A Study of Phenomena of Knowledge Sharing in Wikipedia

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A Study of Phenomena of Knowledge Sharing in Wikipedia is a 2006 master's thesis written in Chinese by Chun-yu Huang and published in National Central University, Taiwan.

[edit] Abstract

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia on the Internet. It provides a lot of knowledge for the user. The first Wikipedia appeared in 2001 and was only in English. After six year of development, there are now various versions in more than 250 languages. Contents in Wikipedia were contributed and edited not by authorities, but by users of Wikipedia. As long as one wants, one can contribute to the contents of Wikipedia. Many users spent their time and energy to devote themselves to Wikipedia. Wikipedia gives no monetary reward to its contributor, but there are more and more users sharing their knowledge to Wikipedia. Does this reveal a massive pro-social phenomenon? This study thus attempts to look into factors that effect knowledge sharing of these sharing individuals. A web based questionnaire was designed, and known Wikipedia users were invited as informants. 156 valid samples were tallied out of a total of 181 returns. Empirical results reveal that reputation and altruism have positive effects on attitude of knowledge sharing, while expected reward has significant but negative effect on attitude of knowledge sharing. External control and community identification have moderating effect on the relationship between attitude of knowledge sharing and behavior of knowledge sharing. However, we failed to find evidence that support the effect of attitude of knowledge sharing on behavior of knowledge sharing. This is an issue that calls for more studies.

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