Analyzing Wikipedia Citations to Iranian English-language Journals approved by the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology

Document Type : Original Article


1 MSc. of Scientometrics, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Objectives: This research aimed to investigate Wikipedia citations to the Iranian English-language journals approved by the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (MSRT).
Methods: This descriptive survey was conducted based on citation analysis and scientometric techniques. The study population includes 239 English-language journals approved by the Iranian MSRT. Each journal's full title and abbreviated title were used to search on Wikipedia, and collected data were analyzed using Excel software.
Results: The findings indicated that Wikipedia cited 78 journals approved by the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology. These 78 journals had 464 citations from Wikipedia. It is worth noting that the "Iranian Journal of Botany" received the most citations from Wikipedia. Journals in the fields of basic sciences received the most citations among other journals approved by the MSRT. Moreover, 165 Wikipedia's citing articles were in English, and among Wikipedia articles, articles in the plant category cited to the MSRT journals the most. Furthermore, 412 Wikipedia articles were in English, and among Wikipedia articles, articles in the plant category cited the MSRT journals most than others. Among the articles published in the journals approved by the MSRT, the articles with the thematic classification of plants, animals, and lakes of Iran attracted more citations from Wikipedia articles, respectively. Wikipedia articles in English, French, and German, respectively cited them more. Among the journals cited by the Wikipedia articles, 27 journals in the field of basic sciences, 19 journals in the field of technical and engineering, 17 journals in the field of agriculture and natural resources, 9 journals in the field of humanities, 4 journals in the field of veterinary, and only 2 journals in the field of art and architecture have been cited.
In total, out of 239 journals approved by the MSRT, only 78 journals have been cited by the Wikipedia articles. In other words, about 33% of the investigated journals have been cited, which can be attributed to the lack of attention of Wikipedia articles to scientific and research journals.
Conclusions: By improving their policies and strategies, Iranian journals can be better recognized internationally in terms of citation impact, social impact, and popularization of science. For this reason, science policymakers should pay more attention to the relationship between scientific journals and the public, especially Wikipedia, to generalize and popularize science and research. This study also shows the lack of attention of bibliometricians and scientometricians in evaluating the promotion of science and scientific research via encyclopedias.


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