[Air-l] Trusted Wikipedia

Alex Halavais halavais at gmail.com
Wed Sep 20 19:45:35 PDT 2006


Many people dismiss Wikipedia out of hand as a trusted source,
precisely because it is written and edited by "anybody." This differs,
they suggest, from a newspaper, which is "fact checked," or from an
academic paper, which is "peer reviewed." Over the last two years, I
have chatted with a number of people about the possibility of peer
reviewing Wikipedia "from the outside." At Wikimania, a number of
proposals were made--some of which are already under way--to make
Wikipedia both a more credible and a more accurate source of
information. The two, while complementary, are not necessarily
identical.

What I would like to do is assemble an editorial board of recognized
experts in Internet Studies, Computer-Mediated Communication, and
Human-Computer Interaction who would go through the process of finding
appropriate peer reviewers and certifying particular versions of
Wikipedia articles as being peer-reviewed. This would provide the
reader with an additional indication that the work is of high quality
and accurate.

To do this, we need to assemble a group of people who have some level
of recognition in the field, and who are willing to devote a small
amount of time to helping to select a core set of articles and oversee
the review process. While we will be looking at a number of ways to
make this process more technologically easy, the key issue here is to
find a group of people willing to invest a little time and their
reputations in an effort to make Wikipedia a more trusted source.

If you are interested in chatting a bit more about the project, drop
me a note. If you will be in Brisbane for the Internet Research,
perhaps we can discuss the possibilities over lunch on Thursday.


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// Alexander C. Halavais
// Social Architect
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