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How do students trust Wikipedia? An examination across genders

Jun Huang (Department of Logistics and Marketing, College of Economics and Management, Southwest University, Chongqing, China)
Si Shi (School of Business Administration, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China)
Yang Chen (School of Business Administration, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China)
Wing S. Chow (Department of Finance and Decision Sciences, School of Business, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 7 November 2016




The purpose of this paper is to tend to further develop an understanding of information trustworthiness in the context of Wikipedia and examine the moderating effects of gender on the association between trustworthiness and intention to adopt Wikipedia information.


Based on a four-dimensional framework of information trustworthiness, the authors began the research by identifying Wikipedia as an application of online information so as to construct a model and develop an instrument based on this trustworthiness framework.


The results confirm that information accuracy, stability, and validity are significantly related to users’ intentions to adopt information from Wikipedia, but objectivity is not. Meanwhile, moderating role for gender on some of these effects is confirmed. Academic and practical implications are discussed.


Previous research considers the open-editing characteristics of Wikipedia as both strength and weakness; it allows for wide coverage of the information contributed by various users, but can also lead to a lack of trustworthiness. It has also been suggested that trustworthiness is perceived differently by males and females. Understanding how gender plays a role in differentiating the impact of trustworthiness on user intentions to adopt Wikipedia information could benefit both academics and practitioners.



The work described in this study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71502140, 71172227, and 71502142), and the Humanities and Social Science of Universities in Sichuan Province “Innovative Research Team for Tourism Consumer Behavior Study” (No. JBK150507).


Huang, J., Shi, S., Chen, Y. and Chow, W.S. (2016), "How do students trust Wikipedia? An examination across genders", Information Technology & People, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 750-773.



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