Hello, everyone,

The next Research Showcase, “Group Membership and Contributions to Public
Information Goods: The Case of WikiProject” and “Thanks for Stopping By: A
Study of ‘Thanks’ Usage on Wikimedia,” will be live-streamed next
Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at 11:30 AM PDT/19:30 UTC.

YouTube stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmb5LoJzOoE

As usual, you can join the conversation on IRC at #wikimedia-research. You
can also watch our past research showcases here:

This month's presentations:

Group Membership and Contributions to Public Information Goods: The Case of

By Ark Fangzhou Zhang


We investigate the effects of group identity on contribution behavior on
the English Wikipedia, the largest online encyclopedia that gives free
access to the public. Using an instrumental variable approach that exploits
the variations in one’s exposure to WikiProject, we find that joining a
WikiProject has a significant impact on one’s level of contribution, with
an average increase of 79 revisions or 8,672 character per month. To
uncover the potential mechanism underlying the treatment effect, we use the
size of home page for WikiProject as a proxy for the number of
recommendations from a project. The results show that the users who join a
WikiProject with more recommendations significantly increase their
contribution to articles under the joined project, but not to articles
under other projects.

Thanks for Stopping By: A Study of ‘Thanks’ Usage on Wikimedia

By Swati Goel


The Thanks feature on Wikipedia, also known as "Thanks," is a tool with
which editors can quickly and easily send one other positive feedback. The
aim of this project is to better understand this feature: its scope, the
characteristics of a typical "Thanks" interaction, and the effects of
receiving a thank on individual editors. We study the motivational impacts
of "Thanks" because maintaining editor engagement is a central problem for
crowdsourced repositories of knowledge such as Wikimedia. Our main findings
are that most editors have not been exposed to the Thanks feature (meaning
they have never given nor received a thank), thanks are typically sent
upwards (from less experienced to more experienced editors), and receiving
a thank is correlated with having high levels of editor engagement. Though
the prevalence of "Thanks" usage varies by editor experience, the impact of
receiving a thank seems mostly consistent for all users. We empirically
demonstrate that receiving a thank has a strong positive effect on
short-term editor activity across the board and provide preliminary
evidence that thanks could compound to have long-term effects as well.

Janna Layton (she, her)
Administrative Assistant - Audiences & Technology
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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