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The Community Health Metrics Kit is a project being investigated by the Trust and Safety team, in collaboration with the Community health initiative, at the Wikimedia Foundation. The ultimate goal is a public suite of statistics and data documenting the relative health of Wikimedia communities on a per-project basis. This project was researched in the 2018–19 financial year, and will inform further development of community metrics in the future.


As a movement, Wikimedians have always measured aspects of their communities. Data points such as editor activity levels, new users, and editor retention have been regularly collected. While these metrics provide some useful indications about the health of a project, they do not give major insights into challenges and specific areas needing improvement. The Community Health Initiative wants to build on the metrics work already done by individual contributors, affiliate groups, academics and researchers, and the Wikimedia Foundation.

This project has two primary goals:

  1. to have regularly updated quantitative statistics that provide useful insights into aspects of a community’s health, and
  2. to provide better qualitative options for finding insights that can’t effectively be measured through quantitative approaches.

This kit and the data it will contain will be targeted towards two major audiences:

  1. The local and global communities, in order to ascertain the relative health of their projects and to more easily identify the early signs of an unhealthy community; and
  2. The Wikimedia Foundation, who may make use of the data (now in one centralised place) to better identify trends in community health and direct development efforts towards solving problems.

Chúng ta đang ở đâu: Tư vấn

Date Stage
July–August 2018 Metrics definitions; brainstorming; internal publicising
September 2018 Design involvement; determining location; community consultation on metrics
October–December 2018 Further work on design; community discussions to continue
January–March 2019 Technical implementation, prototyping
Before end of June 2019 Launch of Metrics Kit

This project is currently at the design and consultation phase. At this point, we have a rough idea of who this project is for (local community members interested in judging the relative health of their communities/projects, and Wikimedia Foundation staff interested in monitoring this health for things like tool or policy development). We also have a rough shortlist of metrics we'd like the kit to include. That is where we need your help.

How to give feedback

While we have set up the framework for this and put down our ideas, this project will suffer without the community's knowledge and expertise. Here, we are asking you to give us feedback on our ideas and to offer your own.

Please use the discussion page of this project for your feedback. To make it easier, we have set up a number of sections there for the aspects of this project about which we are most excited to hear your opinions. One of those sections is titled Other feedback, because we might miss things otherwise. Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions in one, several or all of the sections! Thank you in advance for your thoughtful insights!

How to engage deeper

In addition to asking for feedback on what we do, we are also looking for volunteers who like to work more closely with us on the project. There are several ways you can engage, if you are interested:

  • You can work with us to refine the way we gather the data in one or more fields for all the Wiki communities
  • You can help find bugs and mistakes we may make
  • You can get our support to understand your own community better through community health metrics
  • You can help spread the knowledge about those new metrics throughout the wikiverse

If you are interested in investing time into this project on one or more of those issues on a mid to longterm basis, please sign up under the corresponding section of the discussion page!

How we will use the results

Your feedback at this stage will directly affect our thinking with regards to this project. As one of the major audiences for this work, the community's insight is naturally invaluable. As such, it will all be taken aboard and used to guide the future of this project as we focus on its design and usecases.


We're currently looking at metrics that reflect community health. These will be informed by comments and suggestions made during this consultation, as well as by individual user interviews and other design research methods. Right now, we're looking at metrics reflecting things like:

  • Active administrator and user statistics;
  • Backlog statistics (compared with the number of people working on them);
  • Statistics already used to compare Wikimedia projects with each other (such as Wikipedia article depth);
  • Rates of vandalism, blocks, and other administrative tasks;
  • Other metrics we haven't yet come up with :)


Community Health Metrics Kit prototype screenshot, individual wiki screen
Community Health Metrics Kit prototype screenshot, all wikis screen
Two screenshots from the prototype as it presently exists.

We've spent a little time thinking about how this kit might ultimately look and be used by members of the community. Our requirements for this project are that it is:

  • Findable: It should be easy for community members to find and make use of in their work.
  • Readable/Accessible: It should be simple to read and absorb the information it is attempting to impart.
  • Up-to-date: It should be updated live (or at least regularly), automatically and with minimal maintenance.
  • Translatable: It should be available to users in as many languages as possible (ideally beginning with the UN standard languages), and be available for users to supply translations where none exist.

Right now, we are thinking of hosting this data on Toolforge, as that option would cover most of the above requirements. We are aware that many of the metrics points we'd like this kit to hit are already collected by Wikistats, and we imagine the finished product would likely turn out quite similar to this in look, feel, and target demographic.

Original plans

Building on existing work

Some top-level community insights are part of the WikiStats portal. This platform provides data on:

  • Total unique devices
  • Top-viewed articles
  • Newly registered users
  • New pages
  • Edits
  • Editors
  • Edited pages
  • Net bytes difference
  • Absolute bytes difference

The Community Engagement Insights survey provides a window into a number of community health aspects, and provides useful demographic information as well.

Individual projects and contributors have used various approaches and API queries to gain specific insights about specific workflows and issues. Examples include the English Wikipedia’s AdminStats and this analysis of Adminstrator numbers and ratios on the different Wikipedias.

There is a large body of past research projects that deal primarily with topics of community health, or look at related aspects and issues.  We have collated some of that here in this table; if we have missed something, please add to this subpage!

Research name Date begun Date published Qual. or Quant.? Topic Contact/Author Relevance
How much do Wikipedians value editing Wikipedia? 2017-12 2018-05 Qualitative Editor satisfaction Jana Gallus; Avinash Gannamaneni; Aaron Halfaker High
Growth and diversity of Technology team audiences 2017-11 2018-05 Qualitative Technical contributors satisfaction Jonathan Morgan High
Holder Administration in anderen Sprachversionen AdminCon 2018 N/A 2018-03 Quantitative Administrators User:Holder High
The Keilana Effect: Visualizing the closing coverage gaps with ORES N/A 2017-08 Quantitative Gender gap Aaron Halfaker; Emily Temple-Woods High
Wikimedia CH Community Survey 2016 2016-12 2017-02 Qualitative Community Survey Wikimedia CH High
New editor support strategies 2016-05 2016-10 Qualitative New Editors Jonathan Morgan; Joe Matazzoni; Pau Giner High
Becoming Wikidatians: evolution of participation in a collaborative structured knowledge base 2016-05 2016-10 Qualitative New Editors Alessandro Piscopo, et al. High
Impact of The Wikipedia Adventure on new editor retention 2014-11 2016-10 Qualitative New Editors Sneha Narayan, et al. Medium
Online Community Conduct Policies 2016-03 2016-06 Qualitative Conduct policies in other online communities Patrick Earley; Karen Brown Medium
Teahouse long term new editor retention 2015-11 2016-05 Qualitative Editor satisfaction Rebecca O’Neill High
Survey of user in Ireland 2015-09 2016-05 Both Editor retention Jonathan Morgan; Aaron Halfaker High
Wikimedia Nederlands survey (2015) N/A 2016-04 Qualitative Community Survey Wikimedia Nederland High
Wikimedia CH Community Survey 2015 2016-01 2016-02 Qualitative Community Survey Verena Linder High
Wikimedia Deutschland Editor Survey 2016 2015-06 2016-02 Qualitative Community Survey Wikimedia CH High
Monthly wikimedia editor activity dataset 2015-04 2015-08 Quantitative Editor activity Aaron Halfaker Medium
Active editor spike 2015 (July update) N/A 2015-07 Qualitative General - Community Health Haitham Shamma; María Cruz High
Community Health learning campaign 2015-07 2015-07 Quantitative Editor activity Aaron Halfaker Medium
VisualEditor's effect on newly registered editors (May 2015 study) 2015-06 2015-05 Quantitative New editors Aaron Halfaker Medium
Active editor spike 2015 2015-03 2015-04 Quantitative Editor activity Aaron Halfaker; Dario Taraborelli Medium
Global South User Survey 2014 2014-09 2015-02 Qualitative Community Survey Haitham Shammaa High
Talk Sentiment Analysis: Editor Retention and Editing Prediction 2014-10 2014-12 Qualitative Editor retention Sergio Martinez-Ortuno; Lars Roemheld; Deepak Menghani; Leila Zia Medium
The Role of Wikipedia Mentorship Programs in the Newcomer Experience 2014-07 2014-12 Qualitative New Users Gabriel Mugar with Chris Schilling and Aaron Halfaker Medium
Wikipedia Gender Inequality Index 2014-06 2014-12 Quantitative Gender Gap Piotr Konieczny Medium
Communicating on Wikipedia while female 2014-11 2014-11 Qualitative Gender gap Laura Hale High
Framing Support for Newcomers 2014-07 2014-10 Qualitative New Users Yla Tausczik; Jonathan Morgan Low
Asking anonymous editors to register 2014-03 2014-10 Qualitative New Users Aaron Halfaker Medium
Non-finite Processes in Human Social Phenomena 2012-10 2014-10 Qualitative Cooperation Simon DeDeo High
Women and Wikipedia 2014-01 2014-09 Qualitative Gender Gap Amanda Menking; Jonathan Morgan High
Women and Wikipedia: Contributions in a Collaborative Online Space 2012-03 2014-05 Quantitative Gendergap Melanie Kill Low
Wikimedia Community Visualization N/A 2013-12 Quantitative Editor activity Haitham Shammaa High
Newcomer survival models 2013-09 2013-09 Qualitative Editor retention/New editors Aaron Halfaker High
Onboarding new Wikipedians/OB6 2013-09 2013-09 Quantitative New Editors Aaron Halfaker Low
Exploring editing dynamics in different language Wikipedias – Towards a substantive grounded theory 2013-05 2013-08 Qualitative Social dynamics Pasko Bilic High
Getting to know the grassroots N/A 2013-07 Qualitative Community Survey Wikimedia Nederland High
VisualEditor's effect on newly registered editors/June 2013 study 2013-06 2013-07 Quantitative New Editors Aaron Halfaker Low
Gender micro-survey 2013-06 2013-07 Quantitative Gender Howie Fung Low
WikiProjects as virtual Teams 2013-01 2013-07 Quantitative Social dynamics Jonathan Morgan High
Notifications 2013-05 2013-05 Quantitative Impact of Technical Feature Aaron Halfaker Medium
Anonymity and conformity over the net 2012-01 2013-03 Quantitative Effects of anonymity Aaron Halfaker Medium
Post-registration editor survey 2012-11 2012-12 Quantitative Editor motivation Steven Walling Medium
Wikipedia Editors Survey 2012 2012-06 2012-11 Both Community Survey Tilman Bayer High
Wikipedia Editor Satisfaction Survey 2009-09 2012-10 Both Editor satisfaction Denis Barthel; Manuel Merz High
MoodBar/Email confirmation 2012-07 2012-08 Quantitative Communication Dario Taraborelli Low
Editor Lifecycles 2012-06 2012-07 Quantitative Editor retention Shilad Sen High
Master Thesis Cultural differences in motivations to contribute to Wikipedia 2012-05 2012-07 Quantitative Editor Motivation Sjarlot Stal; Nick Geurts Low
Editor milestones 2012-05 2012-07 Quantitative New Editors Shilad Sen; Aaron Halfaker Low
Shallow Entry: A problem-centric approach to new editor orientation 2012-04 2012-07 Quantitative Editor Motivation Maryana Pinchuk Medium
[1] 2012-04 2012-06 Quantitative Editor Motivation Aaron Halfaker High
Motivations to Contribute to Wikipedia 2012-03 2012-06 Unclear Editor Motivation Audrey Abeyta Low
Necromancy 2012-04 2012-05 Quantitative Editor Retention Steven Walling Medium
Wikipedia Editors Survey 2011 November 2011-04 2011-11 Quantitative Community Survey Barry Newstead High
Women and Wikimedia Survey 2011 2011-05 2011-10 Qualitative Gender gap Sarah Stierch High
Summer of research 2011 N/A 2011-08 Both mostly New editors, but also Editor retention Medium
Wikipedia Editors Survey 2011 April N/A 2011-04 Quantitative Community Survey Mani Pande High
Expert participation survey 2010-12 2011-02 Quantitative Expert participation Dario Taraborelli High
Hebrew Wikipedia satisfaction survey 2007 2007-07 Qualitative Community Survey Wikimedia HE High
100 Questions for Wikipedians 2005 2005-02 Qualitative Community Survey Aphaia Medium
Teahouse group dynamics 2017-05 Ongoing Quantitative Impact of harassment Yiqing Hua; Dario Taraborelli; Leila Zia; Lucas Dixon; Nithum Thain; Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil Medium
Detox 2017-01 Ongoing Quantitative New Editors Ellery Wulczyn High
Study of harassment and its impact 2016-05 Ongoing Qualitative Social dynamics Jonathan Morgan Medium
Good Faith Newcomer Prediction 2016-05 Ongoing Qualitative Social Dynamics Anna Filippova, et al. High
Understanding the Dynamics of Hackathons for Science 2016-04 Ongoing Qualitative Time commitment and workflow Kevin Schiroo Medium
Measuring editor time commitment and workflow 2016-01 Ongoing Quantitative Toxic language Ellery Wulczyn Medium
Beyond the Gender Gap: Understanding Women's Participation in Wikipedia 2015-10 Ongoing Qualitative Gender gap Danielle McDonald Corple Low
Online harassment resource guide 2015-07 Ongoing Qualitative harassment J. Nathan Matias, et al. Medium
Editor Behaviour Analysis & Graphs 2015-06 Ongoing Quantitative Editor statistics Jeph Paul High
Wikipedia Equality Sweden 2014-10 Ongoing Quantitative New Users Aaron Halfaker Low
HHVM newcomer engagement experiment 2014-08 Ongoing Qualitative Gendergap Björn Helgeson; Jonathan Morgan Medium
The sudden decline of Italian Wikipedia 2014-05 Ongoing Quantitative Editor Activity Decline Nemo with Aaron Halfaker Medium
Dynamics of Online Interactions and Behavior 2012-01 Ongoing Both Roles and Functions Ofer Arazy; Dario Taraborelli High
Wikipedian and Internet addiction 2010-09 Ongoing Both Social dynamics Dario Taraborelli Medium
Measuring editor labor hours 2016-04 N/A Qualitative Addiction? OppidumNissenae; Geoide; Alexmar983 Low
Roles and Functions within Online Production Communities 2015-08 N/A Quantitative Editor activity Aaron Halfaker Low

Focus areas

We began this project by looking at what is already collected and what isn’t, and identifying which data points and areas should be prioritised for this project. This will involve both collecting new metrics and using existing metrics differently (e.g. providing new ratios and comparisons of already-collected information). Some of the broad areas we looked at to include in the Metrics Kit:

  • Demographics
  • Administrator statistics
  • User statistics
  • New accounts
  • Activity levels
  • Retention rates
  • Prevalence of vandalism, trolling, harassment
  • Abuse filter, vandalism reports
  • Cultural, ethnic, gender barriers
  • Content bias
  • Language barriers
  • Access to tools
  • Internet access
  • Libraries and knowledge resources access

Future plans: More and easier qualitative surveying

Building on the Community Health initiative's analysis of the English Wikipedia's Administrator's Noticeboard/Incidents. This project surveyed users on their experiences with an important noticeboard. We want to do better survey assistance - helping communities survey themselves through easily adaptable survey forms, good techniques for getting respondents, and help analysing the results.