Cross-cultural analysis of the Wikipedia community

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Citation: N. Hara, P. Shachaf, K. F. Hew (2010-06-28) Cross-cultural analysis of the Wikipedia community. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (RSS)

doi: 10.1002/asi.21373

Tagged: Computer Science (RSS) Wikipedia (RSS), Wikipedia Talk pages (RSS), cross-cultural (RSS), multi-lingual (RSS), cultural differences (RSS)


Hara, Shachaf and Hew's study compares behavior across the English, Hebrew, Japanese, and Malay Wikipedias. They build a dataset that involves coded data from a random sample of pages from the Talk, User talk, and the Wikipedia talk name spaces. They build their dataset by taking all pages then creating a random subset. Their analysis presented as cross-tabulations with respect to (a) size and (b) Hofstede's dimensions of cultural variation that essentially break down into east and west shown against questions of (1) courteousness (2) aggressively and competitiveness and (3) quality and accuracy which were coded by the authors.

The basic findings were:

  • Talk pages are task oriented, user talk pages are more social;
  • Courteous postings were posted more frequently when user talk pages;
  • Eastern and large Wikipedias had significantly more courteous messages;
  • Western and small Wikipedias exhibited more conflict behaviors.