October 28, 2021

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.

Title

Wikipedia as a Gateway to Biomedical Research: The Relative Distribution and Use of Citations in the English Wikipedia

Authors

Lauren A Maggio
Uniformed Services University

John Willinsky
Stanford University

Ryan Steinberg
Stanford University

Daniel Mietchen
University of Virginia

Joe Wass
Crossref

Ting Dong
Uniformed Services University

Source

via bioRxiv
July 18, 2017
doi: doi.org/10.1101/165159

Abstract

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 (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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