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ERIC Number: EJ956120
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1368-1613
Authoring Wikipedia Articles as an Information Literacy Assignment: Copy-Pasting or Expressing New Understanding in One's Own Words?
Sormunen, Eero; Lehtio, Leeni
Information Research: An International Electronic Journal, v16 n4 Dec 2011
Introduction: We report on a pilot study of students' use of sources in authoring Wikipedia articles. The procedure is demonstrated by investigating how students processed texts from sources to compose their own texts. Method: Four groups of upper secondary school students (aged 17-18 years) participated in an eight-week geography course and seven groups in a corresponding biology course. Each group wrote an article for Wikipedia as part of the course programme. The students' work was observed and they were interviewed. Published Wikipedia articles, cited sources and sources identified in a plagiarism test were also included in the dataset. Analysis: Article sentences and sources were compared and text transformations were classified using an ordered five-category typology ranging from "copy-paste" to "synthesizing across sources". Descriptive statistics were used. Observation memos and interview transcripts were analysed qualitatively. Results: Students used almost solely Web-based sources. The researchers estimated that about 30 percent of sources used were not cited. The analysis of cited and other identified sources showed that about one third of Wikipedia article sentences were verbatim or slightly edited copies of source sentences. Conclusions: A more analytical approach is needed in the study of the core processes of source-based writing: making meaning from sources and making meaning for texts written. (Contains 3 tables.)
Thomas D. Wilson. 9 Broomfield Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 2SE, UK. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland