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Wikipedia teams up with academia

November 4, 2010

As librarians, we certainly know that Wikipedia is not the most credible source.  Tuesday’s NPR had an interesting story about how that might be bridged and explored.  Nine universities, including Harvard, George Washington, and UC-Berkeley, are embarking on an effort to improve Wikipedia – by having graduate students help correct Wikipedia entries.

Even the founders at Wikimedia agree that Wikipedia is really only a starting point.  But read on:

The purpose of the project isn’t to make it a citable source.

Paul Courant, a librarian and professor of information at the University of Michigan, says library scientists will learn from the experiment anyway.

“If the entries don’t improve, that tells us that the crowd-sourcing model is really extremely powerful,” Courant says.

Something to keep an eye on.  Will be interesting to see what comes out of this project.

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