Researchers at the University of Chicago’s Knowledge Lab have been exploring how Wikipedia cites academic research, in order to assess the quality and type of material used by Wikipedia contributors.

Their findings suggest that “controlling for field and impact factor, the odds that an open access journal is referenced on the English Wikipedia are 47% higher compared to closed access journals. Moreover, in most of the world's Wikipedias, a journal's high status (impact factor) and accessibility (open access policy) both greatly increase the probability of referencing. Among the implications of this study is that the chief effect of open access policies may be to significantly amplify the diffusion of science, through an intermediary like Wikipedia, to a broad public audience.”

A pre-print of the article has been made available on