Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Wikipedia for Researchers

1,106 views

Published on

Wikipedia for Researchers talk, as given at the British Library.

The first part covers Wikipedia as a resource for researchers, looking at how it works, how to judge the reliability of content, and how to use Wikipedia as a starting point to access other resources.

The second part looks at how Wikipedia is used by researchers as a subject or a corpus, and gives an overview of the kinds of research being done on Wikipedia.

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Wikipedia for Researchers

  1. 1. Wikipedia for Researchers Andrew Gray – Wikipedian in Residence andrew.gray@bl.uk / @generalising
  2. 2. About Wikipedia & Wikimedia Wikimedia  Movement and charitable body  80,000 contributors in 280 languages and eleven core projects  Image repository, dictionary, news site…  …read by 7% of the world! Wikipedia  19,000,000 articles, 4,000,000 in English  6,500 articles and 235,000 edits per day (…and ten years ago, this was all fields…) 2
  3. 3. …so what is Wikipedia? …an encyclopedia …written neutrally and verifiably …using previously published information …free to use, distribute, or reuse …a collaborative community …with no firm rules 3
  4. 4. Internal processes All edits are visible through watchlists and page histories  About 7% are vandalism or malicious; processes to detect these  Median time to correction < 2 minutes… but some stay much longer Individual discussion pages for all articles – “talk” Quality review and assessment process Specialised “wikiproject” working groups and central noticeboards  eg/ content topics; style; dispute resolution; copyright; etc. 4
  5. 5. Quality of Wikipedia On average… it’s not bad  In 2005 four errors per article, versus three in Britannica  In 2011, in English, Spanish & Arabic: “…the Wikipedia articles in this sample scored higher overall than the comparison articles with respect to accuracy, references, style/ readability and overall judgment…” Millions of articles – so many are, individually, problematic  Various ways of identifying “signs” of quality  Markers for quality are both obvious and subtle Very effective “springboard” tool 5
  6. 6. Looking for quality Corner icons  - article locked down in some way  - featured or “good” quality Problem tags Article talk pages and histories Style  Badly written or formatted articles = often neglected 6
  7. 7. Accessing other content Structured categories and navigational templates “What links here” 7
  8. 8. Moving on to other content Other languages – not translations, and may have more content Mousing over footnote markers Within the references:  Links through DOIs and other identifiers  ISBNs go to a special landing page  …and then out to libraries, booksellers, etc  ISSNs go to WorldCat  If an author, look for authority control links: 8
  9. 9. Preferences Available to logged in users Two particularly useful options:  New window for external links (Gadgets > Browsing)  Quality assessment in headers (Gadgets > Appearance)  Many others - mostly editor-oriented tools 9
  10. 10. Looking for sets of material Some tools available – http://www.toolserver.org  Complex to use, but rewarding CatScan: look for intersection of categories  “all physicists born in 1912” – 51 in English, 34 in German Full dumps of all data available – http://dumps.wikipedia.org 10
  11. 11. Research about Wikipedia Thriving research around Wikipedia community & content  by mid-2011, 2100 peer-reviewed articles and 38 PhD theses  Active research committee and WMF support Regular report - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Newsletter  also @wikiresearch Major themes include:  Community and content creation  Reading and researching by users  Quality of content  Technical research 11
  12. 12. Research on communities Research on the Wikipedia communities:  Dynamics of community conflict, discussions, collaboration, voting, contribution, mentoring…  Demographics, motivation and specialisms of contributors  Patterns of growth and content creation/deletion  Effect of central programs on volunteer activity  Cross-cultural interaction 12
  13. 13. Research on users Research on usage of Wikipedia:  Specific searching behaviour  Patterns of usage (yearly, daily)  Tracking external events (eg swine flu) through Wikipedia  Search engine rankings  Change in usage by students  Effect of Wikipedia publication on wider literature 13
  14. 14. Research on content Research on the content of Wikipedia:  Evolution of content  Accuracy, coverage and quality  Biases – geographic, cultural, gender  Linguistic analysis  Visualisations of content  Effect of external publications on Wikipedia 14
  15. 15. Research on technical aspects Research on the technical side of Wikipedia:  Extensive work on scaling open-content services  Tools for detecting and handling vandalism  Algorithmic detection and identification of bias, spam  Practical research on uses of wikis 15
  16. 16. Research example – visualising art history http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikiarthistory.png 16
  17. 17. Research example – visualising editing patterns 17 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WikiTrip_egyptian_revolution_screenshot.png
  18. 18. Research example – editor activity http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Effect_of_barnstars_on_productivity.png 18

×