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Research:How are editing patterns changing?

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This question set is among the high level research priorities for the Wikimedia Summer of Research 2011. The full list is here, and this is categorized as "RQ9".

Editing type[edit]

Single purpose accounts[edit]

(RQ9.1) Has the number of users who edit on only one controversial/disputed topic changed over the years?

(RQ9.2) How has the community's relationship to these editors changed over time (i.e., has there been an increase in blocking for SPA)?

(RQ9.3) Are all SPAs necessarily disruptive editors?


(RQ9.4) How has the type and amount of semi-automated editing with tools like Twinkle, Huggle, and Friendly changed over time? See [1]

(RQ9.5) How have the use of bots changed over time? See [1]

(RQ9.6) How does semi-automated editing affect the editing patterns of those who use it?


(RQ9.7) Does the increase in vandalism correlate to the increase in readership?

Basic community health[edit]

(RQ9.8) How many new highly active Wikipedians are we still getting every month, week, day? Obviously, we need a few months to see whether they are staying highly active. So this can only run up to a few months ago.

(RQ9.9) How many additional new highly active editors do we need to gain monthly to reverse the decline?

(RQ9.10) How many new editors make their first, 10th, 100th, 1000th, etc edit each month?

(RQ9.11) How many new editors are highly active for about a month and then disappear? How many of them come back again and have another heavy month? What kind of editors are these sprinter? (Qualitative question.) What topics are they editing? What kind of work are they doing? What might be motivating them?


  1. a b Geiger et al. The social role of bots and assisted editing programs. http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1641351