Analyzing the Flow of Information from Initial Publishing to Wikipedia
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This thesis covers my efforts at researching the factors that lead to a research paper being cited by Wikipedia. Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites on the internet for quickly learning about a specific topic. It achieved this by being able to back up its claims with cited sources, many of which are research papers. I wanted to see exactly how those papers were found by Wikipedia’s editors when they write the articles. To do this, I gathered thousands of computer science research papers from arXiv.org, as well as a selection of papers that were cited by Wikipedia, so that I could examine those papers and see what made them visible and attractive to the Wikipedia editors. After I gathered the information on how and when these papers are cited, I ran a series of tests on them to learn as much as I could about what causes a paper to be cited by Wikipedia. I discovered that papers that are cited by Wikipedia tend to be more popular than papers which are not cited by Wikipedia even before they are cited but getting cited by Wikipedia can result in a boost in popularity. Wikipedia editors also tend to choose papers that either showcase a creation of the author(s) or give a general overview on a topic. I also discovered one paper that was likely added to Wikipedia by the author in an attempt at increased visibility.
Villanueva, Nathan T (2018). Analyzing the Flow of Information from Initial Publishing to Wikipedia. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from