Questionnaire of the Wikipedia Editor Survey 2012

Hereafter is the text of the questions and answer options for the 2012 Wikipedia (and Commons) Editor Survey. The questionnaire has been finalized, the provided translations have been reviewed and the survey has launched, but feedback is still welcome on the talk page, and corrections made to the translations here on Meta can still be imported into the live survey. Numbers in brackets refer to the December 2011 questionnaire (see differences).


Because a main purpose of this survey is to track changes from last year, a large part of the questionnaire consists of repetitions from the last editor survey, so translations from back then are being reused. Translations for the new part (mostly, this is the entirely new section V) were prepared off-wiki in German, Spanish, French, Russian, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Polish and Arabic, and on-wiki in Hebrew, for review by the community (solicited by translation notifications). Entirely new translations were provided for Swedish and Ukrainian. The import script generates the traditional Chinese version (zh-hant) from the simplified Chinese one (zh) on the fly using automatic version; therefore there is no separate on-wiki version for zh-hant and corrections to the zh version should be automatically reflected in the zh-hant version as well.

Note that translations could only be used for languages which are also supported in the interface of Qualtrics, the survey platform we are using. Qualtrics currently supports:

Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Bosnian, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, English - UK, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Mongolian, Myanmar, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh.


Thank you for taking the 2012 Editor Survey. You have made Wikipedia and its sister projects what they are, and your responses in this survey will help to make them even better. Our goal is to use this survey to help improve your editing experience and that of other editors. We will publicly share the results after the survey is complete.

The survey will take you approximately 15 minutes to complete. We realize that this is a significant request of your time, and we want to thank you in advance for your support in collecting valuable information that will help us all!

You have been invited to complete this survey because you were logged in at the time you received the notice. We used the public wiki API to determine your edit count, year of registration, and admin or reviewer status and will associate these data points with your responses through the use of a random anonymous identifier. We do not associate your user ID, IP address, or any other personal information with your responses.

Collection and use of information

By answering these questions, you permit us to record your responses and agree to donate them to the public domain. This allows us to freely share your answers with others for the purpose of open analysis, research, and study. This survey does not require you to provide any personally identifiable information such as your name, address, phone number, or email. (Please do not incorporate your personal information in any response to a question.)

This survey is being conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia. By answering our questions, you consent to the transfer of your responses to the United States of America and other places as may be necessary to carry out the objectives of this project.

If you have any questions about this survey, or concerns about confidentiality, please feel free to contact


1. (D2a) Have you EVER edited Wikipedia?

  • 1. Yes
  • 0. No
  • 2. I’m not sure

[ASK ONLY if #1 = "Yes":]

2. (D2b) In what year did you start contributing to Wikipedia?


3. (D5) In which country do you live?


4. (D7) What are your primary language(s)? Please choose all that apply.

  • ...

[SECTION II and IV: conditional on respondent coming from a Wikipedia project]


The next few questions are about your participation in Wikipedia.

5. (Q1a) Which language versions of Wikipedia do you CONTRIBUTE to? Please choose all that apply.



6. (Q1b) Which language version of Wikipedia do you PRIMARILY CONTRIBUTE to? Please choose ONE.

  • ...

7. (Q2a) Which language versions of Wikipedia do you READ? Please choose all that apply.



8. (Q2b) Which language version of Wikipedia do you PRIMARILY READ? Please choose ONE.

  • ...

9. (Q4a, some replies slightly reworded) We are interested in finding out more about your recent participation in Wikipedia and the Wikipedia community. For each of the following activities, please indicate how often you have participated in it in the last 30 days.


  • Not at all
  • Seldom
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very often


a. I write new articles.
b. I add content to existing articles.
c. I fix formatting, spelling and grammar, or make other minor edits to articles.
d. I do translation work.
e. I patrol for vandalism, copyright violations, or other problems with articles.
f. I answer readers’ questions and complaints.
g. I resolve disputes among volunteers (e.g. mediation, arbitration).
h. I organize or help to organize events, workshops, meet-ups, or the annual Wikimania conferences.
i. I do public outreach or advocacy outside the Wikipedia community.
j. I do technical work such as maintaining servers or software.
k. I participate in chapter work.
l. I participate in discussions about articles.
m. I develop or maintain policies, guidelines and similar community processes.

10. (Q4b) Below is a similar list of activities. Please indicate how often you have participated in the following activities in the last 30 days.


  • Not at all
  • Seldom
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very Often


a. I upload or edit media, images, maps, etc.
b. I conduct quality review and assess articles for featured article selection.
c. I participate in deletion processes such as speedy deletion, proposed deletion and articles for deletion discussion.
d. I work on the help desk or do other work to welcome new editors.
e. Other, please specify: ______

[NEW QUESTION] 12. On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend editing Wikipedia as an activity to a friend or colleague?

0. Not at all likely


10. Extremely likely



12a. If you think back at half a year ago: [RANDOMIZE FIRST TWO QUESTIONS]

a. Did you witness more or less conflict in the community than today?
b. Did you feel more or less motivated to contribute to Wikipedia than today?
c. (cf. Q7a) Were you more or less active on Wikipedia compared to now? [ANCHOR]
  • more
  • less
  • same



12b. (Q7b) Why did you become less active on Wikipedia? Please choose all that apply.


a. I don’t have time.
b. I spend more time on other online activities like Facebook, blogging, Twitter etc.
c. I spend more time on other offline activities like reading, spending time with my family and friends etc.
d. It is a waste of my time since my edits will be reverted or deleted.
e. I think I don’t have enough expertise to contribute.
f. Other people are doing it, so I don’t have to do it.
g. I don’t want to edit the work of other editors.
h. I am happy to read, and I don’t feel the need to contribute.
i. I choose not to spend my time editing.
j. I don’t edit because of conflicts with other editors.
k. The rules and guidelines for editing have become too complicated.
l. There isn't enough interaction or communication with other editors.
m. I keep getting warnings and other kinds of discouraging notifications.
n. I spend more time on school and/or academic work.
o. I don't think it needs more content.
p. Other, please specify: ______ [ANCHOR]


13. (cut down from Q8) Which of the following electronic devices do you own?


a. A desktop PC, laptop computer or netbook
b. A tablet device such as an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab
c. A mobile phone (cellphone)
d. None of the above [ANCHOR, MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE]

[ASK ONLY IF Q8a(d)=1]

13b. (Q8b) Do you own a smartphone such as iPhone, Android, or Blackberry?

1. Yes
0. No


These next questions are about your interactions with other Wikipedia editors and your experiences as a member of the Wikipedia community.

14. (Q17) We are interested in finding out how you would describe fellow editors. Below is a list of words to describe editors within the Wikipedia community. Please choose the TOP TWO words that describe Wikipedia editors. Please select two.


a. Helpful
b. Friendly
c. Collaborative
d. Rude
e. Unfriendly
f. Intelligent
g. Dumb
h. Arrogant

15. (Q20a) If you had to choose, which of these would you agree with: [QT=SS]


1. The feedback from other editors through reverts, discussions, etc. has helped me become a better editor.
2. The feedback from other editors through reverts, discussions, etc. has been a bad experience for me.
3. Neither [ANCHOR]

16a. (Q22a) Have you asked fellow editors for help on any of the following topics?


1. Yes
0. No


a. Editorial policy
b. Technical help, including wiki markup, multimedia etc.
c. Asking others to edit an article that you are working on or interested in
d. Reference related questions
e. Content related questions


16b. (Q22b) Thinking about the last time you asked a fellow editor for help, how happy were you with the help you received?

5. Extremely happy
4. Very happy
3. Neither happy or unhappy
2. Very unhappy
1. Extremely unhappy

17. (Q23) Below, we list some problems that have been identified with Wikimedia culture. Which of them are the most important problems that have affected you personally, making it harder for you to edit? Please pick UP TO THREE of them.


a. Too many rules and policies
b. Editors who feel like they "own" specific articles, and don't want others to contribute to them
c. The editing interface is hard to use
d. Editors who are not fun to work with
e. The software for doing maintenance tasks (such as patrolling and fighting vandalism or spam) is too hard to use
f. Lack of support from other editors
g. Lack of access to research materials like scholarly articles and books
h. Criticism of you and your work, including reverts and deletions
i. Warning messages on your talk page
j. Harassment by other editors

18. (Q25, slightly reworded) Below is a list of impressions editors may get from their experience with Wikipedia. Please select ALL that apply.


a. I understand what is expected from me
b. I am provided with the tools and materials I need to work well
c. I have the opportunity to do what I do best
d. Someone cares about me as a person
e. I feel my opinion counts
f. The mission of Wikipedia makes me feel that my work is important
g. My fellow volunteers are committed to doing quality work
h. There is somebody in the Wikipedia community who seems committed to helping me do good work
i. The decisions I have made as part of the community feel fair
j. I would recommend a friend to get involved in Wikipedia


19. If you had to name one thing that motivates you most to contribute to Wikipedia, what would it be? [FREE-FORM]


20. How much time have you spent contributing to Wikipedia during the last seven days (approximately)?

[Text] hours____

[Text] minutes____

Performance of different parts of the movement

[Asked of all respondents, including those from Commons]

Finally, we would like to know what you think about the different participants of the Wikimedia community.

On a 0-10 scale with 0 being NOT AT ALL GOOD and 10 being EXTREMELY GOOD, how would you rate... T1 … the performance of Wikimedia volunteers overall, in contributing to the Wikimedia movement?

_________ 0 - 10
99 I don’t know

T2 … the performance of the Wikimedia Foundation, in contributing to the Wikimedia movement?

_________ 0 - 10
99 I don’t know

T3 … the performance of the Wikimedia chapters, in contributing to the Wikimedia movement?

_________ 0 - 10
99 I don’t know

T4 … your own performance, in contributing to the Wikimedia movement?

_________ 0 - 10
99 I don’t know



The Wikimedia Foundation supports a group of sites, including Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, in addition to eight other educational content sites, in more than 280 languages. The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to develop free and publicly available educational content and to disseminate it globally.

F1. How familiar are you with the Wikimedia Foundation?

This is the first I have heard about the Wikimedia Foundation.
I’m somewhat familiar with the Wikimedia Foundation.
I’m quite familiar with the Wikimedia Foundation.
I’m quite familiar with the Wikimedia Foundation and have regular interactions with the Foundation.

F2. How well do you believe the Foundation supports:

English Wikipedia?
Wikipedia sites in other languages?
Wikimedia Commons?
Other Wikimedia sites like Wiktionary, Wikiquote, etc.?
1 Very well
2 Somewhat well
3 Not very well
4 Not at all
0 I’m not sure

F3. How much do you agree with the following statements?

The Foundation and its staff are part of the Wikimedia community.
The Foundation does an acceptable job communicating with the Wikimedia community.
The Foundation involves the Wikimedia community in the decision-making process on major initiatives.
Strongly Agree
Somewhat Agree
Somewhat Disagree
Strongly Disagree
0. I’m not sure / It’s complicated

F4. All in all, do you think the Foundation is generally headed in the right direction, or is it off on the wrong track?

1 Right direction
2 Wrong track
0 I don’t know


Below is a list of recent Wikimedia Foundation activities. For each, you will be asked to agree or disagree with a few statements.

R1. Technology Support: The Foundation hosts Wikipedia and its sister sites and implements technological improvements. This includes maintaining servers and other hardware, performing routine replacements and other scheduled maintenance, and non-routine activities, such as upgrading technology, providing for the development of the software the websites run on.

R2. Wikimedia Foundation Grants Program: The Foundation funds grants to chapters, aligned groups and individuals for activities that support its mission across the globe. The application for a grant is an open process, with funding requests posted publicly for community comment. Public reports of grant results are required.

R3. Community Advocacy: The Foundation actively looks for and supports activities to make life easier for readers and editors. In addition to technical tools, this can include tools or advice to make volunteers feel supported in how to handle particular situations.

R4. Legal Protection: The Wikimedia legal team defends the articles and other media on the Wikimedia sites against legal threats worldwide. It also fights for freely licensed and public domain content. In addition, the team protects the Wikimedia trademarks globally, including suing cybersquatters who attempt to profit off of Wikimedia domain names.

R5. Global Education Programs: These programs encourage students to contribute to Wikimedia sites as part of their scheduled university curriculum. The aim is to increase quality contributions to Wikimedia from diverse sources. To date, the program has been replicated in six countries (piloted in seven others) by the Wikimedia Foundation, chapters and individual volunteers.

R6. Mobile: The Wikimedia Foundation supports the expansion of Wikipedia for mobiles by creating mobile sites and apps that can be used effectively, building specialized tools for mobile contribution, and creating partnerships with mobile operators in Africa, Asia and Latin America to provide free access to Wikipedia to those using their mobile phones.

R7. Investing in the Global South: The Wikimedia Foundation is working to help communities in high potential, but under-represented languages and geographies to catalyze the growth of locally important Wikimedia projects. The aim is to test approaches that could, over time, accelerate growth across the Global South. There is program work starting in India, Brazil and the Arabic language region.

A. I knew the Foundation did this.

1 Yes
2 No
0 I’m not sure

B. I believe that the Foundation’s involvement in this activity makes sense.

1 Agree
2 Disagree
0 I’m not sure

C. I think the Foundation has done a good job with this activity.

1 Strongly Agree
2 Somewhat Agree
3 Somewhat Disagree
4 Strongly Disagree
0 I’m not sure


P1. Below is a list of possible priorities. Please consider how important each of the below should be for the Foundation.

a Broadening Wikimedia’s editing base by increasing the number of new editors that join
b Keeping our existing editors
c Making editing easier
d Recruiting and supporting female editors
e Supporting the expansion of Wikipedias in languages other than English
f Supporting the expansion of other Wikimedia projects, like Wiktionary, Wikiquote, etc.
g Increasing the number of people around the world who use the Wikimedia sites on a regular basis.
h Improving Wikimedia access and editing capabilities for mobile phones and tablets
i Defending content on the Wikimedia sites against legal threats
j Expanding Education Programs to encourage students to write articles for Wikipedia
k Supporting the growth of local, independent Wikimedia organizations worldwide
l Creating and managing a “legal defense fund” to assist with paying legal bills if administrators are sued.
1 Not important
2 Somewhat important
3 Very important
9 Not an appropriate priority for the Foundation
0 I don’t know

P2. Is there anything you think the Foundation should work on that you didn’t see listed above?

P3. (Q30) We are interested in your opinion on how the Wikimedia Foundation should spend money. If you donated 100 dollars to the Foundation, how would you like the Foundation to allocate money for the following? (Please ensure that all the responses add up to $ 100.)



a. Technical operations (more operations staff, new caching servers, performance metrics, uptime)
b. Technical features development for EXPERIENCED editors
c. Technical features development for NEW editors
d. Technical features development for READERS
e. Community work aimed at attracting/supporting editors globally
f. Community work aimed at attracting/supporting editors in Global South
g. Community work aimed at attracting/supporting editors in my country
h. Grantmaking to Wikimedians or groups like other non-profits
i. Support for other sister projects, not just Wikipedia
j. Other, please specify: ______



Before we finish, some questions about yourself.

21. (D9) How old are you?

______ years [this will be a drop down box from 18 and up]
Decline to state

22. (D10) What is the highest level of education you have completed?

Primary education (elementary, primary, middle school or junior high school, etc.)
Secondary education (high school, A-levels, apprenticeship, etc.)
Tertiary education undergraduate (diploma, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree)
Graduate education (master’s)
Graduate education (doctorate)

23. (D11) Are you currently enrolled in school or university?

1. Yes
0. No

24. (D12) Are you employed?

1. Yes, I am working full-time.
2. Yes, I am working part-time.
3. No, I am not currently employed.

25. (D13) Are you married, do you have a partner, or are you single?

1. I am married.
2. I have a partner, but I am not married.
3. I am single.

26. (D14) Do you have children?

1. Yes, I have children
0. No, I don’t have children

27. (D15) What is your gender?

1. Male
2. Female
3. Transsexual
4. Transgender
5. Prefer not to say


Thank you very much for participating in the survey! The data will be anonymized and results will be released into the public domain. Check back for the survey's outcomes in the coming months on the <a href="">Wikimedia blog</a>. You can find more information about Wikimedia Foundation initiatives <a href="">here</a>. If you have suggestions how to improve future issues of this survey, go <a href="">here</a>.

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