Welcome to the first issue of Wiki Studies, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal addressing the intersection of Wikipedia and higher education.
In this issue we bring you four articles. The first three articles will appear as “case studies,” or reports from educators on insights gleaned from the use of Wikipedia in various aspects of higher education.
In “Wikipedia as a Pedagogical Tool: Complicating Writing in the Technical Writing Classroom,” Drew Virtue of Western Carolina University (USA) reports on the use of Wikipedia while teaching a technical writing class. Dr. Virtue’s insights extend beyond the writing classroom, and emphasize how student interactions with the Wikipedia editing community can strengthen and improve any classroom.
Ann Matsuuchi authors our second article, entitled “Connecting Wikipedia and the Archive: Building a Public History of HIV/AIDS in New York City.” As a faculty member at LaGuardia Community College, she reports on the experience of placing community college students in the role of primary document researchers to improve community access to facts about the history of public health in New York City.
The third case study in this first issue is co-authored by Rebecca Thorndike-Breeze and Greta Kuriger Suiter. In this study, the authors report on building working relationships among faculty at MIT and elsewhere to develop edit-a-thons. The authors find that although they started their projects with service goals in mind, the experience allowed them to build better working relationships with other faculty at the same institution to enhance their capabilities and extend their professional development.
Our fourth article, “Investigating the Gendered Pronoun Gap in Wikipedia,” Mehrdad Yazdani provides our first technical analysis on how knowledge is produced on Wikipedia. Spefically, Dr. Yazdani investigates gender bias in Wikipedia articles by focusing on the imbalance of gendered pronouns. His study proposes a new measure of gender pronoun imbalance, and then scores several types of Wikipedia articles.
In the future, to our existing sections dedicated to case studies and technical analyses, we intend to add sections dedicated to theoretical investigations and reviews.
As founding editor, I wish to thank the Wiki Education foundation for its support in hosting Wiki Conference North America, where many of these articles first appeared as peer-reviewed presentations.
-- Robert E. Cummings
University of Mississippi