Wikidatians are Born: Paths to Full Participation in a Collaborative Structured Knowledge Base

Piscopo, Alessandro
Phethean, Christopher
Simperl, Elena
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We investigated how participation evolves in Wikidata as its editors become established members of the community. Originally conceived to support Wikipedia, Wikidata is a collaborative structured knowledge base, created and maintained by a large number of volunteers, whose data can be freely reused in other contexts. Just like in any other online social environment, understanding its contributors' pathways to full participation helps Wikidata improve user experience and retention. \ \ We analysed how participation changes in time under the frameworks of legitimate peripheral participation and activity theory. We found out that as they engage more with the project, ``Wikidatians'' acquire a higher sense of responsibility for their work, interact more with the community, take on more advanced tasks, and use a wider range of tools. Previous activity in Wikipedia has varied effects. As Wikidata is a young community, future work should focus on volunteers with little or no experience in similar projects and specify means to improve critical aspects such as engagement and data quality.
Collaborative knowledge engineering, Knowledge Graphs, Open production communities, User evolution, Wikidata
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