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Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research Fund/Mapping perceptions of article quality among Wikipedians from the Global South

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statusnot funded
Mapping perceptions of article quality among Wikipedians from the Global South
start and end datesJuly 2023 - July 2024
budget (USD)28,000 - 30,000 USD
fiscal year2022-23
applicant(s)• Netha Hussain, Anwesha Chakraborty and Fabio Piccolin




Netha Hussain, Anwesha Chakraborty and Fabio Piccolin

Affiliation or grant type

Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden; Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy; Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), La Spezia, Italy


Netha Hussain, Anwesha Chakraborty and Fabio Piccolin

Wikimedia username(s)

Netha Hussain : User: Netha Hussain;

Anwesha Chakraborty: User: tigrotta_ac

Project title

Mapping perceptions of article quality among Wikipedians from the Global South

Research proposal




Description of the proposed project, including aims and approach. Be sure to clearly state the problem, why it is important, why previous approaches (if any) have been insufficient, and your methods to address it.

Several mechanisms are employed to assess article quality on Wikipedia in multiple languages, out of which volunteer-driven initiatives such as quality grading and machine-driven tools such as ORES deserve mention. Some larger language editions have developed their own article quality assessment system, while some smaller Wikipedias do not have any such system. However, to simply transfer a quality assessment system from one language edition to another may not be suitable for a cross-contextual community such as Wikipedia.

The existing studies to develop a multilingual approach to article quality assessment so far have included mostly Global North languages. Moreover, most of these studies have adopted a quantitative or mixed-methods approach, focusing more on the development of cross-lingual quality metrics, rather than on the detection of language-related differences in the perceived notion of article quality.


1. Performing a qualitative pilot study on perceptions of article quality among Wikipedians from language editions of the Global South, in particular from Asia and Africa.

2. Proposing a set of guidelines to integrate cross-cultural aspects from under-represented language editions in the development of more inclusive quality-related policies in Wikipedia.

We will start by examining existing article quality guidelines in different Wikipedia language editions, paying close attention to the languages chosen for the current study. This will allow us to identify a set of “themes of interest” that will be used to stimulate the discussion during in-depth semi-structured interviews, which will be carried out with circa 30 active Wikimedians from 10-15 language editions of Asia and Africa. First, the participants will be asked to comment on the current state of quality-related policies in their home Wikipedia. Then, they will be asked to choose one article from their home Wikipedia that they perceive as a high-quality article and discuss the aspects that motivate their choice. Each interview will last for 30-60 minutes to allow a wide-range of themes to emerge. Thematic analysis, as developed by Clarke and Braun (2017), will be performed on the transcribed interviews to capture the broad areas under which the perceptions of the participants can be grouped. As thematic analysis does not adhere to any specific theoretical assumptions, it will allow a free and fair exploration of data, bringing forth the cross-cultural nuances.


  • 1. Wikimedia Language Diversity Hub (as a partner organization, partnership was approved in the steering committee meeting on 12/12/2022).
  • 2. Subhashish Panigrahi (User:Psubhashish), Director, Law for All at Ashoka, India (Project Advisor)
  • 3. Satdeep Gill (User: Satdeep Gill) Punjabi Wikimedian & Organiser of Asian History Month, India (Project Advisor in volunteer capacity)
  • Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (User: KCVelaga) Member of Small-wiki tools initiative, India (Project advisor in volunteer capacity)
  • Siddarth Kankaria, Communications and Program Coordinator, Simons Centre for the Study of Living Machines, Tata Institute of Fundamental Sciences, India (Project advisor in volunteer capacity)



Approximate amount requested in USD.

28,000 - 30,000 USD

Budget Description

Briefly describe what you expect to spend money on (specific budgets and details are not necessary at this time).

21,000.00 - Direct personnel costs for 600 hours

2000.00 - Transcription of interview data

1500.00 - Green open access publishing costs

500.00 - Gift cards for participants

1000.00 - Animated popular science summary video of the results for disseminating the research findings

2000.00 - Dissemination of results via conferences, online or offline [WikiSym/Wikimania]

2000.00 - Translations of interviews, if any



Address the impact and relevance to the Wikimedia projects, including the degree to which the research will address the 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction and/or support the work of Wikimedia user groups, affiliates, and developer communities. If your work relates to knowledge gaps, please directly relate it to the knowledge gaps taxonomy.

Understanding the perceptions of Wikipedians about article quality in a multilingual context is important for improving the existing metrics and guidelines related to article quality and creating new, more inclusive ones. This study addresses Movement Strategy Recommendations 40 (Build capacity to improve high-impact content in underrepresented communities) and 44 (Monitoring, evaluation and learning at all levels with support and mutual accountability). The expected study results are likely to be beneficial for the work of Wikimedia Language Diversity Hub and several region/language-based user groups and affiliates of the Global South.



Plans for dissemination.

The findings of the study will be published in international peer-reviewed academic journal(s) and conferences, while the policy-related guidelines will be shared on meta for community review and feedback. Popular science summary of the research will be shared on Wikimedia Community blog, as a video on Wikimedia Commons and any other platform that is recommended by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Past Contributions


Prior contributions to related academic and/or research projects and/or the Wikimedia and free culture communities. If you do not have prior experience, please explain your planned contributions.

Anwesha Chakraborty (AC) and Netha Hussain (NH) have co-authored a study on the gender gap in Indian Wikipedia communities, which was presented as an extended abstract in WikiWorkshop (2018), as a talk in Wikimania (2019), as an original research article in First Monday (2022) and as a presentation at World of Wikimedia (2022). AC has co-authored a review of the book: Wikipedia, Work and Capitalism: A Realm of Freedom?. Fabio Piccolin and AC are presently working on an international project on the production of scientific knowledge in world languages and the question of quality in science communication across languages. This project was the trigger to frame a research project along those lines with Wikipedia as the unit of study.

I agree to license the information I entered in this form excluding the pronouns, countries of residence, and email addresses under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. I understand that the decision to fund this Research Fund application, the application itself along with all the information entered by my in this form excluding the pronouns, country of residences, and email addresses of the personnel will be published on Wikimedia Foundation Funds pages on Meta-Wiki and will be made available to the public in perpetuity. To make the results of your research actionable and reusable by the Wikimedia volunteer communities, affiliates and Foundation, I agree that any output of my research will comply with the WMF Open Access Policy. I also confirm that I have read the privacy statement and agree to abide by the WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.