Who am I?
My name is Gerald C. (Jerry) Kane. I am an Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. My research interests involve Web 2.0 technologies – primarily wikis and social networks, and my personal webpage can be found here.
What am I doing
I have conducted and am in the process of conducting a number of research projects related to the collaborative processes that take place on Wikipedia. Why? On Wikipedia, I have often heard the phrase "wikipedia works in practice, not in theory." I think that's because no one has ever studied the development of a Wikipedia article in depth. I think that both the Wikipedia community and the wider world can benefit from a better understanding of why Wikipedia works as well as it does.
My Wikipedia research
- A two-phase study: a) An in-depth case study of the collaborative processes related to the article on the Virginia Tech Massacre b) A study of articles nominated for featured article status (April–July 2007) to determine whether particular features of the collaborative processes are associated with article quality. Presented at 2008 Organization Science Winter Conference, under review for ICIS 2008, Paris FR.
- An article arguing that academia can learn much from Wikipedia and its processes. Conditionally accepted at MIS Quarterly (the top IS academic Journal, with the highest impact factor of all management journals).
- A study of medical articles, to determine the accuracy and completeness of the information, as well as who certain articles are developed and why (this study is being conducted in conjunction with the nursing school at BC). Research currently underway. Initial results invited for presentation at 2008 INFORMS Conference, Washington DC. The current medical survey is at geraldckane/medsurvey
Most of these articles are under review by academic journals, and I am happy to share them or my findings if you contact me and promise not to circulate them widely until they are published.
Although I am not an active contributor to Wikipedia (mainly because of the pressures of academic publishing), I am an active user of Wiki technologies in my work and teaching. My teaching innovations using wikis have been profiled in Computerworld, eWeek, Chronicle of Higher Education, and a number of other popular publications.
Feedback is welcome!
I always seek to conduct my research in ways that respects the hard work of Wikipedians and the wider Wikipedia community. If you have any concerns, questions, or suggestions about my work, please do not hesitate to email at gerald.kane at bc.edu. I intend to conduct transparently and in a spirit of good faith.