Who does what: Collaboration patterns in the wikipedia and their impact on article quality
The quality of Wikipedia articles is debatable. On the one hand, existing research indicates that not only are people willing to contribute articles but the quality of these articles is close to that found in conventional encyclopedias. On the other hand, the public has never stopped criticizing the quality of Wikipedia articles, and critics never have trouble finding low-quality Wikipedia articles. Why do Wikipedia articles vary widely in quality? We investigate the relationship between collaboration and Wikipedia article quality. We show that the quality of Wikipedia articles is not only dependent on the different types of contributors but also on how they collaborate. Based on an empirical study, we classify contributors based on their roles in editing individual Wikipedia articles. We identify various patterns of collaboration based on the provenance or, more specifically, who does what to Wikipedia articles. Our research helps identify collaboration patterns that are preferable or detrimental for article quality, thus providing insights for designing tools and mechanisms to improve the quality of Wikipedia articles.