News and notes
Statistics, Wikipedia research and more
Erik Zachte posted new reports about traffic to the Wikimedia projects and where it comes from. Some of the results that Zachte found are that around half of the external daily traffic requests come from Google, 31% of requests come from Firefox, and nearly 0.9% of requests are from an iPhone.
Student research habits and Wikipedia
A research group called "Project Information Literacy" at the University of Washington Information School, which is studying young adult research habits and information literacy, released their first report recently. It focuses on how college students do research, including using the library and web for assignments and "everyday life" needs. In a section called "Use of Wikipedia," the authors write: "We found Wikipedia was a unique and indispensable research source for students. The online, collaborative, community-based online encyclopedia gave students a workaround for obtaining the big picture and language contexts they frequently lacked for course-related and to a lesser degree, everyday life research."
The study also explored student perceptions of Wikipedia's limitations, finding that "In our sessions, students also discussed concerns over Wikipedia and accuracy. However, most participants believed that they, themselves, had the ability to discern the credibility of a Wikipedia source, based on their 'gut level' interpretation of Wikipedia’s rating system (e.g., posted notes by editors such as, 'This article needs additional citations for verification')."
Finally, the study found that even when students did use Wikipedia, " Most students depended on and used Wikipedia for information cited in papers, but just never included Wikipedia entries on their Works Cited page."
The study consisted of interviews with 86 college students. A larger version of the study is planned for next year.
New dissertation about Wikipedia
Felipe Ortega's dissertation, called "Wikipedia: A Quantiative Analysis" has been posted for download. It uses the WikiXRay tool to analyze the top-10 language editions of Wikipedia, focusing on community and the future sustainability of Wikipedia.
- The Flagged Protection poll ended on April 1 with 259 support votes, 61 oppose votes and 4 neutral (80% support, 19% oppose, 1% neutral).
- An open meeting on IRC around the theme of community-building for Wikibooks is planned for April 9, 21:00UTC; a planning page is on Meta.
- A conference called Open Everything NYC is planned for April 18 in New York City; according to the project page, it is "a global conversation about the art, science and spirit of 'open'". Members of Wikimedia New York City will be attending.