“The Sum of All Human Knowledge”: A Systematic Review of Scholarly Research on the Content of Wikipedia

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Wikipedia may be the best-developed attempt thus far to gather all human knowledge in one place. Its accomplishments in this regard have made it a point of inquiry for researchers from different fields of knowledge. A decade of research has thrown light on many aspects of the Wikipedia community, its processes, and its content. However, due to the variety of fields inquiring about Wikipedia and the limited synthesis of the extensive research, there is little consensus on many aspects of Wikipedia's content as an encyclopedic collection of human knowledge. This study addresses the issue by systematically reviewing 110 peer-reviewed publications on Wikipedia content, summarizing the current findings, and highlighting the major research trends. Two major streams of research are identified: the quality of Wikipedia content (including comprehensiveness, currency, readability, and reliability) and the size of Wikipedia. Moreover, we present the key research trends in terms of the domains of inquiry, research design, data source, and data gathering methods. This review synthesizes scholarly understanding of Wikipedia content and paves the way for future studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Society for Information Science and Technology. Journal
Volume66
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)219-245
Number of pages27
ISSN2330-1635
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI
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