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Unsupported Assertions: An Analysis of Criticism of Wikipedia

Author Elijah Meeks
Track Projects and Content
License GNU Free Documentation License (details)
About the author
Elijah Meeks is a graduate student at the University of California, Merced, having graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Currently he studies Shang China, with special attention on how to understand and present the shift from pre-history to history within the Digital Humanities.
The focus of the paper is on the criticisms leveled at Wikipedia in the press and academia through an analysis of Wikipedia as an instance of what Yochai Benkler describes as academic commons-based peer collaboration. Specifically, it looks at the motivations of those criticisms—epistemological, territorial, authorial and otherwise—and their merit. It offers possible solutions for some of the criticism, specifically that of the accuracy and credibility of the articles through utilization of proven peer-review techniques, while analyzing the motivation for what appears to be unsupported or uncharitable criticism of Wikipedia for research and general use. The overall direction of this paper is to foster an understanding of themes in the criticism of such projects with a look at distinguishing between the variety of criticisms leveled at Wikipedia and its sister projects.
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