Socrates Back on the Street: Wikipedia's Citing of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

John Willinsky


The study examines how Wikipedians are citing the open access and peer-reviewed Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) to strengthen and enrich English language Wikipedia articles both within and outside of traditional philosophy topics. A high proportion of SEP’s entries are being cited by Wikipedians, both in writing and discussing articles–with some of them providing pivotal points in the learning that goes into the articles–and the majority of those citations were used by Wikipedia readers over a two-week period. Finally, as a further indication of how Wikipedians are responding to questions of verification and reliability, the SEP links in Wikipedia are compared to the links from a range of other academic resources, both open and closed, indicating how SEP represents part of the larger public and educational benefit of open access to research and scholarship.

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