From science to practice: identifying important sources of information on Wikipedia

During the webinar, the possibilities of identifying and automatically assessing the significance of information sources of Wikipedia articles from different language versions were presented. As part of the practical part, some of the capabilities of the BestRef tool were shown, which contains information about the results of the evaluation of millions of Internet sources in Wikipedia articles from the point of view of individual language versions.

Webinar recording:

Wikipedia, being a widely available source of information in the digital era, attaches great importance to the verifiability of its content, which is fundamental to its credibility and trust. The platform’s verifiability rules require that all information, especially controversial or controversial information, be supported by credible, published sources. This ensures that the content in Wikipedia articles is not based on personal opinion or original research. However, the subjective nature of the concept of credibility and the dependence of the assessment on many factors (including language version or topic) may create a certain problem for users editing Wikipedia in terms of selecting appropriate sources of information.

With the huge number of websites (currently over a billion), individually assessing the credibility of each source becomes a challenge for Wikipedia users. Although there are detailed guidelines in various language versions of Wikipedia that define what reliable sources are, there is no comprehensive list of websites or other sources of information that can be considered reliable in the context of the various topics covered on Wikipedia. Additionally, the credibility and reputation of websites may change over time, and evaluation criteria may vary depending on the language version of Wikipedia or the topic area, which requires regular updates of such lists. For this reason, a comprehensive and constantly updated list of reliable sources would be very helpful not only to Wikipedia editors, but also to its readers who are looking for accurate and reliable information.

The webinar took place on November 23, 2023. The organizer of the event is the Wikimedia Polska, which supports and promotes Wikipedia and its sister projects (such as Wikidata, Wiktionary, Wikinews, Wikisource and others).

More information about research on the analysis of information sources on Wikipedia can be found in scientific publications: