European doctors' significant reliance on Wikipedia
300 GPs were interviewed across Europe for a report by Insight Research Group that looked into how regularly doctors are accessing the social web for both professional and personal reasons. The finding that 60% of European doctors consult Wikipedia regularly for professional reasons has surprised many in the industry. The proportion jumps to 69% when all social media sites are considered – not just Wikipedia, but sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. Reported in Response Source and Swansea College of Medicine library blog. On BBC news, a GP who hadn't used Wikipedia for professional purposes before was asked for his impression of Wikipedia's medical coverage, and said that "I was quite impressed by the information I looked up today", calling it "very accurate, very up to date". However, he cautioned that much of it was "highly technical information far beyond the reach of the layman", who "may find it hard to interpret".
India a natural target for Wikipedia growth
Outlook India Magazine carried an article that analyses why India has been chosen as a target for Wikipedia's growth in the Global South. It argues that India's strong culture of free speech and its numerous languages are significant factors in the choice. There are currently 20 Indian-language Wikipedias, at various stages of growth. Indicative of the move is the Wikimedia Foundation's intention to open its first office outside the US, in Delhi, the appointment of Mumbai-based documentary filmmaker Bishakha Datta to Wikimedia’s Board of Trustees, and the launch of the first-ever Indian Campus Ambassadors’ program in Pune. The latter was also covered on the front page of The Hindu ("Wikimedia Foundation launches Campus Ambassadors Program in Pune "), quoting Hisham Mundol and Frank Schulenburg from Wikimedia.
"Jimmy Wales's Wikipedia Balancing Act": A concise article in BusinessWeek reported statements by Jimmy Wales "on empowering his army of volunteers while still maintaining control of the site—and not selling out", referring to the absence of ads on Wikipedia, and the relationship of the Wikimedia Foundation to Wikimedia chapters: "Early on, some people thought we should radically decentralize and have local groups in different countries control their own sites. Each could have its own look and its own standards. The Germans were the first to organize and want to start a chapter. Some wanted to set up a club to represent Wikipedia there, but the idea raised tough questions. You don't want to give away too much power." (Such questions are among those examined by the "Movement roles" working group, which last week published draft recommendations to the WMF Board of Trustees)
US teens "wary" of sexual health information on Wikipedia: As reported in Canada's National Post, the recently published results of a survey conducted among US teenagers in 2008 show that most of them are "wary" about the reliability of sexual health information on Wikipedia.
Wikipedia's "little blue numbers in brackets": Following an episode about Wikipedia that had received much attention the previous week, webcomic xkcdmocked the tendency to ascribe credibility to statements merely because they carry citations of references – a phenomenon that a recent study confirmed in college students, see this week's "Recent research".
Behind the scenes: An article on PopMatters titled "Wikiocracy, or We're all doomed... citation needed" examined various "behind-the-scenes" oddities of Wikipedia's internal processes (e.g. the "lamest edit wars" list), but concluded that there are actually some "Wikieditors who survive all of the above with their humour, perspective, and good sense intact and against all odds demonstrate that the real potential of the form is inherent in humanity’s eccentricities, not its nobility."
Baseball players ranked by article length: US baseball blogger Andrew Simon conducted "A useless study of baseball and Wikipedia", by ranking 50 current players according to the length of their Wikipedia articles (not counting infoboxes, charts, etc.), exploring how the word count would correspond to each player's notability or the length of their career. The posting opens by mentioning "baseball's greatest Wiki" – former Major League player Wiklenman Vicente "Wiki" González, who however, unlike Wikipedia, is not "a vast resource of mostly factual information about any topic you could think of".
Palin remarks prompt discussion: Little Green Footballs and Politico highlighted a (rather limited) controversy about the article Paul Revere, where according to Politico, fans of Sarah Palin tried "to back up her description of Revere's midnight ride" she gave in recent remarks that were widely perceived as inaccurate.