Research/Social Research Collaborations

This page is a space to discuss collaborative scholarship, social research and writing about various aspects of the free culture movement, especially Wikimania projects (though related topics are very welcome).

On August 6, at lunch on the last day of Wikimania 2006, eight doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences, from around the world (Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Taiwan, U.S.--Georgia, Boston, Chicago), discussed our research and work on Wiki projects. We found we clearly share common interests and the desire to collaborate somehow. We came up with various ways to collaborate.

While a group of graduate students originated the following, we welcome other grad students, professors, independent researchers, undergraduates, and interested lay persons (and techies!!!) to share in discussions and work.

Here are some of our ideas.



Various collaborative projects are mentioned on the Research page, such as: the General User Survey.

The following are possible additional ways that we may collaborate. (Active collaborations are those in which some of us will participate soon, linking up with other efforts, hopefully.)


  • [Active] Conferences - engage in ongoing discussions and yearly online conference(s) (on the 1/2 year from Wikimania, approx. in early February) and yearly in-person social research conferences immediately preceding Wikimania in August (and in conjunction with the techie Hacking Days).
  • [Active] Wikipedia - collaborative writing and editing
  • Wikibooks - collecting and editing papers and wiki articles
  • Wikiversity - educational efforts and seminars
  • Social research in and of MediaWiki and its development - study, suggestions and recommendations (for technical aspects, see development tasks)
  • Research Projects and related activities sponsored by the Wikimedia Foundation or somehow(?) through the Wikimedia Research Network
  • (add possible collaboration here)

Independent Research

  • [Active-soon] Research Project Reports - share ongoing reports on our existing projects and share evaluations of our projects and other projects in a to-be-determined media
  • Theory - ongoing dialog and collaborative writing of background and exploratory essays
  • Methods - discussion, data sharing, assistance and collaboration
  • Dissertations - sharing any of the above to assist each other in thesis and dissertation work
  • Publications - co-authoring (small groups and whole group) of various theory and research papers
  • New Independent Research Projects - many projects are possible; however, new projects raise issues such as organizational sponsorship and IRB approval (relating to ethics of research on human subjects)
  • (add possible collaboration here)

(Suggestion: Let's keep this page as an outline for now. Feel free to add and edit this. Please discuss on the Talk page).



Add your name here if you would like to discuss or engage in any of the above collaborations. If you have active research project(s), please add your name on the Research page and describe your research there.

  • Andrea Forte (Andicat), Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Antonella Elia (Antonellaelia), University of Naples, Federico II
  • Martin Hellberg Olsson (Ever wonder), University of Ghent
  • Cormac Lawler (Cormaggio), University of Manchester
  • Doug Morris (Reswik), Loyola University Chicago
  • Elijah Meeks (Elijahmeeks), University of California, Merced
  • Elisabeth Bauer (Elian), Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitaet
  • Jason Pramas (Jpramas), University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Said Kassem Hamideh (Saidkassem), University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • Rut Jesus (vulpeto), University of Copenhagen
  • Mayo Fuster Morell (Lilaroja), European University Institute
  • Stuart French (kurokaze204), University of South Australia
  • Johanna Niesyto (Jojoona), University of Siegen
  • Michail Tsikerdekis (Tsikerdekis), University of Kentucky
  • Mohammed Sadat Abdulai (Masssly), University of Ghana, Regent University College of Science and Technology

Discussion Topics


Areas of Interest


What are you interested in collaborating about regarding free culture and wikis? (Please add and expand on points.)

  • Collaboration and cooperation: What, how, why?
  • Free culture movement: Social movement perspectives
    • Counter publics on Wikipedia
  • Culture of wikis
    • Culture of publics: wiki use as practice of making connections to the 'political'
    • Translingual practices
    • Business Cultures that encourage successful wiki use and transition
  • Expertise: Lay experts and professionals
  • Epistemology: The effect of transparency on knowledge creation and adoption
  • History: of Wikipedia, of peer collaboration
  • Legal issues
  • Political structure and processes of working groups
  • Wiki text and its discursive properties: dissonance, coherence, actor-network theory
  • Social production
  • Socio-linguistics
  • Theories: Various theories and theoreticians

Media Issues

  • Wiki and/or Bliki: What is the best online format and location to discuss online collaborative work by graduate students and their colleagues: a project webspace like this or a blog-wiki (bliki)?
  • Chatting: How often? Where to post chat logs?
  • Online Conference: Who and how to organize the online social science/ humanities conference for February? (Note: There could be a techie track too.) Do a participatory planning process to decide tracks and format?
  • Institutional Review: It seems that each researcher must be responsible for obtaining approval from their institutional review process for their research project, when working with human subjects. This is a necessary step.
  • Attribution and Level of Involvement: It is fine for grad students to lurk here. It is fine to participate only partly. Some few of us will be very active. How do we track and give attribution on co-written works? What copyleft(s) to use?



There are various bibliographies on wiki and free culture research, such as:

For our group, as a way to point to common interests (but also to share interests), we could list ten to twenty most recommended readings. (We could compile our favorite references and vote on favorite items to list. This needs a sub-page.) To start, here are some interesting books. Feel free to add suggestions and key articles. What do you think is important to read/review?:

  • Axelrod, Robert. 1985. The Evolution of Cooperation. Basic Books.
  • Benkler, Yochai. 2006. The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. Yale University Press.
  • Bray, John et al. 2000. Collaborative Inquiry in Practice: Action, Reflection, and Making Meaning. Sage Publications.
  • Darder, Antonia, Rodolfo D. Torres, and Marta Baltodano, eds. 2002. The Critical Pedagogy Reader. Falmer Press.
  • Feenberg, Andrew. 1999. Questioning Technology. Routledge.
  • Fox Keller, Evelyn. 1996. Reflections on Gender and Science: Tenth Anniversary Paperback Edition. Yale University Press.
  • Freire, Paulo. 2000. Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Harding, Sandra. 1998. Is Science Multicultural? Postcolonialisms, Feminisms, and Epistemologies. Indiana University Press.
  • Lessig, Lawrence. 2005. Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity. Penguin.
  • Kellner, Douglas. 1995. Media Culture. Routledge.
  • Knorr Cetina, Karin. 1999. Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge. Harvard University Press.
  • Polletta, Francesca. 2004. Freedom Is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements. University Of Chicago Press.
  • Poovey, Mary. 1998. A History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences of Wealth and Society. The University of Chicago Press.
  • Willinsky, John. 2005. The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship. MIT Press.

Invitation and Feedback


So, we have discussions to organize and lots of fun to be enjoyed. Comments?

Please place comments on Talk page.