User contribution and trust in Wikipedia


Wikipedia, one of the top ten most visited websites, is commonly viewed as the largest online reference for encyclopedic knowledge. Because of its open editing model -allowing anyone to enter and edit content- Wikipedia's overall quality has often been questioned as a source of reliable information. Lack of study of the open editing model of Wikipedia and its effectiveness has resulted in a new generation of wikis that restrict contributions to registered users only, using their real names. In this paper, we present an empirical study of user contributions to Wikipedia. We statistically analyze contributions by both anonymous and registered users. The results show that submissions of anonymous and registered users in Wikipedia suggest a power law behavior. About 80% of the revisions are submitted by less than 7% of the users, most of whom are registered users. To further refine the analyzes, we use the Wiki Trust Model (WTM), a user reputation model developed in our previous work to assign a reputation value to each user. As expected, the results show that registered users contribute higher quality content and therefore are assigned higher reputation values. However, a significant number of anonymous users also contribute high-quality content.We provide further evidence that regardless of a user s' attribution, registered or anonymous, high reputation users are the dominant contributors that actively edit Wikipedia articles in order to remove vandalism or poor quality content.

Cite this paper

@article{Javanmardi2009UserCA, title={User contribution and trust in Wikipedia}, author={Sara Javanmardi and Yasser Ganjisaffar and Cristina V. Lopes and Pierre Baldi}, journal={2009 5th International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing}, year={2009}, pages={1-6} }