User:The bellman/Proof

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Abstract[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia, an international project that uses Wiki software to collaboratively create an encyclopaedia, is becoming more and more popular. Everyone can directly edit articles and every edit is recorded. The version history of all articles is freely available and allows a multitude of examinations. This research-in-progress paper gives an overview on Wikipedia research. Wikipedia’s fundamental components that are articles, authors, edits, and links are analysed as well as content and quality. Possibilities of research are explored including examples and first results. Several characteristics that are found in Wikipedia, such as exponential growth and scale-free networks, structures which are all known in other contexts however the Wiki architecture also possesses some intrinsic specialities. General trends are measured that are typical for all Wikipedias but vary between languages in detail.

Conclusions[edit | edit source]

There is still little research about Wikipedia and Wikis. This research-in-progress paper presented a first overview on Wikipedia research. After a linear phase, Wikipedias grow exponentially with different rates per language. The growth rate of the number of articles is typically smaller than other ratios. Different Wikipedias can be compared with simple methods such as counting growth rates, namespaces and article types. Article sizes are lognormal distributed with a linear growing median. For articles with 5 or more distinct authors its number follows a power law as well as the number of distinct articles per author. More detailed methods for measuring edits exist. Because every Wikipedia article covers a single concept and links to related ones, you can derive thesaurus-like structures out of the network of articles. The network is scale-free on internal links, external links and broken links. There are many possibilities for deeper investigation, especially regarding quality and content. Like Wikimedia itself, its research is in the very beginning but very promising.