Submissions/How do editors interact on article level and do they show territorial behaviour?

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After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission

How do editors interact on article level and do they show territorial behaviour?

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission


E-mail address



Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

GESIS Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences and Open Knowledge Foundation Austria

Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

This talk will show new results from research done at the GESIS Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences in Cologne - all about social interactions between editors on an article level in the English Wikipedia. It will focus on how the results can help the community in understanding and attributing social interactions and problems fast and properly and give an insight into the opportunities behind the software and the data used for this.

The presentation consists of four parts:

  1. 1. The concept and algorithms of WikiWho will be presented as a way to understand social interactions between editors in an article via the content they change. It offers new insights into the word-level agreement and disagreement of editors in very large amounts (or potentially: all) of the Wikipedia revision data, thus enabling the analysis of underlying behavioural patterns on a large scale. For example it is used to infer positive and negative interactions between editors on single-word level to construct a fine-grained social network. In general, it can be used to understand the social dynamics of knowledge-creation in platforms for collaborative, revisioned writing of text documents.
  2. 2. Research about territoriality based upon WikiWho. In his work, Stefan Kasberger is looking into the data of WikiWho to find patterns of territorial behaviour as they have been described in scientific literature for offline scenarios. Especially the crucial indicators of an editor or a group of editors “marking” and “defending” the article against “outsiders” is assessed, going beyond only looking at reverting behavior against one group, like e.g. newcomers, but trying to operationalize the sociological/geographical concept of territoriality with concrete data on article changes, understanding the words of the article as the “turf” to be defended. One focus of the study is to evaluate if the feeling of “ownership” towards an article by an editor exists, which is discouraged by the Wikipedia community, but exists, as recent research has shown. Stefan will show first quantitative results on the matter of ownership and how it is maintained. Stefan will also briefly talk about why and how his work so far has been adhering to principles of Open Science.
  3. whoVIS: A graph visualization of word-level editor disagreements on article-level. The network graph visualization developed by researchers at GESIS and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology helps to understand editor interactions more easily by explicating disagreements of editors on specific content parts with a customized drawing method for negative edges, thereby helping to identify editor groups and even evolving conflicts, as the disagreement network can be explored in its evolution over the whole revision history. An online demo and paper are available.
  4. who.COLOR and the wikiwho api: a grease-/tampermonkey script that highlights specific words in the currently displayed article in the browser and shows their original authors. It uses the wikiwho api currently under development, where anyone interested will be able to query for arbitrary revisions of articles to retrieve the wiki-markup content annotated with provenance information.

A major goal of this research is to help the Wikipedia community, researchers and even occasional readers to understand the underlying social dynamics and create transparency of systematic collective editing processes. Creating transparency for these often highly complex social mechanisms can improve accountability, self-reflection of single editors and the collective and can in some cases even help to judge the reliability of an article for readers – it does not aim at finger-pointing and finding single sources of problems but understanding of the complex social dynamics. It might help to clarify what leads to problems such as exclusion and subjective content, and to support their resolution or might assist in identifying what social editor behaviour leads to particularly good articles. The talk will focus on possible applications of the results and helpful insights for the community to (i) address certain potential sources for article quality impairment through misguided social processes as early as possible and (ii) maybe even to proactively foster such social dynamics and norms in editing that are likely to let the article thrive.

At the end it would be nice to have a discussion about ideas and applications of the concept and to get some feedback on the work done.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
most likely
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 11:53, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  2. --Claudia.Garad (talk) 08:41, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
  3. Ocaasi (talk) 18:08, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
  4. --Stepro (talk) 16:16, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
  5. Raimund Liebert (WMAT) (talk) 10:34, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
  6. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 06:31, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
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