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I Heart Wikipedia


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A half hour talk for around 80 National Honor students on using Wikipedia effectively for academia. An updated version of this Powerpoint has been uploaded on 5/13/08 at 12.20pm. You can also view the video of this talk at

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I Heart Wikipedia

  1. I How to use Wikipedia for academia Kevin Lim • University at Buffalo Cheektowaga Central High School • 13 th May 2008
  2. Kevin Lim Cyberculture Researcher
  4. Where do you go when you’re online?
  5. Source:
  6. <ul><li>Among top 10 most visited websites </li></ul><ul><li>70% of traffic is from search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Cited in over 100 U.S. court rulings </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul>We [heart] Wikipedia!
  8. What is a Wiki? <ul><li>The first Wiki, WikiWikiWeb, was created by Ward Cunningham in 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>Named after Hawaiian bus service, Wiki Wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Allows users to easily create and edit Web pages using any Web browser </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages democratic use of Web </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul>
  9. Worldwide Participation <ul><li>253 languages </li></ul><ul><li>2 million+ articles in English </li></ul><ul><li>5 million articles in languages other than English, accounting for half of all traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Freely -licensed image, video, and sound files on Wikimedia Commons are used across languages </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul>
  10. It’s kind of a big deal… <ul><li>“ Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales </li></ul>Source: Chrys at
  11. A Culture of Giving <ul><li>Almost no co-ordination of effort </li></ul><ul><li>2% of users (1400 people) make 73.4% of edits </li></ul><ul><li>0.7% of users (524 people) make 50% of edits </li></ul><ul><li>But… people who make very, very few edits write most of Wikipedia’s content </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul>
  12. How do we edit pages on Wikipedia?
  13. Anatomy of Wikipedia: Normal View * key interaction areas
  14. Anatomy of Wikipedia: Editing View * key interaction areas
  15. Size of English Wikipedia Source:
  16. Contents of English Wikipedia (satire!) Source:
  17. How do we know what’s accurate on Wikipedia?
  18. “ Wikipedia is a great place to start, not end , your research” Dr. Alex Halavais
  19. The Good Idea: Proper citing of Wikipedia
  20. Wikipedia pages are dynamic. They typically change over time.
  21. Wikipedia lets you “Cite this page”.
  22. Offers various citation styles
  23. Wikipedia pages also feature version history .
  24. “ Freeze your reference” by picking your preferred point in history
  25. Cite references using the “permalink” to that point in history
  26. Anatomy of Wikipedia: Revision View When in doubt, try Wikipedia’s Revision View
  27. The Better Idea: Going beyond Wikipedia
  28. Wikipedia has numbered citations, linked to references below...
  29. Work from these references. Keep branching outward from there.
  30. Go through references, picking ones you think are great for your paper.
  31. Bates, Marcia J. (1989). “The Design of Browsing and Berrypicking Techniques for the Online Search Interface.” Online Review, 13(5): 407-424. Available here:
  32. Wikipedia is immense.
  33. Take your time to understand the community and culture.
  34. Questions & Answers hopefully.
  35. References Related Wiki Links Dynamics of Wikipedia, by Su-Liane Yeo (Nov 2007) Wikibooks: How to start a Wiki Wikipedia: How to Edit a Page Free Wiki has demos, screenshots, and general info on Wikis. A Comprehensive Wiki Comparison Engine Using Wiki in Education
  36. References Related Blog Readings Blogs & Wikis: contributing to the e-dialog Recordings of an ETC Discussion Forum held on September 28th, 2005, provided by Professor Alex Halavais Weblogs and collaborative web publishing as learning spaces. Halavais, A. (In press). In J. Weiss, J. Nolan, and P. Trifonas (Eds.), International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments. Springer. Handbook for Bloggers and Cyberdissidents Reporters Without Borders. Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge University Press. Wenger, E. (1998).