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Research:Awareness of Wikipedia and its usage patterns

Key personnelEdit

  • Liron Dorfman - Involvement in the construction of the questionnaire
  • The survey was conducted by Panels LTD, based on online interviewing done by Panel4All.

Project summaryEdit

 
Awareness of Wikipedia and its usage patterns

Over half the survey population enters Wikipedia at least once a week. Over half the survey population (and to a significant extent more youth than adults) knows that the writing of articles on Wikipedia is open to the public at large. The primary reason for surfing on Wikipedia is curiosity and desire the expand general knowledge. Among youth, the leading reason, the highest by a significant gap than the other samples, is information search for studies or research. The leading search subject on Wikipedia is biographies. Youth search articles in the areas of the sciences, history, biographies and music more than adults by a large gap. Most Wikipedia surfers find what they are looking for every time or most of the time when they search the site. The research study population trusts the credibility of the information on Wikipedia to a relatively large extent, whereas among the adult Jewish sample, they trust the credibility of the information significantly more than the Arab sector. A very low percentage of respondents (about 8%) corrected an article on Wikipedia. About one third of the research population would like to edit Wikipedia. The percentage of those interested in editing the site is especially high in the Arab sector. About one third of the respondents would like to edit Wikipedia and have not done so. They responded that the reason for this is that they did not know how to do it. About one fourth of the respondents did not know they could do it. Almost three fourths of the research population responded that reading Wikipedia provides them with all of the information they are looking for.

MethodsEdit

A survey was conducted to examine awareness of Wikipedia and its usage patterns.

PopulationEdit

The survey was conducted among 751 respondents: 500 aged 18 and above in a representative sample of the adult Jewish population, 150 youth aged 12 to 17 from the general Jewish sector and 100 respondents aged 18 to 40 from the Arab sector.

The survey was continued by those who stated that they were familiar with Wikipedia

Data analysisEdit

Margins of error:

  • General Jewish sector: 4.4%
  • Youth: 8.2%
  • Arab sector: 10%

ResultsEdit

Are you familiar with Wikipedia? If so, how often do you read Wikipedia?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
Enter the site several times a day 7.6% 7.5% 4.9% 7.2%
Read the site almost every day 21.6% 19.7% 27.9% 22.0%
Read the site about once a week 30.5% 27.2% 23.0% 28.9%
Read the site at least once every few weeks 23.2% 27.2% 26.2% 24.4%
Read the site at least once every few months 12.0% 15.6% 13.1% 12.9%
Familiar with Wikipedia but never read the site 4.4% 2.0% 4.9% 4.0%
Haven't heard of Wikipedia .8% .7% 0.0% .7%
Total 501 150 100 751
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Over half the survey population enters Wikipedia at least once a week.

The survey was continued by those who stated that they were familiar with Wikipedia

Who do you think writes the entries (articles) on Wikipedia?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
Researchers from the academia 8.9% 6.2% 14.8% 9.1%
Students 2.4% 1.4% 9.8% 3.2%
Writers approved by site management 37.0% 28.8% 36.1% 35.2%
Whoever wants to – the public at large 51.7% 63.7% 39.3% 52.4%
Total 497 149 100 746
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Over half the survey population (and to a significant extent more youth than adults) knows that the writing of articles on Wikipedia is open to the public at large.

What is your primary reason for visiting Wikipedia?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
Information search for studies or research 14.1% 54.1% 26.2% 23.7%
Due to monthly event 2.8% .7% 4.9% 2.7%
Friends on social networks share links to articles on site. .6% 0.0% 1.6% .6%
Curiosity, desire to expand general knowledge 59.0% 27.4% 34.4% 49.4%
Information search in framework of work / professional occupation 15.7% 9.6% 24.6% 15.7%
Other reason 5.2% 6.8% 6.6% 5.7%
Do not visit Wikipedia 2.6% 1.4% 1.6% 2.2%
Total 497 149 100 746
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

The primary reason for surfing on Wikipedia is curiosity and desire the expand general knowledge. Among youth, the leading reason, the highest by a significant gap than the other samples, is information search for studies or research.

What are the primary subjects on which you search information on Wikipedia?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
The sciences (physics, technology, biology, chemistry, medicine, etc.) 36.2% 52.7% 41.0% 40.2%
The social sciences, economics and political science 29.6% 29.5% 36.1% 30.4%
History of Israel or general history 38.8% 47.9% 27.9% 39.2%
Biographies 50.1% 55.5% 39.3% 49.7%
Religion 13.1% 17.8% 18.0% 14.7%
Music 21.5% 30.8% 14.8% 22.5%
Literature and art 21.3% 21.2% 24.6% 21.7%
Pop culture 23.5% 23.3% 13.1% 22.1%
Countries and cities in Israel and the world 38.8% 47.3% 42.6% 41.0%
Sports 9.7% 13.0% 11.5% 10.6%
Other 9.3% 14.4% 11.5% 10.6%
No specific area 29.2% 26.0% 16.4% 26.8%
Total 497 149 100 746
321.1% 379.5% 296.7% 329.5%

The leading search subject on Wikipedia is biographies. Youth search articles in the areas of the sciences, history, biographies and music more than adults by a large gap.

When searching for information on Wikipedia, how often do you find what you are looking for?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
Every time 23.3% 19.9% 9.8% 20.8%
Most of the time 63.2% 67.8% 70.5% 65.1%
Sometimes yes, sometimes no 10.3% 11.0% 16.4% 11.2%
Seldom .4% 0.0% 0.0% .3%
Never 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
I never search for information on Wikipedia 2.8% 1.4% 3.3% 2.6%
Total 497 149 100 746
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Most Wikipedia surfers find what they are looking for every time or most of the time when they search the site.

To what extent do you trust the credibility of the information that appears on Wikipedia?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
Don't trust 1 - 25 1.0% 1.4% 1.6% 1.2%
26-50 13.7% 17.1% 21.3% 15.4%
51-75 31.4% 26.0% 32.8% 30.5%
Trust 76 - 100 53.9% 55.5% 44.3% 52.9%
Total 497 149 100 746
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
To what extent do you trust the credibility of the information that appears on Wikipedia?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
Mean 73.5 73.2 68.2 72.7
Standard deviation 18.7 21.0 21.5 19.6
Valid N 497 149 100 746

The research study population trusts the credibility of the information on Wikipedia to a relatively large extent, whereas among the adult Jewish sample, they trust the credibility of the information significantly more than the Arab sector.

Have you ever tried to correct or add to information for an entry (article) that appears on Wikipedia?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
Never encountered an item of information requiring correction or improvement 43.9% 33.6% 31.1% 40.1%
Encountered information requiring correction, but did not know I could correct it 17.7% 17.8% 26.2% 18.9%
Encountered information requiring correction, but decided not to do anything. I have no time and it doesn’t… 15.7% 16.4% 23.0% 16.8%
Encountered information requiring correction, but didn't manage to correct it, because I didn't know how 12.7% 11.6% 11.5% 12.3%
Encountered information requiring correction, but didn't manage to correct it because of a technical difficulty I encountered 4.6% 4.8% 1.6% 4.3%
Encountered information requiring correction and managed to correct it 5.4% 15.8% 6.6% 7.6%
Total 497 149 100 746
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

A very low percentage of respondents (about 8%) corrected an article on Wikipedia.

Would you want to add information to Wikipedia?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
Already edit Wikipedia 2.2% 5.5% 8.2% 3.7%
Would like to edit Wikipedia 33.0% 32.2% 54.1% 35.7%
Wouldn't like to edit Wikipedia 64.8% 62.3% 37.7% 60.7%
Total 497 149 100 746
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

About one third of the research population would like to edit Wikipedia. The percentage of those interested in editing the site is especially high in the Arab sector.

Why have you never edited Wikipedia?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
Didn't know that I could write and correct articles on it 22.6% 12.8% 33.3% 23.0%
Don't know how to write and correct articles on it 36.0% 40.4% 33.3% 36.2%
Don't think I have the knowledge to write articles 17.7% 25.5% 18.2% 19.2%
Don't have time for that 23.8% 21.3% 15.2% 21.6%
Total 164 48 54 266
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

About one third of the respondents would like to edit Wikipedia and have not done so. They responded that the reason for this is that they did not know how to do it. About one fourth of the respondents did not know they could do it.

Does reading Wikipedia provide all of your information needs?
Representative sample Youth Arab sector Total
Yes, always 6.2% 7.5% 4.9% 6.3%
Yes, in most cases 67.4% 72.6% 63.9% 68.0%
Usually not, but I supplement what is lacking through links in the article to the source 13.3% 8.9% 18.0% 13.0%
Usually not, but I supplement what is lacking through sources not on the Internet 1.6% 2.7% 6.6% 2.5%
Usually not, but I also read other Internet sites and sources not on the Internet 8.0% 6.2% 0.0% 6.6%
Don't at all trust the content on Wikipedia 3.4% 2.1% 6.6% 3.6%
Total 497 149 100 746
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Almost three fourths of the research population responded that reading Wikipedia provides them with all of the information they are looking for.

DisseminationEdit

Wikimedia policies, ethics, and human subjects protectionEdit

Benefits for the Wikimedia communityEdit

TimelineEdit

FundingEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

ContactsEdit