Evaluating the Impact of the Wikipedia Teahouse on newcomer socialization and retention

Title: Evaluating the Impact of the Wikipedia Teahouse on newcomer socialization and retention

Authors: Jonathan T Morgan and Aaron Halfaker, Wikimedia Foundation

Abstract: Effective socialization of new contributors is vital for the long-term sustainability of open collaboration projects. Previous research has identified many common barriers to participation. However, few interventions employed to increase newcomer retention over the long term by improving aspects of the onboarding experience have demonstrated success. This study presents an evaluation of the impact of one such intervention, the Wikipedia Teahouse, on new editor survival. In a controlled experiment, we find that new editors invited to the Teahouse are retained at a higher rate than editors who do not receive an invite. The effect is observed for both low- and high-activity newcomers, and for both short- and long-term survival.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings, has been awarded the best paper and is available as a PDF file.

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