Social capital increases efficiency of collaboration among Wikipedia editors

Published on Jun 6, 2011 in Hypertext (ACM Conference on Hypertext)
· DOI :10.1145/1995966.1995997
Keiichi Nemoto4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Fuji Xerox),
Peter A. Gloor27
Estimated H-index: 27
(MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology),
Robert Laubacher12
Estimated H-index: 12
(MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
In this study we measure the impact of pre-existing social capital on the efficiency of collaboration among Wikipedia editors. To construct a social network among Wikipedians we look to mutual interaction on the user talk pages of Wikipedia editors. As our data set, we analyze the communication networks associated with 3085 featured articles - the articles of highest quality in the English Wikipedia, comparing it to the networks of 80154 articles of lower quality. As the metric to assess the quality of collaboration, we measure the time of quality promotion from when an article is started until it is promoted to featured article. The study finds that the higher pre-existing social capital of editors working on an article is, the faster the articles they work on reach higher quality status, such as featured articles. The more cohesive and more centralized the collaboration network, and the more network members were already collaborating before starting to work together on an article, the faster the article they work on will be promoted or featured.
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