Research:UNU-MERIT Wikipedia survey
In November 2008, the Collaborative Creativity Group at UNU-MERIT, in partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, launched the (as of 2015) most comprehensive survey of Wikipedia readers and contributors ever conducted. The survey was translated into 20 languages and received more than 170,000 responses. This page collects documentation about the survey's results and process, some of which used to be available on the now defunct website wikipediasurvey.org (archived version).
In April 2010, four final reports on the results were published (“Licensed under the Creative Commons Non-commercial / Attribution / Verbatim license”), which can still be accessed in the Internet Archive:
- the overview of results
- a report on the perceived quality of Wikipedia content
- a report on the reasons why people don’t contribute to Wikipedia
- a report on the age and gender dynamics among Wikipedia readers and contributors, including subject matter interests.
More information can be found at:
- The Q&A about the survey on the English Wikipedia
- The team's Wikimania 2009 presentation slides
A comprehensive final report and the full, anonymized raw data were planned to be released in 2010, but were not published eventually.
The survey's finding that only about 13% of Wikipedia contributors are female was widely reported, see Gender gap.
A 2013 research paper by Benjamin Mako Hill and Aaron Shaw analyzed participation bias for the UNU-MERIT survey, correcting - among other demographic data - the above mentioned 13% to 16%. See also this summary in the research newsletter: "Survey participation bias analysis: More Wikipedia editors are female, married or parents than previously assumed"
A 2012 paper by Collier and Bear titled "Conflict, criticism, or confidence" delved further into the data of the UNU-MERIT study (cf. summary in the research newsletter: "Gender gap connected to conflict aversion and lower confidence among women"; the paper is paywalled, but its authors seem to have made it available in full elsewhere). In 2016 they followed up with a paper focusing on a sample of occasional contributors from the survey (Bear, Julia B.; Collier, Benjamin (2016-01-04). "Where are the women in Wikipedia? Understanding the different psychological experiences of men and women in Wikipedia". Sex Roles 74 (5–6): 1–12. doi:10.1007/s11199-015-0573-y. Author's copy)
- Blog posts about the survey (2008-2010)
- wmf:Press releases/UNU survey agreement (January 2008)
- w:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-04-20/News and notes
- draft results (April 2009)
- General Survey Translation - coordination of the questionnaire translation
- General User Survey - related and unrelated discussions from the years until the survey