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Submissions/Wikipedia & Research: A love–hate relationship

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA
Presentation under construction.

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Workshop agenda (70 minutes)

In the previous talk "The State of Wikimedia Scholarship 2011-2012" on Thursday (the first Wikimania day), Mako Hill will present a review of the research itself. In this workshop, instead of presenting the "research content" itself, we will address the question of the relationship between Wikipedia and Research, and the role of he Research Committe.

Moderator: Mayo Fuster Morell


  • Brief presentation of the Wikimedia Foundation Research Committee (RCom) members. If there is not too many people, we will do a round presentation of everybody.
  • The relationship between Wikipedia and Research: The state of the debate and identify possible next steps/horizons.
  • General update on Rcom (its origin and goal, resources provided and what has achieved so far), and presentation of specific areas of Rcom work:
  • Q&A.
  • Discussion to rethink Rcom functioning, goal and plan for next year.


Submission no.


Title of the submission
Wikipedia & Research: A love–hate relationship
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Research Committee of the WMF
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

In 2011, Wikipedia celebrated its tenth anniversary as one of the world’s ten most visited websites and as one of the more active communities on the web. Particularly since 2005, there has been an increasing interest within the scientific community in researching Wikipedia. A recent review of Wikipedia literature resulted in 2,100 peer-reviewed articles and 38 doctoral theses related to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Academic_studies_of_Wikipedia). Quantitative analysis of large data sets on the English version of Wikipedia was the predominant approach in early empirical research on Wikipedia. The focus was later expanded to conducting research on other language versions, covering a larger variety of issues, such as socio-political questions, and also adopting qualitative methods. In conjunction, the research on Wikipedia constituted a substantial body of research in itself which allowed researchers (and communities) to better and critically understand Wikimedia projects functioning from a plurality of perspectives, and to advance our knowledge on issues that go beyond Wikipedia itself. Research in a sense (and under certain conditions) is becoming a way of contributing to the Wikimedia movement. Furthermore, the community of (more or less committed) researchers on Wikipedia is growing, together with the willingness to collaborate, the synergy between research initiatives of various kinds, and the willingness to continue innovating (in what is already constituting one of the leading node of methodological innovation); a Wikimedia research “informational common” is growing, as it also increases the promotion of research from the Wikimedia Foundation (such as with the creation of the Research Committee) and Wikimedia chapters (such as the performance of surveys and organization of Digital Commons Forum by Amical Viquipedia or the German Wikimedia participation in the Render project).

But new problems have also emerged, such as information overload, the lack of coordination between the various research efforts, and tensions between community members and certain researchers’ needs (for example on the question of subject recruitment and survey fatigue, or on the conflict between the community expectation of open access to information and the desire of researchers to comply with more restrictive copyright policies of many Academic journals). In sum, Wikipedia research has increased substantially, and in the process has become an important area for experimentation and research innovation, but also faces new challenges associated with progression.

On the one hand, the workshop will focus on addressing Wikipedia research (more focused on the methodologies and research process itself than on the content) and the innovations, problems and new insights regarding (action) research on Wikipedia. On the other hand, the workshop will address the role of the Research Committee and discuss the RCom goals.

The workshop is organized by the Research Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation, with the participation of RCom members WereSpielChequers, Melanie Kill, Daniel Mietchen (User:Mietchen), Yaroslav Blanter (User:Ymblanter), Cheryl Moy (User:MichChemGSI) and Mayo Fuster Morell (User:Lilaroja and Amical Viquipedia). Other researchers on Wikipedia will also take part in the workshop such as Benjamin Mako Hill, Felipe Ortega, Dariusz Jemielniak and Aaron Shaw. It will consist of a set of brief presentations and “networking” discussions towards action.

Research, Analysis, and Education
Length of presentation/talk
70 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations

Interested attendees

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  1. --Lilaroja (talk) 02:25, 17 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. WereSpielChequers (talk) 17:14, 17 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Amir E. Aharoni (talk)
  4. HB-NCBI (talk) 04:04, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 15:43, 18 March 2012 (UTC) — Update: My Science GLAM session is scheduled for the same time, so I'm not sure whether I can come here for any meaningful period. Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 15:57, 30 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. mako 21:31, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  7. metasj
  8. Pundit (talk) 02:28, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 07:34, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Aaronshaw (talk) 15:45, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  11. --Jrgoma (talk) 08:32, 20 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  12. --Kippelboy (talk) 08:45, 20 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  13. --GlimmerPhoenix (talk) 15:33, 29 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  14. JoBaWik (talk) 12:31, 17 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Dmitri Lytov (talk) 19:41, 6 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Emw (talk) 20:25, 16 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Polimerek (talk) 11:36, 20 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Shujenchang (talk) 04:40, 22 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  19. DGG (talk) 01:39, 11 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  20. DarKnight2012 (talk) 05:10, 13 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  21. Your name here!