The paradox of expertise: is the Wikipedia reference desk as good as your library?

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The paradox of expertise: is the Wikipedia reference desk as good as your library?
Authors: Pnina Shachaf [edit item]
Citation: Journal of Documentation 65 (6): 977-96. 2009.
Publication type: Journal article
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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Google Scholar cites: Citations
Link(s): Paper link
Added by Wikilit team: Added on initial load
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The paradox of expertise: is the Wikipedia reference desk as good as your library? is a publication by Pnina Shachaf.


[edit] Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of answers on the Wikipedia reference desk, and to compare it with library reference services. It aims to examine whether Wikipedia volunteers outperform expert reference librarians and exemplify the paradox of expertise. Design/methodology/approach - The study applied content analysis to a sample of 434 messages (77 questions and 357 responses) from the Wikipedia reference desk and focused on three {SERVQUAL} quality variables: reliability (accuracy, completeness, verifiability), responsiveness, and assurance. Findings - The study reports that on all three {SERVQUAL} measures quality of answers produced by the Wikipedia reference desk is comparable with that of library reference services. Research limitations/implications - The collaborative social reference model matched or outperformed the dyadic reference interview and should be further examined theoretically and empirically. The generalizability of the findings to other similar sites is questionable. Practical implications - Librarians and library science educators should examine the implications of the social reference on the future role of reference services. Originality/value - The study is the first to: examine the quality of the Wikipedia Reference Desk; extend research on Wikipedia quality; use {SERVQUAL} measures in evaluating {QA} sites; and compare {QA} sites with traditional reference services.

[edit] Research questions

"The purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of answers on the Wikipedia Reference Desk, and to compare it with library reference services. It aims to examine whether Wikipedia volunteers outperform expert reference librarians and exemplify the paradox of expertise."

Research details

Topics: Miscellaneous topics [edit item]
Domains: Library science [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: "Undetermined" [edit item]
Research design: Content analysis [edit item]
Data source: Wikipedia pages [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: Cross-sectional [edit item]
Unit of analysis: Website [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Dump [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: User, Other [edit item]
Wikipedia language: English [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"The study reports that on all three SERVQUAL measures quality of answers produced by the Wikipedia Reference Desk is comparable with that of library reference services."

[edit] Comments

"On all three SERVQUAL measures quality of answers produced by the Wikipedia Reference Desk is comparable with that of library reference services. Unite of analysis is the Transaction: they have investigated each transaction on Wikipedia Reference Desk"


Further notes[edit]

Facts about "The paradox of expertise: is the Wikipedia reference desk as good as your library?"RDF feed
AbstractPurpose - The purpose of this paper is to Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of answers on the Wikipedia reference desk, and to compare it with library reference services. It aims to examine whether Wikipedia volunteers outperform expert reference librarians and exemplify the paradox of expertise. Design/methodology/approach - The study applied content analysis to a sample of 434 messages (77 questions and 357 responses) from the Wikipedia reference desk and focused on three {SERVQUAL} quality variables: reliability (accuracy, completeness, verifiability), responsiveness, and assurance. Findings - The study reports that on all three {SERVQUAL} measures quality of answers produced by the Wikipedia reference desk is comparable with that of library reference services. Research limitations/implications - The collaborative social reference model matched or outperformed the dyadic reference interview and should be further examined theoretically and empirically. The generalizability of the findings to other similar sites is questionable. Practical implications - Librarians and library science educators should examine the implications of the social reference on the future role of reference services. Originality/value - The study is the first to: examine the quality of the Wikipedia Reference Desk; extend research on Wikipedia quality; use {SERVQUAL} measures in evaluating {QA} sites; and compare {QA} sites with traditional reference services.sites with traditional reference services.
Added by wikilit teamAdded on initial load +
Collected data time dimensionCross-sectional +
CommentsOn all three SERVQUAL measures quality of answers produced by the Wikipedia Reference Desk is comparable with that of library reference services. Unite of analysis is the Transaction: they have investigated each transaction on Wikipedia Reference Desk
ConclusionThe study reports that on all three SERVQUAL measures quality of answers produced by the Wikipedia Reference Desk is comparable with that of library reference services.
Data sourceWikipedia pages +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22The%2Bparadox%2Bof%2Bexpertise%3A%2Bis%2Bthe%2BWikipedia%2Breference%2Bdesk%2Bas%2Bgood%2Bas%2Byour%2Blibrary%3F%22 +
Has authorPnina Shachaf +
Has domainLibrary science +
Has topicMiscellaneous topics +
Issue6 +
Pages977-96 +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeJournal article +
Published inJournal of Documentation +
Research designContent analysis +
Research questionsThe purpose of this paper is to examine thThe purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of answers on the Wikipedia Reference Desk, and to compare it with library reference services. It aims to examine whether Wikipedia volunteers outperform expert reference librarians and exemplify the paradox of expertise.ns and exemplify the paradox of expertise.
Revid10,983 +
TheoriesUndetermined
Theory typeAnalysis +
TitleThe paradox of expertise: is the Wikipedia reference desk as good as your library?
Unit of analysisWebsite +
Urlhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00220410910998951 +
Volume65 +
Wikipedia coverageMain topic +
Wikipedia data extractionDump +
Wikipedia languageEnglish +
Wikipedia page typeUser + and Other +
Year2009 +