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Permanent link to a Wikidata query result
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Description

In MediaWiki we have a "permanent link" option (both in the sidebar, and by clicking on a revision in the 'history' page) to get a stable link to that page as it appeared at the time. In Wikidata Query service we have the ability to get a link (and short URL) to either the query itself or the results display. However, the results that are displayed when that query is run are 'live', not 'permanent'. This makes sense in most circumstances - you want to have the most recent results! But, for exactly the same reasons that the "permanent link" to a revision of a Wikipedia article, a user could equally wish to link to the stable results of a query.

I would like to request the feature: to be able to get a link to a Wikidata query result which is permanent/stable.
This would allow, among other things:

  • third parties to feel comfortable embedding visualisations without fear of vandalism.
  • formal academic referencing to specific results
  • comparisons over time between how our content has improved [c.f. those timelapse videos of Wikipedia articles growing revision-by-revision].

I realise that this would require some kind of storage/saving feature to be built (where the query result is kept in a static form in perpetuity) - not merely the query URL being stable. This implies that not ALL queries would be saved as stable results automatically but only upon user-request.

Event Timeline

Wittylama created this task.Dec 4 2018, 5:25 PM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptDec 4 2018, 5:25 PM
Wittylama updated the task description. (Show Details)Dec 4 2018, 5:28 PM
abian added a subscriber: abian.Dec 8 2018, 4:16 PM

Currently you can get this by either:

  • downloading the results from query.wikidata.org (programatically or with the UI) or
  • using Listeria on wiki and linking the corresponding revision (example: https://www.wikidata.org/?oldid=802366863) in case you want to run the same query at different points in time.

Could this work for you?

Those are viable options for making the results of a query “permanent” @abian - thank you for putting the time into thinking about the problem. The second option is quit clever and solves 90% of what I’m suggesting. However...

What is missing is “authority” of the stable revision. Using listeria to make a wiki page and then linking to a specific revision is a perfect workaround to do what I’m asking - and proves such a thing is possible - but it requires the user personally use a separate tool to create a separate “unofficial” page and link to an unverifiable result.

Imagine, for example, if we didn’t have stable revision urls for Wikipedia articles, but instead, we told people that the way they could permanently reference how a Wikipedia article looked at a specific time was to “copy the page into your own user subpage, save, and then link to THAT revision (and repeat every time you want to get a new updated version.” This WOULD give you the correct/same information, it WOULD be a stable way to refer to a Wikipedia article at a specific time, but it would be annoying effort for the user AND not have any authority/trustworthiness associated with that stable URL. The user could have potentially changed the data.

So... just like we use the stable revision urls of Wikipedia articles as a very important feature of the trustworthiness of Wikipedia articles (even though you COULD copy the article and make your own subpage that is stable) so to I believe we need the same thing for wikidata queries to make an easy and unambiguously “authoritative” version for a query result.

I understand that it shouldn’t be “automatically” created for every wikidata query (that would be computationally too heavy), but “on request” to get a stable link to a STABLE result.

See what I mean?

You may run the query and then store it on wiki as tabular data.