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ERIC Number: EJ1174243
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1368-1613
How Trust in Wikipedia Evolves: A Survey of Students Aged 11 to 25
Mothe, Josiane; Sahut, Gilles
Information Research: An International Electronic Journal, v23 n1 Mar 2018
Introduction: Whether Wikipedia is to be considered a trusted source is frequently questioned in France. This paper reports the results of a survey examining the levels of trust shown by young people aged eleven to twenty-five. Method: We analyse the answers given by 841 young people, aged eleven to twenty-five, to a questionnaire. To our knowledge, this is the largest study ever published on the topic. It focuses on (1) the perception young people have of Wikipedia; (2) the influence teachers and peers have on the young person's own opinions; and (3) the variation of trends according to the education level. Analysis: All the analysis is based on ANOVA (analysis of variance) to compare the various groups of participants. We detail the results by comparing the various groups of responders and discuss these results in relation to previous studies. Results: Trust in Wikipedia depends on the type of information seeking tasks and on the education level. There are contrasting social judgments of Wikipedia. Students build a representation of a teacher's expectations on the nature of the sources that they can use and hence the documentary acceptability of Wikipedia. The average trust attributed to Wikipedia for academic tasks could be induced by the tension between the negative academic reputation of the encyclopedia and the mostly positive experience of its credibility. Conclusion: Our survey demonstrates significant differences between the levels of education, both for Wikipedia use and its representation. This variable should be included in studies related to information behaviour by the young to avoid generalisations that deny the disparities between ages.
Thomas D. Wilson. 9 Broomfield Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 2SE, UK. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A