English

OCLC and Wikipedia Library link citations to millions of library materials, expanding access to quality sources

Wikipedia editors can now easily add citations that link to library resources in WorldCat

DUBLIN, Ohio, 11 May 2017—OCLC and the Wikimedia Foundation's Wikipedia Library are working together to make it easy for editors to link citations in Wikipedia to millions of library materials represented in WorldCat, the world's most comprehensive database of information about library collections.

References and reliable sources help Wikipedia editors verify facts included in articles. They also provide additional resources that might be of interest to readers who want to delve deeper into research topics. However, adding references has not always been easy, and often required cutting and pasting or re-typing information.

The ability to generate citations has improved significantly and now Wikimedia's cite tool, a companion to its visual editing interface, allows editors to generate a full citation from a single identifier.  The integration of OCLC's WorldCat Search API into the cite tool helps editors automatically generate and add citations that link back to resources represented in WorldCat.

"As a library leader, OCLC offers reference expertise to Wikipedia through connections with libraries, librarians, as well as through curated data and services," said Jake Orlowitz, Head of the Wikipedia Library. "Wikipedia relies on good citations, and I'm thrilled that Wikipedia editors will now be able to harness the massive collection of quality knowledge resources from OCLC's WorldCat. When we collaborate with libraries, it's a win for both Wikipedia and OCLC in working toward our shared missions."

"Wikipedia and its editors worldwide collaborate to create one of the most popular global resources on the web," said Chip Nilges, OCLC Vice President, Business Development. "OCLC and its member libraries collaborate to make WorldCat the premier global resource for discovery of library collections. Through this partnership, dedicated editors and librarians worldwide are working together to make Wikipedia a richer research experience, and readers are finding supporting material they want through links to libraries."

OCLC has worked with the Wikimedia movement on several projects in recent years. In 2012, OCLC worked with a Wikipedian in Residence to explore ways that library metadata could contribute to Wikipedia. The result was a Wikipedia bot that adds VIAF authority control data to easily and consistently identify people in articles. Later, in collaboration with the Wikipedia Library, OCLC Research helped to establish the Wikipedia Visiting Scholar position at five universities.

In 2016, OCLC was a winner of the Knight News Challenge for a project to promote collaboration between public libraries and Wikipedia. And in March 2017, OCLC hired a Wikipedian-in-Residence, a position funded by a project grant from the Wikimedia Foundation, to facilitate the Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project.

"OCLC and Wikipedia bring together authoritative library resources and contributors to one of the world's most popular information resources," said Merrilee Proffitt, Senior Program Officer in OCLC Research, who leads OCLC's efforts to help libraries collaborate with Wikipedia. "We have an overabundance of information coming into our lives through a variety of sources every minute of every day. We hope that by working together, we can provide more reliable information with links to authoritative resources that readers trust and will find useful."

Read more about OCLC's collaboration with the Wikipedia Library on the Wikimedia blog.

About OCLC

OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC’s WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world’s collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that supports and operates Wikipedia and its sister free knowledge projects. Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource, spanning more than 40 million articles across nearly 300 languages. Every month, more than 200,000 people edit Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, collectively creating and improving knowledge that is accessed by more than 1 billion unique devices every month. This all makes Wikipedia one of the most popular web properties in the world. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded primarily through donations and grants.

The Wikipedia Library, a program of the Wikimedia Foundation, works with libraries, publishers, and other scholarly organizations to connect volunteer Wikipedia editors with high quality information resources to use on Wikipedia. To date, the Wikipedia Library has facilitated volunteer editor access to more than 80,000 unique journals, archives, periodicals, and other scholarly resources that would otherwise be paywalled.

OCLC, WorldCat, WorldCat.org and WorldShare are trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.

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