inclusivity of Wikipedia and the drawing of expert boundaries

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inclusivity of Wikipedia and the drawing of expert boundaries

Kathleen McCook
I think of interest to this discussion list.

=============
Luyt, B. (2012). The inclusivity of Wikipedia and the drawing of expert
boundaries: An examination of talk pages and reference lists. *Journal Of
The American Society For Information Science & Technology*, *63*(9),
1868-1878.

*Wikipedia* is frequently viewed as an inclusive medium. But inclusivity
within this online encyclopedia is not a simple matter of just allowing
anyone to contribute. In its quest for legitimacy as an encyclopedia,*
Wikipedia* relies on outsiders to judge claims championed by rival editors.
In choosing these experts, Wikipedians define the boundaries of acceptable
comment on any given subject. Inclusivity then becomes a matter of how the
boundaries of expertise are drawn. In this article I examine the nature of
these boundaries and the implications they have for inclusivity and
credibility as revealed through the talk pages produced and sources used by
a particular subset of *Wikipedia*'s creators-those involved in writing
articles on the topic of Philippine history.
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Re: inclusivity of Wikipedia and the drawing of expert boundaries

Fred Bauder-2
Within any field there is a general consensus regarding which textbooks,
references, and journal articles are authoritative, or at least
important. Those who teach or write in the field are familiar with these
and can be of great help in identifying them.

Fred

> I think of interest to this discussion list.
>
> =============
> Luyt, B. (2012). The inclusivity of Wikipedia and the drawing of expert
> boundaries: An examination of talk pages and reference lists. *Journal Of
> The American Society For Information Science & Technology*, *63*(9),
> 1868-1878.
>
> *Wikipedia* is frequently viewed as an inclusive medium. But inclusivity
> within this online encyclopedia is not a simple matter of just allowing
> anyone to contribute. In its quest for legitimacy as an encyclopedia,*
> Wikipedia* relies on outsiders to judge claims championed by rival
> editors.
> In choosing these experts, Wikipedians define the boundaries of
> acceptable
> comment on any given subject. Inclusivity then becomes a matter of how
> the
> boundaries of expertise are drawn. In this article I examine the nature
> of
> these boundaries and the implications they have for inclusivity and
> credibility as revealed through the talk pages produced and sources used
> by
> a particular subset of *Wikipedia*'s creators-those involved in writing
> articles on the topic of Philippine history.
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>



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Re: inclusivity of Wikipedia and the drawing of expert boundaries

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Kathleen McCook
On 21 April 2013 15:37, Kathleen McCook <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think of interest to this discussion list.
>
> =============
> Luyt, B. (2012). The inclusivity of Wikipedia and the drawing of expert
> boundaries: An examination of talk pages and reference lists. *Journal Of
> The American Society For Information Science & Technology*, *63*(9),
> 1868-1878.
>
> *Wikipedia* is frequently viewed as an inclusive medium. But inclusivity
> within this online encyclopedia is not a simple matter of just allowing
> anyone to contribute. In its quest for legitimacy as an encyclopedia,*
> Wikipedia* relies on outsiders to judge claims championed by rival editors.
> In choosing these experts, Wikipedians define the boundaries of acceptable
> comment on any given subject. Inclusivity then becomes a matter of how the
> boundaries of expertise are drawn. In this article I examine the nature of
> these boundaries and the implications they have for inclusivity and
> credibility as revealed through the talk pages produced and sources used by
> a particular subset of *Wikipedia*'s creators-those involved in writing
> articles on the topic of Philippine history.
>

This kind of issue is a bit trickier than it looks. There is a precis of
Luyt's argument at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2012-08-27/Recent_research#The_limits_of_amateur_NPOV_history

That argument is constructed along the lines of demographics: "professional
historians" versus "Wikipedian amateurs". I have a bit of a problem with
the latter. What the community contains are numerous "encyclopedists", as I
would see them: those with a good working theoretical and practical
knowledge of the kind of material Wikipedia sees as "encyclopedic".

This is actually the typical kind of demographic analysis posed in talking
about experts on Wikipedia. It hasn't that much to do with inclusivity in
the way the WMF would like to pose it, on occasion. It takes the form of a
depressing Venn diagram where the subject experts and encyclopedists don't
really overlap.

There is a further issue: an assumption that "historical reference
material" on Wikipedia is comparable to history as written by historians. I
work on history all the time now, and it is possible to get this quite
wrong. Luyt argues that NPOV is used too aggressively to filter out
"historical debates". It has to be borne in mind that [[History of the
Philippines]] uses summary style. There are about 23 main articles linked
from it. To expect the top-level article to include as much of possibly
contentious detail and related debate is to misunderstand the role of such
an article.

Charles
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