The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System: How Wikipedia's Reaction to Popularity Is Causing Its Decline
|The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System: How Wikipedia's Reaction to Popularity Is Causing Its Decline|
|Author(s)||Halfaker A., Geiger R.S., Morgan J.T., Riedl J.|
|Published in||American Behavioral Scientist|
|Keyword(s)||governance, Peer production, quality control, retention, Wikipedia|
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The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System: How Wikipedia's Reaction to Popularity Is Causing Its Decline is a 2013 journal article written in English by Halfaker A., Geiger R.S., Morgan J.T., Riedl J. and published in American Behavioral Scientist.
Open collaboration systems, such as Wikipedia, need to maintain a pool of volunteer contributors to remain relevant. Wikipedia was created through a tremendous number of contributions by millions of contributors. However, recent research has shown that the number of active contributors in Wikipedia has been declining steadily for years and suggests that a sharp decline in the retention of newcomers is the cause. This article presents data that show how several changes the Wikipedia community made to manage quality and consistency in the face of a massive growth in participation have ironically crippled the very growth they were designed to manage. Specifically, the restrictiveness of the encyclopedia's primary quality control mechanism and the algorithmic tools used to reject contributions are implicated as key causes of decreased newcomer retention. Furthermore, the community's formal mechanisms for norm articulation are shown to have calcified against changes-especially changes proposed by newer editors.
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