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AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON CRITERIA FOR ASSESSING INFORMATION QUALITY IN CORPORATE WIKIS

AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON CRITERIA FOR ASSESSING INFORMATION QUALITY IN CORPORATE WIKIS

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Published by Wolfgang Reinhardt
Final draft of ICIQ paper on Information Quality in Corporate Wikis
Final draft of ICIQ paper on Information Quality in Corporate Wikis

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Published by: Wolfgang Reinhardt on Oct 28, 2009
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07/11/2012

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This is the final draft version of this paper.The original paper will appear in:Proceedings of the ICIQ 2009, Potsdam GermanySee http://www.iciq2009.org/
A
N EMPIRICAL
S
TUDY ON
C
RITERIA FOR ASSESSING
I
NFORMATION
Q
UALITY IN
C
ORPORATE
W
IKIS
 
(Completed academic paper)
Therese Friberg
University of Paderborn, GermanyInstitute for Mechatronics and Design Engineering
friberg@cik.upb.de 
Wolfgang Reinhardt
University of Paderborn, GermanyDepartment of Computer Science
wolle@upb.de 
Abstract
: Wikis gain more and more attention as tool for corporate knowledge management. The usage of corporatewikis differs from public wikis like the Wikipedia as there are hardly any wiki wars or copyright issues. Nevertheless the quality of the available articles is of high importance in corporate wikis as well as in public ones.This paper presents the results from an empirical study on criteria for assessing information quality of articles incorporate wikis. Therefore existing approaches for assessing information quality are evaluated and a specific wiki-set of criteria is defined. This wiki-set was examined in a study with participants from 21 different Germancompanies using wikis as essential part of their knowledge management toolbox. Furthermore this paper discussesvarious ways for the automatic and manual rating of information quality and the technical implementation of such anIQ-profile for wikis.
Key Words
: Information Quality, Corporate Wikis, Information Quality Criteria, Empirical Study
I
NTRODUCTION
 
The largest and most well known representative of wikis is Wikipedia [28], which exists since 2001.Today Wikipedia is biggest multilingual free-content encyclopedia on the Internet with more the 67million US-visitors as of June 2009 [23], 75,000 active contributors and 13 million articles in 260languages, thereof more than 2.9 million in English [28]. The success of Wikipedia is founded on its freeavailability and possibility to collaborate in it [31]. Wikis attain increasing importance in nowadayscommunity and for the knowledge management in enterprises. The popularity of wikis is based on thefact that they enable an effective archiving, organizing and sharing of data to the users. Writing in a wikiis a transparent process for the users on which they can collaborate actively. Furthermore the performedwork is directly viewable in the system, which has a positive effect on the user’s motivation. Wikis insideof organizations, called corporate wikis, differ from the free accessible ones primarily in the fact that theyhave explicit access control. That means that the entrance to selected areas can be restricted to certain user groups. In the further process corporate wikis stand in the foreground and hence, they build the context of this examination.One of the biggest problems concerning the growing content of wikis is the uncertainty of quality of theinput. The important advantage of the open access causes simultaneously an enormous problem becauseeach person is able to add, delete, or modify information without a previous review-process independentfrom the fact if an article gets improved or declined through it. Especially inside of organizations wrong
 
This is the final draft version of this paper.The original paper will appear in:Proceedings of the ICIQ 2009, Potsdam GermanySee http://www.iciq2009.org/
or missing information produce enormous costs. A survey of Information Builders GmbH shows that 54%of 610 asked managers see the biggest barrier against making good decisions is inconsistent, deficient,and incomplete information in organizations [18]. So using a wiki inside an organization is followed bythe question about the quality of information. A credible assessment of the quality of the content on a platform intensifies the trust in knowledge management system and increases the confidence of the user [9]. To satisfactorily answer the question about the information quality is has to be clarified by whichcriteria it is determined and which factors play a major role concerning the rating of these criteria.Therefore we have developed a set of information quality criteria adapted for corporate wikis. Afterwardsthis set has been verified by a survey with authentic users of corporate wikis. With the results from thestudy we optimized the identified wiki-set to provide an optimal assessment of information quality incorporate wikis.The remainder of this paper is structured as follows: first the background of the research and related work is referred. Afterwards the wiki-set to assess information quality inside of organizations is derived. After  presenting the conducted study and its results, technical approaches for realizing the wiki-set areidentified. The paper closes with a conclusion and outlook on future research.
S
TATE
-
OF
-
THE
-A
RT AND
B
ACKGROUND
 
You can hardly find examinations concerning the analysis of information quality in corporate wikis.Studies focusing the information quality of articles in Wikipedia show that there can evolve articles withhigh quality content and that these articles can even be gauged with nameable, paper-based, and peer-reviewed encyclopedias [12,15,29]. These findings confirm the existing potential that a wiki can containhigh quality articles. In the past a lot of researchers have defined criteria catalogues to define thedetermination of information quality. Only a few of them focused on wikis and often the criteria arehardly feasible. Hence, to achieve a criteria catalogue for corporate wikis, we had to make adaptations of the existing ones. As [21] emphasize, criteria of information quality vary with the context in which theyare used. So we had to regard the corporate context in detail. We present some of the existing criteriacatalogues in the following section with the intention to build a base for the definition of the so-calledwiki-set to determine information quality in corporate wikis.The authors in [26] developed a set of 15 information quality criteria under intensive embracing of answers from participants of arranged surveys. The authors have derived a criteria catalogue, whichcontains the most important criteria to assess information quality from the perspective of users. Theframework of [7] also contains 15 criteria, which primarily focus information in databases. The setting plays an important role in the subsequent literature and hence it has been included in the development of the wiki-set. [1] developed a framework with six criteria by focusing Internet pages. The authors createdan often-cited catalogue and offer some interesting viewpoints to determine the wiki-set. By analyzingexisting frameworks [8] generated a model with 16 criteria for information quality. The analysis was done by literature research and empirical studies. The framework of [4] focuses wikis in detail and containsnine different criteria. The author analyzes the articles of Wikipedia based on criteria cataloguesdeveloped for news. [14] have developed a framework with eight criteria, which defines informationquality during transactions on the Internet. The author sees the determination of information quality as a process during which a message can become a benefit. The framework of Wikipedia [29] consists of tencriteria, which shall intend the quality of the published articles on the platform. The set of criteria is stillused by the community of Wikipedia to assess the information quality of the written output. The strongfocusing on a wiki offers huge potential for developing the wiki-set.
 
This is the final draft version of this paper.The original paper will appear in:Proceedings of the ICIQ 2009, Potsdam GermanySee http://www.iciq2009.org/
A
PPLIED
M
ETHOD
 
The following section describes the derivation of the wiki-set to assess information quality in corporatewikis.
 Development of the Wiki-Set 
The development of the potential information quality criteria catalogue was made stepwise. In a first stepthe overlaps of the before-mentioned frameworks were pointed out and in a second phase the adaptabilityof the criteria were analyzed. In the beginning there are 50 different labeled criteria derived from theseven frameworks [1,4,7,8,14,26,29] presented above.To achieve a definition of information quality it is not enough to identify the common items of theexisting models. The criteria depend on the used context [21] and furthermore 50 criteria are too much torealize an efficient set of criteria for information quality in wikis. Because of that in a first step commoncriteria were merged to reduce the quantity. After the first phase of adaptations from the before 50 criteria19 remained:
Accuracy
Objectivity
Accessibility
Security
Timeliness
Completeness
Precision
Usability
Clarity
Correctness
Currency
Believability
Reputation
Relevancy
Interpretability
Value-added
Comprehensibility
Amount of information
Layout and use of multiple mediaAmongst these remaining criteria there were still very similar criteria regarding their impact andirrelevant criteria for the assignment in corporate wikis. Hence, to continue the optimization of the set of information quality criteria, we ran through a second phase. The remaining 19 criteria were analyzed totheir relevance and operationalizability.
 Accuracy
is subsumed to the criterion
correctness
. Both criteriaintend to measure correct and accurate information, so the reflection of the truth is meant. The criterion
objectivity
is defined to describe clear and true facts without deforming them by personal feelings or other effects. Hence, the criterion was allocated to
believability
.
 Reputation
was summed up with
believability
 [14] because this criterion aims at the prestige of the creator, which is also contained in the criterion
believability
. But the reputation of a user has no high impact in a corporate wiki because there theemployees want to attain a high reliable effect on their colleagues and principals. Accessibility is the dutyof a whole system, not that of a wiki article. Thus, the accessibility for disabled people has to be checkedduring the usability testing in the development of the system. The possibility to access to the informationfrom every desired location is the challenge of network administrators and has nothing to do with theassessment of the content inside a corporate wiki. Especially in organizations the criterion
 security
is avery important subject but it already has to be considered during the phase of implementation and testing.
Value-added 
was deleted from the wiki-set because the benefit of a wiki inside an organization can bemeasured through the common activity. Furthermore the value of a single article is very subjective and is better represented by the criterion
relevance
. The two criteria
timeliness
and
currency
were concentratedto one item because both of the criteria deal with the actuality of information [14].
 Amount of information
 was merged to
completeness
since both items deal with an adequate quantity of information. The criterion

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