Attention Please!

Exploring Attention Management on Wikipedia in the Context of the Ukrainian Crisis
  • Jon RoozenbeekEmail author
  • Mariia Terentieva
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10540)


This study investigates the behaviour of Ukrainian, Russian and English Wikipedia contributors in terms of their attention management, which Pierre Lévy casts as the initial stage of personal knowledge management. We analyse the salience of the Ukrainian crisis of 2013-14 as a topic of public discussion on the national, regional and international level, as well as the changing intensity of discussions between Ukrainian-speaking, Russian-speaking and English-speaking communities of Wikipedia contributors. We propose a meta-driven methodology to identify and track multi-faceted topics of public discussion rather than individual articles, which is common practice in Wikipedia scholarship. We develop a ‘discussion intensity’ metric to trace the salience of topics related to the Ukrainian crisis among Wikipedia contributors over time and to detect which aspects of this topic fuel discussions and direct attention. This method allows for a comparison across different language versions of Wikipedia and enables the identification of major differences in the attention management of different communities of Wikipedia creators and the role of the encyclopaedia in the development of collective knowledge. We observe three distinct patterns of collective attention management, which we characterize as intense attention, dispersed attention, and focused attention.


Wikipedia Ukrainian crisis Collective intelligence Attention management 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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