Research:Survey of user in Ireland 2020

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Rebecca Maung
Duration:  2019-October – 2020-June

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.

This survey is to follow up on the first such survey of Wikimedians in Ireland in 2016. Wikimedia Community Ireland wishes to further assess the work that we do, and insure that our programming is in line with the expectations and interests of active Wikimedians in Ireland. This survey also acts as a method of alerting more editors to the existence of an affiliate in Ireland, should they wish to work with us in the future.


Using a Central Notice banner, the Wikimedia-IE mailing list for users, and social media, users based in Ireland will be recruited to take part in an online survey through Qualtrics. The survey is a repeat of that conducted in 2016, should take 10 to 20 minutes to complete, will capture basic information on the editing behaviours of Wikimedians in Ireland, as well as some demographic information. It will also ask the participants about their awareness and interest in Wikimedia Community Ireland, and what (if any) support or activities they wish to see the user group foster. The survey will be featured as a banner on both English and Irish language Wikipedias, with the survey also provided in both languages.


  • October 2019 to March 2019 - Planning, development and creation of survey.
  • April to May 2020 - Survey live and banner active for user in Ireland on Wikipedia and Vicipéid (GA).
  • May 2020 - Analysis and interpretation of resulting data.
  • June 2020 - Publication of data, with the possibility of some visualisations.

Policy, Ethics and Human Subjects Research[edit]

The survey looks to recruit active editors that wish to engage in submitting data for the improvement of the Irish community. As with all banners on Wikipedia, it can be dismissed, and thus provides little disruption for uninterested editors.


Survey Results[edit]

There were 50 respondents to the survey in 2020, with no spam/vandalism within the cohort.

Wikimedia usage[edit]

Which language Wikipedias do you most frequently read? (Select all that apply)

  • English 77%
  • Irish 16%
  • French 2%
  • German 1%
  • Spanish 0%
  • Other (please specify): 1% Dutch

If applicable, which of the Wikimedia Foundation's other free knowledge sites do you read? (Select all that apply)

  • Wikisource 3%
  • Wikiquote 10%
  • Wikibooks 1%
  • Wiktionary 23%
  • Wikinews 3%
  • Wikiversity 0%
  • Commons 34%
  • Wikispecies 3%
  • Wikivoyage 4%
  • Wikidata 10%
  • Never heard of any of them 7%
  • Other (please specify): 3% (single instances) WikiTribune none

How would you describe Wikipedia in your own words?

"Making information available to everyone."

"The best way to get an overview on a topic, and sometimes the best and most authoritative information on a topic."

"great tool but very messy as Gaeilge"

"The greatest way to share information, to learn about a topic and to collaborate across multiple disciplines and diverse people."

"Online encyclopaedia anyone can contribute to. Too big to suffer badly from malicious or misleading info. The best of the spirit of the internet age."

"The thing that I started to do, but stopped when I realised someone else was already doing it - and doing it better. :)"

"Contributing to wikipedia is an excellent way to procrastinate, while also contributing to something, (instead of cumulating points in some game app)."

"Humanity at its best. Sharing knowledge. Enabling technological capacity for teaching and learning."

"Mostly wonderful but with some very aggressive and/or arrogant editors."

"the idea of Wikipedia is noble. It is flawed because it is used by people, who are flawed."


What motivates you to edit Wikipedia? (Select 3 maximum)

  • Fixing grammar and other errors 24%
  • Creating articles that are new to Wikipedia 21%
  • Learning more about editing, and improving your editing 8%
  • I want to contribute to free knowledge on the Internet 35%
  • I want to contribute content in my language 6%
  • Other (please specify, separate by a comma): 6%
    • Singles instances:
      • promote Gaeilge
      • Giving a higher profile to people/causes I support (without a conflict to interest)
      • contribute to valuable knowledge on unexplored and under appreciated subjects
      • Correcting factual errors
      • citing where required
      • I check and fix references, adding PDF links for some papers which are not free access; also fixing some web links by adding the archived version.

What best describes where you spend most of your time contributing to Wikipedia? (select 5 maximum)

  • I write new articles 14%
  • I add content to existing articles 27%
  • I fix formatting, spelling and grammar, or make other minor edits to articles 21%
  • I do translation work into Irish 5%
  • I contribute photos and multimedia content to Wikimedia Commons 9%
  • I patrol for vandalism, copyright violations, or other problems with articles 7%
  • I answer readers’ questions and complaints 3%
  • I resolve disputes among volunteers (e.g. mediation, arbitration) 1%
  • I organize or help to organize events, workshops, meetups, etc 1%
  • I do public outreach or advocacy outside the Wikimedia community 1%
  • I do technical work such as maintaining bots or tools 1%
  • I participate in chapter work 0%
  • I participate in discussions about articles 8%
  • I develop or maintain policies, guidelines and similar community processes 0%
  • Other (please specify, separate by a comma): 2%
    • Singles instances:
      • research
      • I rewrite contributions that have good information but are poorly written
      • I check, fix and improve references, so that access to the source of the information is opened up to everyone.

If applicable, which of the Wikimedia Foundation's other free knowledge sites do you contribute to? (Select all that apply)

  • Wikisource 4%
  • Wikiquote 5%
  • Wikibooks 0%
  • Wiktionary 11%
  • Wikinews 4%
  • Wikiversity 0%
  • Commons 33%
  • Wikispecies 2%
  • Wikivoyage 7%
  • Wikidata 9%
  • Other (please specify): 2%
    • Singles instances:
      • duplicate question. See my answer above

How much time do you spend editing Wikimedia sites?

  • Less than one hour a month 25%
  • 1–3 hours a month 25%
  • 1–3 hours a week 27%
  • 1–2 hours a day 13%
  • 3–4 hours a day 8%
  • More than 4 hours a day 3%

Which of the following do you prefer to use to communicate with fellow Wikipedians?

  • Village pump 4%
  • Article talk pages 38%
  • User talk pages 29%
  • Project pages 13%
  • Mailing lists 3%
  • Social media (Facebook, google groups, etc) 8%
  • Other (please specify): 5%
    • Singles instances:
      • I don't communicate with anyone
      • I don't often talk to Wikipedians online - they feel like a bit of a law unto themselves.
      • I don't
      • None of the above, I've rarely received communication from others that wasn't criticism from smug self-appointed gatekeepers.

What things might help you contribute more? (select 3 maximum)

  • Someone coaches me on how to edit 5%
  • Receiving answers to my questions on talk pages 12%
  • Receiving help regarding Wikipedia policies, and community norms 6%
  • Improved editing interface 9%
  • Other Wikimedians welcoming my contributions 13%
  • Receiving appreciation for my contributions 11%
  • Confidence that my contributions will not be removed 15%
  • Knowledge that others benefit from my contributions 24%
  • Other (please specify): 5%
    • Singles instances:
      • More spare time, that's all.
      • If I had free time to spend on it
      • Less aggression from editors with a political axe to grind
      • please add a bot which can study and learn from my edits so I can use it to automate tasks which I do repeatedly. It would be helpful to have a custom AI, machine learning helper bot where I can open a page, fix all articles just by telling te bot to look for research papers in the same place I look, then I just review the changes the bot makes and check preview and Submit. That would be amazing ! Maybe a global bot which learns from everyone's fixes to references and then uses those sources and techniques to automatically fix references without having to be manually invoked. Thanks!
      • more how-to videos

Do you translate articles from one language to another?

  • Frequently 5%
  • Sometimes 19%
  • Rarely 19%
  • Never 57%

If you could improve one thing about Wikipedia what would it be?

"Include some kind of financial incentive to encourage contributions"

"Each page currently displays the last time the page was edited, but each page should also display the time/date when it was created."

"more support for Kevin Scannell on Vicipeid and clever people like him that can help Vicipeid get out of its hole"

"improved tools for creating the structure of an article - the infobox, categories, etc. from wikidata and improved tools for citations from URLs."

"Consistent, moderated, formatting and grammar. In the case of the formatting sometimes you go into a page for a specific piece of information---when someone died for example--but it's not necessarily in the same place from article to article."

""Article leads" allocated (elected?) based on creation or contribution record, so that there is someone who feels an ownership role. Especially for smaller articles this would encourage "ownership". Not literally, I don't envisage any additional powers, but maybe a title and a feeling of responsibility would assist in developing articles or avoiding neglect. It would also be someone who might follow a Talk discussion, and participate, and be the one to act on the balance of the argument."

"protection from edit wars and the like. not that i am involved in any - i am not - but when they are going on in my vision, it is disheartning"

"That it would be even easier to download a back-up copy, in case the lights ever go out. Xowa is good, but somehow, imperfect. (don't change anything: WP is cool)"

"Static analysis to point out to an author if their edit is likely to have broken a rule, so they may state their case/fix the problem"

"There continue to be too many under-represented but important individuals."

"Improved Articles for Creation process to be less bitey to users who aren't immediately successful"

"More contributors to Irish wiki"

"A better way to edit pages off line - at present I use Notepad++ but in-line citations make it difficult to read text"

"easier to edit, with a layout similar to FANDOM"

"Templates should be made easier to find and easier to use. Being told that you're using the wrong template for something is not much fun (I'm using a template! I've tried to find the right one but there are about 25 options (not counting the ones I didn't find!)), but it's impossible unless you're neck-deep into wiki."

"Some mechanism to support editors being flamed for no good reason. I was very active for a while but more or less gave up editing Wikipedia for years because of the approach of one editor."

"Make editing and publishing faster."

"Greater transparency around the approval process, including where articles are still pending approval or not"

"more how-to videos "

Wikimedia Community Ireland[edit]

What kind of movement support would you like to receive? (Select all that apply)

  • Supporting a Wikimedia user group/chapter in my area 14%
  • Grants to cover my Wikipedia expenses 9%
  • Grants to help me experiment with new ideas 6%
  • Scholarship to attend Wikipedia related events 10%
  • Running a Wikipedia education program at my school 12%
  • Creating a partnership with my local museum/library 18%
  • None, I have no need of movement resources 28%
  • Other (please specify): 3%
    • Single instances:
      • more support for Kevin Scannell on Vicipeid
      • add a donation link on my user page so that if someone finds my reference fix saved them having to pay €42 for paper access, they could send me a tip of 1-5 euros, that would be really nice to get some income from my edits, since it would save someone having to search 5-10 mins online or having to check in their library. Also my edits reduce carbon emissions from searches to find those papers/books. thanks !

To what extent are you aware of the events run by Wikimedia Community Ireland since 2014? (such as Wiki Loves Monuments, edit-a-thons, hackathons and workshops)

  • Not at all aware 50%
  • A little aware 27%
  • Somewhat aware 10%
  • Very aware 13%

To what extent are you interested in participating in each of the following events?

Question Not at all a little interested somewhat interested very interested
Editing workshops 1 3 3 20
Edit-a-thons in the Irish language 3 7 13 4
More photo competitions 0 17 8 2
Other (please specify): 23 0 3 1

In general, to what extent have the following been obstacles to attending events run by Wikimedia Community Ireland? (Select all that apply)

  • The location or time of past events did not suit 19%
  • No interest in the event or its subject matter 7%
  • No interest in attending Wikimedia-related events 15%
  • Not aware of such events taking place 28%
  • Other (specify) 7%
    • Single instances:
      • often abroad
      • my health
      • Timing for me personally
      • maybe i could attend virtually and on a live page someone can see i fix references and ask me to find a paper, DOI, book, URL online etc, once i find it and fix it, it can be recorded as an achievement during that edit-athon etc, thanks !

Demographics[edit | edit source][edit]

Which county in Ireland do you reside?

  • Carlow 0%
  • Cavan 2%
  • Clare 4%
  • Cork 6%
  • Donegal 0%
  • Dublin 55%
  • Galway 4%
  • Kerry 4%
  • Kildare 2%
  • Laois 0%
  • Leitrim 2%
  • Limerick 0%
  • Longford 2%
  • Louth 0%
  • Mayo 4%
  • Meath 0%
  • Monaghan 0%
  • Offaly 0%
  • Roscommon 0%
  • Sligo 2%
  • Tipperary 2%
  • Waterford 4%
  • Westmeath 2%
  • Wexford 2%
  • Wicklow 0%

What is your age range?

  • 16–20 10%
  • 21–25 6%
  • 26–30 6%
  • 31–35 8%
  • 36–40 6%
  • 41–45 10%
  • 46–50 13%
  • 51–55 10%
  • 56–60 6%
  • 61–65 8%
  • 66–70 6%
  • More than 70 years 4%
  • No answer 4%

What was the highest level of education you have completed?

  • No schooling completed 4%
  • Junior Certificate or the equivalent 6%
  • Leaving Certificate or the equivalent 6%
  • Trade/technical/vocational training 2%
  • Bachelor’s degree 30%
  • Master’s degree 30%
  • Professional degree 11%
  • Doctorate degree 11%

Which languages can you fluently read and write?

  • English 67%
  • Irish 18%
  • French 6%
  • German 1%
  • Spanish 0%
  • Other (please specify): 8%
    • Single instances:
      • Icelandic
      • Dutch
      • Portuguese
      • Read/translate French, German
      • Dutch
      • Chinese (Mandarin)

What is your current work status?

  • Employed for wages 47%
  • Self-employed 15%
  • Out of work and looking for work 6%
  • Out of work but not currently looking for work 4%
  • Homemaker 0%
  • Student 11%
  • Stay-at-home parent/caregiver 0%
  • Military 0%
  • Retired 17%
  • Unable to work 0%

What is your gender?

  • Male 88%
  • Female 8%
  • Prefer not to say 4%
  • Other (please specify): 0%