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Mass collaboration or mass amateurism? A comparative study on the quality of scientific information produced using Wiki tools and concepts
Abstract With this PhD dissertation, we intend to cWith this PhD dissertation, we intend to contribute to a better understanding of the Wiki phenomenon as a knowledge management system which aggregates private knowledge. We also wish to check to what extent information generated through anonymous and freely bestowed mass collaboration is reliable as opposed to the traditional approach. In order to achieve that goal, we develop a comparative study between Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica with regard to accuracy, depth and detail of information in both, in order to confront the quality of the knowledge repository produced by them. That will allow us to reach a conclusion about the efficacy of the business models behind them. We will use a representative random sample which is composed by the articles that are comprised in both encyclopedias. Each pair of articles was previously reformatted and then graded by an expert in its subject area. At the same time, we collected a small convenience sample which only integrates Management articles. Each pair of articles was graded by several experts in order to determine the uncertainty associated with having diverse gradings of the same article and apply it to the evaluations carried out by just one expert. The conclusion was that the average quality of the Wikipedia articles which were analysed was superior to its peers’ and that this difference was statistically significant. An inquiry was conducted within the academia which certified that traditional information sources were used by a minority as the first approach to seeking information. This inquiry also made clear that reliance on these sources was considerably larger than reliance on information obtained through Wikipedia. This quality perception, as well as the diametrically opposed results of its evaluation through a blind test, reinforces the evaluating panel’s exemption. However much the chosen sample is representative of the universe to be studied, results have depended on the evaluators’ personal opinion and chosen criteria. This means that the reproducibility of this study’s conclusions using a different grading panel cannot be guaranteed. Nevertheless, this is not enough of a reason to reject the study results obtained through more than five hundred evaluations. This thesis is thus an attempt to help clarifying this topic and contributing to a better perception of the quality of a tool which is daily used by millions of people, of the mass collaboration which feeds it and of the collaborative software that supports it.e collaborative software that supports it.
Added by wikilit team No but verified  +
Collected data time dimension Cross-sectional  +
Comments [http://massamateurism.blogspot.pt/p/synopsis.html Synopsis]
Conclusion In global terms the conclusion was that thIn global terms the conclusion was that the average quality of the Wikipedia articles which were analyzed was superior to its peer’s and that this difference was statistically significant (90% of the Wikipedia articles have been considered as having equivalent or better quality than their Britannica counterparts). However much the chosen sample is representative of the universe to be studied, results have depended on the evaluators’ personal opinion and chosen criteria. This means that the reproducibility of this study’s conclusions using a different grading panel cannot be guaranteed. Nevertheless, this is not enough of a reason to reject the study results obtained through more than five hundred evaluations. One explanation for the success of Wikipedia can be found in the altruism of individuals who come together around themes they share the same passion for, and it is expected they have remarkable knowledge on these. In other words, in the case studied, mass collaboration seems self-organized, leading to an organization of self-assessment and self-correction among peers which produces impressive results, against all odds.uces impressive results, against all odds.
Data source Documents  + , Survey responses  + , Wikipedia pages  +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Mass%2Bcollaboration%2Bor%2Bmass%2Bamateurism%3F%2BA%2Bcomparative%2Bstudy%2Bon%2Bthe%2Bquality%2Bof%2Bscientific%2Binformation%2Bproduced%2Busing%2BWiki%2Btools%2Band%2Bconcepts.%22  +
Has author Fernando Rodrigues +
Has domain Computer science + , Business + , Information systems + , Knowledge management +
Has topic Reliability + , Encyclopedias +
Month December  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Thesis  +
Published in Universidade Évora +
Research design Statistical analysis  +
Research questions This study intends to contribute to a bettThis study intends to contribute to a better understanding of the Wiki phenomenon as a knowledge management system which aggregates private knowledge and check to what extent information generated through anonymous and freely bestowed mass collaboration is reliable as opposed to the traditional approach. To achieve that goal, we develop a comparative study between Wikipedia and Britannica Encyclopedias, in order to confront the quality of the knowledge repository produced by them. That will allow us to reach a conclusion about the efficacy of the business models behind them.ficacy of the business models behind them.
Revid 10,864  +
Theories None specified by author.
Theory type Analysis  +
Title Mass collaboration or mass amateurism? A comparative study on the quality of scientific information produced using Wiki tools and concepts.
Unit of analysis Article  + , Website  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language English  +
Wikipedia page type Article  +
Year 2012  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 3 January 2013 11:20:45  +
Categories Publications with missing gscites  + , Reliability  + , Encyclopedias  + , Computer science  + , Business  + , Information systems  + , Knowledge management  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:29:35  +
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