Based on the current discussion we're talking about at least two things here,
(1) The public perception on the 'editability' of Wikipedia
Regarding that I agree with Joseph that there are quite a few number of
people whom never noticed that WP can be edited, not limiting to
undergraduate students, but even some professors. I found this
(heuristically) particularly pronounced among the less internet-savvy group.
This leads to the second issue,
(2) A public perception survey
Agree with Andrea, it is currently quite impossible to do a representative
research on WP. Hence it would be more worthwhile to perform target-group
research. However, as we previously discussed in Frankfurt as well in
Boston, we might somehow need to consider a centralized pool of research
resources. Like what Joseph said, it is very hard to get users to respond
to ad hoc research questionnaires - a lot of people just dismiss the yet
another questionnaire on Wikipedia. If we ever pull together enough effort
to start on some more structured and apparently (/cough cough) reputable
research, and perhaps leave the research data available to researchers by
request, it may significantly increase the quality of research on WP. Of
course, the issue of privacy is touchy...
Andrea Forte wrote:
One approach to the problem of finding a representative sample of ALL
Wikipedia readers *cough* is to perhaps target some smaller
populations that you are interested in. If I were reviewing a paper, I
would be quite skeptical of claims about "Wikipedia readers" because
how people understand information, the Internet, and collaborative
technologies is culturally constructed.
It seems more relevant anyhow to be able to say, for example, we think
this is how middle-class secondary school students in the US and
England are thinking about Wikipedia. Or this is how professional
journalists in Germany are thinking about Wikipedia. More targeted
sampling provides purchase for interpreting the results in a
culturally relevant fashion.
On 11/30/06, Joachim Schroer <joachim.schroer(a)googlemail.com> wrote:
2006/11/30, Mathias Schindler <mathias.schindler(a)gmail.com>om>:
the information provided might actually be
incorrect. Therefore I am planning to do a questionnaire on the
"Awareness of Wikipedia's Concept" (or something like that).
Sounds like a great idea and I would love to see the results. It might
be useful to see if the people answering the questionaire show any
"Awareness of the concept of an encyclopedia" at all and the reality
of traditional style encyclopedias at the market.
we included a number of these and related questions in our current
survey of Wikipedia readers/visitors [1, 2], although we do not ask about
other encyclopedias. The survey is available here (thanks to Jakob
I'm afraid, however, that our own resources in recruiting a
sample of readers are somewhat limited. Any help is greatly
Best wishes from Wuerzburg,
Joachim Schroer, Dipl.-Psych.
University of Wuerzburg
Department of Psychology II, Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Phone: +49 931 31 6062
Fax: +49 931 31 6063
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