Tag Archives: Wikipedia

Intersection of Gender and Knowledge

A recent episode of the Freakonomics podcast, “Women Are Not Men,” looked at gender inequities in various arenas. I thought the discussion of why women are less likely to be editors and contributors to Wikipedia raises some interesting issues about how the construction of knowledge is complicated by culturally-bound notions of whether competitiveness is essentially a male or a female trait. After pointing to a study documenting the dramatically lower participation levels of women in Wikipedia editing, the hosts of the podcast moved on to look at studies of how competitiveness is gendered in a patriarchal society and a matriarchal one.

I can’t wait to figure out how I’ll use this in LIB 3040 this semester.

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Books Cited in Wikipedia Articles

Tim Spalding, the founder and developer of LibraryThing, recently analyzed what books were cited in Wikipedia entries and came up with a list of the top 100 most cited books, which seem heavy on military history and pop culture.

Top 100 Most-Frequenty Cited Books in the English Wikipedia
1. 2,122 Guinness World Records: British Hit Singles and Albums
2. 1,313 Andrews’ Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology (James, Andrew’s Disease of the Skin)
3. 1,231 Air Force Combat Units of World War II
4. 1,184 Jane’s encyclopedia of aviation
5. 839 British parliamentary election results, 1918-1949
6. 764 The Ship of the Line: The Development of the Battlefleet, 1650-1850 (The Ship of the line)
7. 603 Handbook of British Chronology (Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, Volume 2)
8. 603 Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships, 1860-1905
9. 591 The science-fantasy publishers: A critical and bibliographic history
10. 560 Civil War High Commands
11. 539 Wrestling Title Histories
12. 514 A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament (2 volumes)
13. 504 The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature
14. 464 The Dinosauria
15. 463 The DC Comics Encyclopedia, Updated and Expanded Edition
16. 460 The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem
17. 452 The Canadian directory of Parliament, 1867-1967
18. 442 All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948
19. 419 Air Force combat wings : lineage and honors histories, 1947-1977
20. 415 The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy Through 1968; Volume 1: Who’s Who A-L
21. 414 The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
22. 406 Fields of Praise: Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union, 1881-1981
23. 403 Birmingham City
24. 398 The New Grove Dictionary of Opera : A-D
25. 377 Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments
26. 371 Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology In General Medicine (Two Vol. Set)
27. 362 NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book
28. 356 The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Animals: A Comprehensive Color Guide to Over 500 Specie
29. 348 The Pimlico Chronology of British History: From 250, 000 BC to the Present Day
30. 347 Michigan Place Names (Great Lakes Books)
31. 345 The Directory of Railway Stations: Details Every Public and Private Passenger Station, Halt, Platform and Stopping Place
32. 342 The Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd Edition
33. 341 Collins Guide to the Sea Fishes of New Zealand
34. 334 The Book of Sydney Suburbs
35. 331 The Men Who Made Gillingham Football Club
36. 331 Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775-1990: Major Combatants
37. 315 Oregon Geographic Names
38. 305 日本写真家事典―東京都写真美術館所蔵作家 (東京都写真美術館叢書)
39. 296 U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History
40. 294 Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns
41. 289 The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy Through 1968: A Bibliographic Survey of the Fields of Science Fiction, F
42. 281 Reed New Zealand Atlas
43. 277 Music in the Renaissance
44. 277 Ohio Atlas and Gazetteer (Atlas and Gazetteer)
45. 273 Enzyklopädie des deutschen Ligafußballs 7. Vereinslexikon
46. 271 The Text of the New Testament an Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual
47. 268 Blackpool (Complete Record)
48. 266 The PFA Premier & Football League players’ records, 1946-2005
49. 261 The Oxford Companion to Chess
50. 259 Dictionary of Minor Planet Names
51. 256 A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica (Comstock Book)
52. 251 Saints!: Complete Record of Southampton Football Club, 1885-1987
53. 247 Cassell’s Chronology of World History: Dates, Events and Ideas That Made History
54. 247 The Book of Golden Discs
55. 243 Squadrons of the Royal Air Force and Commonwealth, 1918-88
56. 236 Retreat to the Reich: The German Defeat in France, 1944
57. 236 RAF Squadrons: A Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of All RAF Squadrons and Their Antecedents Since 191
58. 231 Australian Chart Book 1970-1992
59. 231 The Phoenix Book of International Rugby Records
60. 228 Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
61. 224 US Air Force Air Power Directory
62. 222 Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals
63. 221 Rough Guide to World Music Volume Two: Latin and North America, the Caribbean, Asia & the Pacific (Rough Guide Music Gui
64. 219 In the Nick of Time: Motion Picture Sound Serials
65. 215 A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago
66. 212 Encyclopedia of Fishes, Second Edition (Natural World)
67. 208 The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World
68. 205 The Kentucky Encyclopedia
69. 205 Arsenal Who’s Who
70. 205 Guia de Catalunya. Tots els pobles i totes les comarques
71. 204 Armor Battles of the Waffen SS, 1943-45 (Stackpole Military History Series)
72. 203 Sixty Years of Arkham House: A History and Bibliography
73. 203 Indie Hits: The Complete UK Independent Charts 1980-1989
74. 201 The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics
75. 201 The geographic atlas of New Zealand
76. 201 The International Rugby Championship 1883-1983
77. 200 The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae (Virgin Encyclopedias of Popular Music)
78. 199 Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide
79. 198 Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft
80. 196 Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1906-1921 (Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships, Vol 2)
81. 195 The fighting ships of the Rising Sun: The drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945
82. 192 Economics: Principles in Action
83. 191 New RHS Dictionary of Gardening
84. 190 Fungal Families of the World (Cabi Publishing)
85. 189 The Vertigo Encyclopedia
86. 188 Dermatology: 2-Volume Set
87. 187 The National Register of Historic Places in Minnesota: A Guide (Minnesota)
88. 187 Minding the House: A Biographical Guide to Prince Edward Island MLAs, 1873-1993
89. 186 Domesday Book: A Complete Translation (Alecto Historical Editions)
90. 186 The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile (3 Vol Set)
91. 185 Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern : die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges
92. 184 The Mountains of England and Wales, Volume 1: Wales
93. 183 The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld
94. 183 The Oxford Dictionary of Opera
95. 179 Generals in Blue Lives of the Union Commanders: Lives of the Union Commanders
96. 178 The Arkham House Companion: Fifty Years of Arkham House : A Bibliographical History and Collector’s Price Guide to Arkha
97. 177 David and Charles Book of Castles
98. 175 Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (Recent Releases)
99. 174 The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family
100. 171 Hot Dance/Disco 1974-2003
Source: LibraryThing.com

Spalding, Tim. “The Books of Wikipedia.” The LibraryThing Blog, 22 November 2009. Web.

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Tighter Editorial Control at Wikipedia Leads to Stagnation

A recent article in the Guardian suggests that the rapid growth in the number of new Wikipedia entries and edits has slowed in recent years. It is suggested that the elite group of Wikipedia editors has focused more on controlling content. The change is characterized as a battle in which the “inclusionists,” who wish to expand Wikipedia even if new content isn’t properly referenced, are losing out to the “deletionists,” who are concerned more with overall quality than quantity of information in Wikipedia.

Johnson, Bobbie. “Wikipedia Approaches Its Limits,” The Guardian, 12 August 2009. Web.

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Information May Want to Be Free, But Is That Always Beneficial?

Today’s New York Times carried a front-page story (below the fold) reporting on yet another Wikipedia controversy. An ER doctor in Canada added all ten images from the Rorschach inkblot test to the Wikipedia entry for “Rorschach test.” Typically, the distribution of educational and psychological test materials is limited to qualified professionals, lest wider dispersion of such assessment and measurement tools lead to people learning how to game the tests and render the tools useless.

To really delve into the issue beyond where the Times article takes it, take a look at the discussion page for the “Rorschach test” entry in Wikipedia.

Cohen, Noam. “Has Wikipedia Created a Rorschach Cheat Sheet?” The New York Times, 29 July 2009. Web. 29 July 2009.

“Rorschach test.” Wikipedia, 29 July 2009. Web. 29 July 2009.

“Talk:Rorschach test.” Wikipedia, 29 July 2009. Web. 29 July 2009.

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