African research is underrepresented in many disciplinary and international contexts, and even research about Africa-related topics is often given more prominence when performed or reported from outside of Africa. These imbalances have a range of causes, and the scope of this submission is to highlight how WikiCite-driven efforts to catalog references in Wikidata can help in identifying and visualizing such gaps, communicating about them and supporting efforts to eventually address them.
Scholia is a Wikidata-based website hosted on Wikimedia Labs that displays information about scholarly publications: https://tools.wmflabs.org/scholia/ . It can zoom in on the associated authors, journals, topics, organizations, events, locations and other related information and present it in a way that facilitates the appreciation and quality control of what is in Wikidata as well as an exploration of what is missing or only covered with large gaps.
Many of the gaps that can be highlighted this way have a strong link to Africa. This session will be consciously biased towards people, papers, places, topics and more in African contexts. After an introductory overview of Africa-related research indexed in Wikidata, session participants will be invited to use Scholia to assess the quality, topicality and comprehensiveness of Africa-related research topics in their areas of expertise and to develop ideas for systemic improvements based on public domain data sources.
Participants will develop a better understanding of
- the African research landscape
- knowledge gaps around Africa-related topics
- Wikidata as a platform whose biases can be addressed collaboratively
- Scholia as a knowledge discovery and curation tool