Scholars reflect on Wikipedia’s 20 years of crowdsourced knowledge | Books, Et Al.

“In 2005—not long after the founding of Wikipedia by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in early 2001—academic experts commissioned to compare 42 articles published in Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia relating to science found an average of three errors in the Britannica entries and four in Wikipedia, suggesting a comparable level of accuracy (1). Yet in 2007, Michael Gorman, former president of the American Library Association, argued scornfully that “A professor who encourages the use of Wikipedia is the intellectual equivalent of a dietician who recommends a steady diet of Big Macs with everything” (2). Gorman’s article reflected the widespread skepticism at the time about the reliability of an encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Today, Wikipedia is the world’s leading encyclopedia. Every month, 1.5 billion unique devices worldwide access it 15 billion times, with more than 6000 page views per second. Meanwhile, Encyclopaedia Britannica—last printed in 2010—is now “all but dead” online, according to scholar Heather Ford in her essay in Wikipedia @ 20.

The book’s 22 essays are wide-ranging, often intellectually engaging, and, in parts, stylishly written. Its 34 contributors include, fittingly, academics and nonacademics based in many countries, although predominantly in the United States. Its U.S.-based editors, Joseph Reagle and Jackie Koerner, are (respectively) a professor of communication studies and a qualitative research analyst for online communities who also acts as the community health consultant for the Wikimedia community….”

Scholars reflect on Wikipedia’s 20 years of crowdsourced knowledge | Books, Et Al.

“In 2005—not long after the founding of Wikipedia by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in early 2001—academic experts commissioned to compare 42 articles published in Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia relating to science found an average of three errors in the Britannica entries and four in Wikipedia, suggesting a comparable level of accuracy (1). Yet in 2007, Michael Gorman, former president of the American Library Association, argued scornfully that “A professor who encourages the use of Wikipedia is the intellectual equivalent of a dietician who recommends a steady diet of Big Macs with everything” (2). Gorman’s article reflected the widespread skepticism at the time about the reliability of an encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Today, Wikipedia is the world’s leading encyclopedia. Every month, 1.5 billion unique devices worldwide access it 15 billion times, with more than 6000 page views per second. Meanwhile, Encyclopaedia Britannica—last printed in 2010—is now “all but dead” online, according to scholar Heather Ford in her essay in Wikipedia @ 20.

The book’s 22 essays are wide-ranging, often intellectually engaging, and, in parts, stylishly written. Its 34 contributors include, fittingly, academics and nonacademics based in many countries, although predominantly in the United States. Its U.S.-based editors, Joseph Reagle and Jackie Koerner, are (respectively) a professor of communication studies and a qualitative research analyst for online communities who also acts as the community health consultant for the Wikimedia community….”

Creating More Visibility for Canadian Journals’ Self-Archiving Policies: An Open Access Week 2020 Crowdsourcing Project – Canadian Association of Research Libraries

“Researchers frequently need to know where and when they can share a copy of their submitted, accepted and/or published journal articles in order to: meet the requirements of a funder policy, share their research more widely through their institutional repository or a subject repository, or, decide where to publish. Most frequently, they look up the journal in question using the Sherpa RoMEO tool. However, many Canadian journals are not yet reflected in this leading international database, and for those that are, the information contained there can be old or incomplete.

CARL is therefore asking Canadian librarians, researchers, and journals to help us collect key information about these missing and incomplete journal entries to make it easier for researchers in Canada and beyond to find Canadian scholarly publication venues using this tool….”

What is the Open Access Tracking Project (OATP)? – Open Access Books Network Blog

A post from the Open Access Books Network about the Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) and how it can be used by anyone interested in Open Access books. Includes details of a Q&A with Peter Suber and Milica Ševkuši? on Tuesday 20th October at 10am EDT / 3pm BST.

Decentralized Assessment of FAIR datasets

“The pilot is based on DEIP’s own developed deep-tech innovation – Decentralized Assessment System (DAS). DAS is a peer review system that uses an incentive model with reputation rewards and produces a quantifiable metric about the quality and reliability of any data set(s) being assessed. DAS is designed specifically for assessment of assets in expertise-intensive areas, such as scientific research. DAS introduces a comprehensive and robust assessment model:

it sources the consensus about the quality of data sets among the domain experts through continuous two-level peer-review;

it ensures fair rewards for contributions and curation efforts;
it formalizes the result of assessment into explicit metrics/indicators useful for non-experts….”

Wikipedia and the End of Open Collaboration?

“Wikipedia’s incredible success masks a more complex story. In fact, not even Wikipedia has been able to maintain a stable community of volunteers over the past two decades. Figure 1 shows the number of “active” contributors to eight of the largest language versions of Wikipedia over time. The top left panel shows English Wikipedia’s explosive contributor growth through March 2007 and its transition into a long, slow period of decline. The other panels show similar patterns across the seven largest Wikipedia language versions measured by contributor base. Readership and other uses of Wikipedia have increased steadily over the period shown. As scholars of open collaboration and as concerned contributors to, and users of, Wikipedia, these dynamics have been the center of much of our research over the last decade.

Although the death of Wikipedia has been foretold many times, the dynamics playing out in the graphs above imply that long-term decline in contributors may be undermining the project from within in important ways. As the contributor bases of most of the large Wikipedia language versions shrink over time, fewer editors means reduced capacity to cover new topics and to maintain high quality content. What future do these projects have? What explains the patterns illustrated in Figure 1? What should Wikipedia and proponents of open collaborations and knowledge do? …”