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Learning patterns/Identifying content gaps

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A learning pattern forteamwork
Identifying content gaps
problemWikipedia has content gaps.
solutionWork with content experts to close those gaps.
creatorAKoval (WMF)
created on16:22, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?[edit]

Data suggests that even a Wikipedia as mature as the English version cannot yet be considered "done".[1] There are gaps for all subject areas, but in general they are larger and more pronounced when it comes to humanities and social sciences.[2] Filling the remaining gaps is essential to sharing the sum of all human knowledge.

What is the solution?[edit]

Partnering with content area experts, WikiProjects, GLAM groups, academic institutions, and professional associations can help close content gaps on the WIkimedia projects.

First, identify the content gaps you or your group wish to address. Then, work with Wikipedia editors to add content and reliable resources to close the identified gaps in Wikipedia articles.

One approach tested and studied by Rutgers University [3][4] is to:

  1. Identify the content gaps to address.
  2. Narrow or refine the topic as needed.
  3. Research how well the topic is covered in Wikipedia according to the criteria of: completeness, availability of substantive peer-reviewed resources, objectivity of approach.
  4. Edit existing articles by addressing each of the above issues.
  5. Add one or more new articles as needed for topics deserving an article that are not represented in Wikipedia.

Another approach is the process used by the Wiki Education Foundation, which is part of the Wikipedia Education Program. They partner with academic institutions and academic associations in content-specific disciplines.[5][6] This approach has had a marked impact in closing content gaps, especially the gender gap.[7] They support instructors who choose to assign their students to contribute content to Wikipedia. These Wikipedia assignments help students grow and help Wikipedia grow by filling content gaps.[8]

Tools for identifying content gaps[edit]

  • Missing topics: finds redlinks in the pages of a category or single page and ranks them by number of occurences. Can be used on all projects and langauges.
  • Vital articles is is an excellent resource to aid in identifying content gaps on Wikipedia. It is a list developed by the community to serve as a guide to content development. It represents the 1,000 most-important articles that any encyclopedia should have. It lists subjects for which Wikipedias should have corresponding high-quality articles. It serves as a centralized watchlist to track the status of Wikipedia's most essential articles.[2]

Things to consider[edit]

Whenever contributing to a Wikipedia, it's important to abide by its policies and act in accordance with its principles. For example, on the English Wikipedia, there are the pillars and four key policies:

  1. The five pillars
  2. Neutral point of view
  3. No original research
  4. Verifiability
  5. Notability

When to use[edit]


  • I believe this pattern also applies to Wikidata. The soweego[9] project aims at filling two Wikidata content gaps: references and identifiers.
To achieve so, the team has conducted an extensive analysis of target catalogs.[10][11][12]


  • This is perhaps the most crucial goal of all Wikimedia projects, and for sure the direction everyone should follow to build completely democratic content. soweego[9] strives to apply this pattern. --Hjfocs (talk) 15:29, 25 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

See also[edit]

Related patterns[edit]

External links[edit]