Annual Report 2021/Story: Verifying Wikipedia – with the help of Mediearkivet
In this story we focus on the work done by editors to verify and add high quality sources to articles using the digital news archive Mediearkivet as a resource.
As any Wikipedian knows, reliable sources are the key to building a trustworthy encyclopedia. One of the most relevant resources for Swedish Wikipedians is Mediearkivet, a digital news archive covering all the major media outlets going back to 1981. Mediearkivet is paywalled; it can be accessed at public and university libraries, which is how many Wikipedians started to use it, but using it from home is not cheap.
At the request from an editor we investigated the interest from the editor community to see if signing a contract with the Retriever group, who owns Mediearkivet, would be worth the cost for getting access to all news articles, magazines and papers. With the interest shown, and as Retriever group offered a discount on the price, we signed a three year deal that allows up to 100 user accounts. To ensure the anonymity and integrity of the users we have a special set up where neither we nor the service providers can see what articles individual users are reading, and we are only counting the number of user accounts as a metric.
Starting in September we had opened 34 accounts until the end of the year, and those accounts had read a total of around 4,500 articles during 2021. Several users have expressed the value of access to the articles and that the variety makes it easy to use both in writing new articles and in verifying statements in old articles.