Research:Deleted Pages Analysis

Heather Ford
Mark Graham
Duration:  2012-01 – 2012-12
Open data project  Open data
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This page documents a planned research project.
Information may be incomplete and change before the project starts.

Key PersonnelEdit

Project SummaryEdit

The ideal that commentators project about Wikipedia is of a unified group of rational, detached, individual editors building a neutral, free encyclopaedia that is “the sum of all human knowledge”. But the organic nature of the encyclopaedia, its culture, politics and architecture have produced and continue to produce an encyclopaedia in which particular tactics, identities and relationships, many of which are in defiance of original rules, often prevail over reasoned and rational dialogue. Wikipedia still has a number of “dark spots”: from uneven geographies of articles written about places (Graham, 2011), to low numbers of female contributors (Lam et al, 2011) and vastly different levels of quality (Duguid, 2006). But there are other dark spots too – spots within the encyclopaedia itself: knowledges that are silenced, perspectives that are marginalised and people that are banned.

Who wins and who loses in this open environment? How do culture, politics, regulations, architecture and identity influence who wins or loses? And what does this mean for the way we think about online collaboration, its power and pitfalls? In the first stage of this project, we will conduct an analysis of AFDs and CSDs relating to places to discover whether information about specific places is being consistently silenced or not.


We will analyse AFD discussions and deleted pages and grab metadata relating to places and then plot them on a world map


We will share our findings under a Creative Commons license.

Wikimedia Policies, Ethics, and Human Subjects ProtectionEdit

Benefits for the Wikimedia communityEdit

This will be helpful for understanding whether there are any geographic patterns relating to articles that are deleted in either of Wikipedia's deletion processes.

Time LineEdit



External linksEdit