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Usage of and learning from Wikipedia: a study of university students in Pakistan

Wazzuha Amina (Department of Information Management, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Nosheen Fatima Warraich (Department of Information Management, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Amara Malik (Department of Information Management, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Article publication date: 27 July 2020

Issue publication date: 20 May 2021

166

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the university students’ usage pattern of Wikipedia information and its effect on their learning.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured questionnaire was designed to collect data from the students of master programmes at University of the Punjab, Lahore. Proportionate stratified sampling technique was used to select the sample from the population of “Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences”. In total, 225 masters’ students from eight departments participated voluntarily in the study.

Findings

Findings revealed that the majority of the respondents used Wikipedia information regularly for both academic and leisure purposes. They usually did not edit/add content in Wikipedia entries though they observed incomplete contents in it. Overall, the respondents perceived Wikipedia as an easy and understandable source of information that enhanced their understanding about a topic and enabled them to accomplish tasks more quickly.

Research limitations/implications

The sample of this study was social sciences students from one university. The findings may not be generalizable across other groups of students and universities.

Practical implications

These findings suggest that students have a positive behaviour towards Wikipedia and regarded it as a good source of information. They use Wikipedia information for academic and leisure purposes. So, the academics and librarians need to provide better guidelines for using Wikipedia, rather than prohibiting its use altogether.

Originality/value

This paper provides useful information on the use of Wikipedia among university students from a developing country’s perspective and thus contributes to the tendency of increasing acceptance of Wikipedia in academia. Furthermore, understanding how gender plays a role in differentiating the using behaviour of Wikipedia information could benefit both academics and library practitioners.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Conflict of interest: Authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Citation

Amina, W., Warraich, N.F. and Malik, A. (2021), "Usage of and learning from Wikipedia: a study of university students in Pakistan", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. 70 No. 3, pp. 282-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/GKMC-04-2020-0042

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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