Wikipedia implements quality control

Growing Wikipedia Revises Its ‘Anyone Can Edit’ Policy, from the NY Times Those measures can put some entries outside of the “anyone can edit” realm. The list changes rapidly… 82 that administrators had “protected” from all editing, mostly because of repeated vandalism or disputes over what should be said. Another 179 entries… were “semi-protected,” open to editing only by people who had been registered at the site for at least.. Read More

Britannica Strikes Back

Back in December Nature conducted a study comparing Britannica & Wikipedia, and reported that they are about equal in accuracy & error rates. Now — better late than never — Britannica has issued a retort to that study. (I’d love to read the full text of this, but unfortunately the PDF file won’t open. Is this an inadvertent comment on Britannica’s technological competence? I leave that as an exercise for.. Read More

Wikipedia = Britannica

Wikipedia as accurate as Britannica, from CNN Internet encyclopaedias go head to head, from Nature The exercise revealed numerous errors in both encyclopaedias, but among 42 entries tested, the difference in accuracy was not particularly great: the average science entry in Wikipedia contained around four inaccuracies; Britannica, about three. Only eight serious errors, such as misinterpretations of important concepts, were detected in the pairs of articles reviewed, four from each.. Read More

Wikipedia Rapid Response

I’m posting this mostly for myself, to keep track of this link (Kristina take note) so I can use it as an example in class, come the Fall. Disaster Response, via Wikis, from The Chronicle of Higher Ed’s Wired Campus Blog How does Wikipedia, the online open-source encyclopedia, actually work? Web surfers got a close look at the process when users of the site edited an entry about the mass-transit.. Read More

The Wikipedia invasion continues

The librarian invasion of Wikipedia continues. The WikiProject for Librarians now has 10 members & a fair To Do list. And this past weekend I got an internal message (a function of Wikipedia that I didn’t even know existed) from Michael Snow, that he’s written a piece on this for The Wikipedia Signpost. This piece appeared in today’s Signpost. In this piece Michael writes that “some people were voicing concern.. Read More

Stephen’s Wikipedia soap opera

For those of you who aren’t following this little drama in the library blogosphere, Stephen Francoeur recently discovered that a big chunk of his webpage on dig ref had been plagiarised & used as the Wikipedia entry on dig ref. He posted to Dig_Ref about this & got some response. I even came out of lurker mode to suggest, as I have before, that librarians should take the initiative &.. Read More

The Death of Authority?

I went to the the Schol Comm Working Group‘s brownbag yesterday, where Justin Watt, Jim Ovitt, & Mark Simpson-Vos gave a talk about Wikipedia. First of all, they did a great job: Justin did a terrific job of explaining wikis for those in the room who didn’t know how they worked, while managing to still interest those of us who did. Jim introduced the issue of authority & made some.. Read More

Reference revolution

I’m a bit behind in reading my news@nature feeds, & just came across this one, from mid-March: Reference revolution, an interview with Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia fame. Q: Do you think these flexible reference tools will overtake fixed sources of information? A: Definitely. But I think it’s going to vary across different domains. For example, an open Wiki-editing model, in my opinion, cannot replace peer-reviewed scientific research. If it’s really.. Read More

Wikipedia, tempest in a teapot?

According to this post to the Dig_Ref listserv, there’s been discussion about Wikipedia on the MEDIEV-L listserv. The chain of posts is confusing, but the Dig_Ref post discusses a post made to MEDIEV-L and reposted on NetGold. The most interesting thing to me about the Dig_Ref post is that someone in the thread calls for a boycott of Wikipedia: Certainly if we maintain a strict diet of research and peer.. Read More


I experienced a bit of manual trackback yesterday, as I followed a trail of links that started with this post from BoingBoing, to this op-ed by Larry Sanger, and finally to this response by Clay Shirky. Shirky writes about expertise, and Sanger would have us believe that the wikipedia crew thinks about expertise as if it were a bad thing. Not just with a lack of respect, what Sanger refers.. Read More