Perceived credibility of Internet encyclopedias

Ida Kubiszewski, Thomas Noordewier, Robert Costanza

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    A vast amount of information is now available online, produced by a variety of sources with a range of editorial oversight procedures. These range from very centralized information with multiple layers of review, to no oversight at all. Determining which information is credible can pose a real challenge. An experiment was designed to determine whether certain webpage characteristics affect academics' and students' perception of the credibility of information presented in an online article. The experiment looked at five peripheral cues: (1) presence or absence of an identifiable author, (2) presence or absence of references, (3) presence or absence of a biased sponsor, (4) presence or absence of an award, and (5) whether the article is designated as appearing in Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, or Encyclopedia of Earth. The results indicate that compared to Encyclopedia Britannica, article information appearing in both Encyclopedia of Earth and Wikipedia is perceived as significantly less credible. They also show that the presence of a biased sponsor has a significant negative effect on perceived credibility.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)659-667
    JournalComputers and Education
    Volume56
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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