“Children’s stuff” gets less independent reviews and coverage relative to its userbase size

By Vipul Naik

Cross-posted from Quora

As part of research that my collaborator Jonah Sinick and I have been doing for Cognito Mentoring, we’ve repeatedly noticed that products aimed at children rarely get high-quality independent reviews. This isn’t just bad in and of itself; it also means that these products can’t get Wikipedia pages of their own because they don’t pass Wikipedia’s notability test.
Why might that be? Possible explanations:

  • The children who use the products themselves aren’t old enough or mature enough to write first-person reviews.
  • Publications are targeted at adults, so children’s stuff isn’t that interesting to them.
  • Any other explanations?

Here are some of the resources we looked at (many are listed on our Online mathematics learning resources page; others are listed elsewhere on Cognito)

It’s also noteworthy that almost none of the best books aimed at young people have Wikipedia pages, although it’s common for Wikipedia to have pages on books aimed at adults. For instance, Arthur Engel’s Problem-Solving Strategies is a widely used book for contest mathematics, but neither the book nor the author makes it to Wikipedia.
Even resources that do receive some press coverage generally receive very little. For instance, the Wikipedia page about College Confidential scarcely does justice to College Confidential’s stature as a go-to resource for information about college admissions.

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