Social structure of Wikipedia authors

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Social structure of Wikipedia authors

René König
Hi everyone,

I am writing a report on science in Wikipedia and other projects of Wikimedia (especially Wikibooks and Wikiversity). A question which interests me in particular is: who is actually contributing to the articles? With “who” I am asking especially for the educational level of the contributors, but also other aspects such as gender and age might be of interest, of course.

The context of this question is that I am wondering if there are maybe more “full-time experts” taking part in Wikipedia as one might guess. So far I found examples for both: Undergraduates taking care of major parts of scientific fields at Wikipedia (see e.g. Keim 2007) and active full-time scientists contributing to the encyclopaedia (see e.g. Huss et al. 2008; Butler 2008).

I would appreciate any help. Thank you.



Butler, D., 2008, Publish in Wikipedia or perish; Website; Nature News <>.

Huss, J. W., Orozco, C., Goodale, J., Wu, C., Batalov, S., Vickers, T. J., Valafar, F. und Su, A. I., 2008, A Gene Wiki for Community Annotation of Gene Function, PLoS Biology 6(7), e175 < >.

Keim, B., 2007, News feature: WikiMedia, Nat Med 13(3), 231-233 < >.

René König
Sociology student at the University of Bielefeld, Germany

Research assistant at the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) 
of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (AAS)
Strohgasse 45, 5
A-1030 Vienna

Tel. (Office): +43-(0)1-51581-6597

Project “Interactive Science” 
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