A Composite Calculation for Author Activity in Wikis: Accuracy Needed

  • Claudia Müller-Birn
  • Janette Lehmann
  • Sabina Jeschke
Conference paper


Researchers of computer science and social science are increasingly interested in the Social Web and its applications. To improve existing infrastructures, to evaluate the success of available services, and to build new virtual communities and their applications, an understanding of dynamics and evolution of inherent social and informational structures is essential. One key question is how communities which exist in these applications are structured in terms of author contributions. Are there similar contribution patterns in different applications? For example, does the so called onion model revealed from open source software communities apply to Social Web applications as well? In this study, author contributions in the open content project Wikipedia are investigated. Previous studies to evaluate author contributions mainly concentrate on editing activities. Extending this approach, the added significant content and investigation of which author groups contribute the majority of content in terms of activity and significance are considered. Furthermore, the social information space is described by a dynamic collaboration network and the topic coverage of authors is analyzed. In contrast to existing approaches, the position of an author in a social network is incorporated. Finally, a new composite calculation to evaluate author contributions in Wikis is proposed. The action, the content contribution, and the connectedness of an author are integrated into one equation in order to evaluate author activity.


Social Web Wikipedia social networking collaboration networks 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Müller-Birn
    • 1
  • Janette Lehmann
    • 2
  • Sabina Jeschke
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Software Research, Carnegie Mellon School of Computer SciencePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Institut für Informatik, Universität PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.IMA/ZLW & IfU - RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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