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SGarza: VanessasAnalysis

Lih, Andrew. "Wikipedia as Particpatory Journalism: Reliable Sources? Metrics for Evaluating Collaborative Media as a News Resource." Conference Presentation. 5th International Symposium on Online Journalism. April 16-17, 2004. University of Texas at Austin. <>. Journalism and Media Studes Center: The Univeristy of Hong Kong <>

This article is, for the most part, a research article. However, it initially provides background and history information on the development and establishment of Wikipedia. The piece is a foundational piece of work that describes and analyzes how Wikipedia works. Though it is a "foundational" piece of work, Lih's research model is one that has used before. Lih's methodology "analyzes several quantitative metrics concerning the growth of Wikipedia articles, and its use as a source for news stories" (7). Lih's main thesis or purpose of the piece is to illustrate not only the number of times wikipedia has been cited, but also to show readers just who is citing the website. For the most part, those citing wikipedia are overwhelming credible sources themselves. However, it is debateable if this is truly what Lih would've intended to be the thesis. It is very difficult to interpret just what Lih was intending to do, and many readers will understand the purpose or thesis of the piece to be different. It seems as if there are multiple levels of things going on here.

Unfortunately, the "roadmap" that is given at the bottom of page 2 is not how the paper is presented. Normally, as a reader, I look for this roadmap to lead me through the document. This was not the case in Lih's text.

Methodology: As mentioned above, Lih uses qualitative metrics to "help compare the relative quality of the articles in the form of 'reputation'" (7). His methodology "focuses on the metadata concerning each article, namely the edit history information kept for every page in Wikipedia" (7). He look as 2 key variables in his study: rigor and diversity. Rigor is understood as the "total number of edits for an article" while diversity is defined as the "total number of unique users" (8).

Lih uses a number of graphs, some he discusses, others he does not. But as a reader unfamiliar with such graphs, I found it difficult to comprhend the graphs. This, however, is likely not due to any fault of Lih's, but most likely because I do not deal closely with these types of graphs and statitistics (particularly the math equations).


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Page last modified on September 26, 2006, at 08:32 PM CST