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Wikipedia, Wikidata, and citations

As part of an exploratory census of citations on Wikipedia, I have generated a complete (yeah, right) list of all scientific publications cited on Wikispecies, English and German Wikipedia. This is done based on the rendered HTML of the respective articles, and tries to find DOIs, PubMed, and PubMed Central IDs. The list is kept up to date (with only a few minutes lag). I also continuously match the publications I find to Wikidata, and create the missing items, most cited ones first.

A bit about the dataset (“citation” here means that an article mentions/links to a publication ID) at this point in time:

  • 476,560 distinct publications
  • 1,968,852 articles tracked across three Wikimedia projects (some citing publications)
  • 717,071 total citations (~1.5 citations per publication), of which
    • 261,486 have a Wikidata item
    • 214,425 have no Wikidata match
    • 649 cannot be found or created as a Wikidata item (parsing error, or DOI does not exist)
  • The most cited publication is Generation and initial analysis of more than 15,000 full-length human and mouse cDNA sequences (used 3,403 times)
  • Publications with a Wikidata item are cited 472,793 times, those without 244,191 times
  • 266 publications are cited from all three Wikimedia sites (263 have a Wikidata item)

There is no interface for this project yet. If you have a Toolforge (formerly known as Labs) account, you can look at the database as s52680__science_source_p.


  1. Ray Perreault wrote:

    Do I need to be creating citation pages on Wikidata as I do with author pages? I make many citations on Wikispecies.
    Also, you used to have link on Wikispecies to Wikispecies pages lacking Wikidata items. These were mostly author and disambig pages, but I was working on them? How can I find it again?

    Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 14:05 | Permalink
  2. André wrote:

    @Ray: are you looking for this tool?

    Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 22:04 | Permalink
  3. Magnus wrote:

    @Ray Perreault: I’m not sure about the official process on WikiSpecies, or if there is one. I hope it will end up as a sincle citation template where you just have to use the Wikidata item for the paper as a parameter, used at the point of citation in the article.

    Friday, August 3, 2018 at 08:14 | Permalink
  4. Jane Darnell wrote:

    I dream of a day when I can link a reference in Wikipedia to the source item in Wikidata, let alone to a “citation” in Wikidata, which is probably desirable considering the importance of certain quotes and citations. As far as I know today, the only way to do this is to create a Wikipedia page for the source or citation so you can blue-link it from the reference (templated or not). Of course there are only very few sources and citations that pass notability guidelines for their own wikipage.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 08:27 | Permalink
  5. Magnus wrote:

    @jane THe first step could be a Q paremeter to reference templates on Wikipedia, which could generate a link to Wikidata or Scholia, similar to DOI/PMID links. Not sure if that is in place already. Many of these could be auto-populated from my dataset, community consensus assumed…

    Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 09:01 | Permalink