November 28, 2015

New Article: “VIAFbot and the Integration of Library Data on Wikipedia”

The following article appears in the latest issue of the Code4Lib Journal (Issue 22) that became available yesterday.


VIAFbot and the Integration of Library Data on Wikipedia


Maximilian Klein

Alex Kyrios
Metadata and Catalog Librarian
University of Idaho


Code4Lib Journal (Issue 22)


This article presents a case study of a project, led by Wikipedians in Residence at OCLC and the British Library, to integrate authority data from the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) with biographical Wikipedia articles.

This linking of data represents an opportunity for libraries to present their traditionally siloed data, such as catalog and authority records, in more openly accessible web platforms. The project successfully added authority data to hundreds of thousands of articles on the English Wikipedia, and is poised to do so on the hundreds of other Wikipedias in other languages.

Furthermore, the advent of Wikidata has created opportunities for further analysis and comparison of data from libraries and Wikipedia alike. This project, for example, has already led to insights into gender imbalance both on Wikipedia and in library authority work. We explore the possibility of similar efforts to link other library data, such as classification schemes, in Wikipedia.

Direct to Full Text Article

Direct to Virtual International Authority File

Direct to Complete Table of Contents for Code4Lib Journal (Issue 22)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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