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Submissions/The construction of Wikipedia's epistemic culture

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

This is an open submission for Wikimania 2011.

Review no.


Title of the submission

The construction of Wikipedia's epistemic culture

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


Author of the submission

Lior Gelernter

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


Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Bar-Ilan University

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

Epistemic cultures, stipulating what is legitimate knowledge and how to produce it, are essential to knowledge production projects. Wikipedia, as an extremely innovative project, had to construct and institutionalize a new epistemic culture to govern its knowledge production process. The construction of such culture was a slow and gradual process that unfolded (and is still unfolding) as new problems and issues forced Wikipedians to confront questions regarding knowledge production.

In my presentation, I will explain how Wikipedia's epistemic culture was created and modified in the project's early years (focusing on the English Wikipedia). I will describe how central aspects of Wikipedia's knowledge production process – such as the distinction between article and talk pages, the core content policies, and Wikipedia's authority structure – were constructed and legitimized. I'll outline the distinct stages in the process, and the types of strategies and resources used in it. Finally, I will address some broader issues as I'll discuss the construction of epistemic cultures in general and Wikipedia's position in contemporary knowledge society.

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

Knowledge and Collaboration

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  1. --Amir E. Aharoni 10:13, 3 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Vibhijain 11:49, 6 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]