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“The sum of all human knowledge”: A systematic review of scholarly research on the content of Wikipedia


“The sum of all human knowledge”: A systematic review of scholarly research on the content of Wikipedia

Mesgari, Mostafa, Okoli, Chitu, Mehdi, Mohamad, Nielsen, Finn Årup and Lanamäki, Arto (2014) “The sum of all human knowledge”: A systematic review of scholarly research on the content of Wikipedia. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology . ISSN 1532-2882 (In Press)

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Wikipedia might possibly be the best-developed attempt thus far of the enduring quest to gather all human knowledge in one place. Its accomplishments in this regard have made it an irresistible point of inquiry for researchers from various fields of knowledge. A decade of research has thrown light on many aspects of the Wikipedia community, its processes, and content. However, due to the variety of the fields inquiring about Wikipedia and the limited synthesis of the extensive research, there is little consensus on many aspects of Wikipedia’s content as an encyclopedic collection of human knowledge. This study addresses the issue by systematically reviewing 110 peer-reviewed publications on Wikipedia content, summarizing the current findings, and highlighting the major research trends. Two major streams of research are identified: the quality of Wikipedia content (including comprehensiveness, currency, readability and reliability) and the size of Wikipedia. Moreover, we present the key research trends in terms of the domains of inquiry, research design, data source, and data gathering methods. This review synthesizes scholarly understanding of Wikipedia content and paves the way for future studies.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Decision Sciences and Management Information Systems
Item Type:Article
Authors:Mesgari, Mostafa and Okoli, Chitu and Mehdi, Mohamad and Nielsen, Finn Årup and Lanamäki, Arto
Journal or Publication:Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Date:30 April 2014
Keywords:Wikipedia, systematic literature review, encyclopedias, quality, comprehensiveness, currency, readability and style, reliability, accuracy, size of Wikipedia, featured articles, open content
ID Code:978618
Deposited On:12 May 2014 17:40
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47
Additional Information:This is a postprint of an article accepted for publication in Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology copyright © 2014 (American Society for Information Science and Technology). The paper can be cited as: Mesgari, Mostafa, Chitu Okoli, Mohamad Mehdi, Finn Årup Nielsen and Arto Lanamäki (2014). “The sum of all human knowledge”: A systematic review of scholarly research on the content of Wikipedia. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (Forthcoming since April 2014).


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