New Preprint: “Wikipedia as a Gateway to Biomedical Research: The Relative Distribution and Use of Citations in the English Wikipedia”
The following preprint was posted on BioRxiv earlier today.
Wikipedia as a Gateway to Biomedical Research: The Relative Distribution and Use of Citations in the English Wikipedia
Lauren A Maggio
Uniformed Services University
University of Virginia
Uniformed Services University
July 18, 2017
Wikipedia is a gateway to knowledge. However, the extent to which this gateway ends at Wikipedia or continues via supporting citations is unknown. Wikipedia’s gateway functionality has implications for information design and education, notably in medicine. This study aims to establish benchmarks for the relative distribution and referral (click) rate of citations, as indicated by presence of a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), from Wikipedia, with a focus on medical citations. DOIs referred from the English Wikipedia in August 2016 were obtained from Crossref.org. Next, based on a DOI presence on a WikiProject Medicine page, all DOIs in Wikipedia were categorized as medical (WP:MED) or non-medical (non-WP:MED). Using this categorization, referred DOIs were classified as WP:MED, non-WP:MED, or BOTH, meaning the DOI may have been referred from either category. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Out of 5.2 million Wikipedia pages, 4.42% (n=229,857) included at least one DOI. 68,870 were identified as WP:MED, with 22.14% (n=15,250) featuring one or more DOIs. WP:MED pages featured on average 8.88 DOI citations per page, whereas non-WP:MED pages had on average 4.28 DOI citations. For DOIs only on WP:MED pages, a DOI was referred every 2,283 pageviews and for non-WP-MED pages every 2,467 pageviews. DOIs from both pages accounted for 12% (n=58,475) of referrals, making determining a referral rate for both impossible. While these results cannot provide evidence of greater citation referral from WP:MED than non-WP:MED, they do provide benchmarks to assess strategies for changing referral patterns. These changes might include editors adopting new methods for designing and presenting citations or the introduction of teaching strategies that address the value of consulting citations as a tool for extending learning.
Direct to Full Text Article (Preprint)
18 pages; PDF.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.