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What are the ten most cited sources on Wikipedia? Let’s ask the data.

Wikimedia: “Citations are the foundation of Wikipedia’s reliability: they trace the connection between content added by our community of volunteer contributors and its sources. For readers, citations provide a mechanism to validate and check for themselves that what Wikipedia says is sound and trustworthy: they act as a gateway towards a broader ecosystem of reliable knowledge. In an effort to spearhead more research on where Wikipedia gets its facts from, and to celebrate Open Citations Month, we asked ourselves: what are the most cited sources across all of Wikipedia’s language editions? To answer this question, we published a dataset of every citation referencing an identifier across all 297 Wikipedia language editions. The dataset breaks down sources cited in each language by identifier–a PMID or PMC (for articles in the biomedical literature), a DOI (for scholarly papers), an ISBN (for book editions), or an ArXiV ID (for preprints)…

Unsurprisingly, Wikipedians love reference works. The top 10 sources by citation across every Wikipedia language are all reference books or scientific articles describing large collections. Many of these publications have been cited by Wikipedians across large series of articles using powerful bots and automated tools.

  1. Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification: 2,830,341 citations [–1633–2007]

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