Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/105728
Title:
Toward an Epistemology of Wikipedia
Author:
Fallis, Don
Citation:
Toward an Epistemology of Wikipedia 2008, 59(10) Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Publisher:
Wiley Periodicals
Journal:
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue Date:
2008
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/105728
Submitted date:
2008-10-06
Abstract:
Wikipedia (the â free online encyclopedia that anyone can editâ ) is having a huge impact on how a great many people gather information about the world. So, it is important for epistemologists and information scientists to ask whether or not people are likely to acquire knowledge as a result of having access to this information source. In other words, is Wikipedia having good epistemic consequences? After surveying the various concerns that have been raised about the reliability of Wikipedia, this paper argues that the epistemic consequences of people using Wikipedia as a source of information are likely to be quite good. According to several empirical studies, the reliability of Wikipedia compares favorably to the reliability of traditional encyclopedias. Furthermore, the reliability of Wikipedia compares even more favorably to the reliability of those information sources that people would be likely to use if Wikipedia did not exist (viz., websites that are as freely and easily accessible as Wikipedia). In addition, Wikipedia has a number of other epistemic virtues (e.g., power, speed, and fecundity) that arguably outweigh any deficiency in terms of reliability. Even so, epistemologists and information scientists should certainly be trying to identify changes (or alternatives) to Wikipedia that will bring about even better epistemic consequences. This paper suggests that, in order to improve Wikipedia, we need to clarify what our epistemic values are and we need a better understanding of why Wikipedia works as well as it does.
Type:
Journal Article (On-line/Unpaginated)
Language:
en
Keywords:
Epistemology; Internet; Social Epistemology
Local subject classification:
encyclopedias; epistemic values; mass collaboration; reliability; social epistemology; verifiability; Wikipedia; wisdom of crowds

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorFallis, Donen_US
dc.date.accessioned2008-10-06T00:00:01Z-
dc.date.available2010-06-18T23:33:17Z-
dc.date.issued2008en_US
dc.date.submitted2008-10-06en_US
dc.identifier.citationToward an Epistemology of Wikipedia 2008, 59(10) Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technologyen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/105728-
dc.description.abstractWikipedia (the â free online encyclopedia that anyone can editâ ) is having a huge impact on how a great many people gather information about the world. So, it is important for epistemologists and information scientists to ask whether or not people are likely to acquire knowledge as a result of having access to this information source. In other words, is Wikipedia having good epistemic consequences? After surveying the various concerns that have been raised about the reliability of Wikipedia, this paper argues that the epistemic consequences of people using Wikipedia as a source of information are likely to be quite good. According to several empirical studies, the reliability of Wikipedia compares favorably to the reliability of traditional encyclopedias. Furthermore, the reliability of Wikipedia compares even more favorably to the reliability of those information sources that people would be likely to use if Wikipedia did not exist (viz., websites that are as freely and easily accessible as Wikipedia). In addition, Wikipedia has a number of other epistemic virtues (e.g., power, speed, and fecundity) that arguably outweigh any deficiency in terms of reliability. Even so, epistemologists and information scientists should certainly be trying to identify changes (or alternatives) to Wikipedia that will bring about even better epistemic consequences. This paper suggests that, in order to improve Wikipedia, we need to clarify what our epistemic values are and we need a better understanding of why Wikipedia works as well as it does.en_US
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdfen_US
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherWiley Periodicalsen_US
dc.subjectEpistemologyen_US
dc.subjectInterneten_US
dc.subjectSocial Epistemologyen_US
dc.subject.otherencyclopediasen_US
dc.subject.otherepistemic valuesen_US
dc.subject.othermass collaborationen_US
dc.subject.otherreliabilityen_US
dc.subject.othersocial epistemologyen_US
dc.subject.otherverifiabilityen_US
dc.subject.otherWikipediaen_US
dc.subject.otherwisdom of crowdsen_US
dc.titleToward an Epistemology of Wikipediaen_US
dc.typeJournal Article (On-line/Unpaginated)en_US
dc.identifier.journalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technologyen_US
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