Academics can help shape Wikipedia

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Science  11 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 557-558
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao0462

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  • A conflict of interest plays a key role in shaping Wikipedia

    Thomas Shafee, et al., wrote an article entitled "Academics can help shape Wikipedia" (1). As of 13 August 2017, total wiki pages‎ is ‎42,640,127, total users‎ is ‎31,466,095, and English articles‎ is ‎5,451,777 where total admins‎ is ‎1,251 (2). The total article text size in English Wikipedia is depicted in Figure (3). Conflict of interest is one of Wikipedia's least understood and yet most cited behavioral guidelines (4). Conflicted editors or paid editors (5) who do choose to contribute should declare their interests, both on their user pages and on the talk page of any article they edit, be sure to write in a neutral tone, cite reliable, third-party published sources, and beware of unintentional bias (4). One detailed study from 2012 found that new editors often find that their first contributions to the site are quickly rejected by more experienced users, which directly correlates with a drop in the likelihood that they will continue to contribute to the site (6). Although the total article text size has been increasing, the number of active editors has been declining (7).
    In order to be a collective human knowledge platform, growing pains for Wikipedia should be alleviated by managing open collaboration community without biases.

    1. Thomas Shafee, et al., Academics can help shape Wikipedia, Science 11 Aug 2017: Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 557-558

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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