Original research means that we will (also) have to deal with statements that have not been published before. So far this is a huge problem for any researcher. Should she make a claim that was never made before – minutes after she found the archival record to substantiate the spectacular claim? You better wait until your book is out – which can take a couple of years, and if you still need a database to do your research you better work on a platform where your work is invisible until then.
The platform with immediate visibility of your work is at the same moment a massive advantage: If you publish the observation minutes after you made it, you will have made your claim and you can from now onwards refer to it. That, however, means that FactGrid claim has to be made publicly, visibly connected to your research, your name, with a specific URL that comes with a publication date.
The FactGrid must be able to turn any statement which is made on the database into a micro publication. You make the claim and you give the source with all the information about you including your evaluation and the details which any future research should continue to offer. The Wikibase Interface of our dreams should offer footnotes on each claim, every note nicely wrapped up for anyone to grab and to repeat in his own texts.
The more complex source attribution will have more advantages: It will allow researchers to fill the database with hypothetical statements. These will be marked as such and enter the test run, for you will now be able to see whether a hypothetical date (for instance) of a letter fuses into the data environment you are creating. You can immediately work with colleagues on a premise where you feared them as rivals who could steal your information.
The FactGrid source attribution will have four sections. Users should be guided with drop down menus where possible. We generate a new Q-item to quote in the end:
Section 1: Published elsewhere or original research? (pull down menu plus input fields)
- This statement is already publicly circulating. (Input fields:) Q-number of the publication (plus field for more specific reference like a specific page number).
- This is original research to be credited as such. (Input fields:) Q-numbers of the researchers or team to be credited (plus date stamp and url to quote the entire module).
Section 2: the evidence
- Q-number(s) of the piece(s) of evidence (plus field(s) for detailed reference like page number(s)).
Section 4: evaluation (qualifier to the previous via pull down menu)
- The claim can be taken for granted with the evidence given.
- The claim is based on additional conclusions (stated in section 4).
- No evidence given, yet the claim is generally accepted as fact
- The claim is obsolete (for reasons discussed in section 4).
- The claim is/was hypothetical (the assumptions are stated in section 4).
- The claim is valid within the fictional universe.
- The claim has a propaganda value.
- The claim is part of a religious creed (see the discussion of section 4).
- The claim is personal/family knowledge.
Section 4: discussion (link to the statement’s discussion page)
The source statement will ideally contain all the information needed to (automatically) generate a footnote which can then be used by the Reasonator the FactGrid’s equivalent (see our needed thing #3), in any Wikipedia article or in any other publication referring to the claim.