The Digital Rhetoric Collaborative is continuing to celebrate our efforts to build a digital rhetoric wiki and 20 years of wiki with another Wiki Wednesday post. Today, we’re looking at research into academic interactions with the world-famous Wikipedia, the web’s crowd-sourced encyclopedia launched in January 2001.
The Wikimedia Foundation‘s April 2014 Research Newsletter reported recent research performed by Lu Xiao and Nicole Askin. The two researchers surveyed 120 academics across disciplines in late 2011 and early 2012 about their attitudes toward Wikipedia and open-access academic publishing. The researchers presented their study findings in “Academic Opinions of Wikipedia and Open-Access Publishing” in Online Information Review 38.3.
The authors reported such findings about Wikipedia interactions from their survey respondents as:
- 77 percent reported reading Wikipedia “both for pleasure and for academic use”
- 43 percent reported having at least made an entry edit
- 15 percent reported having written an article
The authors also reported the following survey results:
- 13 respondents reported having cited Wikipedia articles in peer-reviewed papers
- 54 percent of respondents reported being aware that Wikipedia had a peer-review process
- 4 respondents reported receiving credit for time spent reviewing Wikipedia articles related to their academic careers
Xiao and Askin further found correlations between open-access publishing and Wikipedia experience, stating that “the researchers’ experiences with open-access journals are correlated with their Wikipedia experiences, e.g. those who have not had any open-access journal experiences are more likely to have not had any Wikipedia experience.”
After reviewing this research, we’re wondering: Have you ever edited or written a Wikipedia article? Ever cited a Wikipedia article? How do you feel about academic use and contribution to Wikipedia?
Xiao, Lu and Nicole Askin. “Academic Opinions of Wikipedia and Open-Access Publishing.” Online Information Review 38.3 (2014). Web. 7 May 2014.