By: Dylan DiLecce
Wikimedia's Wikipedia, although highly successful in terms of its breadth, growth, and sustainability as a major source of information on the internet loses much of its potential in its lack of scholarly legitimacy. For Wikipedia to develop further, a drastic and innovative step is required to meet the drastic growth of the website.
I propose a new governing structure of Wikimedia to efficiently and effectively oversee a stronger and more effective regulatory system on Wikipedia. The company, by separating its employees into specialized groups, can each focus on specific areas of Wikipedia broken into different categories. These employees can therefore focus on providing a reliable, administrative "cleanup" of articles and set a uniform standard for Wikipedia pages. Although the laissez-fairewhat? editing allowed thus far, has ensured Wikipedia much of its rapid growth, it is necessary for the company and website to recognize that it must enter a business maturity level through legitimization to ensure its influence on the internet and scholarly culture. Increasing thoroughness of citations, warnings, and uniformity in layouts, Wikipedia can begin to improve its scholarly potential. As well, the listing of references can also be changed to be more interactive and allow users to effectively search through the ____; to see the type and legitimacy of sources themselves, instead of complex URLs.
Wikipedia is often the first source students go to to summarize and be "briefed" on matters pertaining to their research. Many times, students prepare their work based on assumptions from uncited Wikipedia article sections that, although may not be confirmed by other sources remain as legitimate information in the scholar's mind. This might not be Wikipedia's fault, but fault is not the sole determinant for progression on such matters. The more legitimate Wikipedia information is, the more academics will be willing to accept it as a scholarly source, thus providing a far greater use for the group. As well many people resort to sifting through article citations for quality sources that are actually scholarly. The more accessible and transparent this information is, the more it will ensure Wikipedia's viability in the future.
The key questions to ask yourself is "What was Wikipedia created for?" and "How can we fulfill its purpose and even go beyond?"
- Where would the money come from to employ these professional editors?
- Would these professional editors be able to raise quality levels on the pedia faster than the current volunteer system is doing?
- Now that we've beaten the commercial encyclopaedias, why shift to their way of doing things?
Drastic transformation of the website and governing structure, and extra potential employees.
Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal Talk:Legitimizing a Scholarly Collaborative.
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