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Comparison of Wikipedia and other encyclopedias for accuracy, breadth, and depth in historical articles
Abstract This paper seeks to provide reference librThis paper seeks to provide reference librarians and faculty with evidence regarding the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Wikipedia articles compared with respected reference resources. This content analysis evaluated nine Wikipedia articles against comparable articles in Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Dictionary of American History and American National Biography Online in order to compare Wikipedia's comprehensiveness and accuracy. The researcher used a modification of a stratified random sampling and a purposive sampling to identify a variety of historical entries and compared each text in terms of depth, accuracy, and detail. The study did reveal inaccuracies in eight of the nine entries and exposed major flaws in at least two of the nine Wikipedia articles. Overall, Wikipedia's accuracy rate was 80 percent compared with 95-96 percent accuracy within the other sources. This study does support the claim that Wikipedia is less reliable than other reference resources. Furthermore, the research found at least five unattributed direct quotations and verbatim text from other sources with no citations. More research must be undertaken to analyze Wikipedia entries in other disciplines in order to judge the source's accuracy and overall quality. This paper also shows the need for analysis of Wikipedia articles' histories and editing process. This research provides a methodology for further content analysis of Wikipedia articles. Although generalizations cannot be made from this paper alone, the paper provides empirical data to support concerns regarding the accuracy and authoritativeness of Wikipedia.curacy and authoritativeness of Wikipedia.
Added by wikilit team Yes  +
Collected data time dimension Cross-sectional  +
Comments Overall, Wikipedia's accuracy rate was 80 percent compared with 95-96 percent accuracy within the other sources which supports the claim that Wikipedia is less reliable than other reference resources.
Conclusion The study did reveal inaccuracies in eightThe study did reveal inaccuracies in eight of the nine entries and exposed major flaws in at least two of the nine Wikipedia articles. Overall, Wikipedia's accuracy rate was 80 percent compared with 95-96 percent accuracy within the other sources. This study does support the claim that Wikipedia is less reliable than other reference resources. Furthermore, the research found at least five unattributed direct quotations and verbatim text from other sources with no citations.text from other sources with no citations.
Data source Documents  + , Wikipedia pages  +
Doi 10.1108/00907320810851998 +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Comparison%2Bof%2BWikipedia%2Band%2Bother%2Bencyclopedias%2Bfor%2Baccuracy%2C%2Bbreadth%2C%2Band%2Bdepth%2Bin%2Bhistorical%2Barticles%22  +
Has author Lucy Holman Rector +
Has domain Library science +
Has topic Comprehensiveness + , Reliability +
Issue 1  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Journal article  +
Published in Reference Services Review +
Research design Content analysis  +
Research questions This paper seeks to provide reference librarians and faculty with evidence regarding the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Wikipedia articles compared with respected reference resources.
Revid 10,707  +
Theories Undetermined
Theory type Analysis  +
Title Comparison of Wikipedia and other encyclopedias for accuracy, breadth, and depth in historical articles
Unit of analysis Subject  + , Website  +
Url http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00907320810851998  +
Volume 36  +
Wikipedia coverage Case  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language Not specified  +
Wikipedia page type Article  +
Year 2008  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:25:36  +
Categories Comprehensiveness  + , Reliability  + , Library science  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:21:54  +
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