What's on Wikipedia, and what's not...? assessing completeness of information

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What's on Wikipedia, and what's not...? assessing completeness of information
Authors: Cindy Royal, Deepina Kapila
Citation: Social Science Computer Review 27 (1): 138-148. 2009 February
DOI: 10.1177/0894439308321890.
Link(s): http://ssc.sagepub.com/content/27/1/138.full.pdf+html
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What's on Wikipedia, and what's not...? assessing completeness of information examines the length of sets of Wikipedia articles and compares them with a number of other variables: With year, length in Micropaedia of Encyclopedia Britanica, country population and company revenue.

[edit] Results

Correlating the length of Wikipedia articles with year the following Pearson correlation coefficients was obtained

  • 0.79 Year from 1900 to 2008
  • 0.47 Academy Award-winning films
  • 0.30 Artist with #1 song
  • 0.00 Time's person of the year

They also found that:

  • Length correlated (0.26) with corresponding length in Micropaedia
  • Length correlated (0.55) with country population
  • Length correlated (0.49) with revenue

[edit] Critique

  1. They write that "Urethane" did not have a Wikipedia entry. However, "Urethane" initial version is from 12 May 2006 [1], Carbamate from 20 May 2004 [2], Ethyl carbamate from 14 October 2003 [3] and Polyurethane from 9 April 2002 [4]
  2. The authors write "...it was clear that the more common or popular terms had the most detailed coverage". This is not reported in the results.
  3. In relation to country population the authors write "...the democratic nature of Wikipedia on its own cannot counteract the effects of the magnitude of people who are available to participate". But there is no discussion on whether a country such as Nauru should have the same sized article as the article about India.
  4. For companies (Fortune 1000): "this points to the strength of financial power in circumventing any type of democratizing feature of an online space". But it is not clear that small companies should have the same sized articles as big companies.
  5. "There is a clear progression of the length of ach article, with a dramatic increase occurring starting in 2001" is stated in the result section. Here the authors fail to mention that the most recent years shows a significant drop.
  6. They have no quantification of the L-sharpedness.
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