Improving Wikipedia: educational opportunity and professional responsibility
|Improving Wikipedia: educational opportunity and professional responsibility|
|Authors:||Kristine L. Callis, Lindsey R. Christ, Julian Resasco, David W. Armitage, Jeremy D. Ash, Timothy T. Caughlin, Sharon F. Clemmensen, Stella M. Copeland, Timothy J. Fullman, Ryan L. Lynch, Charley Olson, Raya A. Pruner, Ernane H.M. Vieira-Neto, Raneve West-Singh, Emilio M. Bruna|
|Citation:||Trends in ecology & evolution 24 (4): 177-179. 2009 April.|
|Publication type:||Journal article|
|Google Scholar cites:||Citations|
|Added by Wikilit team:||Added on initial load|
|Article:||Google Scholar BASE PubMed|
|Other scholarly wikis:||AcaWiki Brede Wiki WikiPapers|
|Web search:||Bing Google Yahoo! — Google PDF|
The rise of user-generated Internet content (i.e. ‘Web 2.0’) has resulted in dramatic changes in the way that scientific information is collected and disseminated. One notable example is Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org), the user-written online encyclopedia with millions of users worldwide. In the 7 years since its inception it has become a staple of the academic community, increasingly used by faculty and students to develop lectures and study aids, research topics for papers and as a source of background information while studying or conducting research.
"As part of a graduate seminar on plant–animal interactions, we set out to assess the quality and content of Wikipedia entries with an ecological focus. To do so, we critiqued entries on five major categories of plant–animal interactions: frugivory, herbivory, pollination, granivory and seed dispersal."
|Wikipedia coverage:||Main topic|
|Research design:||Content analysis|
|Data source:||Wikipedia pages|
|Collected data time dimension:||Cross-sectional|
|Unit of analysis:||Article|
|Wikipedia data extraction:||Live Wikipedia|
|Wikipedia page type:||Article, Article:talk|
|Wikipedia language:||Not specified|
"We believe users of Wikipedia seeking information on ecological topics should continue to approach these entries critically, and strongly encourage readers to refer to the ‘Article Rating’ and other tools available on the ‘Discussion’ tab for assessing and discussing entry quality. With Wikipedia and other online sources of information increasingly at the nexus of science and society, we also argue researchers in ecology and evolutionary biology can and should play an active role in improving the quality of these entries . Although we recognize that the time, professional incentives and public recognition for doing so are limited, we believe that improvements to this now ubiquitous reference source are particularly important given the increasingly public debates on ecological and evolutionary topics. The revision of Wikipedia entries can easily be incorporated into undergraduate and graduate courses, the service activities of student organizations, laboratory meetings, extension programs and the annual meetings of professional societies. It could even become part of publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals. For example, RNA News now requires that authors submitting manuscripts to one section of the journal include a Wikipedia entry for peer review that is uploaded upon the manuscript's acceptance . Activities such as these could greatly enhance the quality of scientific information available to a global audience, increase the diversity of participants in the process of disseminating this information, create mechanisms by which to gain formal recognition for doing so and provide opportunities to develop the public outreach and education skills encouraged by funding agencies, professional organizations and universities ."