Files in this item



application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.documenticonf-poster-abstract-revised.docx (140kB)
(no description provided)Microsoft Word 2007


Title:The Classification of Religion Topics in Wikipedia: Examining an Evolution
Author(s):Pimentel, David M.
Subject(s):emergent classification
participatory information systems
Web 2.0
Abstract:This research considers the nature of organizing information resources in a shared, open content encyclopedia. While the organization of information resources entails many complementary phenomena (cf. Wilson, 1978; Taylor, 2004), this study focuses on classification. The act of classification allows for things to be set “in relation to one another” (Sayers, 1944, p. 79, emphasis in the original). Effectively, classifications seek to communicate how things are related for a particular purpose or context (cf. Kwasnik, 1999). This work closely examines the classification of Religion-related topics in the English-language Wikipedia, focusing on how the classification has evolved over time. Wikipedia is an ongoing project to create a free, online, multilingual encyclopedia. Started in 2001, the English-language edition included over 2.6 million articles at the start of December 2008. Wikipedia is often invoked as an exemplar of an emerging information landscape, one that provides a platform for the integration of contributions from multiple participants (Tapscott & Williams, 2006). Variously termed “Web 2.0” or the “social Web” (cf. O’Reilly, 2005; Madden & Fox, 2006; Weinberger, 2007), these collaborative online environments signal a shift in the evolution of information systems. Information science researchers increasingly regard such participatory systems and the potential of human collaboration as a transformative force on the information landscape (cf. Lankes, et al., 2007; Nilan & D’Eredita, 2008). To study the classification of religion topics in Wikipedia, this research examines the 190 edits that separate the current (December 2008) template for Religion topics (shown in Appendix 1) from the original (March 2006) version (shown in Appendix 2). Wikipedia maintains all previous versions as part of its system architecture; these are publicly accessible via the edit-history archive. By leveraging the public archive, this study can systematically examine how Wikipedia participants have modified the classification of articles related to Religion. The classification of Religion was purposively selected because traditional library classifications (e.g., Dewey Decimal Classification) have long been criticized for their treatment of religious topics (cf. Berman, 1971).
Issue Date:2009-02-08
Genre:Conference Poster
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-04-03

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics