Voluntary engagement in an open web-based encyclopedia: From reading to contributing

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Voluntary engagement in an open web-based encyclopedia: From reading to contributing is a 2008 conference paper by Guido Hertel Joachim Schroer and published in 10th International General Online Research Conference, Hamburg, Germany.

[edit] Abstract

Extending earlier research on highly active Wikipedia contributors (Schroer & Hertel, 2007), a longitudinal study was conducted to explore why Wikipedia readers would start to actively engage for Wikipedia. Online-survey data (N = 256) were analyzed using PLS path modeling. Results revealed perceptions of costs-benefits, expected task enjoyment, and perceived instrumentality of personal contributions as main predictors of the intention to contribute. Active contributions 6 months later depended predominantly on costs-benefits and instrumentality perceptions, typically triggered by incomplete or incorrect Wikipedia articles in one’s own field of expertise. The importance of Open Source ideals, i.e. the idea of free access to knowledge for everyone, affected neither the intention to contribute, nor active contributions 6 months later. Wikipedia readers, however, considered these ideals as important as do Wikipedia authors.

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