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Two decades of Wikipedia research: a PubMed bibliometric network analysis

Mohamed M. Mostafa (Gulf University for Science and Technology, West Mishref, Kuwait)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Article publication date: 1 November 2021

Issue publication date: 5 December 2022




This paper aims to examine the structure and dynamics of scholarly publications dealing with Wikipedia. The research also aims to investigate how such research evolved since its launch in 2001.


Wikipedia has grown to be the biggest online encyclopedia in terms of comprehensiveness, reach and coverage. Based on 1,040 PubMed Wikipedia documents written by 5,280 authors over two decades (2001–2021), this paper conducts a bibliometric review of the intellectual structure of scholarly publications dealing with Wikipedia.


Results show that annual scholarly publications on Wikipedia growth rate is 13.26. Major outlets publishing Wikipedia’s research are PloS One, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Nucleic Acids Research, Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, Bioinformatics and the International Journal of Medical Informatics. Results also show that the author collaboration network is very sparse, signifying rather negligible collaboration among the authors. Furthermore, results reveal that the Wikipedia research institutions’ collaboration network reflects what is sometimes termed Wikipedia’s “North-South divide,” indicating limited collaboration between rich and poor nations’ institutions. Finally, the multiple correspondence analysis applied to obtain the Wikipedia research conceptual map and its intellectual structure reveals the intellectual thrust and the diversity of the scholarly publications dealing with Wikipedia.


To the best of the author’s knowledge, this research represents the first application of bibliometric methods to investigate two decades of scholarly publications dealing with Wikipedia based on the PubMed database.



Mostafa, M.M. (2022), "Two decades of Wikipedia research: a PubMed bibliometric network analysis", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. 71 No. 8/9, pp. 947-971.



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