With more than three million articles and counting, Wikipedia administrator David Goodman and contributor Ann Matsuuchi spoke to University librarians and professors yesterday about the growing world of Wikipedia and the importance of open access websites.
“The distinctive feature of being extremely large is the reason that it works,” Goodman said. “Anybody can collect information and start an encyclopedia and let it grow on with how many people get involved with it.”
This program, hosted in the fourth floor lecture hall in Alexander Library, is one of three events celebrating Open Access Week, encouraging technologies without borders, said Laura Mullen, librarian at the Library of Science and Medicine on Busch campus.
Note: One issue with Wikipedia that we’ve experienced over the years and also heard about from others (including Wikipedians) are edits being removed not because the information is incorrect or not from a cited source but rather the editor doesn’t like it or has some sort of issue with it. In other words, editors making edits for no reason other than making edits and to increase their editing stats.
In other words, making a change with correct info from a CITED and reputable source and done in good faith does NOT mean the info will remain part of the article for long. We hope Wikipedia is working on ways to control this problem.
Also, while we have changed our tune about Wikipedia during the past few years for some types of research we continue to be concerned about long tail issues.
For example, articles about topics and people in the news, recently in the news, or always being researched will receive a lot of attention and the watchful eye of great editors but what about the massive amounts of other entries that while still important do not receive the same amount of attention. An entry about a non-popular topic needs to be as current and accurate as all other material.