The sources included on LibraryWiki are identified by keyword analysis and sorted by the number of times they are cited in similar scholarly works. Citation analysis provides a method to identify influential sources for particular topics, and in doing so to provide guidance on which sources are likely to be helpful to the reader.
The idea to use citation counts as a way to identify sources builds upon the general literature around meta-analysis, citation analysis, and bibliometrics. The rational for this approach is as follows: "citation counts can partly reflect the “influence” or “impact” of the article to its discipline. Citation in a sense indicates peer recognition (positive or negative), researchers cite others either to agree or disagree, to build on predecessors’ idea or to refute it and establish a new one. Either way, those top cited articles have research significance to both the field and the community." (Source of quote from Mark Hakkarinen)
Comparison to other platforms
This approach to source identification is in contrast to the customized, "bubble" search results or personalized content filtering which is prevalent on media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Rather than individualized results predetermined to match your preconceptions, this relies upon another independent sphere of influence (intellectual rigor and peer review) to guide your discovery and exploration of knowledge and information. This can help with cognitive biases associated with those algorithms, in particular with controversial social issues. The results (in theory) are better for research and objectivity.
Access to materials
Approximately half of the sources on LibraryWiki are freely accessible from the links provided. The remaining sources may have a paywall or restricted access. Some methods to locate available copies of these sources include:
- Install the Unpaywall browser extension to identify legal, free sources which are available
- Search for the title and "pdf" in Duck Duck Go
- Visit your local library to ask for assistance
Repositories for free or accessible materials include:
- The Internet Archive
- Hathi Trust Digital Archive
- Digital Public Library of America
An extended list of freely available databases is here.
Press and Media Inquiries
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