VIAFbot Edits 250,000 Wikipedia Articles to Reciprocate All Links from VIAF into Wikipedia

A total of .25 million reciprocal links from VIAF have now been added to Wikipedia which were algorithmically matched by name, important dates, and selected works.

The brainchild of Wikipedians in Residence Max Klein from OCLC Research and Andrew Grey from the British Library, VIAFbot is a program that enhances name disambiguation in Wikipedia by automatically establishing reciprocal links with records in the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), a service that aims to make library authority files less expensive to maintain and more generally useful to the library domain and beyond. Wikipedia is now included as a data source in VIAF.

VIAFbot facilitates:

  • Reliable linking to Wikipedia from external services—such tools allow people to automatically generate links to Wikipedia without guessing at article titles, use the API to pull out leads from articles for reuse in other sites, etc.
  • Returning metadata to the outside world—the curators of this metadata, such as VIAF, will find it a lot easier to incorporate information from Wikipedia, taking advantage of our fairly fast update cycle for things like death dates.
  • Content creation support on Wikipedia—the presence of the identifiers allows future work on tools to develop scripts for things like generating authors' bibliographies for articles.

Although VIAFbot's work is essentially finished, Wikipedia Authority Control integration efforts will continue on more than 200 Wikipedias in different languages. The next step is to abstract this process by merging all Authority Control on all of these Wikipedias and storing that information on the forthcoming Wikidata project.

For more information:

Max Klein
Wikipedian in Residence
OCLC Research

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research