A volatilidade do conteúdo de tópicos científicos na Wikipédia: uma história de advertência

sábado, agosto 15, 2015

Content Volatility of Scientific Topics in Wikipedia: A Cautionary Tale

Adam M. Wilson , Gene E. Likens

Published: August 14, 2015DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134454


Wikipedia has quickly become one of the most frequently accessed encyclopedic references, despite the ease with which content can be changed and the potential for ‘edit wars’ surrounding controversial topics. Little is known about how this potential for controversy affects the accuracy and stability of information on scientific topics, especially those with associated political controversy. Here we present an analysis of the Wikipedia edit histories for seven scientific articles and show that topics we consider politically but not scientifically “controversial” (such as evolution and global warming) experience more frequent edits with more words changed per day than pages we consider “noncontroversial” (such as the standard model in physics or heliocentrism). For example, over the period we analyzed, the global warming page was edited on average (geometric mean ±SD) 1.9±2.7 times resulting in 110.9±10.3 words changed per day, while the standard model in physics was only edited 0.2±1.4 times resulting in 9.4±5.0 words changed per day. The high rate of change observed in these pages makes it difficult for experts to monitor accuracy and contribute time-consuming corrections, to the possible detriment of scientific accuracy. As our society turns to Wikipedia as a primary source of scientific information, it is vital we read it critically and with the understanding that the content is dynamic and vulnerable to vandalism and other shenanigans.

Citation: Wilson AM, Likens GE (2015) Content Volatility of Scientific Topics in Wikipedia: A Cautionary Tale. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0134454. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134454

Editor: Hussein Suleman, University of Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA

Received: November 12, 2014; Accepted: June 29, 2015; Published: August 14, 2015

Copyright: © 2015 Wilson, Likens. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

Data Availability: All relevant data are available via Figshare (http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.13​97533).

Funding: The authors have no support or funding to report.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.




A Wikipédia é o pior que existe na internet para a veiculação de conhecimentos. A agenda da que se propôs ser A Enciclopédia digital tem interesses ideológicos velados que não permite a veiculação da verdade em muitos temas polêmicos e controversos.

Um lixo!!!