Research:Contribution Taxonomy Project/Research Questions

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Information

This is a research project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation. For other ongoing research projects, please see the project tracking page.

As part of the Contribution Taxonomy Project, we're generating a broad list of research questions we want to ask about all the different activities in the projects, along with precise metrics for answering these questions about contributions.

Think through what it would take to answer a question like this one: "In each month of enwiki's history, what percent of edits by newbies were (a) improved, (b) left alone, and (c) reverted." We would need to define several categories of edits:

  • Edits by newbies, in which we exclude certain edits such as vandalism, but also probably other kinds of unwanted edits.
  • Edits that improve recent edits by newbies
  • Edits by newbies that are left alone for a period of time
  • Reverts of edits by newbies

Using those categories of edits, we can attempt to answer the question posed above. However, the answer will change depending on how those categories are defined. Therefore, instead of having just one graph to answer that question, we might have many different graphs to show how the picture changes with different assumptions about who is a newbie, what is an edit improvement, and so on.

This page is a workspace to brainstorm both a list of research questions and the categories we will use to answer the questions. Thinking up questions will lead to creating more categories; brainstorming categories will lead to more questions.

Researchers and coders who are interested in this project are encouraged to use the Wikilytics platform to add categories into the database and attempt to answer the questions. We will be tracking our results at Contribution Taxonomy Project/Progress. But any Wikimedian, coder or not, can help by adding categories and questions to this page to guide our work.

Please be bold and add your ideas for how to precisely measure all the important activities that make Wikipedia run. A good place to start might thinking about how to measure the volunteer activities you participate in at Wikipedia. So far we're organizing them by namespace below and are assigning informal working names like "authorship" or "listmaking" to activities within the taxonomy.

List of Questions[edit]

Since this is a "taxonomy of contributions", the questions are informally titled by kind of contribution. This is an intentionally rough measure. They are in no particular order at this point, though they could be organized by namespace or another criteria later.

Stub creation[edit]

  • Creating stub articles
Metric: Addition of a new article that is smaller than 1,500 characters.

Authorship[edit]

  • Creating substantial new articles (i.e. greater than stub class)
Metric: Creating any new article that is not included in stub sorting. An alternative measurement is size of new article: for example the English Wikipedia Did You Know? process requires greater than 1,500 characters.

Article expansion[edit]

  • Expanding any existing article
Metric: At least 1 KB addition to the article name space per month. Very active authorship would be 5 KB or greater additions.

Refactoring[edit]

  • Making significant changes to recent edits that retain much of the original edit, but improve it. (This is similar to the concept of refactoring, where edits are made to alter an existing body of text.)
Metric: Would have to figure what is not a revert, plus a comparative analysis of the content of the text edited versus the previous version.

List-making[edit]

  • Creates and expands Wikipedia list articles. Measured here.
Metric: Any editor who makes more than 10 mainspace edits a month to articles with titles that begin with "List of..."

Deletion[edit]

  • Proposed deletion
Metric: Adds or removes at least three PROD templates from the main namespace in a month.
  • Speedy deletion
Metric: Adds or removes at least three CSD templates in a month.
  • Articles for deletion (AFD) discussions
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits a month to pages in the project namespace prefixed with "Wikipedia:Articles for deletion".

Barnstar awarding[edit]

  • Awards barnstars to others.
Metric: Addition of a template that includes the word "barnstar" or "award" in its title in the user talk namespace. Simply counting the number of transclusios would not work, as people of move and remove them from their user talk pages for a variety of reasons. (More thoughts here).

Mediation[edit]

  • Editors who participate in formalized Mediation.
Metric: Any editor who makes at least 10 edits in a month to pages within the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal" or "Wikipedia:Mediation Committee" (including related Talk pages)

Arbitration[edit]

  • Editors who participate in Arbitration Committee activities, either as members of AbrCom or as the subjects of cases.
Metric: Any editor who makes at least 10 edits in a month to pages within the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:Arbitration..." (including related Talk pages)

Third Opinion[edit]

  • Editors who provide Third Opinions in order to help resolve conflicts.
Metric: Any editor who edits Third Opinion pages or generates/edits (?) Talk threads with the section title of "Third Opinion"

Featured Articles[edit]

  • Editors who nominate and comment or vote on Featured Article nominations or delisting processes.
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits in a month to pages in the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:Feature Articles..." (including related Talk pages)
Alternative or additional metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits to any article the subject of a current FAC entry.

Featured Pictures[edit]

  • Editors who nominate or vote in the Feature Pictures process.
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits in a month to pages in the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates" (including related Talk pages)

Featured Sounds[edit]

  • Editors who nominate or vote in the Feature Sounds process.
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits in a month to pages in the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:Featured sound candidates" (including related Talk pages)

Featured Lists[edit]

  • Editors who nominate or vote in the Feature Lists process.
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits in a month to pages in the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:Featured list candidates" (including related Talk pages)

Featured Portal[edit]

  • Editors who nominate or vote in the Feature Portals process.
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits in a month to pages in the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:Featured portal candidates" (including related Talk pages)

Featured Topic[edit]

  • Editors who nominate or vote in the Feature Topics process.
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits in a month to pages in the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:Featured topic candidates" (including related Talk pages)

Good Articles[edit]

  • Editors who participate in the Good Articles process.
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits in a month in the project namespace to any page that begins with "Wikipedia:Good Article..." or (including related Talk pages)

WikiProject organizers[edit]

  • Editors who organize and participate in coordinated editing through WikiProjects.
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits in a month to pages in the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:WikiProject..." (including related Talk pages). It may be useful to include edits to the proposals process for WikiProjects as well...

Welcomers[edit]

  • Editors who welcome newbies (positive reinforcement only, so not including warning templates and other notifications)
Metric: Any editor who places at least five welcome templates on user talk pages in a month.
Alternative metric: Any editor who makes an average of five user talk edits a month that include welcome templates.

Policy-making[edit]

  • Editors who contribute to Wikipedia policy and guidelines.
Metric: Any editor makes an average of three edits a month to any page within Category:Wikipedia policy or Category:Wikipedia guidelines, including related Talk pages. May possibly include proposals categories.

Wikipedia:Articles for Creation[edit]

  • Editors who participate in the Articles for Creation process.
Metric: Any editor makes at least five edits in a month to pages in the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:Articles for Creation" (not including related Talk pages?)

Wikifying[edit]

  • Editors who alter the markup of the content within an article to make it better conform to Wikipedia's style
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits a month to articles in the main namespace that only change the markup, not the content.

WikiGnoming[edit]

  • Editors who make small alterations to the content of existing articles
Metric: Any editor who makes at least two edits in a month to articles in the main namespace that change less than X KB of text, and who does not make any edit that exceeds X KB of text.

Referencing[edit]

  • Editors who add sources to articles
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits a month in the main namespace that add new <ref> tags.

Media[edit]

  • Editors who add and edit media — images, video, and audio — within articles
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits a month to articles within the main namespace that add links to files.

Help Desk[edit]

  • Editors who regularly respond to requests at the Wikipedia Help Desk
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits a month to the page "Wikipedia:Help desk"

Reference Desk[edit]

  • Editors who regularly respond to requests at the Wikipedia Reference Desk
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits a month to articles within the project namespace that begin with "Wikipedia:Reference desk"

Did You Know?[edit]

  • Editors who participate in the Did You Know? main page nomination and selection process
Metric: Any editor who makes at least three edits a month (average?) to pages that begin with...

In the News[edit]

  • Editors who participate in the nomination and selection process for the In the News section of the main page
Metric: Any editor who makes at least three edits a month (average?) to pages that begin with...

Editor assistance requests[edit]

  • Editors who respond to requests at Wikipedia:Editor assistance
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits a month to the page Wikipedia:Editor assistance/Requests

Books[edit]

  • Editors who participate in the curation of article collections called "books"
Metric: Any editor who makes at least three edits in a month to the Books namespace

Portals[edit]

  • Editors who participate in creating and building Portals
Metric: Any editor who makes at least five edits in a month to the Portal namespace