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|Title:||Representation and the problem of bibliographic imagination on Wikipedia||Authors:||Luyt, Brendan||Keywords:||Library and information science||Issue Date:||2022||Source:||Luyt, B. (2022). Representation and the problem of bibliographic imagination on Wikipedia. Journal of Documentation, 78(5), 1075-1091. https://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JD-08-2021-0153||Journal:||Journal of Documentation||Abstract:||Purpose: The astonishing thing about Wikipedia is that despite the way it is produced, the product is as good as it is and not far worse. But this is no reason for complacency. As others have documented, Wikipedia has representational blind spots, produced by the nature of its editorial community and their discursive conventions. This article wishes to look at the potential effect of sources on certain of these blind spots. Design/methodology/approach: The author used an extended example, the Wikipedia article on the Philippine–American War, to illustrate the unfortunate effects that accompany a lack of attention to the kind of sources used to produce narratives for the online encyclopaedia. The Philippine–American War article was chosen because of its importance to American history. The war brought to the fore a debate over the future of the USA and the legitimacy of a republic acquiring overseas colonies. It remains controversial today, making it essential that its representation on Wikipedia is soundly constructed. Findings: Inattention to sources (a lack of bibliographical imagination) produces representational anomalies. Certain sources are privileged when they should not be and others are ignored or considered as sub-standard. Overall, the epistemological boundaries of the article in terms of what the editorial community considers reliable and what the community of scholars producing knowledge about the war think as reliable do not overlap to the extent that they should. The resulting narrative is therefore less rich than it otherwise could be. Originality/value: While there exists a growing literature on the representational blind spots of Wikipedia (gender, class, geographical region and so on), the focus has been on the composition of the demographics of the editorial community. But equally important to the problem of representation are the sources used by that community. Much literature has been written that seeks to portray the social world of the marginalized, but it is not used on Wikipedia, despite it easily meeting the criteria for reliability set by the Wikipedia community. This is a tragic oversight that makes Wikipedia's aim to be a repository for the knowledge of the world, a laudable goal to strive for, even if in reality unobtainable, even harder to achieve than ever.||URI:||https://hdl.handle.net/10356/161634||ISSN:||0022-0418||DOI:||10.1108/JD-08-2021-0153||Schools:||Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information||Rights:||© Emerald Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.||Fulltext Permission:||open||Fulltext Availability:||With Fulltext|
|Appears in Collections:||WKWSCI Journal Articles|
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Updated on Sep 24, 2023
Updated on Sep 24, 2023
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