Evolution of Wikipedia’s medical content: past, present and future

Authors : Thomas Shafee, Gwinyai Masukume, Lisa Kipersztok, Diptanshu Da, Mikael Häggström, James Heilman

As one of the most commonly read online sources of medical information, Wikipedia is an influential public health platform. Its medical content, community, collaborations and challenges have been evolving since its creation in 2001, and engagement by the medical community is vital for ensuring its accuracy and completeness.

Both the encyclopaedia’s internal metrics as well as external assessments of its quality indicate that its articles are highly variable, but improving. Although content can be edited by anyone, medical articles are primarily written by a core group of medical professionals.

Diverse collaborative ventures have enhanced medical article quality and reach, and opportunities for partnerships are more available than ever. Nevertheless, Wikipedia’s medical content and community still face significant challenges, and a socioecological model is used to structure specific recommendations.

We propose that the medical community should prioritise the accuracy of biomedical information in the world’s most consulted encyclopaedia.

URL : Evolution of Wikipedia’s medical content: past, present and future

Alternative location : http://jech.bmj.com/content/early/2017/08/24/jech-2016-208601

Wikipedia as a gateway to biomedical research: The relative distribution and use of citations in the English Wikipedia

Authors : Lauren A. Maggio, John M. Willinsky, Ryan M. Steinberg, Daniel Mietchen, Joseph L. Wass, Ting Dong

Wikipedia is a gateway to knowledge. However, the extent to which this gateway ends at Wikipedia or continues via supporting citations is unknown. Wikipedia’s gateway functionality has implications for information design and education, notably in medicine.

This study aims to establish benchmarks for the relative distribution and referral (click) rate of citations, as indicated by presence of a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), from Wikipedia, with a focus on medical citations.

DOIs referred from the English Wikipedia in August 2016 were obtained from Crossref.org. Next, based on a DOI presence on a WikiProject Medicine page, all DOIs in Wikipedia were categorized as medical (WP:MED) or non-medical (non-WP:MED).

Using this categorization, referred DOIs were classified as WP:MED, non-WP:MED, or BOTH, meaning the DOI may have been referred from either category. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Out of 5.2 million Wikipedia pages, 4.42% (n=229,857) included at least one DOI. 68,870 were identified as WP:MED, with 22.14% (n=15,250) featuring one or more DOIs. WP:MED pages featured on average 8.88 DOI citations per page, whereas non-WP:MED pages had on average 4.28 DOI citations.

For DOIs only on WP:MED pages, a DOI was referred every 2,283 pageviews and for non-WP-MED pages every 2,467 pageviews. DOIs from both pages accounted for 12% (n=58,475) of referrals, making determining a referral rate for both impossible.

While these results cannot provide evidence of greater citation referral from WP:MED than non-WP:MED, they do provide benchmarks to assess strategies for changing referral patterns.

These changes might include editors adopting new methods for designing and presenting citations or the introduction of teaching strategies that address the value of consulting citations as a tool for extending learning.

URL : Wikipedia as a gateway to biomedical research: The relative distribution and use of citations in the English Wikipedia

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1101/165159

Student perceptions of writing with Wikipedia in Australian higher education

Authors : Robert Cummings, Frances DiLauro

The benefits of teaching with Wikipedia in higher education have been investigated for more than a decade and practitioners have claimed a fairly uniform set of outcomes. Although Wikipedia is a global knowledge platform, many studies of the benefits of teaching with Wikipedia have been conducted in U.S. higher education institutions.

The authors taught with Wikipedia in writing classes at the University of Sydney, Australia, surveying and interviewing students to both verify the traditional benefits of teaching with Wikipedia and investigate a new set of perceived benefits.

This study finds evidence that students who worked with Wikipedia in the writing classroom remained neutral in their opinions as to the legitimacy of information on Wikipedia and skeptical as to its utility in mastering writing course outcomes.

DOI : http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/7488

Wikiconflits : un corpus de discussions éditoriales conflictuelles du Wikipédia francophone

Auteurs/Authors : Celine Poudat, Natalia Grabar, Camille Paloque-Berges, Thierry Chanier, Jin Kun

Si Wikipédia (WP), qui fête aujourd’hui ses quinze ans, a donné lieu à de nombreuses études et projets de recherche qui ont permis de saisir différents aspects de son fonctionnement, de sa gouvernance ou encore des processus de réécriture à l’œuvre dans les articles, le projet encyclopédique a surtout été observé par les sciences sociales, et la question de l’écriture collaborative a été plutôt abordée du point de vue de la coopération (e.g. Viegas et al. 2004, Brandes & Lemer 2007, Kittur & Kraut 2008, Stvilia et al. 2008) que de celui de l’écriture, et des caractéristiques linguistiques et discursives particulières que le projet encyclopédique et son dispositif induisent.

Le corpus Wikiconflits, qui est l’objet du présent article, a été développé pour pallier cette situation et encourager les études linguistiques sur le projet encyclopédique, du moins est­ ce l’une de nos ambitions.

Wikiconflits s’articule ainsi autour des pages de discussion éditoriale associées aux articles encyclopédiques. Si le processus normal d’une édition d’article sur WP est collaboratif et constructif – c’est le cas de la grande majorité du WP anglophone, la coopération peut être plus ardue et entraîner des conflits éditoriaux.

En tant que frontières de la discussion et la collaboration, les conflits nous semblent des objets particulièrement intéressants à aborder pour caractériser ce nouveau genre discursif de la page de discussion éditoriale et collaborative.

Nous avons ainsi choisi de nous concentrer sur les articles ayant été le lieu de conflits, voire de guerres éditoriales. L’objectif du présent article est de présenter le corpus Wikiconflits, de ses principes de constitution à sa construction, en explicitant également les perspectives de recherche dans lesquelles nous souhaitons le mobiliser.

URL : https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01485427

Why We Read Wikipedia

Authors : Philipp Singer, Florian Lemmerich, Robert West, Leila Zia, Ellery Wulczyn, Markus Strohmaier, Jure Leskovec

Wikipedia is one of the most popular sites on the Web, with millions of users relying on it to satisfy a broad range of information needs every day. Although it is crucial to understand what exactly these needs are in order to be able to meet them, little is currently known about why users visit Wikipedia.

The goal of this paper is to fill this gap by combining a survey of Wikipedia readers with a log-based analysis of user activity.

Based on an initial series of user surveys, we build a taxonomy of Wikipedia use cases along several dimensions, capturing users’ motivations to visit Wikipedia, the depth of knowledge they are seeking, and their knowledge of the topic of interest prior to visiting Wikipedia.

Then, we quantify the prevalence of these use cases via a large-scale user survey conducted on live Wikipedia with almost 30,000 responses.

Our analyses highlight the variety of factors driving users to Wikipedia, such as current events, media coverage of a topic, personal curiosity, work or school assignments, or boredom.

Finally, we match survey responses to the respondents’ digital traces in Wikipedia’s server logs, enabling the discovery of behavioral patterns associated with specific use cases.

For instance, we observe long and fast-paced page sequences across topics for users who are bored or exploring randomly, whereas those using Wikipedia for work or school spend more time on individual articles focused on topics such as science.

Our findings advance our understanding of reader motivations and behavior on Wikipedia and can have implications for developers aiming to improve Wikipedia’s user experience, editors striving to cater to their readers’ needs, third-party services (such as search engines) providing access to Wikipedia content, and researchers aiming to build tools such as recommendation engines.

URL : Why We Read Wikipedia

Alternative location : https://arxiv.org/abs/1702.05379

Are Wikipedia Citations Important Evidence of the Impact of Scholarly Articles and Books?

Authors : Kayvan Koush, Mike Thelwall

Individual academics and research evaluators often need to assess the value of published research. Whilst citation counts are a recognised indicator of scholarly impact, alternative data is needed to provide evidence of other types of impact, including within education and wider society.

Wikipedia is a logical choice for both of these because the role of a general encyclopaedia is to be an understandable repository of facts about a diverse array of topics and hence it may cite research to support its claims.

To test whether Wikipedia could provide new evidence about the impact of scholarly research, this article counted citations to 302,328 articles and 18,735 monographs in English indexed by Scopus in the period 2005 to 2012.

The results show that citations from Wikipedia to articles are too rare for most research evaluation purposes, with only 5% of articles being cited in all fields. In contrast, a third of monographs have at least one citation from Wikipedia, with the most in the arts and humanities.

Hence, Wikipedia citations can provide extra impact evidence for academic monographs. Nevertheless, the results may be relatively easily manipulated and so Wikipedia is not recommended for evaluations affecting stakeholder interests.

URL : http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/~cm1993/papers/WikipediaCitations.pdf

Content analysis of Journal articles on Wiki in Science Direct Database

The study aims for analyzing the contents of articles on wiki that were published in the journals of science direct database, to find out the methods of research used, type of data analysis techniques used for wiki articles, most productive country contributing highest number of articles, highest contributing author, year wise publication, authors subject background etc.

Out of total 142 hits, from Science Direct database, the articles without having abstract and full text were excluded from the study and a total of 89 numbers of articles were analyzed. The study reveals that Majority of the articles on wiki are research articles and used Survey method. Again descriptive data analysis seemed to be the favored method used in majority of articles.

Germany and USA are the most productive country contributing majority of articles on wiki and majority of the authors contributing the articles on wiki are from Computer science background.

URL : http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac/1331/