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  • Author or Editor: Pietro Santamaria x
  • HortTechnology x
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The dissemination of knowledge about (agro)biodiversity is a strategic factor in communicating the urgent need to defend and protect biological diversity. Although this can be carried out with various media, in recent years social media (or “Web 2.0”) have begun to assume a prominent role. Of the Web 2.0 services, Wikipedia (Wikimedia Foundation, San Francisco, CA) is one of the most powerful and interesting tools, for several reasons, being collaborative by nature, free of charge, multilingual, and accessible online; in addition, anyone can update the materials therein. Within the framework of the regional project “Rural Development Programme 2007-2013,” our research group, responsible of the collection of historical information and morphological characterization of several vegetable crops considered to be at risk of genetic erosion, proposed the use of Wikipedia as a dissemination tool. The objective of this study was to show how to add/modify articles in Wikipedia for online divulgation and to demonstrate its validity by analyzing some data (pageviews, editing history, and the impact of Wikipedia as a referral toward the project’s institutional website) related to the Wikipedia articles that were added/modified. The article about the landrace variety Carota di Polignano carrot (Daucus carota), created from scratch, received more than 15,000 pageviews in less than 2 years. Referrals from Wikipedia increased the visits to the institutional website by 30%, whereas the bounce rate decreased by 15%. Wikipedia may be a good tool to improve the dissemination of knowledge about (agro)biodiversity either online or offline, and the addition in Wikipedia’s pages of scientific journal references and of links to projects’ website may strengthen the diffusion of scientific knowledge.

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