Submissions:2019/Strategies for comparing library content and Wikipedia

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2019.


Strategies for comparing library content and Wikipedia


Reliability of Information
+ Inclusion and Diversity

Type of session:



When asked whether Wikipedia or library resources are better, the answer is often not as clear as one would like. Efforts to compare Wikipedia to other sources can be challenging and labor intensive, and as such, comparisons frequently use small samples - sometimes just a handful of articles or topics - to make sweeping statements about the quality and reliability of Wikipedia as an information source. To help overcome some of these challenges, this presentation will share tools and workflows for efficiently comparing Wikipedia content to content available from other sources, such as library reference books or databases. The presentation will include an overview of qualitative and quantitative factors that have been used for evaluating information content and article quality. It will showcase freely available tools that are being used to facilitate comparisons. Drawing from a case study comparing sources of information about children’s book authors recommended for university-level author study assignments, the presentation will include concrete examples of how comparison data have been used to inform library instruction efforts and support library collection development decisions. It will also provide suggestions as to how these techniques might be used by the broader Wikimedia Community to provide empirical motivation for campaigns aimed at closing content gaps between Wikimedia platforms and other collections of information.


Related article

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Laura Soito

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

University of New Mexico

Estimated time:

30 minutes

Preferred room size:


Special requests:


Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)