Peer-production system or collaborative ontology engineering effort: What is Wikidata?

Title: Peer-production system or collaborative ontology engineering effort: What is Wikidata?

Authors: Claudia Müller-Birn, Benjamin Karran, Janette Lehmann (Freie Universität Berlin), Markus Luczak-Rösch (University of Southampton)

Abstract: Wikidata promises to reduce factual inconsistencies across all Wikipedia language versions. It will enable dynamic data reuse and complex fact queries within the world’s largest knowledge database. Studies of the existing participation patterns that emerge in Wikidata are only just beginning. What delineates most of the contributions in the system has not yet been investigated. Is it an inheritance from the Wikipedia peer-production system or the proximity of tasks in Wikidata that have been studied in collaborative ontology engineering? As a first step to answering this question, we performed a cluster analysis of participants’ content editing activities. This allowed us to blend our results with typical roles found in peer-production and collaborative ontology engineering projects. Our results suggest very specialised contributions from a majority of users. Only a minority, which is the most active group, participate all over the project. These users are particularly responsible for developing the conceptual knowledge of Wikidata. We show the alignment of existing algorithmic participation patterns with these human patterns of participation. In summary, our results suggest that Wikidata rather supports peer-production activities caused by its current focus on data collection. We hope that our study informs future analyses and developments and, as a result, allows us to build better tools to support contributors in peer-production-based ontology engineering.

This contribution to OpenSym 2015 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2015 proceedings (or companion) on or after August 19, 2015.

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