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Grants:IEG/Editor Behaviour Analysis

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Editor Behaviour Analysis
summaryThe project aims to explore different way to visualise the edit activity on a wiki.
targetEnglish, German etc
strategic priorityimproving quality
contact• jeph@paul.com
this project needs...
created on08:39, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
round 2 2015

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

To build data visualizations to help researchers & editors keep track of macro editor behavior changes over time.

Areas of Interest[edit]

The some of the visualizations will be looking at

  • How long editors remain active?
  • The contribution of new comers to a month's edit activity.
  • The article being edited by the new comers.
    • Are they working on the older articles or are they creating new articles themselves?
  • How long do articles remain actively edited?
  • Has mobile & VE changed they way editors edit?

What is your solution?[edit]

Interactive graphs will be built to visualize the behavior of editor cohorts over time and over various other parameters. These graphs will also keep updating themselves periodically over time.

Proof of Work[edit]

The work is currently being documented at Research:Editor Behaviour Analysis & Graphs. Please look at the presentation below explaining some of the graphs that have already been built and the related inferences. - http://slides.com/cosmiclattes/edit-activity-graphs-analysis/#/


Project goals[edit]

  • To build a set of graphs exploring various aspects of editor behavior.
  • These graphs will be usable by both researchers and editors alike.
  • These graphs will periodically update themselves.

Project plan[edit]


  • Identify the metrics and questions of interest to the target audience. (Researchers & other interested editors. Some of the questions have already been identified.)
  • Identify the visualization techniques needed and build the graphs. (Some of them have already been built, https://cosmiclattes.github.io/wikigraphs/data/wikis.html)
  • Get feedback on the visualizations & make changes as needed iteratively.
  • Automate the creation of the visualizations to keep them up to date.


  • Visual design contractor: 500 USD
  • Project management: 500 USD
  • Total Budget: 1000 USD

Community engagement[edit]

I have been engaging with individual editors and the research team at the WMF for some time now. I'm planning on writing to more community groups. I've written to the research groups & the India mailing list already.


  • The visualizations will continue to be up to date as a script will make sure it does.
  • The visualization techniques being explored and developed in these graphs can be reused in other projects by researchers & individual editors.

Measures of success[edit]

Need target-setting tips? Note: in addition to your project-specific measures of success, you will also be asked to report on some Global Metrics at the end of your final report. Please keep this in mind as you plan, and we'll support you as you begin your project.

  • 10 new interactive visualizations to understand editor activity.
  • 50+ active users of the visualizations.
  • Strategic goal - As the visualizations help us understand the macro behavior of editors it could aid in evaluating the effectiveness of new features and projects. And in the long term help us make more informed choices as a community and increase participation in our projects.

Get involved[edit]


  • Advisor I'll advise on user study implementation or any other design considerations for this project. Jtmorgan (talk) 19:13, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Volunteer by trying to fulfill its goals,...and by having communication with other members of this project,. Diligent13 (talk) 11:02, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Community Notification[edit]

Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the talk page of this proposal).

  • Shyamal (talk) Endorse as the prototypes demonstrate expertise, project has a clear high-level rationale with usable outcomes (details may need more discussion), and a reasonable budget.
  • EpochFail (talk) Two reasons. (1) The problem discussed in this proposal should be concerning. There's a lot of past research of Wikipedia that teaches us very interesting things about our community and the nature of open collaboration, but those manuscripts are usually out of date by the time they go to print. We need to unite our automated reporting infrastructure with the state of the art in socio-technical studies. Doing so would allow us to gather much more value from the outputs of the academic research community. (2) Jeph is the right person for the job. He has demonstrated his ability to take a large problem and put an interesting visualization in front of it. He's a developing data engineer/data scientist and this grant/project would allow him to produce a valuable resource and continue to develop his skills and research interests around Wikimedia projects.
  • Researchers need better tools for visualizing Wikipedia data. This project will make our data more accessible to people who want to perform research on Wikipedia, but don't have the expertise or insider knowledge necessary to work directly with our raw data resources. Jtmorgan (talk) 19:14, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Fuzheado (talk) - Support. The previous project at half the cost had a great outcome. A proven track record and a solid idea makes this a very good ROI.
  • I had the opportunity to go through some of the graphs and found that these visualizations could be used to derive important findings about editor behavior and language demographics. They could also be used to compare the trends among various languages. The most exciting feature is that the script updates itself, thereby helping the user to derive up-to-date information. I am endorsing this project. Netha Hussain (talk) 10:56, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Looks good. Please make sure that graphs are archived as you go along and that readers on various Wikis learn about the results. Smallbones (talk) 14:16, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support This might help WMF understand a better way to retain editors. Geraldshields11 (talk) 21:03, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support Anything that helps us better understand editors over time is welcome. It would be great if we could use this to measure women coming in to the Art&Feminism editathons as we now have no way of knowing what the impact of those are. --Jane023 (talk) 15:33, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Community member: add your name and rationale here.