Wikipedia and Political Science: Addressing Systematic Biases with Student Initiatives

Wikipedia and Political Science: Addressing Systematic Biases with Student Initiatives

By Brooke A. Ackerly and Kristin Michelitch, Vanderbilt University

This symposium discusses systematic knowledge gaps in political science and politics on Wikipedia and the efforts by political scientists to ameliorate these gaps through student initiatives in higher education. Wikipedia, which now contains more than 55 million articles, was launched on January 15, 2001—last year was its 20th anniversary—as an online, open-access, cost-free encyclopedia hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit organization funded by donations. Wikipedia’s aim is to democratize access to knowledge by taking knowledge resources from (often gated) scholarly publications and synthesizing it in writing that is accessible to laypeople. To generate articles, Wikipedia relies on crowdsourcing through volunteer editorship (all authors are “editors”)

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