Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 372. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2019-01-21 14:23:49+00:00 From: Henry Schaffer
Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.363: the question on Wikipedia There was an interesting study done for science entries back in 2005: Internet encyclopaedias go head to head by Giles, Jim Nature, 12/2005, Volume 438, Issue 7070 "One of the extraordinary stories of the Internet age is that of Jimmy Wales' Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. This radical and rapidly growing publication, which includes close to four million entries, is now a a much-used resource. Giles investigates Wale's Wikipedia, which comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries." (quoted from the Summon periodicals index used by my campus library catalog - I'm too lazy to go to the article itself - which I read back when it came out.) On Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 1:17 AM Humanist wrote: > Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 363. > Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London > Hosted by King's Digital Lab > www.dhhumanist.org > Submit to: email@example.com > > >  From: David Hoover > Subject: My Wikipedia Question (98) > >  From: Jim Rovira > Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.362: the question on Wikipedia (32) > >  From: Jeffrey Savoye > Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.362: the question on Wikipedia (25) > >  From: Willard McCarty > Subject: the question on Wikipedia (32) > > ... > > -------------------------------------------------------------------------- > Date: 2019-01-20 07:11:51+00:00 > From: Willard McCarty > Subject: the question on Wikipedia > > This is about the reliability of publications, Wikipedia included. > > As a graduate student at Toronto, I was fortunate enough to be employed > by the Records of Early English Drama (REED) project, initially as the > computer-person, then as an indexer and editorial assistant. I had > already been taught how to get things right during my MA. But REED was > an eye-opener. The care we took over smallest details was a lesson that > stuck. Subsequently getting publications of my own into print has > reinforced the value of finality for all that proceeds it: once typeset > and proofing corrections submitted, there's no changing the result. > > The fluidity of digital publication washes back on us all too often as > sloppiness. The value-judgment implicit in that word 'sloppiness' might > provoke an argument to the effect that I should accept the fact that > standards have changed, but I cannot agree. Rather let me > ask: historically what have been the constraints that have > ensured reliability? Or, perhaps better, how historically > contingent is our concept of reliability? Or, to ask another, > what is built into the idea of "all the world's knowledge"? > > Comments? > I find that the Wikipedia articles I go to are quite good - but I admit that I don't scrutinize the linked material to see if too much was quoted, or if the attributions are totally correct. When I refer a student or colleague to the entry on the Normal distribution, my concern is whether the content is accurate and presented well, rather than getting upset that the link in Footnote 3 doesn't work. (I'm not making this up, it doesn't work as of right now - I may edit it in the near future, but right now there still is sufficient information in the footnote to track down the reference.) However, if I, or someone else, does edit Footnote 3 so that it *is* correct, rather than *was* correct, that certainly counts as fluidity, but perhaps that's good fluidity? --henry schaffer _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: firstname.lastname@example.org List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
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