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Workshop on Wikipedia & Research- Open Knowledge Conference 2011

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Workshop at the Open Knowledge Conference: June 30th, at 14:00 in Workshop Wikipedia & Research: The innovative character of Wikipedia research and the new challenges (and opportunities) associated with it

Report on this workshop is available at:

In 2011, Wikipedia celebrated its tenth anniversary as one of the world’s ten most visited websites and as one of the more active communities on the web. Particularly since 2005, there has been an increasing interest within the scientific community in researching Wikipedia. A recent review of Wikipedia literature resulted in 2,100 peer-reviewed articles and 38 doctoral theses related to Wikipedia ( Quantitative analysis of large data sets and on the English version of Wikipedia was the predominant approach in early empirical research on Wikipedia.,The focus was then expanded to conducting research on other language versions, covering a larger variety of issues, such as socio-political questions, and also adopting qualitative methods. In conjunction, the research on Wikipedia constituted a substantial body of research in itself which allowed researchers (and communities) to better and critically understand Wikimedia projects functioning from a plurality of perspectives, and to advance our knowledge on issues that go beyond Wikipedia itself. Research in a sense (and under certain conditions) is becoming a way of contributing to the Wikimedia movement. Furthermore, the community of (more or less committed) researchers on Wikipedia is growing, together with the willingness to collaborate, the synergy between research initiatives of various kinds, and the willingness to continue innovating (in what is already constituting one of the leading node of methodological innovation); a Wikimedia research “informational common” is growing, as it also increases the promotion of research from the Wikimedia Foundation (such as with the creation of the Research Committee) and Wikimedia chapters (such as the performance of surveys by Amical Viquipedia or the German Wikimedia participation in the Render project).

But new problems have also emerged, such as information overload, the lack of coordination between the various research efforts, and tensions between community members and certain researchers’ needs (for example on the question of subject recruitment, or on the publication policy of researchers and the need to maintain their positions in academia). In sum, Wikipedia research has increased substantially, and in the process has become an important area for experimentation and research innovation, but also faces new challenges associated with progression.

The workshop will focus on addressing the stage of Wikipedia research and in general common – based peer production (less focused on the content than on the methodologies and research process itself) and the innovations, problems and new insights regarding (action) research on common-based peer production. The workshop is organized in collaboration between the Research Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation, German Wikimedia and Amical Viquipedia (Catalan Wikimedia). It will consist of a set of brief presentations (including Mayo Fuster Morell Research Committee WMF member, presentation from wikimedia german chapter, and Mako Benjamin Hill, Wikimedia Foundation Advisory Board and intellectual property researcher at MIT, among others) and “networking” discussions towards action.

Contact: Mayo Fuster Morell ( / en:User:Lilaroja

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