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WP:Clubhouse? An exploration of Wikipedia's gender imbalance
Abstract Wikipedia has rapidly become an invaluableWikipedia has rapidly become an invaluable destination for millions of information-seeking users. However, media reports suggest an important challenge: only a small fraction of Wikipedia’s legion of volunteer editors are female. In the current work, we present a scientific exploration of the gender imbalance in the English Wikipedia’s population of editors. We look at the nature of the imbalance itself, its effects on the quality of the encyclopedia, and several conflict-related factors that may be contributing to the gender gap. Our findings confirm the presence of a large gender gap among editors and a corresponding gender-oriented disparity in the content of Wikipedia’s articles. Further, we find evidence hinting at a culture that may be resistant to female participation. may be resistant to female participation.
Added by wikilit team Yes  +
Collected data time dimension Longitudinal  +
Conclusion Overall, our findings indicate that there Overall, our findings indicate that there is a sub- stantial male-skewed gender imbalance in English Wikipedia edi- tors that does not appear to be closing at any appreciable rate. This is at odds with observed participation rates in other forms of on- line social media that are gender-balanced or that are even female- skewed [15, 19]. Furthermore, we find that the gender gap matters to Wikipedia: there are gender-associated imbalances in coverage quality, which impinges on Wikipedia’s goal of producing a high- quality encyclopedia. Not only would addressing the gender gap help resolve the quality disparity, it would also help increase di- versity within Wikipedia’s collaborations, which prior research has shown to improve group productivity and retention rates [6] as well as decision-making quality [14]. The problem is subtle, and simple attempts at solution without detailed understanding are likely to fail. Of our nine hypotheses, all of which seemed plausible before we began the study, nearly half were not supported by the data. How can it be that the gen- der gap in Wikipedia is not closing, though overall Internet us- age has become gender-balanced? Taken together, our results for RQ3: Gender-Conflict hint at a culture that may be resistant to fe- male participation. More research, including interviews, surveys, and focus groups, is needed to determine the underlying causes of the problems evidenced by our findings, and to determine what can be done to improve the situation. We hope this research is a first step toward addressing the gender imbalance – and the problems it causes – in Wikipedia.and the problems it causes – in Wikipedia.
Conference location Mountain View, CA +
Data source Wikipedia pages  +
Dates 3-5 +
Doi 10.1145/2038558.2038560 +
Google scholar url  +
Has author Shyong Tony K. Lam + , Anuradha Uduwage + , Zhenhua Dong + , Shilad Sen + , David R. Musicant + , Loren Terveen + , John Riedl +
Has domain Computer science + , Information systems + , Sociology +
Has topic Antecedents of quality + , Comprehensiveness + , Community building + , Contributor engagement + , Culture and values of Wikipedia + , Social order + , Participation trends +
Month October  +
Pages 1-10  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Conference paper  +
Published in WikiSym 2011 (7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration) +
Publisher ACM +
Research design Econometrics and time series  + , Statistical analysis  +
Research questions What is the extent of Wikipedia’s gender gap, and how has it changed over time? How is Wikipedia affected by the gender gap? What gender differences exist in conflicts in Wikipedia, and how do those differences relate to the gender gap?
Revid 11,037  +
Theories -
Theory type Analysis  + , Explanation  +
Title WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia’s Gender Imbalance
Unit of analysis Article  + , User  +
Url  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction Dump  +
Wikipedia language English  +
Wikipedia page type Article  + , User  + , User:talk  +
Year 2011  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 17 October 2012 15:49:10  +
Categories Antecedents of quality  + , Comprehensiveness  + , Community building  + , Contributor engagement  + , Culture and values of Wikipedia  + , Social order  + , Participation trends  + , Computer science  + , Information systems  + , Sociology  + , Publications with missing comments  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:32:19  +
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