Abstract

Is there a bias against women’s representation in Wikipedia biographies? Thousands of biographical subjects from six sources are compared against the English-language Wikipedia and the online Encyclopædia Britannica with respect to coverage, gender representation, and article length. We conclude that Wikipedia provides better coverage and longer articles, and that it typically has more articles on women than Britannica in absolute terms, but we also find that Wikipedia articles on women are more likely to be missing than are articles on men relative to Britannica. For both reference works, article length did not consistently differ by gender.

Notes

Originally published in International Journal of Communication 5 (2011), 1138–1158. http://ijoc.org/ojs/index.php/ijoc/article/view/777

Keywords

Wikipedia, Encyclopaedia Britannica, gender bias

Subject Categories

Encyclopedias and dictionaries, Sex discrimination

Disciplines

Communication Technology and New Media | Gender and Sexuality

Publisher

USC Annenberg Press

Publication Date

2011

Rights Information

Copyright 2011

Restrictions

(Joseph Reagle & Lauren Rhue). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd).

Rights Holder

Joseph Reagle & Lauren Rhue



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