Grants:Project/Rapid/Knowledge Gaps Study

statusNot Funded
Knowledge Gaps in Digital Media Spaces
As of 2019, Wikipedia exists in almost three hundred language versions, but participation and content creation on Wikipedia is not distributed proportionally to the readership—or even proportional to editors’ mother tongues. This study seeks to understand the causes of such discrepancies between the linguistic and Wikipedia demographics with the focus on Indic language Wikipedias. We perform a comparative study across various Indic Language Wikipedias that have contrasting behavior to investigate why one thrives, and others don't.
targethi, kn, ml,
start dateDecember 6
start year2019
end dateJune 6
end year2020
budget (local currency)$2000
budget (USD)$2000
grant typeIndividual

Project GoalEdit

Briefly explain what are you trying to accomplish with this project, or what do you expect will change as a result of this grant. Example goals include, "recruit new editors", "add high quality content", or "train existing editors on a specific skill".

I hope to study the experiences of several Indic-language Wikipedia communities with different levels of success in building communities of online participants but with similar numbers of Internet-connected native speakers, that face similar technical and linguistic challenges, that have similar socio-economic and political conditions, and so on. My goal is to start with the Kannada and Malayalam Wikipedia communities although we may expand our study to Marathi, Telugu, and Hindi Wikipedia versions in the future. This grant will help support my travel to conduct around 30 interviews as well as to interact with Indian Wikipedia communities in digital spaces.

Project PlanEdit


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing?

We will follow the semi-structured interview methodology for data collection and Charmaz, K. (2014) Grounded theory approach for data analysis. We plan to conduct 5 - 10 semi-structured interviews from each language Wikipedia depending on when the saturation is reached in terms of obtaining new insights and thus, in-total at the most 30 interviews. We would recruit users using the snowball and theoretical sampling method. This study will help uncover trends in the thoughts and opinions of individuals from Indic-language communities.

How will you let others in your community know about your project (please provide links to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions)? Why are you targeting a specific audience?

Reach out to CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society - Access to Knowledge) and Indian Wikimedia User Groups and various Wikimedia communities

What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

I would have analyzed the data collected through the primary research and would have generated high-level themes that will help explain the differentiating factors of Indic-language communities.
I will follow up with the research participants using E-mail or any other platform of their preference.


How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include the following targets and feel free to add more specific to your project:

  1. Number of total participants: 30
  2. Conduct Interviews with Wikipedians from 3 Indic-language communities (1. Kannada, 2. Malayalam, 3. not yet decided)
  3. Document research insights (findings, recommendations) and share them with India Community


What resources do you have? Include information on who is the organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

Researchers: Sejal Khatri, a master's student at the University of Washington and Dr. Benjamin Mako Hill, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington.

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense:

  • Research Participant Compensation
Participant recruitment using gift cards - $600
  • Funding to Support Fieldwork:
Travel w/i India Domestic trips within India required to interview Wikipedians from the different Indian States - $500
  • Hotels
Hotel Stay - $350
  • Ground Support
Ride sharing for commuting - $100


  • I am working on evaluating the GLOW project which launched in India on October 10th. I will be looking at the content output and editor retention related to GLOW. This qualitative research project promises additional insights to give us an even more full picture of what is happening in India on the various wikis which are primarily edited in India. Sejal is looking at fine data points such as education distributions and socio-economic indicators which will help us understand what product needs this region requires for greater growth down the line. These lessons could be further extrapolated to other GLOW regions. IFlorez (WMF) (talk) 22:02, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  •   Support Muzammil (talk) 05:22, 12 November 2019 (UTC) 05:22, 12 November 2019 (UTC).
  •   Support -- this project seems like an impactful one, best of luck!👍   Innocentbunny    TALK  06:43, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
  •   Support -- Good project Raju Jangid (talk) 09:12, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
  •   Support-- I think a ground level research is definitely needed in this hour and I am always there to support and volunteer. Rajeeb  (talk!)
14:50, 29 November 2019 (UTC)