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Comparative analysis of national histories in Wikipedia & Britannica: A Temporal and Linguistic Perspectives

Date & Time:
11:00 - 12:30,
Monday 20 November, 2017


Anna Samoilenko: “I present a large-scale quantitative comparison between expert- and crowdsourced writing of history by analysing articles from the English Wikipedia and Britannica. In order to quantify attention to particular periods, we extract mentioned year numbers and utilise them to study historical timelines of nations stretched over the last thousand years. By combining this temporal analysis with lexical analysis of both encyclopedic corpora we can identify distinctive historiographic points of view in each encyclopedia. We find that Britannica focuses on social and cultural phenomena, e.g. religion, as well as the geographical characteristics of states, while Wikipedia puts emphasis on political aspects, concentrating on wars and violent conflicts, and events of high popularity”.

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  • Name: Anna Samoilenko
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  • Bio: Anna Samoilenko (OII MSc 2013) is a PhD researcher in Computational Social Science. She is interested in studying collective sociocultural phenomena emerging in the society, such as shared information interests of arge communities and linguistic perspectives on various knowledge domains. She is working with multiligual data on the Web and in particular, on Wikipedia, developing approaches that allow extraction of non-random large-scale patterns, as well as comparison of these patterns across languages. Anna has a mixed background in Linguistics, Computer Scienence, Animation, and Social Science of the Internet. Her work bridges these disciplines, not only making use of various rigorous computational methods, but also connecting the statistical results with the existing Social Science literature.