Wikidata Workshop January 2023

UT Linked Data Learning Group members began developing the workshop in April 2022, and delivered a 2 day virtual Wikidata Workshop on January 12 & 13, 2023.

Wikidata Workshop Event Page

Wikidata Workshop Dashboard

Workshop promotion

Promotional emails announcing the workshop and inviting registration were sent before holidays in November and December 2022, to various staff list-servs and to targeted staff groups. (see Wikidata workshop outreach emails document for more details). 

  • Lib-all and lib-gra lists at UTL
  • HRC staff
  • UT DigiPres group
  • MCMU group
  • Briscoe colleagues
  • Blanton colleagues
  • Insider list at iSchool

Registration, attendance & engagement

(numbers gleaned from Zoom reports)


41 unique names, including 5 workshop facilitators from UT LD Learning Group = 36.  


Session 1, January 12:  25 attendees (6 facilitators + 19 others). 53% of registrants (not including facilitators) attended.

Session 2, January 13:  21 attendees (6 facilitators + 15 others). 42% of registrants (not including facilitators) attended.

Attendee breakdown

  • 14 attendees from UT Libraries
    • From Content Management, Access Systems, Stewardship, Branch & Borrower Services, Architectural Collections/ Alexander Architectural Archives and Benson Latin American Collection
  • Attendees from Harry Ransom Center, Tarlton Law Library, Texas Digital Library, Briscoe Center for American History
  • 1 current iSchool student


Session 1 “Understanding and adding data”

Numbers from the workshop dashboard and dataset indicate successful learning outcomes. 

  • 21 editors
  • 74 items edited; 31 items created
  • 601 total edits
  • 835 references added
  • 80 entries claimed on dataset

 Session 2 "Using data" 

A few participants from UT Libraries reported that takeaways from this session were a helpful impetus to revisit SPARQL query as a viable method for retrieving information about Built Works in Texas, resulting ultimately in establishment of a new process that is now in production.


Workshop participants had various opportunities to provide feedback and ask questions:

  • Contact information provided
    • Outreach emails included contact info for questions
    • Workshop event page included facilitator names and contact links
  • Zoom polls at top of the first session and end of the second session gauged participants’ levels of familiarity with Wikidata, Wikimedia projects, and Linked Data, as well as workshop expectations. 
  • Breakout discussions in each session allowed participants to raise questions and discussion topics as they wanted
  • A post-workshop survey (Google Form) with 8 questions was sent via email on the Tuesday following the sessions.  

Polls during Zoom sessions

  • Participants indicated their levels of familiarity with Wikidata, Wikimedia projects, and Linked Data went up from session 1 to session 2. 

Breakout discussion highlights

  • Breakout time spent troubleshooting and working out questions about hands-on exercises
  • >> Need for more shepherding and troubleshooting for hands-on
  • Some intimidated to edit Wikidata for the first time
  • Value to learning about SPARQL concurrent to Wikidata editing
  • Sharing tips and tricks with each other
  • Relationship and connections between Wikidata and Wikipedia
  • Questions about best practice for editing on race/ethnicity/nationality
  • Questions about notability & reliable persistence of Wikidata (different from Wikipedia) 

Post-workshop survey

  • Gauging satisfaction, expectations, learning outcomes, interest in learning more
  • Open questions about suggested improvements and any other feedback
  • Only 3 responses
  • Expectations: met/exceeded
  • Learned: editing Wikidata, aspects related to HoT, first-time SPARQL query
  • Improvements: less technical SPARQL info, more focus on demo and shepherding hands-on, more about other LD projects & how data is being used
  • Interest in learning more about Wikidata and LD topics: 100%, intro to LD, SPARQL and other query tools
  • Other feedback: gratitude, interest in Python workshop with breakout sessions like this one

Observations & reflections

  • Most attendance during first hour of each session; 5 people left before breakout segments
  • Professional vs. student approach to discussion prompts because of difference in perspectives & experience

Opportunities & next steps

  • Provide concise summary report to participants, leadership at our respective institutions
  • TCDL 2023 presentation, workshop, and/or feedback session
  • Follow-on events e.g. Wikidata edit-a-thon
  • Reach out to Handbook of Texas Online to pitch collaboration ideas