How Wiki Works

12 April 2019 4:00pm

The Otago English and Linguistics Seminar series for semester 1, 2019 will continue this week with a presentation by Dr. Mike Dickison. 

Mike is the New Zealand Wikipedian-at-Large, funded by the Wikimedia Foundation.  He has a Ph.D. from Duke University, on the evolution of body size in giant flightless birds, and is former curator of Whanganui Regional Museum.

Mike will talk about “How Wiki Works.”  He describes his topic as follows:

Everybody uses Wikipedia, and anybody can edit it. So where does all that information come from? How reliable is it? If anybody can edit Wikipedia, why isn’t it riddled with errors and hoaxes? If nobody is in charge, why doesn’t it descend into anarchy? Should we tell students not to use it, or get them to edit it?

Learn how to assess the reliability of an article, fix mistakes, and what we in New Zealand can do to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of us.

The seminar meets as usual in the Castle Lecture Theatre D, at 4.00 p.m. on Friday 12 April (an hour including questions).  

We hope you will be able to join us for an insight into the workings of this pre-eminent contemporary source of information, and discussion of its uses.

Note: if you know of anyone with an interest in language and literature, and who would like to be added to the e-mailing list for our regular /occasional public seminars, please contact Dr Paul Tankard on

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