» How College Students Are Improving Wikipedia

“Some of that information has been added by college students from New England, written as a class assignment. Wiki Education, a small nonprofit, runs a program called the Wikipedia Student Program, in which we support college and university faculty who want to assign their students to write Wikipedia articles as part of their coursework.

Why do instructors assign their students to edit Wikipedia as a course assignment? Research shows a Wikipedia assignment increases motivation for students, while providing them learning objectives like critical thinking, research, writing for a public audience, evaluating and synthesizing sources and peer review. Especially important in today’s climate of misinformation and disinformation is the critical digital media literacy skills students gain from writing for Wikipedia, where they’re asked to consider and evaluate the reliability of the sources they’re citing. In addition to the benefits to student learning outcomes, instructors are also glad to see Wikipedia’s coverage of their discipline get better. And it does get better; studies such as this and this and this have shown the quality of content students add to Wikipedia is high.

Since 2010, more than 5,100 courses have participated in the program and more than 102,000 student editors have added more than 85 million words to Wikipedia. That’s 292,000 printed pages or the equivalent of 62 volumes of a printed encyclopedia. To put that in context, the last print edition of Encyclopedia Britannica had only 32 volumes. That means Wikipedia Student Program participants have added nearly twice as much content as was in Britannica. …”

Helping Ukrainian Scholars, One Book at a Time – Internet Archive Blogs

“The Internet Archive is proud to partner with Better World Books to support Ukrainian students and scholars. With a $1 donation at checkout during your purchase at betterworldbooks.com, you will help provide verifiable information to Ukrainian scholars all over the world through Wikipedia.

Since 2019, the Internet Archive has worked with the Wikipedia community to strengthen citations to published literature. Working in collaboration with Wikipedians and data scientists, Internet Archive has linked hundreds of thousands of citations in Wikipedia to books in our collection, offering Wikipedia editors and readers single-click access to the verifiable facts contained within libraries. 

Recently, our engineers analyzed the citations in the Ukrainian-language Wikipedia, and were able to connect citations to more than 17,000 books that have already been digitized by the Internet Archive, such as the page for ???????? (English translation: Genomics), which links to a science textbook published in 2002. Through this work, we discovered that there are more than 25,000 additional books that we don’t have in our collection—and that’s where you can help! …”

OER and CC license references on Wikipedia: We need your help!

“Hosting over 1.7 billion visitors, more than fifty-eight million articles in more than 300 languages, Wikipedia is the world’s largest reference site. Misinformation on Wikipedia can cause rippling damage across countless communities. As open education advocates, we need to ensure the foundational information about OER and CC licenses is accurate. This is not just a matter of correcting critical information in the present, but also protecting the future of our movement. We must ensure learners, educators, policy makers and advocates have accurate information at the core of their open education work.

This is a call to action! Join us for an introductory conversation with Wikimedia’s Douglas Ian Scott and learn how to edit Wikipedia–then put it to practice! We will host a follow-up community conversation and edit-a-thon on Wikipedia to update references to OER and CC licenses–and need your help.”

Exploring open access coverage of Wikipedia-cited research across the White Rose Universities

The popular online encyclopaedia Wikipedia is an important and influential platform that assists with the communication of science to a global audience. Using data obtained from Altmetric.com and Unpaywall, we looked at research from the White Rose Universities (Sheffield, Leeds and York) that is cited on Wikipedia. Of that research, we explored what percentage of citations were available open access (OA) and the location of those citations to ascertain whether they were hosted by publishers or within OA repositories. This article explores the importance of access to OA research within such an important and leading platform as Wikipedia and how well it supports effective scientific communication across society.

The Wikipedia Library: Accessing free reliable sources is now easier than ever – Diff

“Active editors can now make use of a cross-publisher search platform and a new interface design for The Wikipedia Library, which provides free access to research materials to improve your ability to contribute content to Wikimedia projects. We are also excited to share that editors will now receive an on-wiki notification about the library when they become eligible to start using it!

If you’re an active editor who has made more than 500 edits and your account is more than 6 months old you can go ahead and start using the library right away. Read on for more information on the improvements we’ve been making recently.

Nine years ago, Wikipedia editor Jake Orlowitz asked Highbeam – an aggregator of news articles, academic journals, and other reliable sources – if they might be able to provide him with a free account to their website so that he could do research for a Wikipedia article. They offered him 1,000 accounts, and encouraged him to distribute them amongst Wikipedia’s editing community so that everyone who wanted to use their resources on Wikipedia could do so.

Since then, a further 75 organisations have partnered with the Wikimedia Foundation to provide thousands of Wikipedia editors with free access to paywalled sources. Over this time, the program became a fully resourced project at the Wikimedia Foundation, and plans were made for a centralised signup and distribution tool capable of providing seamless searching and access capabilities for library users….”

Use and trustworthiness of Wikipedia information: students’ perceptions and reflections | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This study aims to explore the trustworthiness of Wikipedia information in terms of accuracy, stability, objectivity and validity among university students along with their perceptions toward the quality of the information in Wikipedia.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used to use a quantitative research design based on the survey method. The questionnaire was designed with the help of literature followed by a pilot study to check its validity and reliability before data collection. A proportionate stratified sampling technique was used to collect data from students in the graduate program.

Findings

Data showed that the majority of the respondents used Wikipedia information regularly for both academic and leisure purposes. It is also noted that they usually did not edit/add content in Wikipedia entries, though they observed incomplete content in it. Findings revealed that among the four constructs of trustworthiness (accuracy, stability, validity and objectivity), respondents had certain reservations about the accuracy of Wikipedia information. They opined that content from Wikipedia is not stable and is susceptible to alternation. Nevertheless, they believed in the objectivity of Wikipedia information as the contents are verified by an editor/expert and this information is considered unbiased and impartial.

Practical implications

These findings may be helpful to fill the knowledge gap in the body of literature and to understand the accuracy.

Originality/value

The current study is the first one to analyze the trustworthiness of information in Wikipedia entries among university students in the context of a developing country.

Citation needed? Wikipedia bibliometrics during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic | GigaScience | Oxford Academic

Abstract:  Background

With the COVID-19 pandemic’s outbreak, millions flocked to Wikipedia for updated information. Amid growing concerns regarding an “infodemic,” ensuring the quality of information is a crucial vector of public health. Investigating whether and how Wikipedia remained up to date and in line with science is key to formulating strategies to counter misinformation. Using citation analyses, we asked which sources informed Wikipedia’s COVID-19–related articles before and during the pandemic’s first wave (January–May 2020).

Results

We found that coronavirus-related articles referenced trusted media outlets and high-quality academic sources. Regarding academic sources, Wikipedia was found to be highly selective in terms of what science was cited. Moreover, despite a surge in COVID-19 preprints, Wikipedia had a clear preference for open-access studies published in respected journals and made little use of preprints. Building a timeline of English-language COVID-19 articles from 2001–2020 revealed a nuanced trade-off between quality and timeliness. It further showed how pre-existing articles on key topics related to the virus created a framework for integrating new knowledge. Supported by a rigid sourcing policy, this “scientific infrastructure” facilitated contextualization and regulated the influx of new information. Last, we constructed a network of DOI-Wikipedia articles, which showed the landscape of pandemic-related knowledge on Wikipedia and how academic citations create a web of shared knowledge supporting topics like COVID-19 drug development.

Conclusions

Understanding how scientific research interacts with the digital knowledge-sphere during the pandemic provides insight into how Wikipedia can facilitate access to science. It also reveals how, aided by what we term its “citizen encyclopedists,” it successfully fended off COVID-19 disinformation and how this unique model may be deployed in other contexts.

Community Wishlist Survey 2022 | Wikimedia | proposals due January 23

“What is the Community Wishlist Survey? The Community Wishlist Survey is an annual survey that allows contributors to the Wikimedia projects to propose and vote for tools and platform improvements.

Schedule

All phases of the survey begin and end at 18:00 UTC.

Phase 1 January 10 – January 23, 2022 Submit, discuss and revise proposals 

Phase 2 January 17 – January 28, 2022 Community Tech reviews and organizes proposals

Phase 3 January 28 – February 11, 2022 Vote on proposals

Phase 4 February 14, 2022 Results posted…”

A step-by-step guide for using Wikipedia for research communication | Impact of Social Sciences

“The Wikipedia community has, over time, developed a complex maze of guidelines to protect the encyclopedia from vandalism and (self-)promotion. With this post we want to offer scholars some guidance towards their first edit. For demo purposes we selected a research article already written by one of us and figured out how to incorporate some of its findings and accompanying sources into Wikipedia. In the following step-by-step guide, we summarize our experiences from this process while drawing on Wikipedia’s help page for researchers….”

Images from Wellcome Collection pass 1.5 billion views on Wikipedia | by Alice White | Dec, 2021 | Stacks

“In November, we reached a remarkable milestone: the number of times that images from Wellcome Collection have been viewed on Wikimedia passed 1.5 billion views. This post will talk about how the images got there, how people engage with them, and why it matters that our images are in Wikipedia articles….”

 

The Wikimedian On a Mission to Connect Everything – Internet Archive Blogs

“From her home in Wellington City, New Zealand, Siobhan Leachman is devoted to doing what she can to make it easier for the public to access information about scientific discoveries. In particular, she wants to highlight the contributions of women in science.

Leachman is a volunteer Wikimedian, digital curator, and citizen scientist. She uses open content to create open content. Her mission in life: To connect everything. And in doing so, she relies on the Internet Archive—and adds to its resources. …”

Unveiling the veiled: Wikipedia collaborating with academic libraries in Africa in creating visibility for African women through Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This study aims to show that digital literacy can serve as a tool for effecting social change and highlights the achievements of an academic library in digital content creation using the Wikipedia platform.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted qualitative research method, Interview and document analysis were used for data gathering. Data gathered were analysed using content (conceptual) analysis.

Findings

Findings showed that the library has created or edited digital content for various categories of women, such as women in academia, industry and politics. These entries have received more than eight million views over a period of two years, which shows that the entries are being utilised. However, the editing exercise had been confronted with challenges such as accessing reliable citations in terms of the notability and verifiability policy of Wikipedia amongst others.

Practical implications

Currently, people rely more on online resources for their research, leaving physical library resources unused. Even, more students start their research online using Wikipedia. Thus, libraries could create visibility for their physical material using regularly visited sites like Wikipedia and its sister projects such as Wikidata; otherwise, these physical materials will remain invisible to the people that needed them.

Originality/value

Contributing to Wikipedia by creating a new entry or editing an existing one can help students to deepen their knowledge about a subject; Wikipedia editing may serve as an avenue for improving information literacy skills. Drawing from the theory of cyberfeminism as used in the study, information and communications technology has the potential to empower women and transform gender relations.

Opinion: Pros and Cons of Google vs. Subscription Databases

“During my time overseeing the library services department of a large school district, we found our subscription databases were generally a well-kept secret. The lack of trained school librarians available to teach these resources was part of the issue. But Google was ubiquitous, as was Wikipedia, and they became de facto research sources for students, despite their limitations for such a role.

Google has its place for students and researchers (I used it for this article), as does Google Scholar (which I also used). But for students, subscription databases should also play a central research role, beginning with age-appropriate sources for elementary kids – like National Geographic – and moving up to “Gale in Context” for middle school students, and more scholarly articles for high schoolers from sources like ABC-CLIO….”