I am a doctoral student in Lehigh University’s Learning Science and
Technology Ph.D. program. I am contacting you because you have been
identified as part of the growing community of scholars who are
researching aspects of Wikipedia. I am hoping you, as an expert in this
area, might be willing to participate in my qualifying research project
on collaboration within the Wikipedia environment.
My study is to examine the factors that support the creation and
evolution of Wikipedia in an effort to describe why this “community of
practice” (as defined by Lave and Wenger, 1991) has been so successful.
In order to collect experts’ opinions about Wikipedia’s success, I am
employing a research methodology called the “Delphi technique” (Linstone
& Turoff, 1975), which derives consensus among a group of experts using
a series of questionnaires and feedback.
Thus, participation in this study will involve responding to one or more
online questionnaires. In the first round, experts will answer one
open-ended question related to Wikipedia’s success and an informational
survey. This first round should take 15-20 minutes to complete. Based
on your responses, you may be contacted to participate in the second and
later round of questionnaires. In the second and later rounds, each
expert will receive feedback about the results of the previous round,
and will be asked to review, rate, and comment on the group’s previous
responses. This process will be repeated until consensus among the
experts has been achieved, typically in 3-4 rounds. All later
questionnaires will include multiple-choice questions and should take
less than 10 minutes to complete each. All responses and demographic
information will be maintained in confidence and will be utilized for
the sole purpose of this research.