For the last three months, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Community Department has been busy with our inaugural summer research program. Today, we are happy to share our summary of findings.

We invited eight academics from a variety of fields to join us from June through August, in order to take an intensive look at the dynamics of Wikipedia’s editing community. We organized our work this summer as a series of weekly sprints, each tackling a new topic related to participation in Wikipedia by editors. In particular, we focused on the spectrum of participation related to new editors of Wikipedia, from the time they register to how they first contribute and collaborate with existing community members.

The past months have been a fun, rewarding collaboration with Foundation staff and fellows, community members, and our friends from the academic world who joined us. We hope that our conclusions, as well as the underlying data and open source tools used to produce them, will give the entire Wikimedia movement greater insight into how the volunteer editing community functions and can be better supported. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the researchers who participated in this summer and who worked hard to make it a success.

Our summary of findings is organized topically, but you can see the complete list of individual research sprints, links to media, and other information on our main documentation page on Meta. If you have questions or comments about our findings or the documentation for individual projects, please feel free to make use of the related Talk pages.

Diederik van Liere, Maryana Pinchuk, Steven Walling,
Community Department

P.S. The research team also had the pleasure of presenting their findings to Foundation staff in San Francisco in late August. Below are a few snapshots of that event we’d like to share. These and more from the summer are available on Wikimedia Commons.