Consider the Redirect: A Missing Dimension of Wikipedia Research

Title: Consider the Redirect: A Missing Dimension of Wikipedia Research

Authors: Benjamin Mako Hill, Aaron Shaw

Abstract: Redirects are special pages in wikis that silently transport visitors to other pages. Although redirects make up a majority of all article pages in English Wikipedia, they have attracted very little attention and are rarely taken into account by researchers. This note describes redirects and illustrates why they play an important role in shaping activity in Wikipedia. We also present a novel longitudinal dataset of redirects for English Wikipedia and the software used to produce it. Using this dataset, we revisit several important published findings about Wikipedia to show that accounting for redirects can have important effects on research.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.

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