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The influence of network structures of Wikipedia discussion pages onthe efficiency of WikiProjects


Xiangju Qin, Padraig Cunningham, Michael Salter-Townshend

Publication Type: 
Refereed Original Article
As a platform for discussion and communication, talk pages play an essential role in Wikipedia to facilitatecoordination, sharing of information and knowledge resources among Wikipedians. In this work weexplore the influence of network structures of these pages on the efficiency of WikiProjects. Projectefficiency is measured as the amount of work done by project members in a quarter. The study uses thecomments on WikiProject talk pages to construct communication networks. The structural properties ofthese networks are studied using ideas from social network theory. We develop three hypotheses abouthow network structures influence project effectiveness and examine the hypotheses using a longitudinaldataset of 362 WikiProjects. The evaluation suggests that an intermediate level of cohesion with a coreof influential users dominating network flow improves effectiveness for a WikiProject, and that greateraverage membership tenure relates to project efficiency in a positive way. We discuss the implicationsof this analysis for the future management of WikiProjects.
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Publication Date: 
National University of Ireland, Dublin (UCD)
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