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From Who and What to How and Why – The Future of Online Encyclopaedias


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Prelog, Nenad and Bebić, Domagoj. (2011). From Who and What to How and Why – The Future of Online Encyclopaedias. In: 3rd International Conference "The Future of Information Sciences: INFuture2011 – Information Sciences and e-Society", 9-11 November 2011, Zagreb.

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This paper discusses changes in the structure of knowledge, the increasing demand for abilities of search and retrieval, assessment and evaluation, organization and creative use of relevant information. It is a review of the topic intended to serve as a basis for further research aimed at answering the many questions that arise from this paper. Today, users are finding content through search engines. This requires a different approach to the organization of encyclopaedias and other lexicographical issues. All can be found, but it is also important to know where and how to look for it. The conducted research centered around the quality of "coverage" of some, in Croatia well known, lexical units, in different Wikipedias: four regional languages and editions (Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, Serbo-Croatian), and four world languages (English, French, German and Spanish). We observed the presence of writers and athletes in those languages. None of the selected writers had an article in every language/edition. For instance our writers are almost non-existent in Spanish and French editions, and the situation is only slightly better when it comes to German. The representation of athletes was much better, almost all of them occurring in the selected world languages. At the end we come to a few questions, such as whether it is more important to write "for yourself", i.e. to work on creating the best possible encyclopaedia intended for audiences in Croatia, and all those who use the Croatian language, or should we systematically work on the presentation of "our" issues in the publications in other languages; whether it be persons or texts from the sphere of politics, history, or (most widely understood) culture and art. If we agree that we will get relatively successful answers to questions starting with who, what, where, when, and much less successful to those beginning with how or why, then this answers the question on the role of the online encyclopaedia in the transfer of knowledge. The value of the knowledge contained in the answer to the question posed with how or why is "value added" to the encyclopaedia; it is what distinguishes it from a dictionary or a search engine.

Item Type: Published conference work (Lecture)
Uncontrolled Keywords: online, encyclopedia, Wikipedia, web, search engine
Subjects: Information sciences > Natural language processing, lexicography and encyclopedic science
Departments: Department of Information Science
Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 09:25
Last Modified: 19 May 2017 09:25

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