A comparative assessment of answer quality on four question answering sites

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A comparative assessment of answer quality on four question answering sites is a 2011 journal article written in English by Fichman P. and published in Journal of Information Science.

[edit] Abstract

Question answering (Q&A) sites, where communities of volunteers answer questions, may provide faster, cheaper, and better services than traditional institutions. However, like other Web 2.0 platforms, user-created content raises concerns about information quality. At the same time, Q&A sites may provide answers of different quality because they have differen communities and technological platforms. This paper compares answer quality on four Q&A sites: Askville, WikiAnswers, Wikipedia Reference Desk, and Yahoo! Answers. Findings indicate that: (1) similar collaborative processes on these sites result in a wide range of outcomes, and significant differences in answer accuracy, completeness, and verifiability were evident; (2) answer multiplication does not always result in better information; it yields more complete and verifiable answers but does not result in higher accuracy levels; and (3) a Q&A site's popularity does not correlate with its answer quality, on all three measures.

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