In the field stories

Portugal: preserving the value of wikipedia

The free online encyclopedia Wikipedia has become one of the most widely used resources for educational purposes internationally. However, the references to the sources behind the articles deteriorate over time. In a collaboration with Wikipedia Portugal, the national research and education network (NREN) of Portugal, FCCN, is engaged in tackling this problem.

Wikipedia articles often reference external pages with important complementary information. Unfortunately, such articles can become unavailable for various reasons. This problem degrades the quality of Wikipedia as a credible and verifiable source of information.

Originally created by the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Lisbon, is today a unit in FCCN. Appreciating the value of Wikipedia articles, the team carried out an experiment. According to the investigation, 25 percent of external links outside the Wikipedia domain were broken for the Portuguese articles.

To counter such issues, and Wikipedia Portugal have joined forces. The aim is to change the references to broken links in Wikipedia articles so that they refer to content preserved on, thus keeping the referenced information always accessible to Wikipedia users.

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Submitted by Morten Andersen

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