Wikipedia Research

I have been involved with Wikipedia for a number of years.  I wrote the thesis for my MS in Applied Communication on Wikipedia.  I have spoken to a variety of groups, primarily students and faculty, about Wikipedia. I have tried my hand at running Wikipedia Edit-A-Thons.  I continue to focus some of my research on Wikipedia.  Here are the major pieces related to this research.

Conference Presentations

  • May 2017 – International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Conference (with Judith Davidson)
  • October 2016– New England Library Association Annual Conference (with Alex Stinson and Greta Kuriger Suiter)
  • June 2016 – American Library Association : Programming Librarian Interest Group Programming Speed Dating
  • May 2016 – Massachusetts Library Association Annual: Coming Out of the Wikipedia Closet (with Winifred Flint)
  • October 2015 – New England Library Association Academic Section: Mini Edit-a-thon
    • LibGuide
  • June 2014 – WikiCon USA: Social Dramas of Wikipedia


Presentations to Faculty


Masters of Science: Applied Communication

Social Dramas of Wikipedia: How Wikipedia’s Core Policies Guide Editors To Resolutions

Early in June 2011 Sarah Palin misspoke about the nature of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride through Boston.  While the correctness of her comments was discussed in the media, editors on Wikipedia’s Paul Revere entry engaged in a discussion over how the entry should address these comments.  What made this situation different from every other debate on Wikipedia was the attention it got from the press and the increased attention from people all over the world.  Over a two-week period a social drama unfolded and was resolved through Wikipedia’s core policies focusing on a neutral point of view, citing sources and avoiding original research.  My research has focused on this case study and what process went into editing Wikipedia.  I explored those three core policies and the role they played in this process.  What I discovered was a social drama.  By reviewing the discussion archive of the Paul Revere entry and interviewing participants I was able to understand how the four phases of a social drama happened on the entry from the initial breech to the final resolution.