Modest Indifference

I encourage students, in the context of group research projects on accounting academics (part of an Accounting Theory course), to consider starting a Wikipedia article, or contributing to a Wikipedia article on the academic studied. Also hoping that some will become regular Wikipedia contributors. In most cases, they will choose to start a Wikipedia article on an accounting academic, because none is there otherwise.

This past term, groups started Wikpedia pages on Thomas JeanJean, Yves Gendron and Joni J. Young. All highly respected and productive accounting academics, but with no Wikpedia pages. Link the name, and it shows up red, indicating no page. Until now.

Went in to try to smooth out the pages, such as through internal links. When setting up internal links for Joni J. Young, found that most of the journals in which she is published–highly respected accounting journals–have no Wikipedia page. Red, and more red. Decided to start a page on one such respected journal, Critical Perspectives on Accounting.

Thinking about all these accounting academics who make such significant contributions, and all these accounting journals that are so important to the dissemination of research. Yet so much missing on Wikipedia, which means that few people considered it to be worth their time to put something up. Doesn’t seem to happen the same way in other business disciplines, such as Finance, Organizational Behaviour or Strategy. Or in other disciplines, such as Psychology and Sociology. On the other hand, if one checks further, maybe there are numerous red links there, as well.

Maybe the academics are more focused on publishing, and those who admire them are also more focused on publishing, or don’t see any general notability.

Still: modesty, or indifference, regrettable as to the outcome. Many who should be better known, and many journals that should be better known, outside of a particular circle.

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About brucelarochelle

Practising Lawyer and Part-Time University Instructor (Accounting, Commercial Law, Organizational Behaviour); Part-Time Federal Tribunal Member. Non-practising Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant).
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