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Does Your Professor Have a Wikipedia Entry? Congrats! It Means Nothing


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Wikipedia globe

Credit: The Atlantic

Oxford University has released a study indicating that no significant correlation exists between a scientific academic professional having a Wikipedia entry and being productive in his or her field.

Study authors Anna Samoilenko and Taha Yasseri evaluated 400 biographical Wikipedia entries for academics in physics, biology, computer science, and psychology, and psychiatry. Entry metrics such as page length were compared against a researcher's h-index, an indicator of how important an academic's work is to his or her discipline that measures how many journal articles a researcher has written as well as how often other academics have cited the articles. "The analysis has shown that only a small percentage of researchers mentioned on Wikipedia (36 percent of biologists, 31 percent of computer scientists, 24 percent of psychologists and psychiatrists, and 22 percent of physicists) are notable according to the traditional means of evaluation," the study says.

In addition, the study looked at each of the four fields' most important researchers, based on the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Research list, and determined how many had their own Wikipedia entries. Fewer than half of the leading researchers across the disciplines had their own pages.

From The Atlantic
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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