Wikibugs: Using template messages in open content collections

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Citation: Loris Gaio, Matthijs den Besten, Alessandro Rossi, Jean-Michel Dalle (2009) Wikibugs: Using template messages in open content collections. Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (RSS)

doi: 10.1145/1641309.1641330


Tagged: Computer Science (RSS) wikis (RSS), open content (RSS), readability (RSS), template messages (RSS), Wikipedia (RSS), Simple Wikipedia (RSS), division of labor (RSS), peer production (RSS)


This paper uses continuous time survival analysis to create empirical fitted models of the process of applying or removing {{complex}} tags on articles in the Simple Wikipedia project as a way of understanding how and why articles enter, and exit from what the authors refer to an a "pathological state".

Three large families of variables are tested: (a) measures of effort and intensity of work; (b) participation of users/division of labor; and (c) morphological features of the page.

Entrance into the pathological state (i.e., the page being marked as complex) is affected by the number of users and their efforts; conversely no structural features like size, reliability, or similarity are useful in understanding entry. Exit from the pathological state (i.e., the page being marked as not complex) is dependent upon only the number of participants. While anonymous users have detrimental effects, all three categories of registered users seem to help in addressing readability.

Theoretical and practical relevance:

Could improve our understanding of how articles evolve in peer production systems.