Submissions/Improving Wikipedia’s Navigational Structure in respect to Works of Art

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After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Improving Wikipedia’s Navigational Structure in respect to Works of Art
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Joseph Gatt
E-mail address
User:Joe Gatt
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

I wish to push for an improved Wikipedia navigational structure (particularly the English version), most especially in respect to articles that contain one or more lists relating to works of art (such as literature, music, films, and so on). Please find herewith my suggestions (or proposals), namely:

  • (1) I have observed that the ordering of lists of works of art in Wikipedia articles, is inharmonious, and consequently inherently chaotic. Some lists are arranged in chronological order, others are ordered alphabetically by author, some others are ordered alphabetically by title of work, and still other lists even have no inherent order ! This is of extreme inconvenience to a researcher (who ultimately is the end user of Wikipedia), because when he needs a long list that contains well over a hundred of items, to be in chronological order, he instead finds it sorted alphabetically, and when he needs the list to be in alphabetical order, he finds it sorted chronologically, and so on.
  • Therefore I wish to see spreadsheets progressively replacing lists in Wikipedia articles. Spreadsheets allow readers to reorganise the sorting of data at will, and therefore greatly improve analytical researching capabilities.
  • Software capability to insert spreadsheets within Wikipedia already exists.[1] In fact spreadsheets are already being used within Wikipedia (notably the class "wikitable sortable"). As it is clear that spreadsheets have greater analytical and organisational features than mere lists, especially when there is a lot of data involved, I would like to see the phasing out of lists altogether in Wikipedia articles about works of art, and have these lists, especially the long ones, replaced with spreadsheets. Accordingly, I would like to see the creation of a bot to automate such conversions.

  • (2) A useful Wikipedia tool is the watchlist, through which one can track all changes that other users make on articles that are of personal interest. Similarly, a bot by which one can track all the changes in respect to the contents (in terms of articles) of a category that is of personal interest, is also sorely needed.
  • Additionally, at present, the Wikipedia English version allows the user to examine the contents of a category, in amounts of up to 200 at a time. So it would be highly useful if a bot is created allowing the user to search for a given key phrase within the entries' heading, for all entries at once, irrespective of the amount of entries that a given category holds.
  • And most importantly, a graphical hierarchical tree display is required to map out the links between the various categories and sub-categories. At present Wikipedia permits a category to add itself as its own sub-category! Furthermore, Wikipedia also permits circular sub-categorisation. (Please note the categories Bazz and Quux, as examples of this defective navigational structure.)

  • (3) One of the key policies of Wikipedia is that all article content has to be verifiable, and supported with reliable references. However, I would like to propose that this requirement is ipso facto adhered to in the case of lists of works of art, since each listed work of art is in itself a primary source.
  • As a Wikipedian who has been working with lists of works of art, I frequently encounter other Wikipedians who flag down such lists on the basis of a lack of citation of references or sources [2], to such an extent, that I would like to see some sort of bar that automatically disallows Wikipedians from flagging down such lists of works of art, ostensibly on grounds of a lack of references !

  • (4) May I also please be allowed to take this opportunity to mention that when one attempts to create a page with a title that is identical to an already deleted page, when gets the following message:

"A page with this title has previously been deleted.

If you are creating a new page with different content, please continue. If you are recreating a page similar to the previously deleted page, or are unsure, please first contact the deleting administrator using the information provided below."

  • The problem however lies in that the Wikipedian is not allowed to see the content of the deleted page, and therefore cannot decide for himself if the content that he is proposing is indeed different from the content of the deleted page !!

  • (5) Finally, I also would like to see a much greater use of audio-visual hyperlinks (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) in Wikipedia articles. In fact, I would like to propose that articles about musical works, and articles about works in film and video production, should have such links to audio-visual content as a matter of course, de rigueur. Such links should become obligatory for such articles, just as articles about paintings and sculpture are invariably expected to contain images of the works of art in question.


Technology, Interface & Infrastructure
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Undecided for now
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 15:00, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
  2. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 06:33, 23 March 2015 (UTC)