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Submissions/Intopedia - Ask not what Wikipedia can do for you - ask what you can do for Wikipedia!

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

This is an open submission for Wikimania 2011.

Review no.


Title of the submission

Intopedia - Ask not what Wikipedia can do for you - ask what you can do for Wikipedia!

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Hans-Jörg Happel, Ben Romberg

E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)

User:hhappel, ben DOT romberg AT gmx.de

Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

FZI Reseach Center for Information Technologies, Karlsruhe, Germany

Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that can be extended by every user. Due to this collaborative spirit, Wikipedia has become the largest encyclopedia for many languages. Conventional encyclopedias such as Encyclopedia Britannica are published in a coherent and sequential manner by a closed circle of experts. In contrast, articles in Wikipedia can be continuously improved by any of its readers. Therefore, the quality of Wikipedia articles varies and there always exist opportunities for improvement.

However, compared to the huge number of people reading Wikipedia, only few people engage in adding or improving articles. Accordingly, it would be helpful to motivate more authors to contribute to Wikipedia. In practice however, the identification of missing content that one could contribute turns out to be a tedious task - especially if one is not familiar with existing organizational practices of Wikipedia. These practices - such as maintenance templates - are often rooted in editorial structures and thus do, e.g., make it difficult to retrieve contribution opportunities concerning a particular topic area.

Intopedia is a software that strives to provide a coherent and end-user friendly entry point to content in Wikipedia that requires contribution. Therefore, Intopedia analyzes the existing link structure and maintenance templates, to identify and rank missing and low quality articles. Intopedia can be accessed by browsing and by a plain search interface which allows searching for arbitrary keywords (in the sense of: "all articles somehow related to 'Haifa' that require contributions"). Intopedia can thus be understood as a search engine for article one could contribute to. It can be seamlessly integrated in any MediaWiki installation.

While the primary target of Wikipedia is to serve as a tool and entry point for potential authors of Wikipedia, we also think that statistics derived from Intopedia can help to illustrate the evolutionary nature of Wikipedia to the general public. Due to addressing the "yet missing" and low quality content of Wikipedia, Intopedia provides a complementary view on the Wikipedia as such, which many users often encounter without a decent portion of skepticism. Thus, media literacy and overall awareness and understanding of the collaborative principles underlying Wikipedia might benefit from a tool like Intopedia.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)

Probably somehow suitable for all tracks. But the focus of the talk should rather address potential users of the system then its technical details.

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

not sure

Slides or further information (optional)


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  1. Vibhijain 16:48, 7 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
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