Why Some Wikis are More Credible than Others: Structural Attributes of Collaborative Websites as Credibility Cues

Helen Nofrina, Vani Viswanathan, Thanomwong Poorisat, Benjamin H Detenber, Peiqi Chen


Recent technological advancements have helped giving rise to a variety of websites offering user-generated content through collaborative efforts. This study used focus groups to identify what features might influence credibility assessment of such websites. The findings revealed that editing features, discussion board and edit history were the collaborative features affecting credibility judgment of collaborative websites. In addition, the presence of references was seen as an important factor which helps to enhance website’s credibility. This study also examined how level of involvement may affect credibility judgment. The focus groups showed that the more involved participants with the message topic identified the importance of message characteristic when assessing credibility of websites. There were some perceived advantages of collaborative features identified, such as unbiased and more up-to-date information. In contrast, there were also some concerns about possible vandalism and the inaccuracy of information. The findings suggest that people may be embracing the idea of collaborative websites; however there is need to conduct more research to find out what could be done to reduce their concerns of vandalism and inaccuracy of information.


Internet, credibility, website, focus group

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS322009261