New paper: "Sudden Attention Shifts on Wikipedia Following COVID-19 Mobility Restrictions"

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New paper: "Sudden Attention Shifts on Wikipedia Following COVID-19 Mobility Restrictions"

Robert West
Dear all,

As several Wikipedia researchers are working toward understanding
Wikipedia's role during this pandemic, I thought I'd share our recent paper
(abstract below):

"Sudden Attention Shifts on Wikipedia Following COVID-19 Mobility
Restrictions"
https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.08505

Stay safe, everyone on this list!
Bob

------------------

Authors:
Manoel Horta Ribeiro, Kristina Gligorić, Maxime Peyrard, Florian Lemmerich,
Markus Strohmaier, Robert West

Abstract:
We study how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, alongside
the severe mobility restrictions that ensued, has impacted information
access on Wikipedia, the world's largest online encyclopedia. A
longitudinal analysis that combines pageview statistics for 12 Wikipedia
language editions with mobility reports published by Apple and Google
reveals a massive increase in access volume, accompanied by a stark shift
in topical interests. Health- and entertainment- related topics are found
to have gained, and sports- and transportation- related topics, to have
lost attention. Interestingly, while the interest in health-related topics
was transient, that in entertainment topics is lingering and even
increasing. These changes began at the time when mobility was restricted
and are most pronounced for language editions associated with countries, in
which the most severe mobility restrictions were implemented, indicating
that the interest shift might be caused by people's spending more time at
home. Our results highlight the utility of Wikipedia for studying reactions
to the pandemic across the globe, and illustrate how the disease is
rippling through society.
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