Do We All Talk Before We Type?: Understanding Collaboration in Wikipedia Language Editions

Title: Do We All Talk Before We Type?: Understanding Collaboration in Wikipedia Language Editions

Authors: Taryn Bipat, David W. McDonald and Mark Zachry, University of Washington

Abstract: The English language Wikipedia is notable for its large number of articles and for the intricate collaborative interactions that create and sustain it. However, 288 other active language editions of Wikipedia have also developed through the coordination of contributing editors. While collaboration in the English Wikipedia has been researched extensively, these other language editions remain understudied. Our study leverages an influential collaboration model based on behaviors in the English Wikipedia as a lens to consider collaborative activity in the Spanish and French language editions. Through an analysis of collaborative interactions across article talk pages, we demonstrate that talk pages, the locus of most collaboration on the English Wikipedia, are used differently in these different language editions. Our study raises broader questions about how results from studies of the English Wikipedia generalize to other language editions, demonstrates the need to account for variations in collaborative behaviors in all language editions of Wikipedia and presents evidence that collaborative practices on the English Wikipedia have changed overtime.

Download: The contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

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