On assessing weaker logical status claims in Wikidata cultural heritage records

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Alessio Di Pasquale
Francesca Tomasi
Fabio Vitali

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Guest Editors Wikidata 2022

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This work presents an analysis of the use of different representation methods in Wikidata to encode information with weaker logical status (WLS, e.g. uncertain information, competing hypothesis, temporally evolving information, etc.). The study examines four main approaches: non-asserted statements, ranked statements, null-valued objects, and statements qualified with properties P5102 (reason of statement), P1480 (sourcing circumstances) and P2241 (reason for deprecated rank). We analyse their prevalence, success, and clarity in Wikidata. The analysis is performed over cultural heritage artefacts stored in Wikidata divided in three subsets (i.e. visual heritage, textual heritage and audio-visual heritage) and compared with astronomical data (stars and galaxies entities). Our findings indicate that (1) the representation of weaker logical status information is limited, with only a small proportion of items reporting such information, (2) the representation of WLS varies significantly between the two datasets, and (3) precise assessment of WLS statements is made complicated by the ambiguities and overlappings between WLS and non-WS claims allowed by the chosen representaions. Finally, we list a few proposals to simplify and standardize the representation of this type of information in Wikidata, with the hope of increasing its accuracy and richness.
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