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WikiLit: A literature review of scholarly research on Wikipedia

This is the project website for WikiLit, a comprehensive literature review of scholarly research on Wikipedia.

Unlike permanent sites like AcaWiki (which compiles summaries of scholarly studies of all subjects) and WikiPapers (which compiles bibliographic and other details of scholarly research on wikis), this site is a temporary project site for a literature review of a narrow subset of studies: those that focus on Wikipedia. Our goal is to host our extracted literature review data here while we are in the final stages of the review, complete and clean it up, and then when completed, eventually export it all to long-term sites like AcaWiki and WikiPapers and anyone else that wants it.


Please contact us at wikilit - at -


Pivot tables and charts

Feel free to play around with this pivot data; you can't break anything since whatever you change only affects your own viewing session. If you want to restart with the default settings, then just refresh the web browser page. We have a separate page with detailed instructions on manipulating this pivot data.


Initial 5 articles:

  Author(s) Year Published in Topic(s) Domain(s)
'Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' as a role model? Lessons for open innovation from an exploratory examination of the supposedly democratic-anarchic nature of Wikipedia Gordon Müller-Seitz
Guido Reger
2010 International Journal of Technology Management Contributor motivation
Policies and governance
Social order
Information systems
A 'resource review' of Wikipedia Cormac Lawler 2006 Counselling & Psychotherapy Research Miscellaneous topics Information systems
A Persian web page classifier applying a combination of content-based and context-based features Mojgan Farhoodi
Alireza Yari
Maryam Mahmoudi
2009 International Journal of Information Studies Text classification Computer science
A Wikipedia literature review Owen S. Martin 2010 ArXiv Literature review Mathematics
A Wikipedia matching approach to contextual advertising Alexander N. Pak
Chin-Wan Chung
2010 World Wide Web Other information retrieval topics Computer science
… further results

Key details about this literature review

  • We describe the methodology in detail in a working paper.
  • We include only research about Wikipedia, not about any other wiki or any other Wikimedia Foundation project.
  • We focused mainly on peer-reviewed journal articles (over 340) and PhD dissertations (over 30), and have systematically sought to include these. It is a huge project, and we had to draw a limit to what we would mainly focus on.
  • We have identified over 1,500 conference papers which we list with their abstracts. However, in our detailed analysis we have included only 100 or so of the most highly-cited conference papers. Because of our limited time and resources, unfortunately we were unable to analyze more than that in detail. However, we can certainly do detailed analysis of any important conference papers that we left out--please add them or point them out to us!
  • We do not include any items published July 2011 or afterwards, after which the Wikimedia Research Newsletter was formally inaugurated; we're letting them pick up from where we stop.
  • The wiki contains 1,520 pages, including publications and authors.
  • For downloading and querying the data, see WikiLit:Export

How to use this site

  • Browse articles by research topics (click [+] to expand the subcategories):

  • Browse articles by domains of knowledge (click [+] to expand the subcategories):

  • Browse articles
By title
By year of publication

  • Browse researchers
By name
By country

Request for help

Please help us verify the accuracy of our data extraction so far. Practically, if you could take a look at your own publications and the publications you know well, that would be great. It's an open wiki, so please make any corrections directly, even anonymously. (However, if you want us to acknowledge your contributions, please create a user account and identify yourself on your user page.) In particular, please help us with the following:

  • Please correct any inaccuracies you see, or e-mail us at wikilit - at - to notify us of them.
  • Please point out any peer-reviewed journal articles or PhD dissertations we have missed that were published before July 2011; we will certainly add these.
  • Please point out any other scholarly studies (especially conference articles and significant non-peer-reviewed work) that you feel should definitely be analyzed in detail. Although we have listed 1,500 conference papers, our limited time and resources only permits us to analyze a fraction of them in detail. So, please help us highlight the most important ones that we have not analyzed in detail, with a brief explanation of why they are particularly important.
  • Please add any scholarly studies about Wikipedia that we have left out! Our restrictions in what we include are purely pragmatic due to time and resource limitations. If you want to add anything that we say that we don't have the time to do ourselves, please feel free to do so! Please add your own research and those of others that you know well. However, if you add a new article, please be sure to fill all input fields, since we will generally need complete data for our final analysis.
  • Please add scholarly studies published in languages other than English! Because of our resource restrictions, we could only search for and include studies in English. However, we very much welcome inclusion of the excellent work done in other languages. There is no need to translate the free-text article information, but please use the English data fields to enable comparability of the data.
  • Please suggest any data analysis or visualizations you would like to see as we synthesize and present the data.
  • Please give any other feedback or suggestions that can help us make this dataset more useful to researchers!

The data is publicly available (it is dual-licensed CC-BY-SA and ODbL, except for copyrighted abstracts), but this is a beta release and there are probably a lot of errors. We hope to have a stable and very clean dataset within a couple months, both from community help and from our own internal quality control processes; we'll make another announcement when we feel it has reached "featured" quality. In particular, please wait a bit before exporting the data to other research collection websites and wikis until it is in a cleaner state; by then, we'll help make it available in as many export formats as practical. No later than May 31, 2012, we hope that this dataset will have attained exportable quality. (If this notice has not been updated by that date, then please contact us at wikilit - at - to ask for the current status.)

How can I edit the pages about existing articles and researchers?

Please help by filling missing fields in pages:

  • Navigate to any article or researcher
  • Click the Edit with form link at the top of the page
  • For articles,
    • Basic properties: Basic bibliometric data for the article
    • Identifiers: Links and bibliometric identifiers
    • Topics: Select all topics from the category tree that are relevant to the article. We need the most help here!
    • Domains: Select all domains of knowledge from the category tree that are relevant to the article. We need the most help here!
    • Research details: Relevant data related to the study that is pertinent to researchers. We need the most help here!
    • Additional info: Other information for the article, mainly related to related media
  • For researchers,
    • Add any missing information for yourself or others. Affiliation and country and the most desired fields!

How can I create a new page for a new article or researcher?

For adding new content to WikiLit, you can use the following forms:

  • Form:Publication: journal articles, conference papers, theses, etc.
  • Form:Researcher: researchers. Note that if you add a publication and list the authors, the new pages for the researchers will automatically be created if they do not already exist.

License and attribution: How to distribute or re-use this data

Site license


Okoli, Chitu, Mehdi, Mohamad, Mesgari, Mostafa, Nielsen, Finn Årup and Lanamäki, Arto, "The people's encyclopedia under the gaze of the sages: a systematic review of scholarly research on Wikipedia" (October 23, 2012). Available at SSRN:

However, before you officially publish anything where you cite the working paper, please check here and on SSRN to see if we have published the final version yet, so that you can cite that.

  • We have borrowed extensively from the forms, templates, semantic links, navigation structure and other presentation content from emijrp's WikiPapers. Many of the fields of the templates in WikiLit follow the convention of WikiPapers.