Andrea West

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Wikipedia article length

For various reasons I recently downloaded snapshots of Wikipedia in various languages, and I'd like to share with you some discoveries, starting with …

Top 10

A secret wartime deal drawn up a century ago still shapes the Middle East today

A secret wartime deal drawn up a century ago by two men — one British, one French — continues to reverberate through modern conflicts.<p>Named after the men who came up with it, the Sykes-Picot agreement divided up the Middle East between France and Britain. Sir Mark Sykes was appointed by the British …

Middle East

The slow, necessary death of the research paper

<i>Timothy Henningsen is an Assistant Professor of English at the College of DuPage. He’s run Wikipedia assignments in about a dozen courses, and has</i> …

“Taking Action” in composition and communication courses

I recently attended the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in Houston for a workshop about “Taking Action.”<p>I joined a panel …

One Easy Way to Make Wikipedia Better

Researchers say the online encyclopedia should have a source-o-meter on each page, reflecting the quality of citations.<p>The Pacific Northwest tree octopus existed years before Wikipedia was founded. I’m using “existed” loosely here, of course, because there’s no such thing as a Pacific Northwest …

Track Down

Wikipedia Is Basically a Corporate Bureaucracy, According to a New Study

Wikipedia is a voluntary organization dedicated to the noble goal of decentralized knowledge creation. But as the community has evolved over time, it …

Public Policy

Wikipedia's Editors Feud Like Teens

When the faceless editors of Wikipedia decide an article is not fit for public consumption, it’s gone, only accessible to the site’s top editors—at …

#WikipediaProblems: How Do You Classify Everything?

Design the wrong system, and “selenium” and “sex” get sorted the same.<p>How do you organize all the world’s information?<p>A decision made by the editors in charge of Wikipedia’s newest, biggest project reveals the difficulty of such a task.<p>Wikidata is the newest project from the Wikimedia Foundation, …

90% of Wikipedia's Editors Are Male—Here's What They're Doing About It

The group that oversees the free encyclopedia is trying to fix a years-old problem.<p>Wikipedia is like little else in history. Relied on by students, scholars, journalists, and citizens, it’s one of the top 10 websites in the world and the not-so-hidden base of much of our informational …

Here Are the Articles Wikipedia Considers Unusual

If you’re reading this, you likely visit <b>Wikipedia</b> all the time as one of the <b>500 million</b> unique visitors it receives every month as of the most recent …

Sexism on Wikipedia Is Not the Work of 'a Single Misguided Editor'

It's a widespread problem.<p>Wikipedia<p>In the last few days I've had two op-eds published by <i>The New York Times</i> describing a discovery I'd made on Wikipedia early last week. I noticed that American female novelists were being dragged out of the main category "American Novelists" and plopped into the …