Knowledge-as-read, Knowledge-as-consented

Wikipedia and the Evolution of Encyclopedic Knowledge

Click-on-Knowledge Conference. University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011.

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Presented almost exactly one year before I handed in my dissertation, this paper gave me the chance to demonstrate my method and approach to incredibly friendly and like-minded scholars. 

In this paper, I addressed the ways in which Wikipedia redefines encyclopedic knowledge by its consensus based, collaborative structure. The first component of this analysis was an overview of the inherent assumptions underlying Wikipedia, drawn from the findings of some of the latest scholarship. I then put these assumptions into context by analysing them through a historical perspective and identified areas where Wikipedia confirm to the norm or disrupts it.

While history of the encyclopedia has been told, and there is no lack of attention to the inner workings of Wikipedia, these two spheres of interest are aware of each other only on the periphery, despite the considerable insight they might offer to each other.

As with my dissertation project, this paper aimed to address this perceived deficit.

My presentation was followed by an excellent discussion about Wikipedia and digitisation of knowledge in general. Also, having met Prof Dr. Charles Lock at the conference, I invited him to be on my doctoral committee the following year.