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description: past events and their record

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Classification of the class history (Q309) View with Reasonator View with SQID
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Relationship to study of history (Q1066186) and Q30277524[edit]

User:Mnnlaxer raised the issue of the difficult relationship of this item to study of history (Q1066186) and Q30277524 (see the discussion at Wikidata:Requests_for_deletions#Q30277524 and Wikidata:Requests_for_deletions#Q30277550). As I think that he/she has some points I will record the problem here (and maybe start a discussion about this issue).
The main problem seems to be that the concept denoted by "history" (and many translations of the word in different languages) is shifting between a concept for an academic discipline and a concept for "the past" (there are probably, depending on language, some other meanings involved). Most of the languages with a description for Q309, actually the majority, adopted the first meaning, but there are statements using Q309 as its value in the meaning of "the past". For the latter I created the item Q30277524. I made Q309 an instance of umbrella term (Q210588) and added "umbrella concept" to the English description (which was "past events and their study", before)[1]. But this didn't solve the problem of an ambiguous item, as the other descriptions told a different story. It would be nice to give Q309 a consistent meaning. This could be either the one of an umbrella term or the one of an academic discipline.
As the majority of the descriptions refer to the academic discipline this option seems to be better, but this would make it a duplicate of study of history (Q1066186) (which is an item collecting articles about the academic discipline in particular). There are a couple of Wikipedias having both a sitelink to Q309 and study of history (Q1066186) (so they cannot be simply merged).
If we should make this an item for the academic discipline the articles from study of history (Q1066186) should be moved here. At least the German article currently at Q309 could be moved to Q30277524, which is an item representing the concept of "the past". The Esperanto one seemingly too. The Croatian, Icelandic, Chinese and Slovakian articles seem to give an overview about things related to the concept of history in the respective languages, so they are not restricted to history in the meaning of "the past". I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to move them to to Q30277524 - first because their scope is broader, second because they would cease to link to articles about the same topic (there are quite a few articles linking here which don't focus on history as the academic discipline).
Probably the whole issue is not easily solved, but maybe someone has something to contribute somewhen. - Valentina.Anitnelav (talk) 13:09, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

@Valentina.Anitnelav: This is very confusing, and the discussion is split across quite a few pages. If I understand correctly, we now have items for (1) history as in past events - Q30277524, (2) the study of past events - study of history (Q1066186) (shouldn't that be "study of history"?), (3) the study/texts on the study of past events - historiography (Q30277550), (4) umbrella term for 1 and 2 - history (Q309), (5) umbrella term for 2 and 3 - historiography (Q50675)? Is that correct? (We really need a central discussion place for figuring this out, but it appears that there is no Wikiproject History at the moment.)
Mapping some of this onto the distinction between world history (Q6457238) and history of the world (Q200325) might be useful. The umbrella terms should probably be mostly unused, I think? --Yair rand (talk) 18:43, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Valentina, for starting this discussion. Most of this is well beyond my wikidata knowledge, and I'm exclusively focused on the English articles. But I do have opinions on what the item descriptions should be, once any merging, deleting, or separating decisions are made. One minor point. I don't like using "umbrella term" in the description of the item. For Q309, "umbrella term covering the record of past events and their study" is particularly troublesome. This is mostly semantics, but recording past events is the same as studying them to me. I know that distinction is the root of the issues with these items, but I don't think introducing the concept of umbrella term in descriptions helps at all. Any chance you added "umbrella term" to the lead at en:History? And I see that en:Wikipedia:WikiProject History is active. Sorry for English-centricity. Mnnlaxer (talk) 19:19, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
Yair rand, you're right with your summary except for one detail concerning historiography (Q50675). I will recapitulate all, to have it in one place. We have (from an English/German perspective):
If the recent English label of study of history (Q1066186) is rather odd to you you should change it (for clarification: "Geschichtswissenschaft" is the German word for the subject of study (at university) and the general field a historian is working in).
If we keep the items representing several concepts (e.g. because of interwiki links) they should be ideally unused. I'm unsure if we can determine for each statement if it refers to history as discipline or history as past events (some exploit the ambiguity).
According to the English and German articles world history (Q6457238) is related to study of history (Q1066186) and history of the world (Q200325) to Q30277524. There should be some uniform way to model these relationships - maybe <subclass of>? I'm still not sure for academic disciplines which way is the one to go (some use <subclass of>, some <is part of>).
To clarify the distinction I had a look at statements using history (Q309) and which of the more specific items could be their object. There are some properties which should generally use study of history (Q1066186) as its value:
There are some properties which should use historical work (Q1517777) (or historiography (Q30277550))
There are uses with depicts (P180) which can refer to any of the meanings:
Other properties that use history (Q309) are category combines topics (P971), main subject (P921), subclass of (P279), instance of (P31), facet of (P1269), studies (P2578), interested in (P2650). Here one would have to decide on a case-by-case basis (when in doubt I see no problem to leave it linked to Q309.)
A general WikiProject:History (focusing on its modelling in Wikidata) would be probably helpful to document the results and have a forum for further discussion.
Mnnlaxer, I'm not very attached to "umbrella term" (I didn't add it to the English article, I probably took it from there). If you think it is rather unhelpful, the description can be changed. Probably there should be some hint to the more specific items (e.g. "for the academic discipline use Q1066186, for the general concept of the past use Q30277524") - Valentina.Anitnelav (talk) 12:09, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, the descriptions should include a mention of other closely related items. I started this because I couldn't tell which one to use. Mnnlaxer (talk) 22:06, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

Item's main template[edit]

A bot reverted my removal of Topic's main template Template:History (Q8085959). The English wikipedia article for that item is en:Template:History which can't be right. Mnnlaxer (talk) 19:27, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

Looks like the bot has been filling in "topic's main template" and "template's main topic" data from each other, even in cases where the bot itself added the other one. I've notified the bot author, and added a constraint check to P3452 on circular inferences. For this item in particular, reverting the bot on both items at once seems to have fixed it. --Yair rand (talk) 21:22, 31 December 2017 (UTC)