[Wikipedia-l] Accuracy Heuristics

Alex Krupp amk63 at cornell.edu
Sun Sep 5 15:20:05 UTC 2004

On the top of each Wikipedia article should be two things: The time 
since each article was last edited and the average number of views 
that article gets per day. This would form a rough system of 
accountability for every article. For example, a page that hasn't 
been edited in twenty days and gets over a hundred views per days 
would be likely to contain fewer errors than a page that was last 
edited three days ago and gets four views per day.

This way one could even come up with a simple heuristic combining the 
two statistics so that editors could surf through articles looking 
for the ones most likely to contain mistakes. One could also surf 
through the articles least likely to contain mistakes as an 
admittedly imperfect although useful way of finding articles  to 
nominate for 1.0. I know you can check all of the edits and their 
dates through the edit history, but there is no easy way for the 
average user to check how many views any given page gets. This could 
potentially go a great way for increasing the amount of faith the 
average population has in Wikipedia.

Also, I should mention this has been inspired by the recent 
controversy involving the article by Al Fasoldt and the subsequent 
discussion on this list and now slashdot.

Alex Krupp

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