Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web

Evaluating Wiki-based Information

A wiki is defined as "a Web site  that includes the collaboration of work from many different authors." Each wiki posting "is  versioned so that postings can be compared." In addition, "all past entries are kept in  a log as a version of the evolving discussion." Wikis can be used for a variety of tasks, including:  (a) collaborative writing, (b) collaborative projects, (c) "finding consensus around an issue or  concept (e.g., virtual meetings), and (d) vocabulary development" (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration 2008).

Questions to Ask About Information Provided by a Wiki

When evaluating information from a wiki, it is important to ask the following questions:  

  • Who is hosting or sponsoring the wiki?

  • Who is authorized to add, modify or delete information on the wiki?

  • Are the names of the wiki's contributors listed?

  • Are links or citations to sources of factual information provided? If so, attempt to go back to the original sources.

  • Does the wiki have an editor or fact checker?

  • Are there earlier versions of the wiki entries? If so, how do they differ from the current version?

Source Cited:

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. 2008. Implications of recent Web technologies for NARA Web guidance. College Park, MD: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, 2008. http://www.archives.gov (accessed November 27, 2009).

Copyright Marsha Ann Tate, Ph.D. 2009-2011.
Page created 25 November 2009. Last revised 04 February 2010.