- Heather Ford
This project aims to analyze the current systems that editors use to track and verify news sources on rapidly evolving pages of .en Wikipedia. How did editors verify news sources in scenarios like the Japan earthquake and the Egyptian revolution or around cultural phenomena like the Kenyan Makmende story where notability and verifiability is often situated outside the frame of reference of most established editors? What techniques do editors use to track issues around pages that they edit? What role does social media play in this process?
We are looking to recruit editors who edit more than one language version of the encyclopedia. We will use "fieldsite as network" (Burrell) approach.
Benefits for Wikipedia
In the second phase of the project we will apply the learnings from the research phase to SwiftRiver Ushahidi's SwiftRiver tools for experimental use in Wikipedia. The research will be helpful in developing algorithms that users can apply to stream specific types of content according to different levels of authority, accuracy and trustworthiness over time.
The platform, launched by Ushahidi as a way to manage large quantities of data during a crisis, holds promise for assisting Wikipedia editors in doing their work in a more holistic, authoritative and reflective way. This could be done by making transparent the process by which editors choose one source over another, and by tracing social media sources before an event/phenomenon hits mainstream news.
- InCite project https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Fellowships/Project_Ideas/InCite
- Oral Citations Project https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Oral_Citations
- Wiki Scholar https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiScholar
- Input from stakeholders regarding methodology, goals - done
- Develop interview guide - done
- Test interview instrument - done
- Conduct interviews at Wikimania - done
- Official launch - done
October, November, December
- Interviews - done
- Literature review - done
2012 January to July
- Write up and review research - done
- Final report - done
Wikipedia Policies, Ethics, and Human Subjects Protection
Our foremost concern is to conduct our research project in an ethical, respectful, and non-disruptive manner. For this reason, we will ensure that we conform to strict standards of informed consent and openness of data collection methods. In particular, we will inform respondents about our affiliation, purpose, and research goals and describe and address any risks associated with participation in this study.
- 'Beyond reliability: An ethnographic study of Wikipedia sources' on Ethnographymatters.net
- 'What does it mean to be a participant observer in a place like Wikipedia?' on Ethnographymatters.net
- 'Update on the Wiki Sources project' on Ushahidi.com
- 'Announcing the WikiSweeper project' on Ushahidi.com