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2023:Program/ESEAP Region/ZUHWXA-A Nation's Dissertations: The New Zealand Thesis Project

From Wikimania

Title: A Nation's Dissertations: The New Zealand Thesis Project


DrThneed/Tamsin Braisher

Tamsin Braisher is a free-range Wikimedian. Finding herself both over-educated and underemployed when her children went to school, she stumbled upon Wikipedia editing as a hobby by creating a page which was (deservedly) deleted the same day. Tamsin spends most of her free time thinking about Wikidata and trying to make connections between items about people and items about things, especially any items or people connected to the New Zealand Thesis Project.

Pretalx link

Etherpad link

Room: Room 324

Start time: Fri, 18 Aug 2023 14:35:00 +0800

End time: Fri, 18 Aug 2023 14:55:00 +0800

Type: Lecture

Track: ESEAP (East, South East Asia, and the Pacific) Region

Submission state: confirmed

Duration: 20 minutes

Do not record: false

Presentation language: en

Abstract & description

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The New Zealand Thesis Project is a ground-breaking collaboration between academic librarians and Wikimedias to upload a national set of dissertations to Wikidata. We used OpenRefine to clean and manipulate our data for theses, and a number of Wikidata tools to visualise our data in new ways. I’ll show how we did this work, and some examples of what we learned, and why more libraries should be connecting their collections to Wikidata.


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The New Zealand Thesis Project is a ground-breaking initiative that showcases the power of collaboration between academic librarians and Wikimedians. Through leveraging the vast amount of data available on Wikipedia and Wikidata, the NZThesisProject is making it easier than ever before to find and connect relevant research from all over the world. Institutions and academic librarians provide valuable support and expertise, ensuring that the data is high-quality and reliable.

This project brings together metadata for all of New Zealand, with more than 66,000 theses from 13 educational institutions, and by adding them to Wikidata, allows them to be easily accessed in multiple languages and cited on Wikipedia. Using OpenRefine to clean and manipulate our data, we have disambiguated 12,000 individuals connected to the thesis collection, allowing us to visualise our data in new ways and find unexpected connections. The project has also developing a data model, collaborating with Australian Wikimedians to map controlled vocabularies to Wikidata, and improving data on New Zealand qualifications.

The NZThesisProject is a testament to the power of collaboration and highlights the potential for academic institutions, academic librarians, and Wikimedians to work together towards a common goal.

(talk may be relevant to GLAM or Open Data sessions but best fits in Education as we are hoping to connect with other higher education institutes looking to do similar work)

Further details

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Qn. How does your session relate to the event themes: Diversity, Collaboration Future?

This Wikiproject is a collaboration between volunteer Wikimedians and academic librarians at 13 different institutions. We hope to inspire other institutions with open repositories to consider sharing their metadata with Wikidata in a similar way. We will discuss how we have managed our process and the difficulties of working with a large dataset drawn from multiple different sources. We will also talk about how we plan to help institutions keep the data updated in future.

Qn. What is the experience level needed for the audience for your session?

Everyone can participate in this session

Qn. What is the most appropriate format for this session?

  • Tick Onsite in Singapore
  • Empty Remote online participation, livestreamed
  • Empty Remote from a satellite event
  • Empty Hybrid with some participants in Singapore and others dialing in remotely
  • Empty Pre-recorded and available on demand