SLIS faculty member Pnina Shachaf gave a presentation at the 4th International Conference on Communities and Technologies held at Penn State University, University Park, PA (June 25-27, 2009). Her talk was on the opening day (Thursday, June 25th) - see abstract below.
"This study aims to examine answers' quality on the Wikipedia Reference Desk. A sample of answers from the Wikipedia Reference Desk was analyzed along three SERVQUAL quality variables: reliability (accuracy, completeness, verifiability), responsiveness, and assurance. The study reports that on all three SERVQUAL measures quality of answers produced by the Wikipedia Reference Desk is comparable with that of library reference services. The collaborative social reference model of the Wikipedia facilitated the provision of services that matched or outperformed those provided by librarians. This study extends research on Wikipedia quality, reference, and answer quality on Q&A sites."
"In an increasingly networked world, the concept of community has taken on new meanings and inspired the development of a wide range of technologies aimed at forging connections, improving communication, and enabling coordination among groups of people. Today, such terms as virtual community, blogging, podcasting, and smart mobs have become commonplace, yet each represents a complex system of hardware, software, and people, shaped by perceptions, norms, rules, and habits, and occurring within varied social and cultural settings.
The Communities and Technologies biennial international conference serves as a forum for stimulating and disseminating research on the complex connections between communities - both physical and virtual - and information and communication technologies..."
Posted June 26, 2009