Research:Alternative models for content generation on Wikipedia

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
08:46, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Duration:  2017-March – 2017-June
This page documents a completed research project.

Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia of all time and has enabled the development of encyclopedic content about certain topics more extensively and in a more timely manner than any previous encyclopedia. But Wikipedia’s peer production model has resulted in vastly uneven topic development: while some topics continue to grow and develop on the encyclopedia, other topics and types of knowledge remain weakly represented. Some Wikipedians have attempted to right this imbalance in coverage by experimenting with new models for content development beyond the traditional peer production model. This paper documents a project called Wikipedia Primary School that attempted to test out some of these alternative models for the development of content relating to the South African national primary school curriculum. Findings indicate that certain interventions were significantly more successful in catalysing the development of underserved topics.


The study involves a case study method as well as descriptive statistics.


  • March, April: Data collection and analysis, initial drafting
  • May: Drafting and visualisations
  • June: Submit to journal for review

Policy, Ethics and Human Subjects Research[edit]

Data collected for this project was collected without any additional burden on editors and without harm to participants. All data has been anonymised.