Open Access

Wikidata: An Introduction to Linked Open Data

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Monday, October 21, 10am-12pm
Interdisciplinary Research Collaboratory,2nd Floor, Mountain Side
Presenters: Des Alaniz & Trang Le. RSVP to

Wikidata, like its sister organization Wikipedia, is a linked data repository that’s free and open to the community at large to edit, copy, use and re-use. Unlike traditional repositories where the formulation of data is centralized under select institutions, Wikidata is the collective outcome of a decentralized, grassroots approach to data creation.  As a cooperative platform, it engages and empowers members of the public, especially those from marginalized and underrepresented communities, to collaborate, create, and contribute culturally competent data in an open, multilingual, and globally accessible    environment. Because of this equitable approach to data collection, Wikidata’s community of users has grown exponentially in recent years and its content is culturally rich, socially relevant, and less likely to be biased. This Wikidata workshop is designed to reflect this trend. Participants in this workshop will understand the nature of linked data and how Wikidata can improve discoverability and accessibility to resources, create and edit items in Wikidata, and identify ways to use them effectively with new projects. Participants can develop the skills needed to create socially just and relevant descriptions that can be used as effective alternatives to those currently stored in legacy systems. Given Wikidata’s burgeoning popularity and widespread adoption, knowing how to use this powerful platform can be beneficial for future projects relating to data creation and dissemination.  All are welcome.

Des Alaniz: I am the Evolving Workforce Resident Librarian at UCSB Library. I work in the Teaching and Learning Department to develop Library instruction tools and curriculum, with a specific focus on critical information literacy and pedagogy. I have worked with archives and special collections as a researcher and as an archivist.

Trang Le: I work in the Library’s Content Management Services Department, where I create structured metadata for rare and unique materials for Special Research Collections. To help users find these valuable resources, I use subject headings from the Library Congress to describe their contents and encode their bibliographic records. However, this is not always effective since the Library of Congress’ legacy system contains biased and problematic descriptive metadata that can hinder discoverability. To better understand and address this issue, I attended a Wikidata workshop at the UC DLFx (Digital Library Forum) Conference in May 2019 where I learned to create linked data items that can greatly improve discoverability and accessibility. In co-facilitating this event with Des, I hope to share what I learned to help make scholarly resources more open and available to the public in order to advance research and learning.