A rich-world Wikipeak – Wikipedia’s future lies in poorer countries | Graphic detail | The Economist

“This leaves the Wikipedias of most of the languages of Asia and Africa either bereft of articles or at the mercy of automation. Such sites are prone to including articles written by bots. After English, the language with the most articles on Wikipedia is Cebuano, spoken by just 20m people in the Philippines. Nearly all were translated from English by a computer program created by a physicist in Sweden.

Users frustrated by clunky machine-written prose can soon expect a reprieve. From 2010 to 2018 the number of active editors working in languages spoken in the richer half of countries in the world fell by 5%, but the corresponding figure for those spoken in the poorer half more than doubled. Wikipedia may have done the bulk of its organisation of the world’s information long ago, but most of the work towards making it universally accessible and useful still lies ahead.”

“It’s hard to explain why this is taking so long” – scilog

When it comes into force at the beginning of 2021, the Open Access initiative “Plan S” is poised to help opening up and improving academic publishing. Ulrich Pöschl, a chemist and Open Access advocate of the first hour, explains why free access to research results is important and how an up-to-date academic publishing system can work.

Wikipedia’s Biggest Challenge Awaits in 2021 | WIRED

“Can the community of editors and administrators who collect and present the facts become as sturdy and reliable as the facts themselves? The fear is that unless Wikipedia diversifies its editing ranks, it will be unable to produce the needed context, proportionality, fairness, and imagination to accurately collect the world’s knowledge.

In 2021 the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the more than 300 different versions of Wikipedia, plans to finalize a uniform code of conduct that details unacceptable behavior among the project’s editors—including insults, sexual harassment, and doxing—and assigns corresponding punishments. The new system, which is being fashioned in consultation with the editors and administrators across the encyclopedias, would differ significantly from the current, decentralized disciplinary apparatus. Not only would there be uniform standards of conduct, but there likely would be easier access to the protection of privacy for those who make complaints of harassment….”

Award ceremony for the best PhD theses during the IwZ’2020 ? Lewoniewski

“In the 23rd Edition of the Scientific Competition of the Economic Informatics Society in the group of doctoral dissertations, the third place was awarded to the work “The method of comparing and enriching information in multilingual wikis based on the analysis of their quality“. Author of the thesis: Dr. W?odzimierz Lewoniewski; The thesis supervisor: Prof. Witold Abramowicz; the auxiliary supervisor: Prof. Krzysztof W?cel.

The doctoral dissertation presents methods and tools that allow to determine the values of quality measures on the basis of data in various formats and with the use of various sources. As part of scientific research, data with a total volume of over 10 terabytes were analyzed and over a billion values of information quality measures were obtained from the multilingual Wikipedia. The automatic quality assessment models presented in the doctoral dissertation can be used not only to automatically enrich various language versions of Wikipedia, but also to enrich other knowledge bases (such as DBpedia, Wikidata) with information of better quality….”

Nitpicking online knowledge representations of governmental leadership. The case of Belgian prime ministers in Wikipedia and Wikidata.

Abstract:  A key pitfall for knowledge-seekers, particularly in the political arena, is informed complacency, or an over-reliance on search engines at the cost of epistemic curiosity. Recent scholarship has documented significant problems with those sources of knowledge that the public relies on the most, including instances of ideological and algorithmic bias in Wikipedia and Google. Such observations raise the question of how deep one would actually need to dig into these platforms’ representations of factual (historical and biographical) knowledge before encountering similar epistemological issues. The present article addresses this question by ‘nitpicking’ knowledge representations of governments and governmental leadership in Wikipedia and Wikidata. Situated within the emerging framework of ‘data studies’, our micro-level analysis of the representations of Belgian prime ministers and their governments thereby reveals problems of classification, naming and linking of biographical items that go well beyond the affordances of the platforms under discussion. This article thus makes an evidence-based contribution to the study of the fundamental challenges that mark the formalisation of knowledge in the humanities.

 

Exploration Engines – the koodos collective

“Serendipitous use of the internet is slowly going extinct as we replace link-hopping with the algorithmic-feed. Ranked results and recommendations have become the dominant mode of exploring information online. In this experiment, we break away from this paradigm, and present Wikigraph – our project for Interhackt. While a “search engine” returns a ranked list of results, Wikigraph returns the most relevant sub-graph of pages. Such an application we term an “exploration engine.”…”

An altmetric attention advantage for open access books in the humanities and social sciences | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The last decade has seen two significant phenomena emerge in research communication: the rise of open access (OA) publishing, and the easy availability of evidence of online sharing in the form of altmetrics. There has been limited examination of the effect of OA on online sharing for journal articles, and little for books. This paper examines the altmetrics of a set of 32,222 books (of which 5% are OA) and a set of 220,527 chapters (of which 7% are OA) indexed by the scholarly database Dimensions in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Both OA books and chapters have significantly higher use on social networks, higher coverage in the mass media and blogs, and evidence of higher rates of social impact in policy documents. OA chapters have higher rates of coverage on Wikipedia than their non-OA equivalents, and are more likely to be shared on Mendeley. Even within the Humanities and Social Sciences, disciplinary differences in altmetric activity are evident. The effect is confirmed for chapters, although sampling issues prevent the strong conclusion that OA facilitates extra attention at the whole book level, the apparent OA altmetrics advantage suggests that the move towards OA is increasing social sharing and broader impact.

 

Scholars reflect on Wikipedia’s 20 years of crowdsourced knowledge | Books, Et Al.

“In 2005—not long after the founding of Wikipedia by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in early 2001—academic experts commissioned to compare 42 articles published in Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia relating to science found an average of three errors in the Britannica entries and four in Wikipedia, suggesting a comparable level of accuracy (1). Yet in 2007, Michael Gorman, former president of the American Library Association, argued scornfully that “A professor who encourages the use of Wikipedia is the intellectual equivalent of a dietician who recommends a steady diet of Big Macs with everything” (2). Gorman’s article reflected the widespread skepticism at the time about the reliability of an encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Today, Wikipedia is the world’s leading encyclopedia. Every month, 1.5 billion unique devices worldwide access it 15 billion times, with more than 6000 page views per second. Meanwhile, Encyclopaedia Britannica—last printed in 2010—is now “all but dead” online, according to scholar Heather Ford in her essay in Wikipedia @ 20.

The book’s 22 essays are wide-ranging, often intellectually engaging, and, in parts, stylishly written. Its 34 contributors include, fittingly, academics and nonacademics based in many countries, although predominantly in the United States. Its U.S.-based editors, Joseph Reagle and Jackie Koerner, are (respectively) a professor of communication studies and a qualitative research analyst for online communities who also acts as the community health consultant for the Wikimedia community….”

Scholars reflect on Wikipedia’s 20 years of crowdsourced knowledge | Books, Et Al.

“In 2005—not long after the founding of Wikipedia by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in early 2001—academic experts commissioned to compare 42 articles published in Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia relating to science found an average of three errors in the Britannica entries and four in Wikipedia, suggesting a comparable level of accuracy (1). Yet in 2007, Michael Gorman, former president of the American Library Association, argued scornfully that “A professor who encourages the use of Wikipedia is the intellectual equivalent of a dietician who recommends a steady diet of Big Macs with everything” (2). Gorman’s article reflected the widespread skepticism at the time about the reliability of an encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Today, Wikipedia is the world’s leading encyclopedia. Every month, 1.5 billion unique devices worldwide access it 15 billion times, with more than 6000 page views per second. Meanwhile, Encyclopaedia Britannica—last printed in 2010—is now “all but dead” online, according to scholar Heather Ford in her essay in Wikipedia @ 20.

The book’s 22 essays are wide-ranging, often intellectually engaging, and, in parts, stylishly written. Its 34 contributors include, fittingly, academics and nonacademics based in many countries, although predominantly in the United States. Its U.S.-based editors, Joseph Reagle and Jackie Koerner, are (respectively) a professor of communication studies and a qualitative research analyst for online communities who also acts as the community health consultant for the Wikimedia community….”

The World Health Organization and Wikimedia Foundation expand access to trusted information about COVID-19 on Wikipedia

“The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that administers Wikipedia, announced today a collaboration to expand the public’s access to the latest and most reliable information about COVID-19. 

The collaboration will make trusted, public health information available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license at a time when countries face continuing resurgences of COVID-19 and social stability increasingly depends on the public’s shared understanding of the facts. 

Through the collaboration, people everywhere will be able to access and share WHO infographics, videos, and other public health assets on Wikimedia Commons, a digital library of free images and other multimedia. 

With these new freely-licensed resources, Wikipedia’s more than 250,000 volunteer editors can also build on and expand the site’s COVID-19 coverage, which currently offers more than 5,200 coronavirus-related articles in 175 languages. This WHO content will also be translated across national and regional languages through Wikipedia’s vast network of global volunteers.”

The Wikipedia research conundrum: Is it citable?

“A total of 99 participants mentioned Wikipedia’s contribution model, and 70 thought this characteristic was undesirable. As mentioned above, one might think that those who mention the open model, and especially those who mention it as a bad thing, would be less likely to consider Wikipedia a helpful resource. As it turns out, this is not the case.

More than 50% of the students who mentioned Wikipedia’s contribution model still selected it as helpful. This number is not significantly different from the 54% among those who did not mention the fact that anyone is free to edit the resource. Even those who viewed the authorship model negatively do not appear to differ in any statistically significant way in their general likelihood to select Wikipedia as helpful. Quite simply, our results do not provide any evidence that paying attention to the open contribution model of Wikipedia impacts the way that people evaluate its helpfulness….”