Reputation and reliability in collective goods: the case of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia

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Reputation and reliability in collective goods: the case of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia
Authors: Denise Anthony, Sean W. Smith, Timothy Williamson [edit item]
Citation: Rationality and Society 21 (3): 283-306. 2009 August.
Publication type: Journal article
Peer-reviewed: Yes
Database(s):
DOI: 10.1177/1043463109336804.
Google Scholar cites: Citations
Link(s): Paper link
Added by Wikilit team: Yes
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Reputation and reliability in collective goods: the case of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia is a publication by Denise Anthony, Sean W. Smith, Timothy Williamson.


[edit] Abstract

An important organizational innovation enabled by the revolution in information technologies is 'open source' production which converts private commodities into essentially public goods. Similar to other public goods, incentives for reputation and group identity appear to motivate contributions to open source projects, overcoming the social dilemma inherent in producing such goods. In this paper we examine how contributor motivations affect the type of contributions made to the open source online encyclopedia Wikipedia. As expected, we find that registered participants, motivated by reputation and commitment to the Wikipedia community, make many contributions with high reliability. Surprisingly, however, we find the highest reliability from the vast numbers of anonymous 'Good Samaritans' who contribute only once. Our findings of high reliability in the contributions of both Good Samaritans and committed 'zealots' suggest that open source production succeeds by altering the scope of production such that a critical mass of contributors can participate.

[edit] Research questions

"In this paper we examine how contributor motivations affect the type of contributions made to the open source online encyclopedia Wikipedia."

Research details

Topics: Antecedents of quality, Contributor motivation, Quality improvement processes [edit item]
Domains: Information systems, Psychology [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: "Yet sociologists theorize that a critical mass of heterogeneous contributors is necessary to produce public goods (Heckathorn 1992; Marwell and Oliver 1993)" [edit item]
Research design: Mathematical modeling, Statistical analysis [edit item]
Data source: Wikipedia pages [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: Longitudinal [edit item]
Unit of analysis: Edit, User [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Live Wikipedia [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: Article, History [edit item]
Wikipedia language: Dutch, French [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"As expected, we find that registered participants, motivated by reputation and commitment to the Wikipedia community, make many contributions with high reliability. Surprisingly, however, we find the highest reliability from the vast numbers of anonymous ‘Good Samaritans’ who contribute only once. Our findings of high reliability in the contributions of both Good Samaritans and committed ‘zealots’ suggest that open source production succeeds by altering the scope of production such that a critical mass of contributors can participate."

[edit] Comments


Further notes[edit]

Facts about "Reputation and reliability in collective goods: the case of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia"RDF feed
AbstractAn important organizational innovation enaAn important organizational innovation enabled by the revolution in information technologies is 'open source' production which converts private commodities into essentially public goods. Similar to other public goods, incentives for reputation and group identity appear to motivate contributions to open source projects, overcoming the social dilemma inherent in producing such goods. In this paper we examine how contributor motivations affect the type of contributions made to the open source online encyclopedia Wikipedia. As expected, we find that registered participants, motivated by reputation and commitment to the Wikipedia community, make many contributions with high reliability. Surprisingly, however, we find the highest reliability from the vast numbers of anonymous 'Good Samaritans' who contribute only once. Our findings of high reliability in the contributions of both Good Samaritans and committed 'zealots' suggest that open source production succeeds by altering the scope of production such that a critical mass of contributors can participate.ical mass of contributors can participate.
Added by wikilit teamYes +
Collected data time dimensionLongitudinal +
ConclusionAs expected, we find that registered partiAs expected, we find that registered participants, motivated by reputation and commitment to the Wikipedia community, make many contributions with high reliability. Surprisingly, however, we find the highest reliability from the vast numbers of anonymous ‘Good Samaritans’ who contribute only once. Our findings of high reliability in the contributions of both Good Samaritans and committed ‘zealots’ suggest that open source production succeeds by altering the scope of production such that a critical mass of contributors can participate.ical mass of contributors can participate.
Data sourceWikipedia pages +
Doi10.1177/1043463109336804 +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Reputation%2Band%2Breliability%2Bin%2Bcollective%2Bgoods%3A%2Bthe%2Bcase%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bonline%2Bencyclopedia%2BWikipedia%22 +
Has authorDenise Anthony +, Sean W. Smith + and Timothy Williamson +
Has domainInformation systems + and Psychology +
Has topicAntecedents of quality +, Contributor motivation + and Quality improvement processes +
Issue3 +
MonthAugust +
Pages283-306 +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeJournal article +
Published inRationality and Society +
Research designMathematical modeling + and Statistical analysis +
Research questionsIn this paper we examine how contributor motivations affect the type of contributions made to the open source online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
Revid10,927 +
TheoriesYet sociologists theorize that a critical mass of heterogeneous contributors is necessary to produce public goods (Heckathorn 1992; Marwell and Oliver 1993)
Theory typeAnalysis +
TitleReputation and reliability in collective goods: the case of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia
Unit of analysisEdit + and User +
Urlhttp://rss.sagepub.com/content/21/3/283.short +
Volume21 +
Wikipedia coverageMain topic +
Wikipedia data extractionLive Wikipedia +
Wikipedia languageDutch + and French +
Wikipedia page typeArticle + and History +
Year2009 +