Meta-Research: Citation needed? Wikipedia and the COVID-19 pandemic | bioRxiv

Abstract:  With the COVID-19 pandemic’s outbreak at the beginning of 2020, millions across the world flocked to Wikipedia to read about the virus. Our study offers an in-depth analysis of the scientific backbone supporting Wikipedia’s COVID-19 articles. Using references as a readout, we asked which sources informed Wikipedia’s growing pool of COVID-19-related articles during the pandemic’s first wave (January-May 2020). We found that coronavirus-related articles referenced trusted media sources and cited high-quality academic research. Moreover, despite a surge in preprints, Wikipedia’s COVID-19 articles had a clear preference for open-access studies published in respected journals and made little use of non-peer-reviewed research uploaded independently to academic servers. Building a timeline of COVID-19 articles on Wikipedia from 2001-2020 revealed a nuanced trade-off between quality and timeliness, with a growth in COVID-19 article creation and citations, from both academic research and popular media. It further revealed how preexisting articles on key topics related to the virus created a framework on Wikipedia for integrating new knowledge. This “scientific infrastructure” helped provide context, and regulated the influx of new information into Wikipedia. Lastly, we constructed a network of DOI-Wikipedia articles, which showed the landscape of pandemic-related knowledge on Wikipedia and revealed how citations create a web of scientific knowledge to support coverage of scientific topics like COVID-19 vaccine development. Understanding how scientific research interacts with the digital knowledge-sphere during the pandemic provides insight into how Wikipedia can facilitate access to science. It also sheds light on how Wikipedia successfully fended of disinformation on the COVID-19 and may provide insight into how its unique model may be deployed in other contexts.

Wikimedia Foundation CEO Katherine Maher to Step Down in April 2021 – Wikimedia Foundation

“Katherine Maher, the Chief Executive Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, the global nonprofit that operates Wikipedia, will be leaving the organization in April.

Under her leadership, Wikipedia attained its highest public trust in the institution’s history. Since becoming CEO in 2016, Katherine defined an expansive strategic direction for Wikimedia’s next decade, significantly expanded Wikipedia’s presence in emerging markets, increased the diversity and number of editors, significantly grew readership and contributors across Wikipedia and its sister free knowledge projects, and solidified the financial position and future of the Wikimedia movement….”

Boston Public Library makes historical images available for use in Wikipedia | Boston Public Library

“In celebration of Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary on January 15th, Boston Public Library has uploaded more than 8,000 historical photographs from its archival collections to Wikimedia Commons. These images include some of the library’s most important photographic collections, and contribute to the single largest batch of uploads ever contributed to Wikimedia Commons. By uploading these public domain images, BPL is making them available so that they can be freely used to enhance Wikipedia articles, re-printed in publications, or incorporated in student projects and papers. …”

Wikipedia celebrates 20 years of free, trusted information for the world – Wikimedia Foundation

“Wikipedia, the world’s largest free online encyclopedia, turns 20 years old on 15 January. This birthday commemorates two decades of global efforts to support free knowledge, open collaboration, and trust on the internet. In a time when disinformation and polarization challenge our trust in information and institutions, Wikipedia is more relevant than ever. Wikipedia celebrates its past and looks ahead to how it will meet the challenges of tomorrow to grow into a more resilient, equitable knowledge resource….”

What if the Web Looked More Like Wikipedia? | Time

“More intriguing than Wikipedia itself was, and remains, the idea at its core: that the Internet can be a place not just for communication and entertainment, but collaboration and truth-seeking. It has rightfully been hailed many times as the pinnacle achievement of the philosophy of the “open web,” which has many definitions, but to me simply means: you can do almost anything here, together, without corporate influence. Today, it’s the open web’s last stand—Apple, Google and Amazon’s decision to ban right-wing darling social media app Parler from their respective platforms and services was absolutely the right choice, but also made abundantly clear that the days of hoping for a truly open web have long since passed….”

Early Indicators of Scientific Impact: Predicting Citations with Altmetrics

Abstract:  Identifying important scholarly literature at an early stage is vital to the academic research community and other stakeholders such as technology companies and government bodies. Due to the sheer amount of research published and the growth of ever-changing interdisciplinary areas, researchers need an efficient way to identify important scholarly work. The number of citations a given research publication has accrued has been used for this purpose, but these take time to occur and longer to accumulate. In this article, we use altmetrics to predict the short-term and long-term citations that a scholarly publication could receive. We build various classification and regression models and evaluate their performance, finding neural networks and ensemble models to perform best for these tasks. We also find that Mendeley readership is the most important factor in predicting the early citations, followed by other factors such as the academic status of the readers (e.g., student, postdoc, professor), followers on Twitter, online post length, author count, and the number of mentions on Twitter, Wikipedia, and across different countries.

 

A rich-world Wikipeak – Wikipedia’s future lies in poorer countries | Graphic detail | The Economist

“This leaves the Wikipedias of most of the languages of Asia and Africa either bereft of articles or at the mercy of automation. Such sites are prone to including articles written by bots. After English, the language with the most articles on Wikipedia is Cebuano, spoken by just 20m people in the Philippines. Nearly all were translated from English by a computer program created by a physicist in Sweden.

Users frustrated by clunky machine-written prose can soon expect a reprieve. From 2010 to 2018 the number of active editors working in languages spoken in the richer half of countries in the world fell by 5%, but the corresponding figure for those spoken in the poorer half more than doubled. Wikipedia may have done the bulk of its organisation of the world’s information long ago, but most of the work towards making it universally accessible and useful still lies ahead.”