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The hidden order of Wikipedia
Abstract We examine the procedural side of WikipediWe examine the procedural side of Wikipedia, the well-known internet encyclopedia. Despite the lack of structure in the underlying wiki technology, users abide by hundreds of rules and follow well-defined processes. Our case study is the Featured Article (FA) process, one of the best established procedures on the site. We analyze the FA process through the theoretical framework of commons governance, and demonstrate how this process blends elements of traditional workflow with peer production. We conclude that rather than encouraging anarchy, many aspects of wiki technology lend themselves to the collective creation of formalized process and policy.creation of formalized process and policy.
Added by wikilit team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension Longitudinal  +
Conclusion First, Wikipedia’s rules are tightly boundFirst, Wikipedia’s rules are tightly bound to particular technical aspects of the site and are therefore “localized,” instead of generic solutions. Second, they are collective-choice arrangements where everyone may participate in modifying the rules. Third, monitoring the actions of others is facilitated by the technology available. In fact, we identify Wikipedians’ use of templates as being one of the driving technological factors of the success of the FA process. Finally, in contrast with many offline communities, Wikipedia’s records are persistent, public, and easily available online. We believe this is the second technological element driving both the creation and the adoption of norms and guidelines on the site. A large part of the increase in coordination and regulation efforts in Wikipedia is due to the need of defining quality standards and assuring quality control in entries. The FA process is the poster child of this endeavor. We find that this process represents a hybrid of Benkler’s two evolutionary phases in successful commonsbased communities: the FA process directly addresses quality assurance at the same time that it is structured to allow complex coordination tasks to be broken into small, independent modules. In other words, FAs ensure quality using peer-production mechanisms, and this characteristic is likely a key to their success in Wikipedia.ikely a key to their success in Wikipedia.
Conference location Berlin, Heidelberg +
Data source Interview responses  + , Wikipedia pages  +
Doi 10.1007/978-3-540-73257-0 49 +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22The%2Bhidden%2Border%2Bof%2BWikipedia%22  +
Has author Fernanda B. Viégas + , Martin Wattenberg + , Matthew M. McKeon +
Has domain Information systems +
Has topic Featured articles + , Quality improvement processes +
Pages 445-454  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Conference paper  +
Published in Online Communities and Social Computing +
Publisher Springer-Verlag +
Research design Case study  +
Research questions We examine the procedural side of WikipediWe examine the procedural side of Wikipedia, the well-known internet encyclopedia. Despite the lack of structure in the underlying wiki technology, users abide by hundreds of rules and follow well-defined processes. Our case study is the Featured Article (FA) process, one of the best established procedures on the site. We analyze the FA process through the theoretical framework of commons governance, and demonstrate how this process blends elements of traditional workflow with peer production.traditional workflow with peer production.
Revid 10,979  +
Theories Benkler’s and Ostrom’s principles
Theory type Analysis  +
Title The hidden order of Wikipedia
Unit of analysis Article  + , User  +
Url http://www.springerlink.com/content/45133g5g37601u22/  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language English  +
Wikipedia page type Article:talk  + , Policy  +
Year 2007  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:30:43  +
Categories Featured articles  + , Quality improvement processes  + , Information systems  + , Publications with missing comments  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:31:46  +
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