Wikipedia’s External Links Search is a free web application that allows the practitioner to search for external links added to Wikipedia pages. Practitioners can conduct individual link searches using URLs entered manually from the External Links Search Wikipedia web page, access the functionality via Wikipedia’s API, or run SQL queries for large link searches directly in Quarry (the public querying interface for Wiki Replicas). The application outputs a list of URLs. This tool can help practitioners identify and quantify the variety of hyperlinks contained on Wikipedia pages, including links to digital objects.
Practitioners should follow the practices laid out in the “Ethical considerations and guidelines for the assessment of use and reuse of digital content.” The Guidelines are meant both to inform practitioners in their decision-making, and to model for users what they can expect from those who steward digital collections.
Case Study: Assessing the use and reuse of library digital collections on Wikipedia using Wikipedia External Links Search
Kelly used the Wikipedia External Links Search application to conduct a link analysis of Wikipedia pages that contained URLs for digital objects from the Louisiana Digital Library, a state-wide consortial digital library collection. The researcher developed qualitative coding and also used quantitative measures to analyze use/reuse results. Kelly found that Wikipedia users are integrating digital library objects and archival finding aids into specific topical Wikipedia pages, frequently using these materials as evidence to support article narratives and commentary.
Kelly, Elizabeth Joan. “Use of Louisiana’s Digital Cultural Heritage by Wikipedians.” Journal of Web Librarianship 12, no. 2 (2018): 85-106.