May 10, 2007

Wikis and Wikipedia as a Teaching Tool

I've just learned that my article was published by International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. In January, but let's skip this miscommunication technicality - instead, this little delay allows me to review what, if any, impact my work has had.

First, IJoITaDL makes it very easy for others to read its contents. Being open access journal, it belongs to the still rare but growing faction in the academic community, which argues that making academic works available online free of charge to anyone, thus being true to the science mission of educating the public and spreading knowledge is actually a good idea. Such approach is still being opposed by the "tradional" faction, which prefers restricting access to academic works from "unwashed masses" beyond "pay-per-acccess" traditional databases, which until recently did a splendid job of ensuring that unless you are an employee or student at a rich Western university, or go through slow and cumbersome interlibrary loan (again not available in most non-Western countries), you will have to pay few dozen $ for the privilige of reading anything but an abstract. Guess where my sympathies are :)

Therefore I was nicely - but not very - suprised when the editor of the journal told me today that my article has received 2320 page and an even larger number of downloads as part of the entire January issue :) A brief web search on my article led to some interesting findings:
* Google Scholar doesn't see it? :(
* it is mentioned in blog comments and such - so indeed somebody reads it :)
* somebody thinks its "somewhat scholarly" :)
* somebody discusses it in Finnish :)
* it was mentioned in British Council and various databases

I couldn't find any more in-depth reviews or references, but it's a nice start :)

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