(As you may know, I write the “In the news” section for the Wikipedia Signpost. From this week onwards, I’ll be posting up the ITN section on my blog as well as having it published in the Signpost.)
Professor says Wikipedia crowds out expert knowledge
Wikipedia breeds ‘unwitting trust’ says IT professor — Deakin University associate professor Sharman Lichtenstein believes that the increasing use of Wikipedia creates blind trust in information, to the detriment of valuable knowledge and expert opinion. She says that Australians already disrespect intellectuals and academics, but she asks us to consider whether we would use a trained brain surgeon or a student who has just read Wikipedia for brain surgery. She notes that Wikipedia prides itself on being built by groups of lay citizens, and experts are unlikely to contribute anyway because they would expect to be paid. Credibility of Wikipedia articles is questioned because of the formation of “elite” editors and administrators, a trend that has caused growing dissatisfaction with Wikipedia’s editorial process, leading others to create competitors to Wikipedia.
Other recent mentions in the online media include:
- Wikipedia’s Zealots — An editor who receives personal communication about a scientist’s views on global warming edits Wikipedia to include these communications but is reverted by other editors.
- Scientific citations in Wikipedia — The pattern of citations on Wikipedia is compared with the Journal Citation Reports, which counts journal citations; Wikipedia is increasingly using structured citation markup.
[As published in the Wikipedia Signpost]