Wicked wikipedia? communities of practice, the production of knowledge and australian sport history

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Wicked wikipedia? communities of practice, the production of knowledge and australian sport history is a 2013 literature review written in English by Townsend S., Osmond G., Phillips M.G. and published in International Journal of the History of Sport.

[edit] Abstract

Academic responses to Wikipedia since its inception in 2001 have shifted from scepticism and hostility to serious critique. Wikipedia is a project driven by a community of amateur, and sometimes professional, scholars and it is this community-and associated rules and practices-that shapes the site's publicly viewable content. Despite the centrality of egalitarianism and communal wisdom to the Wikipedian ethos, the encyclopaedia is not filled equitably with historical knowledge or topics. This article addresses the role of Wikipedia in the production of knowledge in a sport history context. An analysis of 115 Wikipedia articles written about notable Australian sportspeople revealed a disproportionately large group of high-quality cricket biographies. Further investigation revealed that a small group of Wikipedians were responsible for writing these articles. The work of this community of practice is indicative of the influence that dedicated special interest groups can have over the production of knowledge on Wikipedia and raises broader questions about the production of knowledge in sport history.

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