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Hi there! I'm Gaurav Vaidya. I potter around Wikipedia occasionally, fixing bits and pieces when it strikes my interest.

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The Day Job[edit]

I'm a Semantic Web technologist at the Renaissance Computing Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I've been since October 21, 2019 (4 years, 4 months and 7 days so far!). I figure out how best to validate, publish and reuse biomedical data using Semantic Web standards such as RDF, OWL, ShEx and SHACL.

My Wikipedia Life (or: Pages I'm Proud Of)[edit]

As somebody who doesn't edit Wikipedia as much as I'd like (or, perhaps, have the patience for), my favourite Wikipedia activity is taking an article which is coming apart at the seams and tidying it up. In particular, popular articles have a lot of people adding facts, photographs or sentences anywhere vaguely appropriate; as these changes accrue, the article can get pretty messy.

Which is where I like to come in: taking an existing article, I'll merge the accumulated cruft, reorganize the facts so they flow smoothly, pinch out coherent sections and otherwise try to polish the article off. This works great with my available time, too: apart from discussions and vandalism reverts, the only time I spend on Wikipedia is three-four hour binges where I try to get one of these articles polished off. I'm quite proud of my work on Pune, the Deccan plateau and the Battle of Pratapgad.

As I've been on Wikipedia for quite a while (since 2002!), there's articles I'm proud of just because I started them. I'm pleased that Indian independence movement still retains the name I gave it; I also created the original stub for The Catcher in the Rye and Artemis Fowl (series). One of the most exciting things about Wikipedia is starting off an article that you'd like to read yourself, waiting a few years, and voila, Wikipedians have fleshed it out to a level you couldn't imagine. I started Order of the Phoenix (organisation) and fleshed out a very early article on Lord Voldemort ([1]) with this intention, and it succeeded brilliantly. And, one lazy afternoon, while listening to a short documentary on Peter Handford on BBC Radio 7, I visited Wikipedia to find out more. Horrors! No entry! The article I wrote in a rush is still around, has been polished up by others, and is a reasonably decent introduction to the man if anybody were to look him up in this encyclopedia.

In 2012, I worked with the Biodiversity Heritage Library in developing a schema to store and retrieve information from the Wikimedia Commons, and I've been thinking about extracting metadata out of the Commons ever since.

When I was a kid, I watched The Adventures of Milo and Otis a lot.

Wikipedia events I've helped organize[edit]

Wikipedia-related scientific papers I've worked on[edit]

  • Thomer, A.; Vaidya, G.; Guralnick, R.; Bloom, D.; Russell, L. (2012). "From documents to datasets: A MediaWiki-based method of annotating and extracting species observations in century-old field notebooks". ZooKeys. 209 (209): 235–53. doi:10.3897/zookeys.209.3247. PMC 3406479. PMID 22859891.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: unflagged free DOI (link)
  • Vaidya, Gaurav; Kontokostas, Dimitris; Knuth, Magnus; Lehmann, Jens; Hellmann, Sebastian (2015). "DBpedia Commons: Structured Multimedia Metadata from the Wikimedia Commons". The Semantic Web - ISWC 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 9367. p. 281. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-25010-6_17. ISBN 978-3-319-25009-0.

Things I'd like to do when I've got the time[edit]

Pre-2022 list[edit]

User subpages[edit]

I sometimes back up content which is being deleted elsewhere in the Wikipedia (inclusionist, remember?) to my user pages. You can look through this content with this handy link.

Committed identity[edit]

Committed identity: 676eb144c793f29d23ae84e08c47192d7838cf4831da41659800a9839a2ad47a is a SHA-256 commitment to this user's real-life identity.

But really, I'm just the guy at - that'll hopefully be an easy way to find me for ages to come.

Old versions of this page[edit]

2017 Sep 2
2012 Mar 31
2011 May 2
2010 June 17


WP:TWA (talk) 05:09, 14 December 2013 (UTC)