WikiProject so effective, it skews study results

Banksia spinulosa, public domain.

Seriously, how cool is this story?

The paper is Scientific citations in Wikipedia by Finn Årup Nielsen— the paper itself is dual-licensed GFDL and CC-BY-SA — and it analyses the cite journal template uses from the April 2007 database dump. The author compares the prevalence of Wikipedia citations to general scientifier community citations.

The success of WikiProject Banksia causes a noticable outlier:

Original graph

The one circled in red is Australian Systematic Botany.

Australian botany journals received a considerable number of citations…in part due to concerted effort for the genus Banksia, where several Wikipedia articles for Banksia species have reached “featured article” status.

Right now, there are six. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the “rest” of Wikipedia to catch up.

The number of people working on this project, you can count on one hand and still have fingers left over.

The Banksia gallery on Wikimedia Commons, and category, are also impeccably sorted and organised (and detailed!).

It makes me smile to be able to report this, because it shows how much just a few dedicated souls can achieve, by quietly and steadily busying themselves.

And it’s damn cool. Congratulations, WikiProject Banksia.

15 April, 2008 • ,



And to think I nearly bought a banksia pod the last time I was at Rockler. :)

Kelly Martin · 15. April 2008, 02:45


Interesting indeed, though I think that the better result would be us not having outliers like that… well, I’m not a botanist, so I can’t really judge the journal.

Still, congratulations are due to WikiProject Banksia on making a difference.

Tracy Poff · 15. April 2008, 05:30

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