Template talk:TWLJ

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


@Nikkimaria: Hi there. Just wanted to see if you think it would make sense to add a link too WP:VS somewhere in this template? I was going to suggesting adding a link to the program from the Women in Red resources section, but saw that the most appropriate place might be within this template (maybe via the top or bottom bar?). --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:47, 7 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Ryan (Wiki Ed): There's a link at {{TWL}}, which I think makes more sense? This particular template is focused on the partner resources you can apply for, while that one is broader in scope. Nikkimaria (talk) 17:53, 7 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


@Samwalton9 (WMF): I would suggest using <span class="plainlinks"> </span> for partners linked to external links, just to make it look better. KCVelaga (talk) 11:30, 29 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@KCVelaga: Good idea - done! Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 09:54, 30 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Samwalton9 (WMF): Thank You, for the quick action. KCVelaga (talk) 11:46, 30 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Delete—or something[edit]

There doesn't seem to be any good reason to keeping this nav template in its current state, does there? My first thought was to just redirect it via a soft redirect to https://wikipedialibrary.wmflabs.org, but maybe that's not such a good idea this being a template; that might render the soft 404 right onto the pages that transclude it. We could just delete it, but that would leave red links on pages that use it. Or, maybe we could redirect it to some other nav template, if there's a good choice for that. Finally, we could simply expand this template by adding good content to it.

If I've done these searches correctly, there are zero transclusions, and 94 links to it. So, maybe that argues for a soft redirect. Really not sure what to do, here. @Samwalton9 (WMF), Nikkimaria, and Ryan (Wiki Ed): Mathglot (talk) 23:30, 11 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mathglot, your searches are for links to this talk page, not the template itself. There are 92 transclusions and 177 links. Nikkimaria (talk) 23:35, 11 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Nikkimaria:, oops! thanks. So, what do you think should happen to it? Mathglot (talk) 00:24, 12 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah I'm not convinced this is all that useful anymore, I think deleting and removing the transclusions could be a fine option if it's not used anywhere important, or perhaps updating it to include more useful content, though I'm not sure what that would be. Overall I don't feel strongly about it, it was mostly useful when all the signup pages were on-wiki. Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 11:16, 12 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reimagine as direct access nav box[edit]

@Samwalton9 (WMF) and Nikkimaria: What if we reimagine this template as a direct access nav box for the individual resources? I often want to go directly to a particular resource to do a search, which often will surface the result I am looking for when a general TWL search will not.[a] The main page (the my library page) is way too long for this purpose; it's what I do now, but it involves a lot of scrolling, and is very inconvenient. I propose that we go back to rev. 901818694 of 13:33, 14 June 2019, strip the '(available)' notifications, and just leave the direct access links. That would be highly useful, and I would place it on my user page.

I've been playing around with this in the sandbox, and here's my current version, adding some links below, breaking out the non-English links with sublabels, and converting most of the links in the 'General' section at the top from the old, 'request access' page, to a live, direct search for a configurable value (param |kw=) via the partner. The active links in the 'General' section search the partner database for 'Monique Wittig':

And then I played around some more, adding some optional parameters to generate "favorite searches" under the title bar that a user might want to have readily available, to search TWL while working 'on their different projects. With these new parameters, you can add up to ten TWL search links to the nav box 'above' bar. The links may also be piped to shorten them if desired. Here's a test of the sandbox using these new parameters; this example is envisioned as what an active WP:MED editor working on numerous medical projects might have on their user or talk page, with ten TWL search links they have defined:

I added my fave TWL tester topic (PML) as the first optional "fave TWL search", and got the ideas for some of the other ones by looking at some of the contributions of @SandyGeorgia, Shibbolethink, and Ozzie10aaaa: (who often have great ideas at WT:MED and elsewhere) for the other ones. Note that the "pipe" links need only have meaning to the user using them; for example: "Porphyria cutanea tarda" is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind for the abbreviated pipe 'Pct'; but for an individual user working on that topic and placing the nav box on their page, that's enough of a prompt even if it wouldn't make sense to a visitor. Thoughts? Mathglot (talk) 04:15, 27 July 2022 (UTC) updated by Mathglot (talk) 10:46, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I should add that the "fave links" in the sandbox version currently search all of TWL, but it would be simple to upgrade it to target individual engines like APA or Gale or whatever, so that a user could specify both their search keywords and what engine to use, so that one of your fave links might be, "search Cochrane for Tourette's", or whatever they would like to define. Mathglot (talk) 04:17, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have post-COVID brain fog and can't figure out what I'm supposed to be looking at here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:21, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SandyGeorgia:, lol, Hi, Sandy; sorry about the covid, but glad about the "post-" part. No emergency here, you can come back later after the fog lifts, if that's easier. Tl;dr: This is a proposal to repurpose an old template to make it easier for users to rapidly access the information they want via Wikipedia Library ("TWL"), especially when they want to target one partner database, like APA, or ScienceDirect, or whatever. I'm not sure if you're a TWL user, so it's hard to know how much detail to give you here by way of explanation, so I'll take a sort of middling route.
A bit of background is necessary: a few years back, you had to apply one by one for access to each WP Library ("TWL") partner you were interested in, so one application for Gale, another application for JSTOR, and so on. Each partner had its own application page in WP project space, and there were dozens of them. It was tedious. To make the process of finding all those application pages a little easier, a handy nav box was created that had links to all the partner access application pages in one place. This old nav template is of no use anymore, because access to most TWL partners was bundled a while ago, and now everyone who is extended confirmed gets automatic access to the basic package of a few dozen partners. (There are a few stragglers that you still have to apply for separately.) The template was gutted and marked deprecated.
That might have been the end of it, but I still felt a need for a nav box with links to each TWL partner, but not for the purpose of gaining access, but rather to execute a query targeting one TWL partner database of my choice, like APA, instead of dozens of databases I may not be interested in for that query, hoping for better results for the targeted query. By default, when you execute a TWL query, you get consolidated results back from any or all of dozens of partner databases; example: either of these two methods will execute a double-quoted query for "delusional parasitosis":
These methods are equivalent and each generates (an identical) set of consolidated results from all TWL partners, which is okay for many queries, but not always. Let's say you have a query and you want results only from Cochrane: currently, you are able to do that, but to find the link to access a query targeting Cochrane requires a couple of clicks. (That's assuming you know where to start; and then you have to find Cochrane on that page, and then you have to find the blue, "Access collection" button, and then you have to click it, and then you have to type in your query on the Cochrane search page, and then you have to click *that* search button, and finally you get your Cochrane-only results.) That's tedious, and I bet most TWL users never use targeted partner queries for that reason, which is a shame.
So, how can we make it easier for users to find out about targeted partner queries and use them? Mathglot to the rescue! We need a nav box template of partner links that on the surface looks just like the old, deprecated nav box did, but instead of linking to each Wikipedia partner-access application page, each link will go directly to the partner search page for issuing a query to the partner database. So, I took a copy of the old, deprecated template, and I've started repurposing it in the sandbox (here). As a concrete example: where the JSTOR link on the deprecated template used to link to Wikipedia:JSTOR, where you could apply for access to JSTOR, now the JSTOR link in the sandbox goes directly to the JSTOR query page, and all you have to do is type your query. (The sandbox template goes one better than that: if you provide the keyword parameter |kw=delusional parasitosis to the template, then the JSTOR link in the template will execute the query and take you directly to the JSTOR query results, right out of the template.)
It takes time to convert each of the partner links in the template from the old, deprecated "access link" to the new "partner query link". Currently, only the links in the "General" row at the top are converted (except for Emerald, McFarland, and MIT not yet) and you can try them out now. A concrete example may better show you the power of this: if you place the code {{TWLJ/sandbox|kw=Simone de Beauvoir}} somewhere in your sandbox or Talk page (or use Special:ExpandTemplates), then clicking any of the active links in the "General" section should take you straight to the partner query results. I'll skip down to the "Medical" section and convert those links next. Thanks for this question; having to write out the response made me think about it in a way that I will hope will clarify it for everyone. Hope this helps, but come back after the fog lifts if not! Mathglot (talk) 20:18, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm in favor of anything that makes it easier; I mostly don't use TWL because I can never figure it out. But I'm famously impatient ... Nikkimaria is who I trust on this, so whatever she says. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:01, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sandy, thanks for the comment. Yes, this is all about making it easier. I'm also impatient, which is exactly the motivation for me to write this template in the first place—i.e., I'm writing it for myself, because I'm too d*** impatient to go hunt down the page has the partner links every time, and then having to clicking two or three or four more things to get to the search results I want, if I can get to the same results faster in one or two clicks. So, I definitely hear you! And that's exactly what this template will do.
Further, the "can never figure it out" is an important bit of information to hear. Thanks again, Sandy. As an aside, if you ever think you would like to try it and want some assistance, I'd be happy to. In addition, the Wikipedia Library team is looking into creating some user doc, FAQs, and the like, which should help.
P.S. @Sam, Nikki: Sandy is one of our top editors, with deep knowledge of many aspects of Wikipedia, especially in the area of biomedical topics. If she cannot figure it out, that's a yellow flag in my mind, and we should pay attention. I know she's busy, but if Sandy is willing, interviewing her might help you in the doc upgrade project you're looking into. Mathglot (talk) 23:08, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Absolutely. The original version of this template was targeted to helping people get access, but I think there is room for a version targeting users that already have access, similar to the old {{find sources twl}}. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:39, 28 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I guess this is a confusing topic, so I just wanted to briefly add this point: converting the sandbox copy of the old template to do what I propose takes some time, and current state of the sandbox template, at least in rev. 1100811305‎ today, is neither fish nor fowl; that is, it's partly the old template with useless links, and partly the new one. Currently, the links in the top section, with the label "General" to the left, are "new style" links, and if you click them, they will go directly to a TWL partner search page, as per the proposal. All the rest of the nav links on the page (with a few scattered exceptions) are "old style" links—that is, they are leftovers from the deprecated template that link to pages of no interest to anybody. I am going through the sandbox, gradually upgrading the old links. The template works partly now, and you could even use it now if you like in your sandbox or Talk page, in a sort of "Beta testing" version, with the understanding that only a minority of the links are working as designed. One way of distinguishing the links visually, is that in desktop view, the "new" links will have a dotted underline and a tooltip that pops up if you hover over it. Thanks, Mathglot (talk) 23:19, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nav box vs. other solutions[edit]

  • What's the benefit of making this a navbox as opposed to, say, just having a dedicated page serve as an on-wiki index? Navboxes are universally intrawiki links so this would flout that convention. P.S. I think the real power play here for your use case is installing the Zotero browser extension and setting it to auto-detect and redirect to the TWL OCLC proxy on relevant pages. 👀 czar 06:17, 28 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Not opposed to another format, but the attraction of a nav box is its compact form, familiar UX, and a ready-made framework for building it. It conveys a lot of information in a small space. I take your point about intrawiki links, especially since WP:NAVBOX specifically discourages external links, and I'll have to think about that. We have various projects now that are independent of the wikipedia.org domain, such as Wikipedia Education, Wikipedia Library, and maybe others I don't know about, that are very much embedded in en-wiki, so I think in these cases an exception might be made for using nav boxes for these links, especially given the interdiction of this nav box from any page in mainspace. Using Wikipedia Library at all involves regularly going to an outside domain (oclc currently) that delivers the "Wikipedia library" content. Afaic, that's enough of a connection that a nav box makes sense here. If consensus is against that, I'll figure out some other kind of compact format to contain the links. A priori, I don't see a reason why a list of external links would be fine on a Project page, and not fine in a nav box, which is merely a user-friendly reformatting of the same content, but I'm open to persuasion. Perhaps another format will be needed. Mathglot (talk) 07:33, 28 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    As far as making a dedicated page, it would be a dedicated template, in that case, not a static page. The whole point is to include it for ready reference on your User page, User talk page, sandbox, or perhaps project space pages, in order to take advantage of parametrized links to Wikipedia Library content. I suppose it could be redesigned as a template containing a simple bullet list of parametrized external links, not looking like a nav box, and then transclude that in collapsed form. Mathglot (talk) 07:54, 28 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I've found another possible design approach in case the nav box with external links is not an option, which would be to enlist all the old landing pages for the partner access requests, each with one (configurable) link containing the search link for the corresponding partner database. So for example, the old JSTOR access request page would add an external link to the JSTOR search link. In addition, to make it configurable, the partner page would become a template, whose default would be what the page displays now (plus the search link), but with the presence of a parameter (the search keywords), would configure the link to search the partner database with those keywords. In this case, the repurposed nav box would be retained, but instead of having direct external links to the partner db query, it would contain an on-site link to the partner page in WP space, where one more click would get them to the search results they are looking for. So, we'd have to alter about 70 partner pages, making them into templates that would handle the keyword param; pretty easy conceptually, but tedious, and seems artificial, all to avoid having external links in the nav box?
I'm hoping this will not be necessary, but at least it's a backup plan if the more efficient, original solution is not available. In my opinion, the guideline recommendation of avoiding external links is because nav boxes are primarily designed for article pages, and there, the constraint makes perfect sense. But on Wikipedia Project pages, this constraint makes no sense, at least in the case of Wikipedia Library, because the whole project is built on displaying "partnered" external content; without external links to partner sites, there *is* no Wikipedia Library. Plus the template is geared for Project pages not mainspace, and a couple of lines of code could restrict it from mainspace entirely, and that seems like it should be good enough. Mathglot (talk) 04:29, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Help with links[edit]

In order to complete development on this nav box (or whatever format it ends up in), I have to reverse-engineer the search queries generated by the partners, after I click my "Access collection" button. But, for those partners for whom I don't have access, I have a "Go to site" button instead, and I can't do the reverse-engineering operation, and will need some help. User:Nikkimaria, I assume that you have access to all the partners, so that you have access to their collection via the 'Access collection' link. If I tell you which ones I'm missing, can you help me get the search urls I am missing? Mathglot (talk) 10:33, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't have access to all of them, but if you provide a list I can probably cobble something together. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:33, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ This is even the case sometimes when looking for a journal article with a highly unique title, and it seems like a bug that general search doesn't find it; but that is a topic for a separate discussion.