Wikipedia has been identified, by many of the students I speak to, as being important to them – and trustworthy – when they are learning about a university.
You can see page view statistics, for wikipedia articles , via a site developed by Henrik – a wikipedia adminstrator. This is a more user friendly version of data which is available from Domas Mituzas, one of the wikipedia Trustees.
Here’s a simple comparison of page views, of a few different university’s wikipedia pages, for February 2008.
English pages of Wikipedia, page views, Feb 2008
Harvard University: 116 591
Oxford University: 35 903
Uppsala University: 7 049
Lund University: 6 049
Stockholm University: 5424
Karolinska Institute: 995
Swedish pages of Wikipedia, page views, Feb 2008
Harvard University: 914
Uppsala University: 1 533
Lund University: 1 327
Stockholm University: 1028
Karolinska Institute: 564
It’s dangerous to compare page views, when you don’t exactly know how the figures are generated. But, if you compare – just for fun- these numbers with the page views the english pages from www.lu.se/english got (in the same month) then the wikipedia article appears, just, within the list of our top ten most viewed pages.
In the same time period, we received 929 referrals from the english wikipedia, 182 from the danish wikipedia and 171 from the Swedish.
Not only further proving the importance of wikipedia, these statistics also give us the opportunity to see what affect any future changes in the wikipedia article on Lund have on the number of referrals to our websites.