Dennis M. Wilkinson and Bernardo A. Huberman
Information Dynamics Laboratory, HP Labs
Since its inception six years ago, the online
encyclopedia Wikipedia has accumulated 6.40 million articles and 250
million edits contributed in a predominantly undirected and
haphazard fashion by 5.77 million unvetted contributors. Since it is
not obvious that this kind of large-scale, voluntary effort can
produce good results, we measured the correlation between the 50
million edits in the English-language Wikipedia and the quality of
its 1.5 million articles. We found that article quality is indeed
correlated with both number of edits and number of distinct editors.
An analysis of editing patterns shows a heavy-tailed distribution of
articles, in which relatively few articles having disproportionally
high numbers of edits and editors end up at the forefront in terms
of quality and visibility.
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