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Cross-cultural analysis of the Wikipedia community
Abstract This article reports a cross-cultural analThis article reports a cross-cultural analysis of four Wikipedias in different languages and demonstrates their roles as communities of practice (CoPs). Prior research on CoPs and on the Wikipedia community often lacks cross-cultural analysis. Despite the fact that over 75% of Wikipedia is written in languages other than English, research on Wikipedia primarily focuses on the English Wikipedia and tends to overlook Wikipedias in other languages. This article first argues that Wikipedia communities can be analyzed and understood as CoPs. Second, norms of behaviors are examined in four Wikipedia languages (English, Hebrew, Japanese, and Malay), and the similarities and differences across these four languages are reported. Specifically, typical behaviors on three types of discussion spaces (talk, user talk, and Wikipedia talk) are identified and examined across languages. Hofstede's dimensions of cultural diversity as well as the size of the community and the function of each discussion area provide lenses for understanding the similarities and differences. As such, this article expands the research on online CoPs through an examination of cultural variations across multiple CoPs and increases our understanding of Wikipedia communities in various languages.ikipedia communities in various languages.
Added by wikilit team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension Longitudinal  +
Comments "In general, task-oriented postings, such "In general, task-oriented postings, such as quality and accuracy, were found more frequently on talk pages compared with Wikipedia talk pages and user talk pages, in both Eastern and Western Wikipedias and small and large Wikipedias. On the contrary, community well-being postings, such as courtesy, appeared mostly in user talk pages compared with talk and Wikipedia talk pages in both Eastern and Western and small and large Wikipedias. These findings indicated that in all of these four languages, Wikipedia users similarly differentiate the use of each type of discussion area by posting messages of different natures and purposes on different types of talk pages. We argued that Hofstede's (1991) dimensions of cultural diversity can help us interpret differences between the Eastern and Western Wikipedias that have been found in this study."edias that have been found in this study."
Conclusion In conclusion, this research sheds light oIn conclusion, this research sheds light on how CoPs operate by analyzing norms of behaviors. In particular, the four Wikipedias that we examined provided exemplars of CoPs that exist in different cultural environments. Future research should expand the number of languages. As there are few studies of cross-cultural analysis about online CoPs, theWikipedias provided nice testbeds to examine variationsovided nice testbeds to examine variations
Data source Wikipedia pages  +
Doi 10.1002/asi.21373 +
Google scholar url  +
Has author Noriko Hara + , Pnina Shachaf + , Khe Foon Hew +
Has domain Information systems + , Sociology +
Has topic Cultural and linguistic effects on participation + , Participation trends +
Issue 10  +
Pages 2097-2108  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Journal article  +
Published in Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology +
Research design Content analysis  +
Research questions Research of non-English Wikipedias is needResearch of non-English Wikipedias is needed to better understand the larger Wikipedia community. Do differences across various Wikipedia languages reflect similar cultural variations that have been found in the offline environments (e.g., Hofstede, 1991)?As a first step in addressing this issue, this article focuses on the following research questions: How doWikipedia norms of behavior vary across languages?What are the (cultural and size) variations among talk pages?ral and size) variations among talk pages?
Revid 11,253  +
Theories Undetermined
Theory type Analysis  +
Title Cross-cultural analysis of the Wikipedia community
Unit of analysis Article  +
Url  +
Volume 61  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language English  + , Hebrew  + , Japanese  + , Malay  +
Wikipedia page type Article:talk  + , User:talk  + , Discussion and Q&A  +
Year 2010  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:25:39  +
Categories Cultural and linguistic effects on participation  + , Participation trends  + , Information systems  + , Sociology  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:22:50  +
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