Grants:IdeaLab/Longitudinal research on editor retention
What is the problem you're trying to solve?
Understand why new editors, and particularly new female editors, stay or leave Wikipedia.
What is your solution?
We're doing a lot of guessing about what turns women off Wikipedia. At least one study has shown, for example, that new female editors are more likely to be blocked, but studies haven't examined what those blocks were for. If we understood something like why females are blocked more often, we would probably be able to come up with good solutions to the problem such as better warning messages or more public education about common mistakes using Wikipedia.
Being blocked is just one of the factors influencing editor retention. Let's ask people, in depth, about the whole experience of participating and how it compares to both their expectations and to their experiences on other websites. It should be a randomized study to minimize selection bias, and it should be longitudinal because memories are very short.
This would be a good PhD or Masters project in social sciences or in computer-human interaction.
Expand your idea
Do you want to submit your idea for funding from the Wikimedia Foundation?