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Welcome to the Wikidata:Wikispecies portal for discussing integration of Wikispecies and Wikidata. This portal homepage serves as a beginner-friendly overview of Wikidata for the Wikispecies community.

  • Following deployment, ways for all Wikispecies contributors to contribute will be listed at How to help.
  • If you're active on Wikispecies, please add yourself to the list of ambassadors on the Get involved page.
  • For discussion of how Wikidata could support Wikispecies, see Project discussion & development.
  • Relevant documentation and related links are available at Resources.


What is Wikidata?[edit]

Wikidata is a free knowledge base that can be read and edited by both humans and machines. It does for data what Wikimedia Commons does for media files: it centralizes access to and management of structured data for the various projects that are part of the Wikimedia Foundation family. This means that similar content in different languages, mappings and links between sites, and other elements that are useful to multiple projects only need to be recorded and maintained once, rather than in each of the hundreds of projects.

Structured data also means that content can be organized and stored in a defined way, often in order to encode meaning and preserve relationships between different items. It allows machines to 'read', understand, and process information and, in doing so, opens up a lot of exciting ways for data to be used and re-used!

What is Wikispecies?[edit]

Wikispecies is an open, wiki-based species directory and central database of taxonomy. It is aimed at the needs of scientific users rather than general users.

Wikidata will provide structure for all the knowledge stored in its sister projects including Wikispecies.

Understanding Wikidata[edit]

Instead of pages (the main type of content for most wikis), Wikidata is made up of items. Items are used to represent all the things in human knowledge, including topics, concepts, and objects. For example, the 1988 Summer Olympics, love, Elvis Presley, and gorilla are all items in Wikidata. Each item also has a unique identifier (starting with a Q prefix) and its own page in the Wikidata main namespace. For example, for the items listed above, 1988 Summer Olympics (Q8470), love (Q316), Elvis Presley (Q303) and Gorilla (Q36611) are the respective item pages. These pages are where all the data for each item is added, edited, and maintained, including links to other Wikimedia project sites (these are known as sitelinks or interwiki links).

Each page has four sections:

  • At the top is the Label, the Description and any aliases. You will see these in your selected language but Wikidata also has these in other languages. If you have Babel Box in your User page then you will see the label, description and aliases in the languages you have listed there.
  • The next section of the item page are the statements. Each of these starts with a property. This followed by an value which will have one of the following datatypes;- an item, a date, a text string, a monolingual text, or a number (which may have units) . These values can have qualifiers - additional statements each with a property and an value - and a reference - statements describing where the main statement can be confirmed. Some times a property has two or more values each of which can have qualifiers and references.
  • Next come the external identifiers, special forms of statements like the above, but supplying identifiers used in other databases (with links where possible).
  • The next section of the page groups sitelinks. Links to the one page on each wiki which deals with the topic of this item. These sitelinks are used by various Wikimedia projects to create language links on the corresponding wiki pages. These links are also used to identify the item from which the wiki page can import statement info, for example to fill infoboxes.

What does this mean?[edit]

Wikidata already holds data in many languages that can be re-used on multiple sister projects, and new data is constantly being added. Wikidata also enables content in sister projects to be enriched with additional facts and information (stored as data statements on item pages).

The choice to use this data is left entirely to the Wikispecies community—future changes to the wiki software will only provide an option to retrieve information from Wikidata if desired.

Wikidata also offers sister projects the ability to manage sitelinks (aka as interwiki links) in one, centralized place.

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