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Janitors of knowledge: constructing knowledge in the everyday life of Wikipedia editors
Abstract Purpose - The aim of this article is to exPurpose - The aim of this article is to explore how trustworthy knowledge claims in Wikipedia are constructed by focusing on the everyday practices of Wikipedia editors. The article focuses particularly on the role of references to external sources for the stabilisation of knowledge in Wikipedia. Design/methodology/approach - The study is inspired by online ethnography. It includes eleven Wikipedia editors, together with the sociotechnical resources in Wikipedia. The material was collected through interviews, online observations, web documents and discussions, and e-mail questions. The analysis was carried out from a perspective of science and technology studies {(STS).} Findings - Wikipedia can be regarded as a laboratory for knowledge construction in which the already published is being recycled. The references to external sources anchor the participatory encyclopaedia in the ecology of established media and attribute trust to the knowledge published. The policy on Verifiability is analysed as an obligatory passage point to which all actors have to adjust. Active Wikipedia editors can be seen as akin to janitors of knowledge, as they are the ones who, through their hands-on activities, keep Wikipedia stable. Originality/value - The study develops an innovative understanding of the knowledge construction culture in one of the most popular sources for information on the internet. By highlighting the ways in which trust is established in Wikipedia, a more reflexive use of the participatory encyclopaedia is made possible. This is of value for information literacy training.f value for information literacy training.
Added by wikilit team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension Longitudinal  +
Conclusion Wikipedia can be regarded as a laboratory Wikipedia can be regarded as a laboratory for knowledge construction in which the already published is being recycled. The references to external sources anchor the participatory encyclopaedia in the ecology of established media and attribute trust to the knowledge published. The policy on Verifiability is analysed as an obligatory passage point to which all actors have to adjust. Active Wikipedia editors can be seen as akin to janitors of knowledge, as they are the ones who, through their hands-on activities, keep Wikipedia stable.ands-on activities, keep Wikipedia stable.
Data source Direct observation  + , Documents  + , Interview responses  + , Survey responses  +
Doi 10.1108/00220411111164709 +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Janitors%2Bof%2Bknowledge%3A%2Bconstructing%2Bknowledge%2Bin%2Bthe%2Beveryday%2Blife%2Bof%2BWikipedia%2Beditors%22  +
Has author Olof Sundin +
Has domain Information systems + , Knowledge management +
Has topic Contributor perceptions of credibility +
Issue 5  +
Pages 840-862  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Journal article  +
Published in Journal of Documentation +
Research design Ethnography  +
Research questions The aim of this article is to explore how The aim of this article is to explore how trustworthy knowledge claims in Wikipedia are constructed by focusing on the everyday practices of Wikipedia editors. The article focuses particularly on the role of references to external sources for the stabilisation of knowledge in Wikipedia.e stabilisation of knowledge in Wikipedia.
Revid 10,839  +
Theories The theoretical starting point is the inteThe theoretical starting point is the interdependence of information practices and technology as developed in science and technology studies (STS) (eg. Callon, 1986; Frohmann, 2004; Latour, 1987; Latour & Woolgar, 1986[1979])....Moreover, Wikipedia has also been explored from the participants’ point of view. Bryant, Forte and Bruckman (2005) refer to the theory of legitimate peripheral participation, developed by Lave and Wenger (1991), when trying to understand “how users’ motivations and their perceptions of their roles in Wikipedia change as they become more engaged in the community” (p. 2).ome more engaged in the community” (p. 2).
Theory type Analysis  +
Title Janitors of knowledge: constructing knowledge in the everyday life of Wikipedia editors
Unit of analysis Article  + , User  +
Url http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1949863&show=abstract  +
Volume 67  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language English  + , Swedish  +
Wikipedia page type Policy  + , Discussion and Q&A  +
Year 2011  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:29:16  +
Categories Contributor perceptions of credibility  + , Information systems  + , Knowledge management  + , Publications with missing comments  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:29:19  +
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