Physiopedia’s model online encyclopaedia has recently been found to be more accurate and of higher quality than other online encyclopaedias. In a recent study the accuracy and quality of Wikipedia entries were assessed compared with other popular alternative online encyclopaedias. A small sample of articles were studied for the purposes of piloting the study’s approach and methods, and the findings cannot therefore be generalised to the wider output of the online encyclopaedias. Nonetheless, Wikipedia articles in general emerge commendably in a number of respects, and it was possible to identify a pattern of qualities. Wikipedia articles were generally seen as being more up to date than other articles and were generally considered to be better referenced. Furthermore, they appeared to be at least as strong as other sources in terms of comprehensiveness, lack of bias and even readability.
“We’re very encouraged by the results for this small sample of Wikipedia articles,” said Dario Taraborelli, Senior Research Analyst at the Wikimedia Foundation. “It affirms the quality of the editing community’s collaborative work and it provides valuable methodological insight for future studies.”
At Physiopedia, we see Wikipedia as a model for our own project providing just-in-time learning. As a similar multi-authored online reference source, Physiopedia also demonstrates a great example of social and collaborative learning. Having survived it’s first few years and proven itself as a valued resourcewe plan to spend the next few years building a sustainable model and providing more value for our profession. It will not happen overnight but as Physiopedia grows we know it will be worth the effort, Wikipedia is proof of that!