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Information quality work organization in wikipedia



The classic problem within the information quality (IQ) research and practice community has been the problem of defining IQ. It has been found repeatedly that IQ is context sensitive and cannot be described, measured, and assured with a single model. There is a need for empirical case studies of IQ work in different systems to develop a systematic knowledge that can then inform and guide the construction of context-specific IQ models. This article analyzes the organization of IQ assurance work in a large-scale, open, collaborative encyclopedia—Wikipedia. What is special about Wikipedia as a resource is that the quality discussions and processes are strongly connected to the data itself and are accessible to the general public. This openness makes it particularly easy for researchers to study a particular kind of collaborative work that is highly distributed and that has a particularly substantial focus, not just on error detection but also on error correction. We believe that the study of those evolving debates and processes and of the IQ assurance model as a whole has useful implications for the improvement of quality in other more conventional databases.

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