Last modified on January 30, 2014, at 20:32

Why do people write for Wikipedia? Incentives to contribute to open-content publishing

Publication (help)
Why do people write for Wikipedia? Incentives to contribute to open-content publishing
Authors: Andrea Forte, Amy Bruckman [edit item]
Citation: Group 2005 workshop: Sustaining community: The role and design of incentive mechanisms in online systems  : . 2005. Sanibel Island, FL..
Publication type: Conference paper
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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Google Scholar cites: Citations
Link(s): Paper link
Added by Wikilit team: Yes
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Why do people write for Wikipedia? Incentives to contribute to open-content publishing is a publication by Andrea Forte, Amy Bruckman.


[edit] Abstract

When people learn that we have spoken to individuals who spend up to 30 hours a week volunteering their time to research and write for an open-content encyclopedia, we often hear the same question: “Why do they do it?“ The fact that this encyclopedia does not provide bylines to credit authors for their hard work makes the scenario still less fathomable. Two rounds of interviews with 22 volunteer encyclopedia writers in the fall of 2004 and spring of 2005 revealed that, in some respects, the incentive system that motivates contributions to the open- content encyclopedia Wikipedia resembles that of the scientific community. Like scientists, contributors to Wikipedia seek to collaboratively identify and publish true facts about the world. Research on the sociology of science provides a useful touchstone for considering the incentive systems embedded in the technology and culture of online communities of collaborative authorship. In this paper we describe some of our findings in the context of Latour and Woolgar’s seminal work on the incentive systems that motivate publishing scientists. We suggest that minimizing reliance on “hard coded,“ stratified user privileges and providing indicators of engagement in desirable activities can help support the growth of incentive economies in online communities.

[edit] Research questions

"Why do individuals write for an open-content encyclopedia?"

Research details

Topics: Contributor motivation [edit item]
Domains: Information systems [edit item]
Theory type: Explanation [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: "Latour and Woolgar "cycle of credit."" [edit item]
Research design: Case study [edit item]
Data source: Interview responses [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: Cross-sectional [edit item]
Unit of analysis: User [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia language: English [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"We suggest that minimizing reliance on “hard coded,“ stratified user privileges and providing indicators of engagement in desirable activities can help support the growth of incentive economies in online communities."

[edit] Comments


Further notes[edit]