Dr Amanda Lawrence awarded Wikimedia Research Fund Grant
Author Natalie Campbell
Date 11 August 2023
ADM+S Research Fellow Dr Amanda Lawrence has been awarded a research funding grant from the Wikimedia Foundation for her project, ‘Wikipedia, reliable sources and public policy issues’.
Through the Wikimedia research fund, the foundation seeks to promote the Wikimedia research community by supporting projects with potential for direct, positive impact on local or global Wikimedia communities.
‘Wikipedia, reliable sources and public policy issues’ will investigate the role of policy and research reports from organisations, government agencies, think tanks and academic research centres on Wikipedia.
Dr Lawrence said, “this research project seeks to understand the extent that policy research reports and papers from organisations are being cited on Wikipedia, what kinds of sources are being cited and how can editors and readers be supported in evaluating their credibility.”
Dr Lawrence’s recently completed PhD focussed on how diverse research publications and public policy from organisations are used and managed, setting a foundation for this deeper analysis of reliable sources on open knowledge systems.
“A key part of Wikimedia’s defence system against mis/disinformation is its content and citation policies. However, Wikipedia’s reliable sources policies are still grounded in traditional notions of the research publishing economy as primarily commercial and scholarly publishers and mainstream news media.
This is problematic for public policy and public interest topics which tends to have a more diverse media economy of sources, including organisations based in government, civil society, education and commercial sectors, and genres such as reports, policy briefs, fact sheets and datasets.”
Dr Lawrence will be leading the research project, in collaboration with Mr Angel Felipe Magnossao de Paula from RMIT University and Universitat Politècnica de València.
The funding criteria preferences research around technical and socio-technical solutions with the potential to enhance the technology in support of the Wikimedia projects, themes synonymous with Dr Lawrence’s role as Research Fellow in Open Knowledge Systems at RMIT University, and her previous role as Wikimedian in Residence at ADM+S.
“The project will provide new insights not only for Wikimedia but also for the wider evidence and policy research community. It will also help to strengthen Wikipedia’s verifiability processes and Wikimedia’s role as a leader in digital and media literacy and education.
I’m really looking forward to working with and learning from other researchers in Australia and the wider Wikimedia research community!”