Template talk:Biography

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Should we only store birth/ death years or allow full dates, and YYYY-MM dates? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:46, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

As for Wikispecies' author pages I think there are only a very few cases where full dates do any real good. This isn't Wikipedia, after all… :-) Though sometimes nationality or even place of birth and/or death can be helpful, in order to pinpoint a specific author to a taxon or scientific publication. Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 20:22, 25 October 2015 (UTC).
Having interwiki links to Wikidata, and various Wikipedias, should remove the need to include such disambiguators here. But I'd like to see community consensus to strip out the non-year part of dates, or to include full dates, before we change to populating the template automatically from Wikidata. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:12, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Nationality & Role[edit]

[In reply to Tommy, above] We'd need two separate fields, "nationality" and "occupation", (e.g. "German botanist"), or we could just import Wikidata descriptions, which would be available in the user's preferred language (but would include descriptions like "university professor, philologist, poet, mountaineer, botanist, writer, radio broadcaster", from d:Q4795296, on Arnold Wall). Or maybe we could do something clever with a switch and Wikidata IDs for each likely value? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:15, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

For now, I've implemented |nationality= and |role=; see what you think of [1]. I chose "role" over "occupation", to acknowledge amateur naturalists.) Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:45, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: In general, Wikidata descriptions are probably all fine and dandy for our purposes, but automatically adding information about authors also being radio broadcasters, weirkeepers or haywards is a bit out of scope… I need to read up on Wikidata IDs and the underlaying code in order to make up my mind about using switches instead, but you might very well be on to something good there.
As for your new implementations of |nationality= and |role= they look good to me – and yes, "role" is a lot better than "occupation" in this case. Thanks for the good work so far. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 18:24, 26 October 2015 (UTC).
@Tommy Kronkvist: Thank you or your kind words. As for Wikidata IDs, an example would be Q3055126, the Wikdiata item labelled "entomologist", and described as "scientist specialising in entomology" in English, but labelled, for example, "entomologo" in Italian, with a description of "scienziato specializzato in entomologia". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:09, 26 October 2015 (UTC)


We could use this template to apply categories. for instance, Andrew D. Warren could be added to, say,

  • Category:United States people
  • Category:entomologists
  • Category:MCUF people

and Gustave Arthur Poujade to, say:

  • Category:1845 births
  • Category:1909 deaths

and Barbara A. Poulter to:

  • Category:Biographies with IPNI names

and Guido Poppe to:

  • Category:Biographies with images

Shall we? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:54, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

@Pigsonthewing: Yes and no. Categories listing authors related to specific repositories and scientific disciplines would be great in most every sense, and categories listing biographies with IPNI abbreviation and images helps when searching for author pages to improve. (However coming to think of it, in that case it would be even better with categories listing biographies without IPNI abbreviations or images…) So far so good. That said, I strongly oppose to categories such as "People from country nn", categories for years of birth and death, and such. In my opinion that's demographics rather than related to nomenclature and taxonomy. In other words, those categories would fit better in Wikipedia than Wikispecies. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 18:45, 26 October 2015 (UTC).
@Tommy Kronkvist: OK, for now, see Category:Biographies with IPNI abbreviation, Category:Biographies with botanist abbreviation, and Category:Biographies with no author abbreviation. Let's keep them as red links until we decide on the names. I've also added Category:Biography templates with taxa and Category:Biography templates with publications, for tracking purposes. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:24, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
P.S. The template now also adds pages to "role" categories, for example Category:People with role of entomologist. This is different to the existing Category:Entomologists, but could be redirected, or we could - with difficulty - have some code to use the existing categories. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:44, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
New example: Category:Entomologists - simply appending "s" to |role=. We need to watch for any complex cases. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:59, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

IPNI abbreviation[edit]

The parameter |ipni_name= might be a bit misleading, since of course not only botanists have author abbreviations. Perhaps |abbreviation= or something similar might be better suited? –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 18:53, 26 October 2015 (UTC).

@Tommy Kronkvist: I was matching the two properties on Wikidata, "botanist author abbreviation (P428) and "IPNI author ID" (P586). I'm happy to change the labels or property names, but so long as the properties are separate there (and some people can have both types) we need to keep the distinction here. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:14, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Authority control[edit]

I've made this template call {{Authority control}}. Do we want to merge the later into this one completely (keeping it separate for user pages)? Or do we want to move the identifiers currently in this template (IPNI, Zoobank, abbreviations) into {{Authority control}}? Are there any others to add? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:08, 3 November 2015 (UTC)


A parameter "Sex or gender" (male/female/unknown ...) should be added to the template a) for the sake of compatibility with Wikidata, b) because forenames are not always gender-specific, c) because the gender cannot be deduced from the role (botanist/zoologist ...) in English. Best wishes, --RLJ (talk) 19:01, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Great idea! Thanks. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 22:40, 6 November 2015 (UTC).
Why "for the sake of compatibility with Wikidata" - there are lots of properties in Wikidata that are not on Wikispecies, much less in this template. Do we have pages with such data here already? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:55, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
@RLJ, Tommy Kronkvist, and Pigsonthewing: should be enabled the loading of data from Wikidata when available and there is no locally declared data? --Zerabat (talk) 04:31, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
That's the eventual aim, for all parameters, yes. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:08, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

Still in progress?[edit]

Is anything happening with this template? I don't like all those red link categories... –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 23:52, 4 March 2016 (UTC).

There have been no objections to its use, nor to the category names, that I am aware of. Maybe it's time to create the category pages? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:57, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps. If so I propose to change "Category:Biography templates with patronyms" to "Category:Biography templates with eponyms", since the latter is not gender specific. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 09:25, 21 May 2017 (UTC).
Good idea. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:08, 21 May 2017 (UTC)