on Wikidata, but no template to display it here

Second part is probably the easiest part. I played around with Autolist2 a bit and got a list of about 50.000 articles that have viaf, but no {{Authority control}} here. Should the template be added here? Anyone feel like firing up a bot or should I give it a shot?

Moving the data consists of several parts. I'll take {{Commons category}} as an example, because for that template this has been setup already:

  1. The data is completely local (Category:Commons category without a link on Wikidata)
  2. The local data gets imported (Category:Commons category with local link same as on Wikidata)
  3. The local data is exactly the same as Wikidata (Category:Commons category with local link same as on Wikidata) or not (Category:Commons category with local link different than on Wikidata)
  4. The local data gets removed and the template show the contents from Wikidata (for Commons category the pages end up in Category:Commons category with page title same as on Wikidata or Category:Commons category with page title different than on Wikidata)

This way it's possible for humans and bots to follow the progress and know what pages/items to work on. I would propose to setup a similar system for this template. The four states we should track with categories: Local, both same, both different, Wikidata. Take for example viaf:

We need to do this for the other types too, but we can just start with a couple. Would love to have a tracker category like Category:Wikipedia articles with authority control completely from Wikidata that would be added when the template doesn't have any local data anymore. Any opinions on this structure? The names of the tracker categories are just suggestions. We can bikeshed about the exact names later ;-) Multichill (talk) 13:22, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

The first two cases you'll find at Category:Pages with VIAF identifiers. There is also Category:Wikipedia articles with VIAF identifiers which indeed could be improved, from its current name it's not clear to me whether it contains the union of cases 1-3 only or all cases 1-4. -- Gymel (talk) 17:50, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Right, forgot about the part in this template. I was looking at the lua module. Looks like it could use some improvement, but it already gives quite a bit of information. At least enough to find pages for which the local value can be removed. Something else I noticed: Category:VIAF different on Wikidata contains a lot of links to redirects. Did anyone ever consider running a bot to resolve these redirects? That should greatly reduce the number of articles in this category. And what about links to deleted clusters like 230168483 on Siw Anita Andersen? Shouldn't we delete these too here? That would reduce Category:VIAF not on Wikidata. Multichill (talk) 19:54, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I aggree with deleting links to deleted clusters but more interesting cases should be ones like Jace Alexander in the "VIAF differing on wikidata" category: VIAF merged two clusters (and wikidata did follow the merge, the templates value here didn't. A bot action based on data from the "persist" file at VIAF download page applied to the VIAF parameters in the AC template here probably will shuffle many entries from the "VIAF different" to the "VIAF identical" category.
As for AC data contained in redirect pages: These pages usually represent defined entities and these entities even might also have a wikidata item. It's "just" that links to redirect pages are not allowed in wikidata. Thus keeping (nonempty) AC templates with e.g. VIAF numbers on redirect pages actually might help to associate the redirect pages to corresponding wikidata items once a solution has been devised allowing that. Does the template language have provisions to implement a switch with the effect that findings with regard to redirect pages can be channeled into maintenance categories of their own, different from those for "regular" articles? -- Gymel (talk) 20:35, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

I think you guys will be interested to know that T.seppelt will be operating Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/KasparBot. Please let me know of how the Bot Approval Group could help you further. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:44, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

@Multichill: In your first post in this section you asked "Should the template be added here?". The answer is: "yes, please!" Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:37, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Please have a look at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/KasparBot 2. After approval I will add the template to those articles. --T.seppelt (talk) 06:40, 9 May 2015 (UTC)


Shouldn't the template link to Wikipedia:Authority control instead of Authority control? Erpert blah, blah, blah... 07:08, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

No; it's used in article space,, so a link to an article not an administrative page, is appropriate. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:56, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Add CRISTIN[edit]

CRISTIN (Current Research Information SysTem in Norway, which also includes the Norwegian Scientific Index) should be added to the template. A person entry (in English) looks like this http://www.cristin.no/as/WebObjects/cristin.woa/1/wa/personVis?type=PERSON&pnr=39812&la=en where 39812 is the identifier (in this case, of Edvard Moser). CRISTIN is the major Norwegian documentation system for academic publications of all sorts, and complements BIBSYS which mainly covers books. Bjerrebæk (talk) 16:33, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

@Bjerrebæk: is this used in Wikidata? What property number? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:57, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Add NLA Persistent Identifier[edit]

Please add also the NLA Persistent Identifier (P1315) to this module. Regards, --T.seppelt (talk) 16:29, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 27 April 2015[edit]

I would like this Deleted> "For the past twenty years he has been associated with L'abri Fellowship and is currently living and teaching at L'Abri in Huémoz, Switzerland." 2A02:120B:2C7A:90A0:19E4:2BD2:4242:1D2F (talk) 19:54, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the template {{Authority control}}. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. That text is in the Greg Laughery article (which is not protected), and has been since its creation in 2006. SiBr4 (talk) 20:13, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
...and has been uncited for all that time. I've removed it, and more. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:45, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 28 April 2015[edit]

Line 324 of Module:Authority_control:

   { 'TLS', 'TLS', 0, tlsLink },

Change "0" to "1362". GZWDer (talk) 05:58, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

I've confirmed that's the correct PID, and I've not found anything that would indicate at its omission being intentional, so Yes check.svg Done. Alakzi (talk) 13:21, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Error reporting[edit]

Some errors found in instances of this template are being discussed at User talk:T.seppelt. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:47, 30 April 2015 (UTC)


The equivalent template used in Commons allows automatic localization according to the user's profile. Could that feature be implemented here?

Also, do the Wikipedias in other languages share this template? --AngelHerraez (talk) 16:39, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Commons is a multi-lingual project; this is the English-lanaguge Wikipedia. Many other-language Wikipedias have their own version of this template: some forked from this one, some very different. You can find a list of them under the "Languages" subheading in the template page's sidebar navigation. Is there a particular issue you're trying to solve? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:55, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Biblioteca Nacional de Chile work and people authority control[edit]

I'd like to suggest adding the Biblioteca Nacional de Chile authority control IDs to this template. There is plenty of Chileans (and non-Chileans too) who have a record in their catalog, and also of an infinity of publications, including newspapers, magazines, maps, and photographies, recordings, etc. I have already proposed the creation of a Wikidata property. --Diego Grez (talk) 03:18, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Is it coordinated with VIAF / http://viaf.org/ or anything similar? Stuartyeates (talk) 03:55, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Note that this template is only for authority control of people. Authority control of other things needs to be done separately. Stuartyeates (talk) 03:58, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
@Stuartyeates: I don't know if it is coordinated with Viaf, but I know part of the library's catalog is on WorldCat. --Diego Grez (talk) 04:08, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Support. It's not harvested by VIAF, but let's wait till the property is created (d:Wikidata:Property proposal/Authority control). --Kolja21 (talk) 13:32, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
@Diego Grez: What is the form of the identifier (4 digits? 7 digits? alphanumeric?) this is important for catching errors as early as possible. Where should it link to? Stuartyeates (talk) 20:36, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
@Stuartyeates: It is an identifier of 9 digits, and it should link to http://www.bncatalogo.cl/F?func=direct&local_base=red10&doc_number=$1, whereas $1 is the catalog number --Diego Grez (talk) 21:47, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
@Stuartyeates: @Kolja21: It now has a Wikidata property, I think it would be beneficial to add it to the template. I'm adding some IDs on Wikidata. --Diego Grez (talk) 16:34, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Does it just have records for things from Chile or do it add IDs to all kind of other stuff too? Like elements, chemical compounds etc? like GND and NDL dows? Christian75 (talk) 19:12, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
It has records for all kinds of things, for example Catholic action, Stock, abacus, etc. And also for people from anywhere, not just from Chile. --Diego Grez (talk) 20:32, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
It's d:Property:P1890. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:33, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
@Diego Grez: You have added in some (many?) cases multiple identifiers. For example Oil:
= Aceites y grasas, BNC 000000067
= Aceites y grasas Análisis, BNC 000000068
= Aceites y grasas comestibles, BNC 000000070
These links are more like "see also" but not an identier for the term "oil" (aceite). --Kolja21 (talk) 20:55, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
They are derivative terms for "oil" anyway. Diego Grez (talk) 21:47, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
So you think of "ej. mantequilla" as a term for "oil"? Not at all: They are concepts, not terms. And a refinement of a concept is a different concept from the one realized through or represented by the wikidata item, even if a wikidata item for the refinement does not exist. Cross-mapping thesauri or classification systems (usually thought of as establishing equivalences) is a difficult task even for those familiar with the systems involved and there is no guarantee that one concept here can be mapped to a concept there even in principle. Perhaps you would like to stick to simpler things (persons, organisations, geographical places, historical events, literary works) until you really know what you are doing? -- Gymel (talk) 12:19, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Mantequilla does not equal oil, of course. I thought "analysis", "extraction" and such other records could not have other place than the "Oil" item. I see now that I was wrong. --Diego Grez (talk) 12:59, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
"no place" might be more often the correct answer than you would like to see... Already the upmost "oil item" is very likely incorrectly assigned: BNC states "Aceites y grasas" and "Nota Pública: Úsase para las obras sobre los aspectos tecnológicos". Thus the BNC item on one hand covers (probably) more than even es:Aceite or en:Oil and on the other hand is additionally restricted to "technological" (chemical too?) aspects (as I understand for these aspects a distinction does not much sense anyway). The wikidata item for es:Aceite is w:Q42962 and in turn connected to some concept in many, many wikipedias. How much these cover depends heavily on the every day usage of en:fat in those languages. The more technical "the other term" like es:Grasa is, the broader might be the scope of "oil" article of that language. Depending on how someone wants to look at it the meaning of the wikidata "oil item" w:Q42962 "is" probably something in between es:Aceite and Aceites y grasas in the BNC sense, so the assignment could be justified if one can disregard the restriction to "technological aspects" which probably can only be decided by checking any single wikipedia on how they deal with any conceivable other aspect of "oil(s) and fat(s)"...
From my experience I can tell that a knowledge organisation system which uses many labels in plural form and/or enumerations with "and" and another system wich mostly uses words or small phrases in the singular form usually are not very compatible, especially at the "higher levels" of the hierarchically organized system. It seems to me that the "autoridades bibliographicas" of the BNC in this area are more like a hierarchical classification system than a "collection of concepts or topics" or whatever Wikidata and the single Wikipedias may be and therefore a mapping to categories (in some wikipedia, not necessarily the Spanish one) could be more promising. -- Gymel (talk) 14:41, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I see your point Gymel, I did previously. Maybe we should just stick to link items with authority control IDs with concretely equal definitions. Diego Grez (talk) 17:57, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

At the moment, it is used almost exclusively in biographical articles[edit]

This seems to be false, as of a few days ago. E.g., Graph theory‎, Real number‎, Integer‎, Number theory‎, Diophantine approximation, Division (mathematics)‎, Numeral system‎, Binomial‎, Number, Angle, Equation, Arithmetic, Logarithm. Is this intentional, or has KasparBot run off the rails? Sławomir Biały (talk) 13:52, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Existing templates mostly had been donated by VIAF, which does not include records for topical authority ("subject headings") data like LCSH or Rameau. Now, in a second run, KasparBot is inserting AC templates in any article the corresponding wikidata item currently has some AC data. -- Gymel (talk) 15:55, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Too much alphabet soup for me, I'm afraid. Could the template documentation be updated to reflect whatever the current practice is? Also, the template links to the article Authority control, which I think is less than helpful. Is there a way of communicating to readers of the encyclopedia (and also editors) precisely what this is about? At the moment it seems quite cryptic and non-reader oriented. What exactly are the aims of this project? Why is it being placed in article space instead of kept on Wikidata? Have there been RfCs about this? Sławomir Biały (talk) 00:01, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
To answer one of those questions, this template actually gets the data stored in Wikidata and displays it here. It has done so for a while now but typically only on biographical articles. Its usage on mostly bio-articles is also why the template links to authority control and not some other page/place. --Izno (talk) 23:22, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, now it looks like the template is being added to every article on Wikipedia. So, should the template link to Help:Authority control instead? (I've raised the issue at WP:AN to try to solicit a greater diversity of input.) Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:49, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Just tried an LCSH entry as a LCCN parameter for "Hoe (tool)" - it produces a useful LCCN link, but a bad WorldCat link. Could the WorldCat link be suppressed for 'sh...' formatted (ie subject heading) type control numbers? Batternut (talk) 22:24, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

I think we need a separate set of templates for people and non-people subject links. Too many library systems make this distinction and the potential presentation options in wikipedia re too varied. Stuartyeates (talk) 01:18, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
How would we do this? Have it distinguish between "Personal names", "Titles", and "LCSH" in the authority files, perhaps? And what about "Corporate/conference names"? Nyttend (talk) 17:11, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I would disagree with a separate set of templates. I would be amenable to a second row or similar in this template (and possibly renaming this template) per WP:TEMPLATECRUFT and similar. --Izno (talk) 23:22, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Per the discussion here and at AN, I have boldly pointed the header link to Help:Authority control. Alakzi (talk) 15:25, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Not displaying....[edit]

I followed the template addition instructions on Grand Lodge of Massachusetts; I added an empty parameter version but got nothing at all om preview or display, despite finding both a Wikidata and VIAF entry for it. Has something changed in the formatting? MSJapan (talk) 19:30, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

There was no VIAF property on Wikidata; I have now added it. Alakzi (talk) 19:36, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Edit on Wikidata[edit]

I noticed multiple discussions about wrong AC information transcluded by blank {{Authority control}}. A edit on Wikidata would prevent such discussions and redirect the editors directly to the corresponding Wikidata item. A possible implementation would be [[d:Special:ItemByTitle/enwiki/{{FULLPAGENAME}}|edit on Wikidata]]. T.seppelt (talk) 16:36, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

It seems to me we would only want to display such a link for each specific parameter which the template is getting directly from WD i.e. where the local page definition has not overridden the value.

Administratively, I'm closing the edit request since neither implementation nor requirements are fully laid out in your request per the edit protected template documentation. --Izno (talk) 23:19, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

I am not a lua expert but checking whether an identifier is stored locally should be easy. [[d:Special:ItemByTitle/enwiki/{{FULLPAGENAME}}#P{{property-ID}}|edit on Wikidata]] could be an implementation for the link. --T.seppelt (talk) 13:11, 20 May 2015 (UTC)