VIAFbot and the Integration of Library Data on Wikipedia
by: Maximillian Klein and Alex Kyrios
This article presents a case study of a project, led by Wikipedians in Residence at OCLC and the British Library, to integrate authority data from the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) with biographical Wikipedia articles. This linking of data represents an opportunity for libraries to present their traditionally siloed data, such as catalog and authority records, in more openly accessible web platforms. The project successfully added authority data to hundreds of thousands of articles on the English Wikipedia, and is poised to do so on the hundreds of other Wikipedias in other languages. Furthermore, the advent of Wikidata has created opportunities for further analysis and comparison of data from libraries and Wikipedia alike. This project, for example, has already led to insights into gender imbalance both on Wikipedia and in library authority work. We explore the possibility of similar efforts to link other library data, such as classification schemes, in Wikipedia.