Library and Learning Resources Faculty Research & Creative Works


The Perspectives of Higher Education Faculty on Wikipedia


Purpose: This purpose of this paper is to investigate whether higher education instructors use information from Wikipedia for teaching and research.

Design/methodology/approach: This is an explorative study to identify important factors regarding user acceptance and use of emerging information resources and technologies in the academic community. A total of 201 participants around the world answered an online questionnaire administered by a commercial provider. The questionnaire consisted of 16 Likert-scaled questions to assess participants' agreement with each question along with an optional open-ended explanation.

Findings: The findings of this project confirm that internet access was related to faculty technology use. Online resources and references were ranked the first choice by the participants when searching for familiar and unfamiliar topics. The investigator found that participants' academic ranking status, frequency of e-mail use and academic discipline were related to their use of online databases, web-based information and directing students to information from the Web. Although the participants might often use online resources for research and teaching, Wikipedia's credibility was the participants' major concern.

Research limitations/implications: This project is an exploratory study and more considerations are needed for this research area.

Originality/value: The paper shows that participants who used online databases more often showed a negative attitude toward Wikipedia. Those participants who used Wikipedia for teaching and research also allowed students to use information from Wikipedia and were more likely to be contributors to Wikipedia.


Library and Learning Resources

Keywords and Phrases

Electronic media; Encyclopaedias; Higher education; Information research; Search engines; Teaching

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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