The influence of network structures of Wikipedia discussion pages on the efficiency of WikiProjects


As a platform for discussion and communication, talk pages play an essential role in Wikipedia to facilitate coordination, sharing of information and knowledge resources among Wikipedians. In this work we explore the influence of network structures of these pages on the efficiency of WikiProjects. Project efficiency is measured as the amount of work done by project members in a quarter. The study uses the comments on WikiProject talk pages to construct communication networks. The structural properties of these networks are studied using ideas from social network theory. We develop three hypotheses about how network structures influence project effectiveness and examine the hypotheses using a longitudinal dataset of 362 WikiProjects. The evaluation suggests that an intermediate level of cohesion with a core of influential users dominating network flow improves effectiveness for a WikiProject, and that greater average membership tenure relates to project efficiency in a positive way. We discuss the implications of this analysis for the future management of WikiProjects.

Social Networks