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How trust in Wikipedia evolves: a survey of students aged 11 to 25

Mothe, Josiane and Sahut, Gilles How trust in Wikipedia evolves: a survey of students aged 11 to 25. (2018) Information Research: an international electronic journal, 23 (1). 783. ISSN 1368-1613

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Abstract

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 11 to 25. Method. We analyse the answers given by 841 young people, aged 11 to 25, 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 analyses are based on ANOVA 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 encyclopaedia 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 generalizations that deny the disparities between the ages.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès - UT2J (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - UT1 (FRANCE)
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We would like to thank the ESPE de l’Académie de Toulouse, France for their financial support of this research through the recherche collaborative project
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Deposited On:10 Mar 2020 13:16

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