Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Librarians/Archive 1

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WikiProject Librarians/Archive 1 (2005-2007)

To revive an old discussion: Cut it from the archive, and paste it into a "new section" on the main talk page.

I'm not a librarian, but...[edit]

... Michael Snow suggested I might check in here; not sure if I should add my name to the project. (In any event, I'm going to be crazy busy May 19 - June 12, 2005, so I won't be more than minimally active on anything Wikipedian until mid-June.) I've been very interested in how Wikipedia could do outreach to librarians to help explain how it can be useful as a research tool, and how it has to be approached differently than a conventional reference book. So far, the main product of that has been Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia.

I'm not sure how broad the goals of this project are, so I'm not sure if I fit, but I thought I'd come here, make myself known, and let whoever's driving this tell me if they think I'd be a useful participant. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:27, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

I'd say anyone who cares to join in is welcome. I like your essay on systemic bias, and this WikiProject perhaps fits with your statement: "I believe that the most important of these correctives would be infrastructure for recruitment and support of contributors outside the present Wikipedia mainstream." --Helperzoom 12:57, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm not a librarian but I'd be happy to lend some help writing the introduction section if you need it. Joe D (t) 19:29, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Quality of sources[edit]

Besides organization of information, another place where librarians would bring a lot is the question of what are and are not credible sources. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:50, May 20, 2005 (UTC)


Just stopping by from Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-05-23/Librarians project, and wanted to say Welcome. It is good to have more qualified editors here at Wikipedia. Good luck, and don't let the occasional downsides of Wikipedia frustrate you. Happy editing -- Chris 73 Talk 19:44, May 23, 2005 (UTC)

Also saw this in the Signpost and wanted to add my welcome as well -- we're delighted by the "invasion" and hope to help you feel at home as soon as possible. Patience, a sense of humor, and an ability to assume good faith are good starting points; for the rest of the learning curve, there are a lot of people here who will be happy to explain anything that confuses or frustrates you.
One place where we'll need both help and understanding from all of you is our Categorization scheme. Like everything else in Wikipedia this is the sum of many people's local opinions, not a logical top-down structure, and like everything else here, it is constantly in flux. (It's also a fairly recent addition, less than a year old, and norms are still evolving.)
We need your help in that we have an information structure being built by people who (for the most part) have never studied information science, and there are probably dozens of areas where people are either reinventing the wheel or repeating old mistakes. Your experience in the field can help us to find better and more efficient answers.
We need your understanding because not everything that appears "wrong" to you here at first glance is going to be a mistake -- Wikipedia is a very different medium from what you may be used to, with a lot of room for organic growth, multiple parallel (or even competing) category schemes, and for different areas to use different customized structures. Browse the archives of the above-linked Categorization page and its discussion page, check the history of troublesome categories, watch (and participate in) current decision-making at Categories for deletion, and get a feel for the process before bringing in the machetes.
Looking forward to many fruitful collaborations — Catherine\talk 02:15, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

ISBNs and such[edit]

IANAL (where L = librarian), I just want to bring up one issue, perhaps only a pet peeve, that has bugged me for a while now. The use of ISBN numbers is widespread on Wikipedia, with special ISBN support in the underlying software. For example, typing "ISBN 039100381X" will generate an internal link to a special "book sources" page, like this: ISBN 039100381X. On the one hand, this direct linking is great. On the other hand, ISBNs are of limited use to me, for reasons that will be obvious to you: I'd much rather have an LOC number and/or a direct link to the LOC catalog. This would be considerably less useful to readers outside the US, of course. Hence my question: is there a simple, international system for uniquely referring to a book that is aimed at library users (as opposed to book sellers)? By "book" I mean abstract units I'd expect to find in a library catalog (as opposed to specific editions, trade paperbacks, etc. I'd expect to find in a bookstore): Paul Feyerabend's Against Method has many ISBNs and perhaps even several editions, but I'd expect to find only one main entry in a library catalog (or perhaps several linked entries).

Not directly related to this, I often find it appallingly difficult to link to online resources maintained by libraries. How to permanently link to content hosted by the LOC is not always obvious, and URL forwarding services don't always work reliably. But that's just me venting steam, maybe someone will sympathize. --MarkSweep 06:49, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

In reference to this, I was trying to find out how to generate a "Find in your Library" link from an ISBN and ran into several brick walls. Is there a method which does not require one to be signed up to the OCLC site? --Phil | Talk 15:15, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
Mark -- The RedLightGreen service from RLG (the first entry on the Special:Booksources list) provides info on multiple editions. In the Feyerabend example, see the link that says "You are viewing one of 11 editions of this title." I'm not sure how authoritative or complete this function is. Library catalogs are such a mess in terms of both content and usability that I don't know how you could devise a global solution to the problem of finding a main entry for any arbitrary text. In many cases there simply isn't one. --Metabolome 15:23, 2005 May 24 (UTC)
re multiple ISBNs: There is no universal library-oriented unique identifier. The library world's solution to this problem (well, OCLC's solution) is the xISBN service. This is linked from the bottom of the Wikipedia ISBN page, under "Find other editions". Currently it just returns a list of ISBNs; ideally it would be possible to do something useful with them in an automated way (turn them all into links? compose them into a single query with boolean ORs?). Regarding linking to library resources: we know, we know. We rely on systems sold to us by vendors who have a very limited market, so there's a lot of legacy stuff there that isn't going to get fixed quickly. Sometimes we're just happy they have web interfaces. New standards are going to help with this (e.g. SRU/SRW, FRBR). Some day. --Helperzoom 19:07, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

What will be covered?[edit]

One thing I would like to see done is a compilation listing the titles of journals in engineering and technology from the end of the eighteenth century to about the end of WW1. In my work studying the history of technology of the Industrial Revolution, I failed completely to discover a list of the titles extant by decade, for example, on which research can be based. Maybe such a list ought not to be in Wikipedia, but maybe it might go in another allied Wiki, as a resource for researchers. Needless to say there is nothing on the web now, and what sites are devoted to periodials seem to relate to humanities. I did in fact make my own, very unscientific list, using the titles listed in the 1882 catalogue of the [British] Patent Office, and extracting those likely to be of relevance to me. I have since acquired a copy of Schubarth's 'Repertorium' and 'Poole's Index', but neither go back to the late eighteenth and early nineeenth centuries. A Wikisearch for Periodicals, redirected to Magazines, which needs a great deal of work to make it comprehensive, so maybe that a project Wiki Librarians might like to think about - along with everything else, of course! Apwoolrich 18:22, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

SRU/SRW makes it possible at least to imagine how this might be done. A query like this would retrieve technology-related periodicals (along with some other stuff with subject heading "technology" whose record happens to contain the word "periodical") from the Library of Congress; you could then filter the results by their "genre" and "dateIssued" elements. --Helperzoom 19:36, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Recent discussions of Wikipedia and librarians[edit]

Some of you may have heard the "Wikipedia" episode of Chris Lydon's new radio show Open Source. On that episode, Karen Schneider (of Librarian's Index to the Internet) was interviewed to provide a librarian's POV on Wikipedia. Karen followed up with an extensive post at her blog, Free Range Librarian. I have responded to Karen's post at a blog I contribute to, I would be interested to hear your comments and ideas. Lukethelibrarian 14:04, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

An interesting read[edit]

Clay Shirky has written an essay called "Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags" that raises some interesting issues about classification and categorization. I thought the points discussed might be particularly relevant for this project. --Michael Snow 16:56, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Librarians and Wikimania[edit]

Wikimania, the first international Wikimedia conference/meetup (being held August 4-7 in Frankfurt, Germany) is looking for more librarians to attend; and for people to comment on archiving and ontologies and authority files, as much as about extending the breadth and depth of coverage.

If you will be in the area and are interested in attending, or if there are particular subjects in librarianship you would like to propose for discussion there, please comment on the Wikimania talk page on meta. +sj + 22:11, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Reference question[edit]

I've been mulling over an issue for the last couple days, then discovered this page and thought it might be a good place for help. I've been reorganizing and extensively referencing music of the United States. Specifically, see footnote #103 (FYI in case you aren't familiar with this footnoting system, click on the symbol next to the footnote to be taken to the part of the text it is used; the name and page num. directly after the symbol correlates with one of the works cited in the "References" section). I think it is important and useful for the article to associate grunge music with Generation X, and I also like Szatmary's "desperation of a generation" quote, since it pretty well sums up how grunge is usually described, except that Szatmary never specifically uses the term Generation X (which is odd, considering the general tone of the rest of the book). Is it inappropriate to use his quote in conjunction with "Generation X", even with an explicit disclaimer in the footnote? I, for one, think it's silly to try and divide people into discrete generations like that (barring actual demographic bulges like the Boomers), and Szatmary may very well have avoided the term for the same reason, though I still think that it is important to note that grunge music is associated with a distinct cultural grouping that is normally called Generation X, and anything more detailed than that would be inappropriate at music of the United States anyway. Maybe this is a stupid question, but I guess that's what happens when you let amateurs write encyclopedia articles... Tuf-Kat 06:24, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)

ASINs, ISBNs, EANs, oh my![edit]

Hi all.

As an side-result of some rather heavy-handed editing I did last night, there's a discussion at User:Shimgray/ASIN about whether or not the use of ASIN codes - Amazon-specific identifying numbers - are useful for circumstances where no ISBN is available, or whether they do more harm than good. I'm trying to solicit comments so we can reach a consensus on this.

Any feedback would be appreciated either way. Thanks, Shimgray 13:18, 9 August 2005 (UTC)


Recently added "Design and maintain a Portal for Library and information science or Finding information (the latter title might encourage more non-librarians to use and contribute)". Great idea, and Finding information is probably a good name, but I'd hope that the scope equally includes evaluating information. I think Mark Twain once said something to the effect that ignorance is not as much of a problem as knowing things that ain't so. -- Jmabel | Talk 03:48, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I tried to think of the most succinct and easily understood title that would cover all the related fields, and when you get right down to the basics, "Finding information" is what Wikipedia .. and libraries ... are all about -- it's their whole reason for existence. I think almost everything in the Library and information science basic topics can be featured, since the more the public knows about cataloging and databases and evaluating information and the rest, the savvier they will become at finding the answer they are looking for. GUllman 23:10, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

LIS userbox[edit]

In case you'd like to spiff up your userpage, I created a new userbox:

Web-browser-openclipart.svg This user is a librarian - information scientist. Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg

Please use it with impunity! Her Pegship 06:03, 12 February 2006 (UTC) (MLIS UC Berkeley 1991)

Thanks! —Serein 21:57, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I changed the color in this slightly so the text is easier to read, thanks for this. I've added it to my userpage. If anyone wants to add it, just include the tag {{User library and information scientist}} and Wikipedia takes care of the rest. Jessamyn 22:41, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
The box has been migrated, so use the {{User:Nowimnthing/User library and information scientist}} tag instead. Cheers, Her Pegship (tis herself) 21:08, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Articles for the Wikipedia 1.0 project[edit]

Hi, I'm a member of the Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team, which is looking to identify quality articles in Wikipedia for future publication on CD or paper. We recently began assessing using these criteria, and we are looking for A-class, B-class, and Good articles, with no POV or copyright problems. Can you recommend any suitable articles? Please post your suggestions here. Cheers, Shanel 20:38, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Peer review[edit]

Hello! There is a new project starting out at Wikipedia:Scientific peer review - perhaps you might find it interesting to take a look? If you have a spare moment, it would be great if you could get the word out on the project too. Thanks! --HappyCamper 13:00, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Assistance needed on Wikisource[edit]

Wikisource has a number of 'reference' texts about which doubts have been cast. We have a debate going on what should be excluded, and would welcome some input. Please see the discussion on WS Scriptorium. [1] We also need more editors, so if you are interested, please sign up and contribute. Apwoolrich 06:52, 18 April 2006 (UTC)


Could someone explain why this is in Category:WikiProject Books? Librarians aren't books, nor do they deal solely with books (for example, they may deal with any sort of archival or reference materials). - Jmabel | Talk 06:12, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

As I've explained, WikiProject Librarians belongs in the "Books" category because books are relevant to librarians, and vice versa. This by no means, however, precludes putting "WikiProject Librarians" in other categories, such as Category:WikiProject Education, so feel free to recommend additional categories that would also be appropriate. Your argument, however, that "Librarians aren't books" is a complete (and rather inane) red herring: musicians aren't "music", yet it's obvious that WikiProject Musicians belongs in Category:Music WikiProjects. -Silence 07:14, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you on musicians, but this isn't a project about librarians, it's more of a notice board for librarians. - Jmabel | Talk 03:35, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I know, and that makes it even more of a good fit into "WikiProject Books", doesn't it? Since it deals more directly with books and other library materials, whereas there's an extra degree of separation between writing about "musicians" and writing about "music". I think you took my analogy the wrong way; it was to demonstrate that WikiProjects only have to have a related, overlapping or similar scope to be categorized under one another, as opposed to only categorizing projects under other projects that explicitly and entirely encompass the lower project, which is a rather narrow and limited way of organizing pages, and not particularly helpful to editors. -Silence 06:34, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
In my view - as a non-member of the project - it should be up to Jmabel and other members of this project to determine for themselves how this project is categorized. Best regards to all. - Kleinzach 15:18, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Library Journal[edit]

Perhaps many of you may have seen this already, but the Library Journal has an interesting review (actually, three different reviews) of Wikipedia. Found via this page at Carleton College, which I would recommend as an excellent and balanced overview of how to approach Wikipedia from a librarian's perspective. --Michael Snow 23:58, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikicat and Wikicite[edit]

Announcing Wikicat, a bibliographic catalog intended to be its own resource as well as the first step toward Wikicite. The catalog's datamodel has been designed based largely on Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, and implementation of the MARC 21 import function is currently underway. Feedback on the functional design of the catalog would be greatly appreciated my members of this group, though.

Also, once the catalog becomes world-editable it is hoped that this group can create and maintain a catalog rules regime so that data entered into Wikicat is consistent and logical, both internally and with respect to other bibliographic databases.

Jleybov 19:50, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Swedish WikiProject for Archives, Libraries, Museums[edit]

In case there are any Scandinavians here, I'm starting a sv:Wikipedia:Projekt ABM (ABM = arkiv, bibliotek, museer) on the Swedish Wikipedia, which immitates WikiProject Librarians in addressing the librarian community, and not only Wikipedia articles about libraries. The Swedish Wikipedia is among the 10 largest languages and already has many dozens of WikiProjects including one for literature, but "Projekt ABM" is the first one pertaining to archives, libraries (including library buidlings, librarians, library science, books, booktrade), and museums. --LA2 13:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

German Wikipedia: Library Reference Service[edit]

de:Wikipedia:Bibliotheksrecherche is a project which has excellent offers (not from librarians but from users who can use libraries) but nearly no customers. If someone needs library materials (now there is a request regarding an ANSI standard text on the discussion page) - where is the best place in the en Wikipedia to ask? Thanks! --Historiograf 03:39, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

A topic that needs a more organized treatment[edit]

I'd like some comments about what to do with the topic of bibliographic databases / full text databases / article databases / online indexes / or whatever you want to call that area of library resources. Right now I can think of three relevant places on wikipedia where these things are described and listed: bibliographic database, List of academic journal search engines, and Category:Online databases. Take a few moments and explore what is there, and tell me your librarian's brain isn't feeling an urge to whip things into shape. The bibliographic database article is new and stubby, and there could be some disagreement about the way the term "bibliographic database" is used there, between those who view the word "bibliographic" as meaning "about books" and those who understand it as meaning that the database is "for reading" (as opposed to number crunching, etc.). If the idea that "bibliographic" means "for reading" in this context is not too controversial an idea, the article can now be expanded to go into the different kinds of bibliographic databases, the differences between a vendor, a platform, and an index (and how it is often a different organization from the vendor that produces the index), the historical relationship to print indexes, z39.50, etc. The Category of "online databases" probably can't be redone except to add bibliographic databases to it; as it is it seems to be mostly website promotion. Changing it radically would mean deleting the category from dozens of pages, which probably wouldn't fly and would only have a weak justification anyway. The "list of academic journal search engines," on the other hand, really needs our help. It should be renamed, in my opinion (I wish I had an opinion as to what it should be called instead) and cleaned up, with sections for different types of databases (subscription, free, general, subject specific, etc.). Do others share this way of looking at it? Is anyone similarly irritated by the state of affairs? This is a pretty important part of librarianship, these databases, so I think we should really have professionals in the lead in describing them on wikipedia. Rlitwin 00:23, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm thinking...
and I have a sketch in mind which I'll post here before major surgery.
But as a definition, a bdb is one that leads to books, journal articles, and other library resources. Its the current equiv of a bibliography.

many of the dbs in online dbs are clearly not bibliometric--they catalog other things, like commercial chemicals. DGG 05:20, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

I started sifting through the items under Category:Online databases for things that would go under Category:Bibliographic databases and have double-catted them, subject to anyone's approval. Take a look. Her Pegship 23:06, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

I apologize again for not getting there earlier , but before I start in I want to ask:

  1. Is there any point in double listing the specific items, e.g. the bibliographic databases, in the general online databases category? Don;t they get there automatically?
  2. Is there any harm in putting in a large number of "red" links to articles that ought to be there--I think it serves as a good reminder.?
  3. I am going to add a category "full-text databases" for such as proquest & ebsco &c&c. --obviously some are also indexes & need to be in there as well as here. Any objections?

Do I need to propose it formally first, or just follow the instructions and do it?

  1. The list on online search engines is in need both of explanation and cleanup, and some of this, like Entrez, goes there, or goes also there. Thanks, [her pegship] for getting me moving again. DGG 03:50, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm happy to fill in the cracks. Your reasoning sounds good to me; the full-text db cat seems to me a lower priority, as just sorting what's there will take a little time. Red links are good for the very reason you mentioned. imho, Her Pegship 04:22, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
My reason for making that cat is to have somewhere to put such stuff in when sorting. But am I right about the main/subsidiary catagories?DGG 04:34, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Not really - putting something in a sub-category doesn't cause it to appear in the parent category, if that's what you mean. The reason I put them in both cats is in case someone takes umbrage with my actions; eventually we/I/you can remove whichever cat is less relevant.Her Pegship 05:50, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

apology for scattering[edit]

I seem to have commented on this in several places, while thinking aloud over the same weekend: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Librarians, on Talk:Bibliographic database and on talk:List of academic journal search engines at least. I apologize for the confusion, and will wait for comments, which you can put on any of these pages, and in a week or so I will have a more coherent suggestion, which I shall post at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Librarians to centralize the discussion.DGG 02:17, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Portal skeleton[edit]

Greetings all - I created a bare-bones page for the highly anticipated Library and information science portal here. Fire away. If anyone thinks the name should be altered, share your ideas. Cheers, Her Pegship 23:04, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Construction needed[edit]

...on Public library funding; I retitled it and sketched out a few items, but any details or expansion would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Her Pegship 22:54, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

list of search engines.[edit]

If inteterested, please take a look at the user talk on Talk:List of academic journal search engines, where we are discussing some major reorganization. DGG 07:20, 13 October 2006 (UTC) Tweaked the above link. EdJohnston 05:29, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Project directory[edit]

Hello. The WikiProject Council has recently updated the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. This new directory includes a variety of categories and subcategories which will, with luck, potentially draw new members to the projects who are interested in those specific subjects. Please review the directory and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope that all the changes to the directory can be finished by the first of next month. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 00:19, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Librarian course about Wikipedia[edit]

John Hubbard, a librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has created a video workshop course about Wikipedia that may be of interest as a resource to other librarians and people interested in the field. --Michael Snow 07:45, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I've just given a talk on it at METRO in NYC., but I used a live demo. And I did some proselytizing. DGG 05:21, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

ISBN linking[edit]

Here's a couple of further ideas for the item in main project page about ISBN Linking. [2].

I think some of the proposals there might be accommodated by adding more choices onto the Special:Book_sources page that you are taken to when you click on an ISBN. Personally, I find the OCLC number very useful, while clicking around in xISBN and ThingISBN didn't take me very far. On WP you sometimes are grasping for any information at all on a strange book (as when cleaning up a reference list for an article). So if you can find the OCLC number for a book it will take you through a vast selection of library catalogs (via Sometimes a distant library catalog will have the key bit of information you need. Using the OpenURL idea, if I'm understanding it correctly, you would be bypassing the Special:Book_sources page, and you'd draw a blank when your own library doesn't have the book. With regards to wanting to get the multiple ISBNs for a book: I think that getting the author and title correct is a good beginning for searching. By collecting the multiple ISBNs you are going on a tour through the strange and occasionally twisted thinking of the publishers of the world, so I'm still waiting to see their value. EdJohnston 02:19, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


Beginning cross-post.

See Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team#Stablepedia. If you wish to comment, please comment there. TWO YEARS OF MESSEDROCKER 03:49, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

End cross-post. Please do not comment more in this section.

Wikipedia Day Awards[edit]

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 18:17, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

New section "Libraries and crime " in the Library article[edit]

Hello, this new section doesn't seem NPOV to me.

Bruit et chuchotements 00:03, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

ISBN linking[edit]

Also: how about making the standard ISBN link produce a latent OpenURL like this: <a name='isbn=0-120345678-9' rel='alternate' title='OpenURL'>? Users with suitable browser plugins could then bypass the Wikipedia ISBN page and be directed to their home library's link resolver. --Helperzoom 17:23, 26 May 2005 (UTC).

Wikipedia:Book sources already has a latent OpenURL in the form of an ISBN COinS tag, right under the Notes heading. I've just added them to {{cite book}}, as well, so you can use OpenURL tools on the references section of articles. I'll expand it to other citation templates if it goes over well, and add it to the "Cite this article" page, too, as soon as they figure out which format would be appropriate for Wikipedia articles... — Omegatron 01:23, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Now {{Cite journal}} has them, too. — Omegatron 04:56, 12 February 2007 (UTC)


There's a proposal at CfD to rename Category:Library and information science to Category:Library science. If you have an opinion, feel free to weigh in. Cheers, Her Pegship (tis herself) 18:44, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Linking to WorldCat Identities[edit]

There's a proposed project to provide systematic linkage from Wikipedia biographical pages to WorldCat Identities: comments from librarians would be especially welcome - and if you're interested, please do sign up at the project proposal page! Dsp13 16:04, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia Category System Study[edit]

Hello to all,

I have been an editor in Wikipedia for a little over a year now and, almost from the start, have been frustrated with the entire Category system that exists here. This issue has been a source of much frustrated discussion on the WikiEN-L Mailing List for some time now. The bottom line, and general consensus, is that the entire Category system in Wikipedia is in dire need of overhaul. That is why I am coming to you. We amateurs have been debating the problem for months now, but I feel it is time for some professional help.

My work is in clinical psychology & psychotherapy. But that work is not just about people. It is finding ways to sort out and retrieve the helpful information that lies within those persons. Likewise, I believe a librarian’s work is not just about books, but finding ways to sort out and retrieve the information that lies within those volumes.

The task I’m talking about here is to take a critical look at the entire Wikipedia Category System, evaluate it, and come up with recommendations for change; if this change means discarding all exiting policy regarding it – so be it. The existing system has gotten completely out of control, and is moving toward becoming completely useless.

So this plea is to any and all of you. Are any of you willing to take on this daunting task?

If you have any questions please respond on my Talk Page, or email me by going to my User Page and clicking on “Email this user”.


Michael David 13:35, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I've just commented briefly on tis at the [WikiEN-l] mailing list, where I said:

"I think most people would agree that the category system is cumbersome, but it replaced to earlier systems of classification that were even worse. I'm a librarian, and Im going to answer on the page mentioned. In my opinion, summarizing, no commonly used existing universal classification scheme is suitable for WP, and developing a new one is an inordinate amount of work. Rewriting the database to adapt to one will be even harder. Perhaps the best approach is simply a better search engine" (but I am not a cataloger--I'm a subject specialist for biological sciences--and in classical biology, hundreds of people work on taxonomy with a similarly sized problem. ) To elaborate a little here:

A classification scheme and categories are equivalent--they differ mainly in presentation.The well known LC and Dewey schemes are not really suitable for material with as much detail as WP (they've both been tried).
The only general one I know of , one which was explicitly developed for indexing material of the highest level of specificity as well as general, is the UDC. Adapting it to our purposes, or even using it as is, would be possible. There are 1.7 million articles in WP en. I think a person with great training and experience in UDC might be able to assign 50 an hour, and I'd allow an equal amount of time for checking and coordination; this equals 17,000 people hours. (This is much faster than the conventional allowance for subject cataloging, and the estimate relies upon the existing grouping, since related pages could be done together,) As there are approximately 2,000 hours per person-year, that's 8 full time people. I do not think there are 8 such experts available--certainly not in the US. If we relied on volunteers, we'd need at least 80 if they all stuck with it and several experts would still be needed to train them. As a side point, UDC has been primarily used in Europe, and would need development for the US. I also haven't the least idea how well it covers popular culture. It would probably need major development to cover our practice of indexing even individual fictional characters in individual films. (There is also the problem of name authorities, since I doubt there is any usable standard database including many of the people indexed here.)
that's the easy part.Adapting the database to incorporate the system is beyond my knowledge, so i assume its even harder (smile)
Developing a new classification has all the problems mentioned above plus the time to develop the new one. It took decades of work by large groups to get any of the present schemes developed.
And I'm not sure how many people work full time just keeping the subject headings and classification numbers up to date for any of the major schemes. I think its a number greater than my rather naive estimate for the entire project.
What i hope would be possible, and certainly people are continually asking for it at the village Pump, is a better search engine.

(this is a quick response because I've thought about it before--I thought about it when I came here, and I think most librarians think about this soon after they join WP. it seems so obviously necessary. But everything gets difficult when you get to very large databases.

But I am generally a little willing to over-commit myself, so if someone wants to test something, I'll help. DGG 23:34, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I was here before and during the implementation of the category system, and I put my two cents into the early discussions explaining to non-librarians what has been done already in librarianship, and have decided that nothing that has been invented for organizing paper volumes would fit Wikipedia articles and stubs. (And classification and categorization are not the same.) DDC, LC and UDC are classification systems for giving a book one unique shelf location near similar books, and the LC Subject Headings don't provide the breadth or detail of categories to pigeonhole every article into one or several groups, each of which contain an easily browsable number of articles. And neither system can keep as up-to-the minute as Wikipedia. Therefore, after giving them the basics of what has been done already, I decided to step back and see what the community would invent on its own. Librarians can give some top-level leadership and guidance, but let the same subject experts that collaboratively built the world's largest hypertext encyclopedia come up with a new kind of finding aid that serves their own needs as editors and users ... and do their own cataloging. GUllman 03:08, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
If it isnt obvious, that's what I was trying to say. Thanks for the very clear and authoritative summary.DGG 07:28, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the time and thought you put into this issue. It will take me a while to absorb all that's been said here, but I shall persevere :-). I will repeat here what I wrote on the List:

It is clear to me from your conclusions that solving the problems I believe exist with the present Wikipedia Category System involves more than simply rewriting policy. The System has the potential of being a powerful research tool. And, since Wikipedia itself is a groundbreaking creation, a truly workable Categorization System within it could be precedent setting. I hope someone, someday takes the challenge of creating one.

Thank you again,

Michael David 12:37, 1 May 2007 (UTC)


(Continuing the cataloging discussion above.) Perhaps cataloging and subject headings are not the solution to the problem at all. Cataloging was designed for finding books, but the articles and stubs in Wikipedia are smaller than a typical chapter, and often just a few paragraphs. What if what we really needed was an index, like you find at the back of books and sets of encyclopedias? Sure, we have Google to automatically index words that appear in the articles, but a good human-constructed index does not just alphabetize words that appear in the book, but draws out the main ideas and concepts, summarizes the discussion over a range of pages, and groups similar things together under a more general heading. Indexing is a specialization in library science that I have not taken myself, but this is what I have heard from those who have. Are there any indexers out there that can comment or help with an experiment? GUllman 20:00, 3 May 2007 (UTC)


I would like to ask for some comments from people from this wikiproject on the conflict of interest noticeboard. The point concerns addition of external links by people who work in library to documents hosted on their own library and whether or not that is a conflict of interest. Thanks. --Dirk Beetstra T C 20:17, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

A similar conversation is taking place at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spam#Unusual university spam, if anybody here would like to contribute. This is an important issue and it needs to be worked out. Latr, Katr 01:42, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

It is already some time ago that I posted here about this subject for the last time I see. In the meantime, every now and then an account comes up that performs link-additions only (the last situation was with User:Aaa-intern). Although I can understand that these editors are welcome, such link additions are in violation of quite a number of policies and guidelines. I have therefore tried to write an essay on this, trying to explain the situation, and trying to give some possible solutions which might solve the problem. The essay can be found here: User:Beetstra/Archivists. I hope to hear some comments. Thanks already. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:47, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Public library ratings[edit]

An {{afd}} tag has been placed on Public library ratings, requesting that it be deleted from Wikipedia. All Wikipedians can join the debate at Articles for deletion, where articles asserted to be inappropriate to Wikipedia are discussed. You are encouraged to submit your opinion, and remember that Articles for Deletion debates are not a vote. You can also leave a note on the article's talk page explaining your position. Please do not remove the deletion tag yourself, but don't feel inhibited from editing the article, particularly if doing so makes it clear that it is a useful contribution to an encyclopaedia.

Primary and Secondary Sources Debate[edit]

There is currently a friendly debate going on at Wikipedia talk: No original research regarding the definition of primary and secondary sources, whether we can find definitions that are globally recognisable across all disciplines (including information science), and how these concepts should be referenced in Wikipedia policies. As information scientists, your input and view point on these important issues is very welcome. Please feel free to join the debate at Wikipedia talk: No original research. Badgerpatrol 03:16, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Librarians in popular culture[edit]

there is currently a discussion on the deletion of this article at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Librarians in popular culture (3rd nomination). DGG (talk) 06:06, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I've added some more encyclopaedic information to the article and also listed some additional references on the talk page; I'm not going to be able to do much more work on it myself though as I'm busy in real life at the moment, so if anyone else can look at those references and add/cite any information from them it'd be great. --Zeborah 08:31, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

eigenfactor[edit] (EF) [3] [4] [5], similar to the h-index, and a free alternative to the impact factor of the Journal Citation Reports, hasn't been scientifically evaluated yet, has it? -- Cherubino 17:44, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

this is work by Carl Bergstrom, a well-known academic. the website mentioned includes some citations to the literature. Most of the academic discussion at this point is on the SIGMETRICS listserv, and links to additional references as they are published will be found there. Someone should write the article--I will if nobody else does. Basically, eigenfactor modifies impact factor by first taking account of the importance of the journals being cited from in the manner of Google PageRank (this gives what Bergstrom calls "article influence" ), and then normalizing across disciplines to reflect the relative density of citations. (As I hope everyone using them realizes, impact factor comparisons are valid only within individual specific scientific fields.)
H index is actually something rather different in principle--it's a ranking by number of articles containing a particular number of citations, (h=20 means someone has published 20 articles each having 20 or more citations to it) and can be use for individual authors. Impact factors and eigenfactors apply only to collections of articles such as journals--h-factor for comparing journals is altogether controversial. It certainly is a very convenient single number for rating scientists, but it applies only within a particular very specific field. The actual validity for anything remains quite disputed. (I have somewhat of a bias, though--I think it measures productivity more than creativity). I've used it as a rough-and-ready argument at AfD, but I would not cite it in an article. (note that h indexes based on Google Scholar are really unreliable, having all the problematic factors of Google Scholar, such as the unknown criteria for inclusion and the erratic coverage)
The real question is probably whether eigenfactor is sufficiently accepted to be cited here. I think this should be done very gingerly at present, and certainly only in argument, not articles. For one thing, it will be necessary to explain them every time they are used.
anyone wanting impact factor comparisons in a particular field, just ask me by email. DGG (talk) 21:28, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
see also Journal Ranking -- 20:11, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Books/Library article[edit]

For some reason this doesn't seem to be linked from this wikiproject namespace. Please add where appropriate.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  00:31, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

AfD for List of Librarians[edit]

at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of librarians Started on weds Oct 24 so it closes very soon. DGG (talk) 03:10, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Notice of List articles[edit]

Page(s) related to this project have been created and/or added to one of the Wikipedia:Contents subpages (not by me).

This note is to let you know, so that experts in the field can expand them and check them for accuracy, and so that they can be added to any watchlists/tasklists, and have any appropriate project banners added, etc. Thanks. --Quiddity 20:26, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

New Project Proposal[edit]

Greetings, librarians and library lovers! I just proposed a new WikiProject at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Interlibrary Loan (InterWikipedian Loan?) that would be designed to transfer hard-to-find material between Wikipedians for the purpose of article development, sort of like the function of an ILL. Willing Wikipedians would take requests for articles. For example, say I needed a journal article that was only housed in a few Australian libraries. ILL would traditionally fail me - at least I've never gotten articles from another country through ILL. The finer details are discussed at the above link. To the point:

  1. Someone had suggested this project develop as a task force of your project, so I suppose we should get your project members' opinions on that.
  2. Perhaps some of you might find it in your hearts to answer questions on legality regarding copyright if this organized effort to exchange material begins.
  3. I was also wondering if any of you might be interested. This is just a simple idea that could benefit from more input to develop concrete ideas on how it might function.

Thanks for your time. Cheers, --Rkitko (talk) 23:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, you should take a look at Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange. It has the ILL service you are talking about, pretty much.
It's a project with some history, and I joined up later and merged three other projects with Resource Exchange. Those merged projects had the same goal: helping people find documentation for their edits, and if you spread that goal over a number of projects the editor has to look all over wikipedia to find his resource help.
So you should really consider if your new project is different enough to stand on its own. Maybe it's more useful if you do something with your ideas within Resource Exchange.. bundle efforts, you know. Key to the city 00:27, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I had no idea that project existed. Thank you for pointing that out! I definitely don't want to duplicate effort, so I will check with the project there. Cheers, --Rkitko (talk) 02:27, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I think these two features of the project are what you had in mind:
  • Shared Resources: A list of resources available to other Wikipedians:
    • add your own resources here in the appropriate section and provide as much detail as possible (version of the resource, storage form of the resource (paper, CD-ROM, online archive etc.))
    • search this list if you're looking for something and ask help on the talkpage of the Wikipedian who has the resource you were looking for.
  • Resource Request: Request a newspaper/magazine article or request a specific search in a commercial full-text newspaper or journal database or an other electronic information source. The participants of this project try to track down your request and e-mail it to you. Key to the city 11:21, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Bibliographic record keeping discussion.[edit]

On the Village pump (technical) there is a discussion to simplify the citing of commonly used sources, and more generally to improve our bibliographic record keeping. There are a number of options presented, some of which are ready for prime-time, and an organised effort is required to consider their suitability and prepare a well rounded proposal if any option appears to be workable. John Vandenberg (talk) 04:13, 31 December 2007 (UTC)