Wikipedia implementing trust ratings for authors

By on

Wikipedia is going to implement Alfaro et al’s algorithm to assign trust levels to individual chunks of text within articles based on the reputation of the author of the chunk. The interface will use color coding to visualize trust levels.–now-with-added-trust.html

“Wiki City Rome”

By on

Interesting article (see —

Residents of Italy’s capital will glimpse the future of urban mapmaking next month with the launch of "Wiki City Rome,"
a project developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that
uses data from cellphones and other wireless technology to illustrate
the city’s pulse in real time.

Do experts edit Wikipedia? Will they?

By on

There was an interesting essay in the most recent CACM titled "Why You Can’t Cite Wikpedia in My Class" ( The author, Neil L. Waters, is a professor
of history and the Kawashima Professor of Japanese Studies in the
Department of History at Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT. He recounts how several students submitted essays to him with incorrect information on several topics in Japanese history, and how he traced the incorrect information to several Wikipedia articles. 

I’ll skip the part about how he had his department formulate the "you can’t cite Wikipedia" policy and the large amount of attention this received. (You shouldn’t: it’s quite interesting.) What I was struck by was the last paragraph:

I suppose I should now go fix the Wikipedia entry for Ogyu
Sorai ( Sorai). I have been waiting
since January to see how long it might take for the system to
correct it, which has indeed been altered slightly and is rather
good overall. But the statement that Ogyu opposed the Tokugawa
order is still there and still highly misleading
[2]. Somehow the statement that equates the
samurai with the lower class in Tokugawa Japan has escaped the
editors’ attention, though anyone with the slightest contact with
Japanese history knows it is wrong.

Hmmm…. so …. why didn’t he go fix the article? One can imagine lots of answers, but I’d guess the right explanation is that he doesn’t have any incentive to do so. Probably this is true for most experts in topics like Japanese history (what are "topics like Japanese history" anyway?).

So, I think a great research question is: is there any way to create incentives for experts to edit Wikipedia?

back to top