Co-authorship 2.0: Patterns of collaboration in Wikipedia

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Presented at: HT 2011: 22nd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia, June 2011, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

By David Laniado and Riccardo Tasso


The study of collaboration patterns in wikis can help shed light on the process of content creation by online communities. To turn a wiki's revision history into a collaboration network, we propose an algorithm that identifies as authors of a page the users who provided the most of its relevant content, measured in terms of quantity and of acceptance by the community. The scalability of this approach allows us to study the English Wikipedia community as a co-authorship network. We find evidence of the presence of a nucleus of very active contributors, who seem to spread over the whole wiki, and to interact preferentially with inexperienced users. The fundamental role played by this elite is witnessed by the growing centrality of sociometric stars in the network. Isolating the community active around a category, it is possible to study its specific dynamics and most influential authors.

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