The small worlds of wikipedia: Implications for growth, quality and sustainability of collaborative knowledge networks

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The small worlds of wikipedia: Implications for growth, quality and sustainability of collaborative knowledge networks is a 2009 conference paper written in English by Ingawale M., Dutta A., Roy R., Seetharaman P. and published in 15th Americas Conference on Information Systems 2009, AMCIS 2009.

[edit] Abstract

This work is a longitudinal network analysis of the interaction networks of Wikipedia, a free, user-led collaborativelygenerated online encyclopedia. Making a case for representing Wikipedia as a knowledge network, and using the lens of contemporary graph theory, we attempt to unravel its knowledge creation process and growth dynamics over time. Typical small-world characteristics of short path-length and high clustering have important theoretical implications for knowledge networks. We show Wikipedia's small-world nature to be increasing over time, while also uncovering power laws and assortative mixing. Investigating the process by which an apparently un-coordinated, diversely motivated swarm of assorted contributors, create and maintain remarkably high quality content, we find an association between Quality and Structural Holes. We find that a few key high degree, cluster spanning nodes - 'hubs' - hold the growing network together, and discuss implications for the networks' growth and emergent quality.

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