Skyline University Nigeria

A Survey on Wikipedia Awareness and Use by Academic Librarians of Abuja Municipal Nigeria


Unending innovations in information and communication technology (ICT) have ushered in transformations characterized by the availability of various Library and Learning applications, Open Educational Resources, and Knowledge Repositories among others. All these have altered the way libraries and librarians provide information services, access information, and conduct research, and process information resources.

Wikipedia is one of such avenue that librarians use for innovative information services. Wikipedia is an open-source knowledge repository with the incorporation of various resources and functions that enhance digital Study, Information access, and Information Literacy in the same vein Wikipedia is a free, web-based encyclopedia running on wiki technology, a technology that allows anyone to quickly create or edit and modify web pages.

Wikipedia has a huge lot of content, having to date approximately 7.9 million articles in 253 languages (Luyt et al 2008) Unlike other open-access databases which have more stringent review processes involving subject experts and professional editors, Wikipedia relies on collaborative effort of volunteers, sourcing its content from more than 75,000 active contributors, practically anyone with an account and internet connection.

Review of Related Literature

This study adopts a Descriptive and Integrative type of literature review, it is based on the recency of the literature, few articles exist on Wikipedia awareness and utilization, and practically non in the African context. The review of the literature highlights the various studies which provide an overview of research studies on Wikipedia use and awareness arranged chronologically.

Osadepe et al (2022) examined the edit a ton initiative granted by Wikimedia to create awareness and usage in UNN University Library interviews and a questionnaire was use as a means of data collection, the finding shows that Wikimedia edit -a thon initiative creates awareness and usage of Wikipedia by academics.

Mills and Baur (2019), investigate the use of Wikipedia in academic libraries, including its role in information literacy instruction and the challenges it presents to librarians. The authors argue that while Wikipedia can be a valuable resource for students, it is important for librarians to educate their users about its limitations and to encourage them to verify information found on Wikipedia using other sources.

Wang et al (2018), the study examines the use of Wikipedia in research and identifies the benefits and limitations of the platform. The authors highlight the need for greater understanding among researchers and librarians about Wikipedia’s strengths and weaknesses and the importance of verifying information found on the platform using other sources.

Glies and Bolacker (2017), this study evaluates the quality of Wikipedia articles with missing references using a random sample of 5,000 articles. The authors found that while the majority of articles had at least one missing reference, the quality of articles with missing references was generally similar to that of articles with complete references. The study highlights the importance of verifying information found on Wikipedia and the need for more robust citation practices on the platform.

Methodology and Findings

The research design of this study was a descriptive survey and non-probability sampling, specifically purposive sampling, was used to select university libraries situated in Abuja Municipal.  The population was made up of the entire census of Academic Librarians working in University Libraries situated in Abuja Municipal, these University Libraries include Baze University, Nile University African University of Science Technology, Philomath University, Veritas University, and the University of Abuja.

Some of the findings include The total number of Academic Librarians cutting across all the selected universities is 30, Baze University has the highest number of respondents (12) at 40% followed by Nile University (7) at 23%, African University of Science and Technology had the least number of respondent (2) 7%, Veritas University, and Philomath University had (6) 20% and 3(10%) respectively.

Also, Academic qualification of Abuja Librarians (3) 10% had a Doctorate, 17 (57%) had a Master’s and (10) 33% had a Bachelor’s none had a Higher national Diploma with this qualification, the respondents were expected to give valid information on “Wikipedia Use” in their respective Academic Libraries.


The Abuja Academic librarians were generally cautious in referring patrons to Wikipedia in the course of their professional duties, and at the same skeptical to use it as a service delivery option, they otherwise gave a range of mostly between positive responses and negative responses. This is an indication that the potential of Wikipedia can be fully harnessed All the surveyed Librarians for this study were aware of Wikipedia, and Use Wikipedia for personal endeavors, many have either visited the site or used its services even though quite a number indicated that they used Wikipedia for entertainment and leisure rather than used for information services.

This indicates that librarians in this study are cautious in advocating for Wikipedia in their work life, but utilize it in their personal information quests. The cautionary use of Wikipedia by Librarians is most likely driven by awareness of the negative aspects of Wikipedia. These negative issues have given way to new editing policies and article creation policies in an attempt to strengthen the content of Wikipedia.


Bordelon, A. M., & Chang, C. (2020). Student perceptions of Wikipedia and their information literacy development. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 46(3).

Giles, J., & Bollacker, K. (2017). Evaluating the quality of Wikipedia articles with missing references. PloS one, 12(8).

Li, J., & Thelwall, M. (2021). Wikipedia and academic librarians: perceived benefits and concerns. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 52(4), 1061-1075.

Luyt, B., Zainal, C. Z. B. C., Mayo, O. V. P., & Yun, T. S. (2008). Youth Perception and Usage of Wikipedia. Information Research, 13(4).

Mills, C., & Baur, K. (2019). Unpacking the use of Wikipedia in academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 45(2), 97-103.

Osadebe, N. E., Ukwoma, S. C., Njoku, E. O., Udochukwu, D. C., Madumere, C., & Ezeani, C. N. (2022). Wikipedia edit-a-thon in a Nigerian academic library. Library Philosophy & Practice. (e-Journal).

Snyder, J. (2013). Wikipedia: Librarians’ perspectives on its use as a reference source. Reference and User Services Quarterly, 53(2), 155-163.

Soules, A. (2015). Faculty perception of Wikipedia in the California state university system. New Library World, 116(3/4), 213-226.

Wang, X., Li, Y., Li, X., & Zhang, X. (2018). The use of Wikipedia in research: A review of literature. Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange (JETDE), 11(1), 1-14.

Dr. Abdullahi Bala Shehu is an esteemed academic and visionary leader in the field of Library and Information Science, laced with an impressive academic journey and a wealth of experience, Education and Expertise.