61 In 2007, michael Gorman, former president of the American Library Association (ALA) stated in an Encyclopædia britannica blog 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". 62 The library at Trent University in Ontario states of wikipedia that many articles are "long and comprehensive but that there is "a lot of room for misinformation and bias and a lot of variability in both the quality and depth of articles". It adds that wikipedia has advantages and limitations, that it has "excellent coverage of technical topics" and articles are "often added quickly and, as a result, coverage of current events is quite good comparing this to traditional sources which are unable to achieve this task. It concludes that, depending upon the need, one should think critically and assess the appropriateness of one's sources, "whether you are looking for fact or opinion, how in-depth you want to be as you explore a topic, the importance of reliability and accuracy, and the. 63 A 2006 article for the canadian Library Association (CLA) 64 discusses the wikipedia approach, process and outcome in depth, commenting for example that in controversial topics, "what is most remarkable is that the two sides actually engaged each other and negotiated a version. The author comments that: In fact wikipedia has more institutional structure than at first appears. Some 800 experienced users are designated as administrators, with special powers of binding and loosing: they can protect and unprotect, delete and undelete and revert articles, and block and unblock users. They are expected to use their powers in a neutral way, forming and implementing the consensus of the community.
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56 A 2014 study in the journal of the American Pharmacists Association examined 19 wikipedia articles about herbal supplements, and concluded that all of these articles contained information about their "therapeutic uses and adverse effects but also concluded that "several lacked information on drug interactions. The study's authors therefore recommended that patients not rely solely on wikipedia as a source for information about the herbal supplements in question. 57 Another study published in 2014 in plos one found that wikipedia's information about pharmacology was.7 accurate when compared to a pharmacology textbook, and that the completeness of such information on wikipedia was.8. The study also determined that completeness of these wikipedia articles was lowest (68) in the category "pharmacokinetics" and highest (91.3) in the category "indication". The authors concluded that "wikipedia is an accurate and comprehensive source of drug-related information for undergraduate medical safe education". 58 Expert opinion Librarians' views In a 2004 interview with The guardian, self-described information specialist and Internet consultant 59 Philip Bradley said that he would not use wikipedia and was "not aware of a single librarian who would". He then explained that "the main problem is the lack of authority. With printed publications, the publishers have to ensure that their data are reliable, as their livelihood depends. But with something like this, all that goes out the window." 60 A 2006 review of wikipedia by library journal, using a panel of librarians, "the toughest critics of reference materials, whatever their format asked "long standing reviewers" to evaluate three areas of wikipedia (popular. A reviewer who "decided to explore controversial historical and current events, hoping to find glaring abuses" said, "I was pleased by wikipedia's objective presentation of controversial subjects" but that "as with much information floating around in cyberspace, a healthy degree of skepticism and skill. Other reviewers noted that there is "much variation" but "good content abounds".
The study found that writings while information in these articles tended to be accurate, the articles examined contained many errors of omission. 54 A 2012 study co-authored by Shane Greenstein examined a decade of wikipedia articles on United States politics and found that the more contributors there were to a given article, the more neutral it tended to be, in line with a narrow interpretation of Linus's. 55 reavley. (2012) compared the quality of articles on select mental health topics on wikipedia with corresponding articles in Encyclopædia britannica and a psychiatry textbook. They asked experts to rate article content with regard to accuracy, up-to-dateness, breadth of coverage, referencing and readability. Wikipedia scored highest on all criteria except readability, and the authors concluded that wikipedia is as good as or better than Britannica and a standard textbook. 12 A 2014 perspective piece in the new England journal of Medicine examined wikipedia pages about 22 prescription drugs to determine if they had been updated to include the most recent fda safety warnings. It found that 41 of these pages were updated within two weeks after the warning, 23 were updated more than two weeks later, and the remaining 36 had not been updated to include the warning as of more than 1 year later as of January.
The test was commissioned to a research institute (Cologne-based wind gmbh whose analysts assessed 50 articles from each encyclopedia (covering politics, business, sports, science, culture, entertainment, geography, medicine, history and religion) on four criteria (accuracy, completeness, timeliness and clarity and judged wikipedia articles. Wikipedia's coverage was also found to be more complete and up to date; however, Brockhaus was judged to be more clearly written, while several wikipedia articles were criticized as being too complicated for non-experts, and many as too lengthy. In its April 2008 issue british computing magazine pc plus compared the English wikipedia with the dvd editions of World book encyclopedia and Encyclopædia britannica, assessing for each the coverage of a series of random subjects. It concluded, "The quality of content is good in all three cases" and advised wikipedia users "be aware that erroneous edits do occur, and check anything that seems outlandish with a second source. But the vast majority of wikipedia is filled with valuable and accurate information." 51 A 2008 paper in Reference services review compared nine wikipedia entries on historical topics to their counterparts in Encyclopædia britannica, the dictionary of American History and American National biography Online. The paper found that wikipedia's entries had an overall accuracy rate of 80 percent, whereas the other encyclopedias had an accuracy rate of 95 to 96 percent. 52 A 2010 study assessed the extent to which wikipedia pages about the history of countries conformed to the site's policy of verifiability. It found that, in contradiction of this policy, many claims in these articles were not supported by citations, and that many of those that were sourced to popular media and government websites, rather than to academic journal articles. 53 In April 2011, reviews a study was published by Adam Brown of Brigham young University in the journal ps political Science politics which examined "thousands of wikipedia articles about candidates, elections, and officeholders".
In each case wikipedia was described as "largely sound "well handled "performs well "good for the bare facts" and "broadly accurate". One article had "a marked deterioration towards the end" while another had "clearer and more elegant" writing, a third was assessed as less well written but better detailed than its competitors, and a fourth was "of more benefit to the serious student than its Encarta. No serious errors were noted in wikipedia articles, whereas serious errors were noted in one Encarta and one Britannica article. 46 In October 2007, australian magazine pc authority published a feature article on the accuracy of wikipedia. The article compared wikipedia's content to other popular online encyclopedias, namely Britannica and Encarta. The magazine asked experts to evaluate articles pertaining to their field. A total of four articles were reviewed by three experts. Wikipedia was comparable to the other encyclopedias, topping the chemistry category. 47 In December 2007, german magazine Stern published the results of a comparison between the german wikipedia and the online version of the 15-volume edition of Brockhaus Enzyklopädie.
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A web-based survey conducted from December 20 by larry Press, a professor of Information Systems at California state University at Dominguez hills, assessed the "accuracy and completeness of wikipedia articles". 41 Fifty people accepted an invitation to assess an article. Of the fifty, seventy-six percent (76) agreed or strongly agreed that the wikipedia article was accurate, and forty-six percent (46) agreed or strongly agreed that it was complete. Eighteen people compared the article they reviewed to the article on the same topic in the Encyclopædia britannica. Opinions on accuracy were almost equal between the two encyclopedias (6 favoring Britannica, 7 favoring wikipedia, 5 stating they were equal and eleven of the eighteen (61) found wikipedia somewhat or substantially more complete, compared to seven of the eighteen (39) for Britannica. The survey did not attempt random selection of the participants, and it is not clear how the participants were invited. 42 The german computing magazine c't performed a comparison of Brockhaus Multimedial, microsoft Encarta, and the german wikipedia in October 2004: Experts evaluated 66 articles in various fields.
In overall dream score, wikipedia was rated.6 out of 5 points (B-). 43 A second test by c't in February 2007 used 150 search terms, gandhi of which 56 were closely evaluated, to compare four digital encyclopedias: Bertelsmann Enzyklopädie 2007, Brockhaus Multimedial premium 2007, Encarta 2007 Enzyklopädie and wikipedia. It concluded: "We did not find more errors in the texts of the free encyclopedia than in those of its commercial competitors." 44 viewing wikipedia as fitting the economists' definition of a perfectly competitive marketplace of ideas, george Bragues ( University of guelph-Humber examined wikipedia's. Wikipedia's articles were compared to a consensus list of themes culled from four reference works in philosophy. Bragues found that, on average, wikipedia's articles only covered 52 of consensus themes. No errors were found, though there were significant omissions. 45 pc pro magazine (August 2007) asked experts to compare four articles (a small sample ) in their scientific fields between wikipedia, britannica and Encarta.
Among Britannica 's criticisms were that excerpts rather than the full texts of some of their articles were used, that some of the extracts were compilations that included articles written for the youth version, that Nature did not check the factual assertions of its reviewers. Britannica further stated that "While the heading proclaimed that 'wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries the numbers buried deep in the body of the article said precisely the opposite: wikipedia in fact had a third more inaccuracies. (As we demonstrate below, nature 's research grossly exaggerated Britannica 's inaccuracies, so we cite this figure only to point out the slanted way in which the numbers were presented. 32 Nature acknowledged the compiled nature of some of the Britannica extracts, but denied that this invalidated the conclusions of the study. 33 Encyclopædia britannica also argued that a breakdown of the errors indicated that the mistakes in wikipedia were more often the inclusion of incorrect facts, while the mistakes in Britannica were "errors of omission making " Britannica far more accurate than wikipedia, according to the. 32 Nature has since rejected the Britannica response, 34 stating that any errors on the part of its reviewers were not biased in favor of either encyclopedia, that in some cases it used excerpts of articles from both encyclopedias, and that Britannica did not share.
35 36 The point-for-point disagreement between these two parties that addressed the compilation/text excerpting and very small sample size issues—argued to bias the outcome in favor of wikipedia, versus a comprehensive, full article, large sample size study favoring the quality-controlled format of Britannica—have been echoed. G., where a "flawed study design" for manual selection of articles/article portions, the lack of study "statistical power" in its comparing 4 101 articles from 105 Britannica and 106 English wikipedia articles, and the absence of any study statistical analyses (e.g., reported confidence intervals for. He wrote that wikipedia is "surprisingly accurate in reporting names, dates, and events. History" and described some of the errors as "widely held but inaccurate beliefs". However, he stated that wikipedia often fails to distinguish important from trivial details, and does not provide the best references. He also complained about wikipedia's lack of "persuasive analysis and interpretations, and clear and engaging prose". 40 wikipedia's policies on original research, including unpublished synthesis of published data, disallow new analysis and interpretation not found in reliable sources.
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30 Scores ranged from 0 to 8, but most received marks between 5 and. The most common criticisms were: poor prose, or assignment ease-of-reading issues (3 mentions) Omissions or inaccuracies, often small but including key omissions in some articles (3 mentions) poor balance, with less important areas being given more attention and vice versa (1 mention) The most common praises. The non-peer-reviewed study was based on Nature 's selection of summary 42 articles on scientific topics, including biographies of well-known scientists. The articles were compared for accuracy by anonymous academic reviewers, a customary practice for journal article reviews. Based on their reviews, on average the wikipedia articles were described as containing 4 errors or omissions, while the Britannica articles contained. Only 4 serious errors were found in wikipedia, and 4 in Britannica. The study concluded that "wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries 4 although wikipedia's articles were often "poorly structured". 4 Encyclopædia britannica expressed concerns, leading Nature to release further documentation of its survey method. 31 Based on this additional information, Encyclopædia britannica denied the validity of the nature study, stating that it was "fatally flawed".
Wikipedia has harnessed the work of millions of people to produce the world's largest knowledge-based site along with software to support it, resulting in more than nineteen million articles written, across more than 280 different language versions, in fewer than twelve years. 25 For this reason, there has been considerable interest in the project both academically and from diverse fields such as information technology, business, project management, knowledge acquisition, software programming, other collaborative projects and sociology, to explore whether the wikipedia model can produce quality results, what. Areas of reliability Article instability and susceptibility to bias are two potential problem areas in a crowdsourced work like wikipedia the reliability of wikipedia articles can be measured by the following criteria: Accuracy of information provided within articles Appropriateness of the images provided with the. 27 In addition, the scientific research writing in the area of computational mechanism for trust and reputation in virtual societies was oriented to increase the reliability and performance of electronic communities such as wikipedia with more quantitative methods and temporal factors. 28 In contrast with all the previous intrinsic metrics, several "market-oriented" extrinsic measures demonstrate that large audiences trust wikipedia in one way or another. For instance, "50 percent of us physicians report that they've consulted. Wikipedia for information on health conditions according to a report from ims institute for healthcare Informatics. 29 Assessments Comparative studies On October 24, 2005, British newspaper The guardian published a story titled "Can you trust wikipedia?" in which a panel of experts were asked to review seven entries related to their fields, giving each article reviewed a number designation out.
months. A biographical article on French wikipedia portrayed a "Léon-Robert de l'astran" as an 18th-century anti-slavery ship owner, which led Ségolène royal, a presidential candidate, to praise him. A student investigation determined that the article was a hoax and de l'astran had never existed. Journalists from a spectrum of publications have similarly been embarrassed by repeating mistaken or fake information. 21 22 Contents wikipedia editing model wikipedia allows anonymous editing; contributors are not required to provide any identification, or even an email address. A 2007 study at Dartmouth College of the English wikipedia noted that, contrary to usual social expectations, anonymous editors were some of wikipedia's most productive contributors of valid content. 23 However, the dartmouth study was criticized by john Timmer of the Ars Technica website for its methodological shortcomings. 24 wikipedia trusts the same community to self-regulate and become more proficient at quality control.
2 3, a study in the journal, nature said that in 2005, wikipedia 's scientific articles came close to the level of accuracy. Encyclopædia britannica and had a similar with rate of "serious errors". 4, encyclopædia britannica disputed the, nature study, 5 and, nature replied with a formal response and point-by-point rebuttal. Britannica 's main objections. 6, between 20, wikipedia articles on medical and scientific fields such as pathology, 7 toxicology, 8 oncology, 9 pharmaceuticals, 10 11 and psychiatry 12 were compared to professional and peer-reviewed sources and it was found that wikipedia's depth and coverage were of a high standard. Concerns regarding readability were raised in a study published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology 13 and a study published in Psychological Medicine (2012 12 while a study published in the european journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology raised concerns about reliability. 14 Because wikipedia is open to anonymous and collaborative editing, assessments of its reliability often examine how quickly false or misleading information is removed. A study conducted by ibm researchers in 2003—two years following wikipedia's establishment—found that "vandalism is usually repaired extremely quickly—so quickly that most users will never see its effects" 17 and concluded that wikipedia had "surprisingly effective self-healing capabilities".
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"wikipedia hoaxes" redirects here. For a list of hoaxes that have occurred on wikipedia, see. Wikipedia:List of hoaxes on wikipedia. Vandalism of a wikipedia online article. The section on the left is the normal, undamaged version; and on the right is the vandalized, damaged version. The reliability of wikipedia (predominantly of the, english-language edition ) has been frequently questioned and often assessed. The reliability has been tested statistically, through comparative review, analysis of the historical patterns, and strengths and weaknesses inherent in the editing process unique to wikipedia. 1, incidents of conflicted editing, and the use of wikipedia for 'revenge editing' (inserting false, defamatory or biased statements into biographies) have attracted publicity.