Perceived Quality of Online Encyclopedias: An Empirical Study of Differences Between User Groups

Corinna Petra Raith, Stefan Koch

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


This study illustrates how different user groups perceive and evaluate the content quality of Wikipedia articles as compared to entries of a traditional encyclopedia. Therefore, an experimental set-up was used with blinded articles of different topic fields from the German Wikipedia and Brockhaus online, evaluated by experts with different backgrounds (university vs. practice) and by students of the field. The findings showed that the quality of both encyclopedias was assessed similarly (intra-group evaluations), although more faults and mistakes were criticized in the Wikipedia sample. However, the inter-group comparison revealed differences in the groups' quality perceptions. This partly applied to the comparison of the expert groups, and especially to the comparison of expert and (non-expert) student evaluations. Students tended to give better ratings, especially within the Wikipedia sample. Most noticeable, they did not detect any content-related faults in both sets, highlighting that further training is needed to improve their information literacy.
Seiten (von - bis)48 - 66
FachzeitschriftInternational Journal of Social Media and Online Communities
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2019

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