First monday study

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First monday study

Martin Møller Skarbiniks Pedersen
This study examines credibility judgments in relation to peripheral
cues and genre of Wikipedia articles, and attempts to understand user
information verification behavior based on the theory of bounded
rationality. Data were collected employing both an experiment and a
survey at a large public university in the midwestern United States in
Spring 2010. This study shows some interesting patterns. It appears
that the effect of peripheral cues on credibility judgments differed
according to genre. Those who did not verify information displayed a
higher level of satisficing than those who did. Students used a
variety of peripheral cues of Wikipedia. The exploratory data show
that peer endorsement may be more important than formal authorities
for user generated information sources, such as Wikipedia, which calls
for further research.

http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3263/2860

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interesse.

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Re: First monday study

Bob the Wikipedian
Seems logical; the more scholarly the topic, the more sources it had
better cite in order to be appear credible.

I also note the author saw that most students at that university were
discouraged from using Wikipedia at all but used it anyway without
citing it. I can speak from experience here-- I recently was required to
write a term paper on a medical topic I knew literally nothing about. My
first site I checked was Wikipedia, and my professor immediately ran
over and said, "NO! Get off Wikipedia!" I explained I understood very
well that this was a secondary source, and that I was merely trying to
familiarize myself with the topic before reading the technical stuff in
the journals, though she said to just dive right into the journals and
I'd figure it out in no time. Yeah, right, I tried it with no luck.

During that research project, I browsed through several Wikipedia
articles in order to get a basic idea of countless concepts. However,
for every usable fact I found on Wikipedia, I was sure to search
journals for at least one or two sources validating it, which got cited
in my paper. Occasionally, I was even blessed with a citation that
pointed to an article I could access for free! :-)

Interestingly, my three page paper explaining in detail the mechanisms
of my topic ended up with two full pages of scholarly sources-- whereas
students who dove straight into the journals came up with on average
about 5 sources and largely focused more on statistics and what types of
mice were used in the experiments carried out by the scientists than on
the actual mechanisms of their assigned topics.

And that, kids, is how Wikipedia can be used safely and successfully in
academe. Too bad so many professors in America discourage using it
altogether.

Wikipedia is the ultimate glossary of terms and the ultimate index to
scholarly sources. You just have to know how to use it.

God bless,
Bob

On 4/25/2011 2:20 PM, Martin Møller Skarbiniks Pedersen wrote:

> This study examines credibility judgments in relation to peripheral
> cues and genre of Wikipedia articles, and attempts to understand user
> information verification behavior based on the theory of bounded
> rationality. Data were collected employing both an experiment and a
> survey at a large public university in the midwestern United States in
> Spring 2010. This study shows some interesting patterns. It appears
> that the effect of peripheral cues on credibility judgments differed
> according to genre. Those who did not verify information displayed a
> higher level of satisficing than those who did. Students used a
> variety of peripheral cues of Wikipedia. The exploratory data show
> that peer endorsement may be more important than formal authorities
> for user generated information sources, such as Wikipedia, which calls
> for further research.
>
> http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3263/2860
>

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