What's mine is mine: Territoriality in collaborative authoring

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Citation: Jennifer Thom-Santelli, Dan R. Cosley, Geri Gay (2009) What's mine is mine: Territoriality in collaborative authoring. Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (RSS)

doi: 10.1145/1518701.1518925

Download: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1518925

Tagged: Computer Science (RSS) Wikipedia (RSS), ownership (RSS), incentives (RSS)


Thom-Santelli et al. present a qualitative study of 15 authors use of the {{maintained}} template. The authors searched though a full Wikipedia dump to find the approximate 1,100 pages that used the template on article talk pages to explain to other users that the article is maintained. They the contacted a subsample of 15 editors (5 women and 10 men) and engaged them in approximate 1 hours unstructured interviews to help understand their use of the template and the degree of "territoriality" (if any) that the authors felt over the articles in questions.

Their basic finding is that there is indeed territoriality on Wikipedia which the authors attempt to connect to a sense of ownership. They argue that this territoriality can be valuable (and retaining expertise), but suggest that it might also have the negative effect of deterring new member participation.