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Research:Wikipedia Equality Sweden

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This page documents a completed research project.

A thesis on The Swedish Wikipedia Gender Gap:

The results indicate that there is indeed a big disproportion, and that only between 13-19% of editors are women. The findings did not indicate readers of the encyclopedia having any strong negative preconceptions about Wikipedia or its community. However when looking at reasons for not contributing, women were significantly more likely to perceive themselves as not competent enough to edit. Computer skills were found to be an important factor for trying out editing in the first place, and Wikipedia’s connection to a male-dominated computing/programming culture is put forth as a reason for the resilience of the gender gap. The difference in men’s and women’s communication styles in relation to the climate Wikipedia’s policies and guidelines is also discussed.

Key Personnel


Project Summary


This project is part of a master's thesis written together with Wikimedia Sverige at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. The purpose of the project is to examine the current state of the gender gap on the Swedish language Wikipedia, with the goal of giving pointers to particular areas of improvement and suggestions on how to make Wikipedia a better and more diverse encyclopedia.

Research Questions:

  • Q1: How big is the gender gap on Swedish Wikipedia?
  • Q2: Are women editors more likely to stop editing than male? Why?
  • Q3: Are women less likely to try editing Wikipedia? Why?



I intend to do a survey using Qualtrics software, primarily directed towards the readers of Swedish language Wikipedia, although the responses of editors will be reviewed as well. The goal of the survey is to find out the reasons why people never tried editing Wikipedia, and see if the responses contain any gender differences. For respondents who have edited before, I'm interested in why they stopped (if so). All respondents are inquired about their conceptions towards the community, to investigate if there are any editor/non-editor and male/female differences.



All results ha veeb published on KTH's portal DiVA: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn%3Anbn%3Ase%3Akth%3Adiva-177493.

I am willing to share any and all data or datasets related to my work for anyone interested.

Wikimedia Policies, Ethics, and Human Subjects Protection


This research follows the guidelines provided by KTH's ethical policy.

Benefits for the Wikimedia community


The aim of this project is to identify problematic areas in reader preconceptions of the Wikipedia community, in order to provide suggestions on how to improve diversity on Wikipedia.


  • December 2014 - Data collection
  • February 2015 - Project report hand-in.