Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research Fund/Examining Why Educators in India Mistrust Wikipedia

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statusnot funded
Examining Why Educators in India Mistrust Wikipedia
start and end datesJuly 2023 - July 2024
budget (USD)9,450 USD
fiscal year2022-23
applicant(s)• Soni Wadhwa



Soni Wadhwa

Affiliation or grant type

SRM University, Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh


Soni Wadhwa

Wikimedia username(s)

Project title

Examining Why Educators in India Mistrust Wikipedia

Research proposal[edit]


Description of the proposed project, including aims and approach. Be sure to clearly state the problem, why it is important, why previous approaches (if any) have been insufficient, and your methods to address it.


A majority of the teaching community in India has been found to be quite suspicious of Wikipedia as revealed by a short survey distributed among educators (teachers teaching at schools, colleges, universities, and education institutions in general) for the purpose of this research. The responses to the questions about integration of Wikipedia in teaching/learning design indicate that over 60 percent of the respondents do not integrate Wikipedia within their teaching learning design because they do not find it to be trustworthy and. Educators see it as a biased source that cannot be trusted. This project investigates these attitudes among the larger framework of knowledge production and pedagogy in India. Is knowing a matter of trusting? What restrains one from correcting/contributing to Wikipedia when one recognizes some facts to be false? These questions are critical for Global South in general but also for the use of the Internet as a teaching/learning tool. This research will explore trust building around Wikipedia and across open and participatory practices of knowledge systems.

The aim is to identify the role trust plays in knowledge consumption, information evaluation, and teaching/learning design among educator communities in India (in alignment with one of the agenda points in 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction under “Identify Topics for Impact”). What does this inclination towards trust reveal about attitudes to knowledge production in India? An exploration of answers to these questions can in turn help the stakeholders in the Indian Wikipedia community reflect on the nature of disparities in knowledge equity within itself but also contribute to larger conversations about questions of epistemology in the Global South: processes of knowing, knowledge building, knowledge sharing, and knowledge imparting.


This research would involve focus groups, surveys, interviews with educators to understand their concerns along with an examination of the nature of evidence they may provide as evidence of bias and propaganda on Wikipedia content. The findings of these empirical methods would be used to identify conceptual frameworks for community engagement in India and other areas where the barriers to use of Wikipedia is not just a question of technological access and uneven representation of contributors/readers/content but a matter of psycho-socio-cultural attitude towards knowledge production and consumption.




Approximate amount requested in USD.

9,450 USD

Budget Description

Briefly describe what you expect to spend money on (specific budgets and details are not necessary at this time).

Amount requested for this research is 9,450 USD.

Travel Expenses 1,000 USD

Zoom Pro 150 USD

Open Access Publishing 2,400 USD

Conference Registration 500 USD

Equipment (hard drives, recording devices etc) 100 USD

Transcription Services 1,000 USD

Data analysis Services 1,000 USD

Researcher Salary (including stipend for research associate if needed) 3,000 USD

Contingency Funds 200 USD

Services for bookkeeping 100 USD

Total 9,450 USD


Address the impact and relevance to the Wikimedia projects, including the degree to which the research will address the 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction and/or support the work of Wikimedia user groups, affiliates, and developer communities. If your work relates to knowledge gaps, please directly relate it to the knowledge gaps taxonomy.

Knowledge equity in the 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction is thought of in terms of representation of readers, content, and contributor communities. This study has the potential to extend it to the intangible components such as epistemological frameworks at work in identifying learning resources. Additionally, the findings can help design further community engagement activities for educators in India as readers and potential contributors. Workshops on using Wikipedia and its sister projects (and the Internet as a whole) among the Indian educator community can further strengthen Wikipedia’s leadership in innovation in knowledge, especially in South Asia.


Plans for dissemination.

The findings of the study will be disseminated further through open access journal publications, conference presentations within Wikimedia communities,Foundation and outside (especially on the areas of digital humanities, philosophy of knowledge, and pedagogy), and a book-length on trust, knowledge, and pedagogy.

Past Contributions[edit]

Prior contributions to related academic and/or research projects and/or the Wikimedia and free culture communities. If you do not have prior experience, please explain your planned contributions.

The researcher is an educator in India. She has been teaching courses in humanities, media studies, and communication. She has an interest in South Asian studies and questions of epistemology and pedagogy in interdisciplinary contexts. With this research, she intends to explicitly engage with teaching/learning methodologies as a project in digital humanities and disseminate its findings through academic and non-academic publications and online platforms. Her larger goal is to address the gap in communication among educators and learners in India about what counts as knowledge.

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