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Research:Karibuni: An Adoption Incubator

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This page documents a research project in progress.
Information may be incomplete and change as the project progresses.
Please contact the project lead before formally citing or reusing results from this page.

Key Personnel[edit]

  • Oren Bochman

Project Summary[edit]

This multiphase research project is aimed at studying and improving Wikipedia's adoption program and its social contribution.

A prerequisite identified for entry of newcomers into the is the requirement for supporting them as they progress from edit one to one hundred. However as newcomers are becoming subject of greater scrutiny we note that they tend to work in isolation on the fringes of community - operating without collaborating or learning about policy or how Wikipedia works.

One way this has been done traditionally has been through the adoption program - which offers newcomers with personal coaching by more experienced users. The program provides an increased fun factor - fun experience; a rapid access to the community, protection from more toxic elements of the community and overall greater chances of integration.


Participant's behavior will be observing and coding their public history using trace established techniques of trace ethnography. The data will the be used to fit a Logistic Regression model. This will then be used to derive risk ratios resulting from different behavior. The experimental design is based on a followup study. However if additional parameters need to be estimated or control groups are introduced (for the new curriculum) then the same model can be used to estimate risk ratios for case controlled or cross-sectional data-sets rather than simply using a followup study design.

Socialization Metrics:

  • Interaction with other users
    • On-Page coordination
    • Off Page coordination
      1. Reversion
      2. Article Talk Page
      3. Edit History Messaging
      4. Editor Talk Page
      5. Project Page
      6. Xfd
      7. Admin Notice Bord
      8. Other
  • Quality and Quantity of Policy Laden communication.
  • Voting Success Score.

Mentoring Metrics:

  • Lesson Completion
  • Test Scores
  • Asking Questions
  • Reference to Coach/Coaching, Mentor and Mentoring on user's Talk
  • Mentoring flag (is the student repealing a block).

Progress and interaction will and analyzed using a Socialization metric building on prior research in this area. Participant interaction with each other and with the community will be considered using SNA. The hazard of the program will be studied qualitatively and later evaluated using data-mining (e.g. Logistic Regression or Bayesian Hazard model).

The project will include a number of screening surveys and mentor/student interviews per the norm in Wikipedia's adoption program. These will be administered organically as part of the program.

Recruitment of participants will be through the Adoption Program, in cooperation with existing active mentors, and by engaging inactive mentors currently enrolled in the program!


  1. Periodically through peer reviewed publication.
  2. Crowd sourcing through the project page and project members.

Wikimedia Policies, Ethics, and Human Subjects Protection[edit]

  • This is an independent research.
  • Input from WMF research ethics committee is welcome.

Benefits for the Wikimedia community[edit]

The immediate benefits are:

  • to minimize the hazards created by mentoring (both editor and coach);
  • to engage the community by training more users to fulfill task grounded in unfamiliar social roles required by the community;

In the long term:

  • to socially engineer a new community strata.
  • to disrupt the Machiavellian promotion cycle and provide virtuous alternatives.
  • to provide best practices for future mentors.


  • creation of additional course-ware (ongoing)
  • student SNA and reporting. (~2 weeks)
  • course ware gamification (~2-4 weeks)
  • course-ware automation. (~3 weeks)
  • course-ware translation. (TBD)
  • user training (2-3 week cycles)


Unfunded, however a funding request in the form of a WMF fellowship is on the record.


External links[edit]


Contact can be made through the user page OrenBochman.