About the whole Wikidata / Wikipedia situation

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f7cfcda2890> #<Tag:0x00007f7cfcda27a0>

Current Situation

There are the Guidelines:

Wikipedia: If possible, link to Wikidata instead, which serves as a bridge for all languages. If no Wikidata item exists, only link to the languages which are relevant to the artist. This usually means the artist’s native language(s). The English Wikipedia is always allowed.

And a blog post from 2015:

So basically Wikipedia links are depreciated (there is almost always a Wikidata item if there is a Wikipedia article and if there isn’t you can create it with a few clicks even without logging in), but there is no “This relationship type is deprecated and should not be used.”-warning and Wikipedia links are not included in any report about depreciated relationships.

A little bonus obsticle is that a search for wiki edits claims it includes removals “created after 2013-07-08” but actually doesn’t include any relationship removals.

My Suggestion:

When adding a Wikipedia link there should be a warning that it is depreciated and a link to a short article explaining how to find the correct Wikidata link or create one if it doesn’t exist.

And there should be the following reports or bot actions if an entity has:

  • a Wikipedia and a Wikidata link
    • and they match or the WD item links back to the MB entity -> a bot could remove the WP link
    • they don’t match -> put the WP link on a report so a human can fix it.
  • a WP but no WD link:
    • and the WP link is connected to a WD item that links back to the MB entity -> a bout could replace the link
    • otherwise -> report
  • a WD link that doesn’t link back to the MB entity -> report
  • a shared WD link with other entities -> report unless:
    • the WD item is for a song and it’s linked to a single and a work on MB
    • the WD item is linked to artist entities that are linked with “performs as” relationships.

My preference would be with the add relationship page.
When someone trys to add a wikipedia page it should automatically find the wikidata entry and suggest adding that instead.

Updating existing entries can either be done slowly with a bot or something or quickly with a big update to the database.


(Relevant/related ticket: MBS-8333.)


That ticket also exists since 2015, so I assume implementing it isn’t easy.
On the other hand asking an editor to add the Wikidata link instead of the Wikipedia link is easy.


I created a ticket to at least make the guidelines more clear.

Should I also create one to officially depreciate Wikipedia links (so you get a warning when you try to add one) or is there a reason why that’s still not the case?


Updating the documentation is important. For us MB noobs there are a lot of confusing areas. Personally I had never heard of Wikidata before. And to be honest, it is still confusing me as to what it is.

I understand a Wikipedia link. That lets me find a page in MB about an artist, then follow through to the Wikipedia page to find more information about that artist.

I still can’t work out how to read anything in a Wikidata link. Even trying to go to the Wikidata site itself just seems to leave me with computer readable data ideal for a database, but no use to a Human trying to read it.

What am I missing?

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Go to down of the Wkidata page to find Wikipedia pages, if any.
Or just use Wikipedia excerpt that MB got from WD, it has a link to WP.


Thank you @jesus2099 for pointing out how I can find a Wikipedia link on that Wikidata page. So many other links on there I was being drown by the other information.

I had spotted that a Wikidata link still meant MB showed the Wikipedia info for an artist. Just seemed odd to me to have removed it from the links on the right hand side.

When the guidelines are updated, can this “rather obvious” statement be added. For idiots like me it would be good to know how to jump from Wikidata to Wikipedia from that link.


Good point. I updated my suggestion in the ticket to add that info. Feel free to suggest improvements if I didn’t write it very understandably.


I would want to avoid any wording on a changed guideline that can lead to someone voting someone down or complaining at them for adding a Wikipedia link (at least if Wikidata isn’t there yet). Until we simplify adding Wikidata links, we shouldn’t ask people to do all the work for us (although if they do, that’s great!)


I’m willing to start a forum topic where anyone can post their Wikipedia links and the entities they want them added to and I’ll link the Wikidata items for them plus create them if they don’t exist yet.
Yes it is a tiny bit more work to add a Wikidata link instead of a Wikipedia link, but it’s a bit more more work to replace a Wikipedia link once added.
If you get a “Wikipedia links are depreciated” notice when trying to add one, with a link to documentation on how to add a Wikidata link then I don’t think it’s too much to ask.
And we’d avoid all the links to user talk pages, chapters of a wikipedia article and so on.

Personally I usually vote “abstain” on WP adds and leave a comment with links to documentation and a short description where to find the WD link. I also provide them with the WD link in the hopes they will add it.
I could also be mean and add the WD link myself in which case a no-vote would be justifiable due to the “only vote ‘no’ if the edit worsens the data”-guideline (wherever that is again - can’t find it right now).
I’ll rewrite my-copy-paste text for these comments though to make it more friendly and so it can’t come across as criticism - only as a tip.

Just my 2 cents:
The point “How to create a Wikidata item” is wishful thinking. If I spend time to add data to MusicBrainz I don’t want to be instructed to add data elsewhere too.
I fully understand why this is technically preferred but I’m afraid that some people will cancel adding such data on MB. If the Wikidata-Link is really wanted, it should be automated as far as possible.

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I think that is wishful thinking. This idea exists since 2015 and nothing has happened.

The point “how to create a Wikidata item” comes after “If there is no Wikidata item then adding a Wikipedia link is better than nothing.” and is only relevant about in 0.01% of cases anyway, because WD items almost always exist.

Yep, I know.
I just can’t imagine to get people doing their work “twice”, once on Wiki and once here.

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Like I said, my suggested changes to the guidelines don’t ask this of anyone, but explicitly say that it’s good to simply add a Wikipedia link if no Wikidata link exists.

PS: But I’m sure a lot of editors are willing to spend a little more of their time to provide MB with better data if they only knew how to and providing them with some guidance is not a bad thing is it?

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Don’t forget that many editors here are MUSIC people. That is the point of this site - music. So they are not going to be programmers, developers or web experts. I am still confused by this Wikidata thing as it seems backwards to me as it is removing Human Readable data and replacing with Computer Readable database links.

When I am looking at an Artist I see that set of External Links on the right to other pages and other useful information on the artist. Removing Wikipedia from here is a backward step in my opinion. The average Music Geek coming here will click the Wikidata link and not know what to do with the page that appears.

Is there any way to have BOTH Wikipedia and Wikidata links here? That way the Music geeks and the Database geeks are both kept fed with knowledge in their own language?


You seem to have some strange plugin active that messes up Wikidata pages. I don’t see anything computer-readable there.

Removing the Wikipedia link is not removing Wikipedia. You still get to the Wikipedia page you want with the same amount of clicks.

Someone could write code to display a foldout list of Wikipedia links derived from the Wikidata page.
Kinda like this:



But manually adding Wikipedia links makes little sense as they are very unstable.


@paulakreuzer @IvanDobsky
The ALL LINKS user script shows your favourite language WP links under each WD link.


I realise I have not got my point across at all well. I am trying talk as a user who comes here for the musical references. Not as a programmer, but as a musician. I am trying to talk about the wider usability of MB.

@paulakreuzer I don’t have any addons installed that is corrupting Wikidata. I am just trying to point out that many many people will never have used Wikidata before and for artists like Pink Floyd there are so many different items on that page it is not obvious to the new user how to actually find the Wikipedia links.

@jesus2099 comically your suggestion is the exact opposite. I don’t have any of these strange MB scripts installed as they are even more confusing to a new user here. Those scripts re-enforce the geek level required to really use MB.


Then just use the “Click here to read more on WP” link of the WP except brought on MB thanks to WD link.
You will see WP page in English or your MB language, then from there (WP) you know how to read in another language. :wink: That’s just two clicks (or even one if the first language was enough).

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