[Wikipedia-l] An experiment - how 'complete' is the wikipedia?

Karen AKA Kajikit kaji at labyrinth.net.au
Tue Aug 27 02:30:39 UTC 2002

I just did a small experiment. I hit the random button twenty times and
recorded the articles that came up. Judging by this random sample there
are three types of information presented in the wikipedia - 1)lists and
templates  2)pathetic stubs and 3)complete articles. Out of my twenty
hits, six were templated lists of varying degrees of completeness, seven
were stubs with very little information, and seven were lengthy articles
that appeared complete whether they actually were or not. This suggests
to me that there is a LOT of work to be done... but then we knew that
already! In most entries the ratio of completed vs uncreated links
seemed pretty good too. Having a few blank links invites people to
contribute, but if they're ALL blank is just looks like nobody's doing
the work!


Here's the results:

1) 1620s - blank year template.

2) The Cain Mutiny - fairly lengthy and complete article on the movie
and the US Navy's response to it. Plenty of created links, and five

3) Jean François La Pérouse - fairly stubby, but contains several
paragraphs of complete information so it looks like an 'article' to the
casual passerby. Three active links, and three blanks.

4) Columbus Blue Jackets - stub. Contains blank template and a very
little information. Four active links, and one blank.

5) Neoconservative - stub with very little information. Currently
unwikified and unlinked

6) Zambesi - mini factoid stub (2 sentences) that supplies the necessary
factual information in a compact form. Several active links.

7) Thermal mass - five short paragraphs. Could be longer and more
detailed, but appears to be a complete article to the casual observer.
No blank links.

8) Okapi - Fairly complete article with species table inserted. Bunch of
links. two blank. All that seems to be missing is a photo.

9) Saul Kripke - one very very long paragraph. I got lost in the text so
I have no idea who he actually is. Five active links, no blanks. 

10) Geosynchronous satellite - complete and informative article. Many
links, two blanks.

11) International Organisation for Migration - stub, two links

12) Kawasaki - list of company info. Not yet an article. No links

13) Context-sensitive language - looks fairly complete to me. Has
sub-headers. Several links, no blanks.

14) Pure qubit state - mathematical article. Looks complete. Five links,
three blanks.

15) Government of Nigeria - CIA factbook information page. Essentially
complete but unlinked and possibly out of date. 

16) Centerville - list of US placenames, all blank links. (Are there no
'centreville's in other countries?)

17) Pomatomidae - minute stub.

18) Carolingian Dynasty - long list of links. 

19) Moraceae - minute stub for a plant family, not yet taxonomised.

20) Boron - one of the complete-seeming chemical articles. Several
links, two blank.


Karen AKA Kajikit

And on the seventh day, God said 'What my world needs is a creature that
will truly appreciate it in all its facets' - 
and so He made the kitten.

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Love and huggles to all!

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