Info about adding sources

Sources as itemsEdit

Sources are items in Wikidata. Normally a Wikidata item must be "notable". Sources however fall under critera 3 in Wikidata:Notability: "It fulfills some structural need, for example: it is needed to make statements made in other items more useful."

Help:Sources is very useful.

Issues with Help:Sources

  • Suggests "Check if an item for the source already exists in Wikidata using the Item by title search". The search box offers a long list of other Wikimedia sites to search, but Wikidata is not one of them.
    • If the item has an article with that title on a specific Wikipedia, and Wikidata has an item that matches (?? in what way) the article, then the search will take you to the Wikidata item.
    • Search by title is not very useful for sources. Many books and most journal articles will not have a corresponding Wikipedia article. Use search in Wikidata instead.
    • Search by title is also misleading for sources. The searches are by item label. The reference title and label may not be the same. There should be some guidance on how to label articles. Search by "Also known as" will find the source. For example, "Lancaster (2004)" will find "Making Time: Lillian Moller Gilbreth".

Other searching Wikidata issues

  • The Wikidata search box searches for items by label. (Some Help pages do have a corresponding item.) Choose "Containing..." to find the page.

Wikipedia reference.[1]

Can parse enwiki "cite book".

Cite the wikidata source item: Jane Lancaster, Making Time: Lillian Moller Gilbreth, a Life Beyond "Cheaper by the Dozen", Northeastern University Press, , p. 21, ISBN 978-1-55553-612-1 Doesn't include the subtitle!

Try this on a scientific article with a name string.Linus Pauling, Harvey Itano and Seymour Jonathan Singer, "Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease", Science, , doi: 10.1126/SCIENCE.110.2865.543, PubMed ID: 15395398 messy if source item uses both "authors" and "author name string"

  1. Lancaster, Jane (2004). Making Time: Lillian Moller Gilbreth, a Life Beyond "Cheaper by the Dozen". Northeastern University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-55553-612-1. 

Bots adding sourcesEdit

User:Research Bot (Wikidata:Requests for permissions/Bot/Research Bot) adding references from PubMed including references the article cites. It uses the tool QuickStatements.

Note on adding a sourceEdit

Last summer I added a source to use as a Wikidata reference on The source is "Brian Price (1992). "Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and the Motion Study Controversy, 1907-1930". In Daniel Nelson. A Mental Revolution: Scientific Management Since Taylor. Ohio State University Press. pp. 58–76. ISBN 978-0-8142-0567-9".

I began by creating item Q31392510 for the book. I added 6 statements. One was for the editor of the book and he was not a Wikidata item. He has a common name, so I spent some time Googling him to find a good description to disambinguate him. I created the second item, Q31394241, and added a statement with a reference. It was a website so I could use a bare url as the reference. A bare url can change so I added 3 statements as qualifiers. The publisher of the website was not in Wikidata and I created a third item, Q31394558, with two statements. At this point I stopped adding references. Now that I had an item for the book, I created the fourth item, Q31395404, for the article, and added seven statements. The author is not in Wikidata and I used author name string rather than create yet another item.

Using QuickStatementsEdit

For experienced Wikidata editors QuickStatements allows creation of multiple statements at a time.

Try adding "Graham, Laurel D. (1999-01-01). "Domesticating Efficiency: Lillian Gilbreth's Scientific Management of Homemakers, 1924-1930". Signs. 24 (3): 633–675."

  • Created empty Q32859752 while looking at QS - be careful what you click, added instance of scientific article
  • Added label and description manually - find out how to do this using QS (Len, see QS How-To)
  • Used QS to add title and author name string, said processing done but nothing happened
  • Created a spreadsheet to produce the statements to put in QS:
Q32859752	P1476	"Domesticating Efficiency: Lillian Gilbreth's Scientific Management of Homemakers, 1924-1930"
Q32859752	P2093	"Laurel D. Graham"
Q32859752	P577	1999
Q32859752	P1433	Q2285224
Q32859752	P478	24
Q32859752	P433	3
Q32859752	P304	633–675
Q32859752	P888	3175321
  • Only the author name string and published in item went in. The rest generated errors. the date needs to specified as Gregorian year and all the other fields (even page numbers) need to be specified as being in English. How do I do this?
Q32859752	P1476	en:"Domesticating Efficiency: Lillian Gilbreth's Scientific Management of Homemakers, 1924-1930"
Q32859752	P2093	"Laurel D. Graham"
Q32859752	P577	+1999-00-00T00:00:00Z/09
Q32859752	P1433	Q2285224
Q32859752	P478	"24"
Q32859752	P433	"3"
Q32859752	P304	"633–675"
Q32859752	P888	"3175321"
These fields, though numbers, have datatype String.

Properties and data typesEdit

title=P1476 (Monolingual text) - preface with language code
author=P50 (item), author name string=P2093 (String)
publication date=P577 (Point in time) - use timestamp and precision
published in=P1433 (item)
volume=P478, issue=P433, page(s)=P304 (String), needs quotes
DOI=P356 , JSTOR article ID=P888 (External identifier), needs quotes

Spreadsheet templateEdit

Fill in, then cut and paste from Excel into QuickStatements.

LAST	Len	"full article title"		label
LAST	Den	"academic journal article"		description
LAST	Aen			alias
LAST	P31	Q18918145		instance of academic journal article
LAST	P1476	en:"full article title"		title
LAST	P50			author (item) - tricky if more than one, use P1545 series ordinal as qualifier
LAST	P2093	"author name"		or use author name string
LAST	P1433			published in (item)
LAST	P577			publication date, add in QS, Excel doesn't like "+1994-00-00T00:00:00Z/09"
LAST	P478			volume (use quotes)
LAST	P433			issue (use quotes)
LAST	P304			page(s) (use quotes)
LAST	P888			jstor (use quotes)

Property proposalEdit

  • Property: reference string
  • Description: String to store a source citation as text if the source is not a Wikidata item
  • Data type: String
  • Domain: items with references


The lack of reliable references for Wikidata items and statements is a quality issue at the English Wikipedia and is impeding the use of Wikidata there. We need an easy way to enter reference information when the sources are published works. I have been experimenting with using Wikidata sources for citations in the English Wikipedia. This has reminded me how time consuming it is to add references to Wikidata if they have to be items. See my experience adding a single source which involved creating 4 items and 20 statements. Adding a biography as an item to use for many references in two items is a worthwhile use of time. But there will be other sources used only once for most topics. I'd like editors to able to cut and paste from an article reference list to rapidly transfer references to Wikidata. The result would be a string field such as "Jane Lancaster (2004), Making Time: Lillian Moller Gilbreth, a Life Beyond "Cheaper by the Dozen", Northeastern University Press ISBN 978-1-55553-612-1". It is not expected that there will be any particular structure to these strings.