Wikipedia in the eyes of its beholders: A systematic review of scholarly research on wikipedia readers and readership

Chitu Okoli, Mohamad Mehdi, Mostafa Mesgari, Finn Årup Nielsen, Arto Lanamäki

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Hundreds of scholarly studies have investigated various aspects of Wikipedia. Although a number of literature reviews have provided overviews of this vast body of research, none has specifically focused on the readers of Wikipedia and issues concerning its readership. In this systematic literature review, we review 99 studies to synthesize current knowledge regarding the readership of Wikipedia and provide an analysis of research methods employed. The scholarly research has found that Wikipedia is popular not only for lighter topics such as entertainment but also for more serious topics such as health and legal information. Scholars, librarians, and students are common users, and Wikipedia provides a unique opportunity for educating students in digital literacy. We conclude with a summary of key findings, implications for researchers, and implications for the Wikipedia community.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Volume65
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2381-2403
ISSN2330-1635
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Wikipedia
  • systema tic review
  • literature review
  • readers
  • readership
  • encyclopedias
  • knowledge sources
  • health information
  • news sources
  • website ranking
  • website popularity
  • credibility
  • Information literacy
  • students
  • Web references

Cite this

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title = "Wikipedia in the eyes of its beholders: A systematic review of scholarly research on wikipedia readers and readership",
abstract = "Hundreds of scholarly studies have investigated various aspects of Wikipedia. Although a number of literature reviews have provided overviews of this vast body of research, none has specifically focused on the readers of Wikipedia and issues concerning its readership. In this systematic literature review, we review 99 studies to synthesize current knowledge regarding the readership of Wikipedia and provide an analysis of research methods employed. The scholarly research has found that Wikipedia is popular not only for lighter topics such as entertainment but also for more serious topics such as health and legal information. Scholars, librarians, and students are common users, and Wikipedia provides a unique opportunity for educating students in digital literacy. We conclude with a summary of key findings, implications for researchers, and implications for the Wikipedia community.",
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author = "Chitu Okoli and Mohamad Mehdi and Mostafa Mesgari and Nielsen, {Finn {\AA}rup} and Arto Lanam{\"a}ki",
year = "2014",
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journal = "American Society for Information Science and Technology. Journal",
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publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
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Wikipedia in the eyes of its beholders: A systematic review of scholarly research on wikipedia readers and readership. / Okoli, Chitu; Mehdi, Mohamad; Mesgari, Mostafa; Nielsen, Finn Årup; Lanamäki, Arto.

In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology , Vol. 65, No. 12, 2014, p. 2381-2403.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Mehdi, Mohamad

AU - Mesgari, Mostafa

AU - Nielsen, Finn Årup

AU - Lanamäki, Arto

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AB - Hundreds of scholarly studies have investigated various aspects of Wikipedia. Although a number of literature reviews have provided overviews of this vast body of research, none has specifically focused on the readers of Wikipedia and issues concerning its readership. In this systematic literature review, we review 99 studies to synthesize current knowledge regarding the readership of Wikipedia and provide an analysis of research methods employed. The scholarly research has found that Wikipedia is popular not only for lighter topics such as entertainment but also for more serious topics such as health and legal information. Scholars, librarians, and students are common users, and Wikipedia provides a unique opportunity for educating students in digital literacy. We conclude with a summary of key findings, implications for researchers, and implications for the Wikipedia community.

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KW - systema tic review

KW - literature review

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KW - encyclopedias

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KW - health information

KW - news sources

KW - website ranking

KW - website popularity

KW - credibility

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