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When situativity meets objectivity in peer production of knowledge: the case of the WikiRate platform

Richard Allister Mills (Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Stefano De Paoli (Department of Sociology, University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee, UK)

Data Technologies and Applications

ISSN: 2514-9288

Article publication date: 7 February 2018

Issue publication date: 7 February 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to further the debate on Knowledge Artefacts (KAs), by presenting the design of WikiRate, a Collective Awareness platform whose goal is to support a wider public contributing to the generation of knowledge on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The material presented in the paper comes from the first-hand experience of the authors as part of the WikiRate design team. This material is reflexively discussed using concepts from the field of science and technology studies.

Findings

Using the concept of the “funnel of interest”, the authors discuss how the design of a KA like WikiRate relies on the designers’ capacity to translate general statements into particular design solutions. The authors also show how this funnelling helps understanding the interplay between situativity and objectivity in a KA. The authors show how WikiRate is a peer-production platform based on situativity, which requires a robust level of objectivity for producing reliable knowledge about the ESG performance of companies.

Originality/value

This paper furthers the debate on KAs. It presents a relevant design example and offers in the discussion a set of design and community building recommendations to practitioners.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the WikiRate FP7 project, partially funded by the EC under contract number 609897.

Citation

Mills, R.A. and De Paoli, S. (2018), "When situativity meets objectivity in peer production of knowledge: the case of the WikiRate platform", Data Technologies and Applications, Vol. 52 No. 1, pp. 16-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/DTA-02-2017-0006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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