Wikipedia page views are immense. Editing Wikipedia to include more references to journals is one way to get more science into the public eye. Additionally, Wikipedia is a portal to peer-reviewed science. But how many Earth and Space science papers are actually cited in Wikipedia?
For this post, I’m focusing on articles published by AGU. From an earlier investigation, I found 1599 citations to AGU publications in Wikipedia. But how are these 1599 citations spread across the journals? Let’s look at works published in JGR-Planets, JGR-Biogeoscience and JGR-Earth Surface because they have a similar number of publications per year — with 123, 196 and 126 articles published in 2016 (see the AGU publication stats). (Compare these numbers to the other 4 sections of JGR: ~400 articles in 2016 for Solid Earth and Oceans, and ~800 articles in 2016 for Space Physics and Atmospheres).
A quick note on the data: I first downloaded all of the articles records for a given journal from the Web of Science. Using the article DOI numbers, I used the rAltmetric package created by rOpenSci to find Wikipedia mentions listed in the Altmetric database. Note that this was done in Dec. 2016 and Wikipedia changes constantly, so treat this data as a snapshot.
The top panel is the percent of articles (published in a given year) that are referenced in Wikipedia. The bottom panel is the number of articles (published in a given year) referenced in Wikipedia. Also plotted is the data for GRL.
JGR-Planets steals the show here..
For # of articles cited, GRL does well too.
I’ll post results for the other 4 JGR sections in a future post. In the meantime:
- Here is an open dataset of scholarly citations in Wikipedia, from Wikipedia Research.
- Here is an early analysis of the issue of scholarly citations in Wikipedia.
- This type of analysis has also been done for the PLoS Journals.
- I wrote an article that compared month page views of relevant Wikipedia pages, my website, and one of my articles (the only one with publicly available article level metrics) — Wikipedia page views are orders of magnitude higher.