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Wikipedia as a Tool for Forestry Outreach

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The goals of this work were to examine how the online, collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia presents information related to forest management and the profession of forestry and to explore its potential as a vehicle for widespread public outreach, interaction, and communication regarding these topics. Issues concerning the accuracy of Wikipedia content were reviewed, and a survey of Wikipedia content related to forestry was performed, along with a project enlisting college students to generate content on Wikipedia related to forest measurements coursework. Forestry-related Wikipedia articles generated over one-half million page views during 1 month in 2008, with nearly 6,000 views of 25 student-generated pages. In the 18 months since they were first uploaded, student-generated articles were edited 784 times by 132 separate contributors. Developing new content, editing, and revision are essential parts of the Wikipedia collaborative model. As such, significant opportunities exist for individuals or groups of students, professionals, experts, and nonexperts alike to contribute collaboratively to forestry-related articles that will be viewed by relatively large audiences of the online public on Wikipedia.

Keywords: Internet; computer; education; information technology; pedagogy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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