David McDonald

Spring 2018

Do conflicts make Wikipedia better?

How many times has Wikipedia articles saved you from failing a homework assignment?  Those articles would not have been of so much help if it were not for the contributors. These contributors do not always agree with each other. In this DRG, we will address how the conflict arises in the Wikipedia community.

To further understand this challenge, we will explore how editors behave across the various language editions of Wikipedia. The English language Wikipedia is notable for its enormous database but there are also 288 other active language editions. While collaboration in the English Wikipedia has been researched extensively, these other language editions remain understudied. The goal of this project is to understand editor behavior in the English, French and Spanish language edition of Wikipedia.

We are looking for up to 8 students during Spring quarter to help with a study understanding how conflict occurs across Wikipedias. As part of this research, we will be exploring the literature around editor conflict and multilingual Wikipedia. Additionally,  we will replicate prior methods used to understand this platform to check whether prior assumptions still hold true across different language samples and in present day Wikipedia.

We are looking for students, who have experience with or a willingness to learn (1) qualitative coding and (2)user behavior on online collaborative systems. It is not necessary but French and Spanish language skills will be helpful.

This is a 2-credit research group offered to undergraduate (HCDE 496) and graduate (HCDE 596) students. Students will meet for 1 hour every week (Tuesday 4-5pm)  and should commit around 4 hours outside of class time.

If you are interested in participating in this DRG, please fill out the following form:

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