Whenever you need some relevant information for your school project, thesis, research or just for some general knowledge, most of you head straight to Wikipedia. It is the fifth most visited website in the world due to its information content.
But going hand in hand with its vast amount of valuable information, there is an urgent need for academics to contribute more and keep them updated. Wikipedia has recently called out to them to contribute articles in their area of expertise. The lack or declining contribution of articles from academics, scientists, researchers or working professionals has push Wikipedia to conduct survey to understand the reason of their lack of participation. This first ever survey called Expert Barriers to Wikipedia is open until 15 April 2011. It is hoped to raise an understanding on the real motivations of expert contributors to Wikipedia and subsequently raise the level of expert participation to improve the quality of pages, cover more scholarly topics and increase the diversity of participants.
Are you an academic in your own field? If you are, chances are your contributions may help to shape the public image of your field. Your participation will first and foremost ensure that your field will be represented accurately. If you are reluctant to contribute, what’s your barrier to contributing your knowledge in Wikipedia?
Although there is no rewards for your contribution to Wikipedia at the moment, but it is scary to think that the scholarly topics related to your field of expertise may be contributed by non-academics or by the lesser academics that are from outside your field. Don’t you want to do something to at least correct any misrepresentations?