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Google Books, Wikipedia, and the Future of Culturomics

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Science  14 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6014, pp. 135
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6014.135

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As a follow-up to the quantitative analysis of data obtained from Google Books published online in Science on 16 December 2010 and in this week's issue on page 176, one of the study's authors has been using Wikipedia to analyze the fame of scientists whose names appear in books over the centuries. But his effort has been hampered by the online encyclopedia's shortcomings, from the reliability of its information to the organization of its content. Several efforts are under way to improve Wikipedia as a teaching and research tool, including one by the Association for Psychological Science that seeks to create a more complete and accurate representation of its field.