Effects of contributor experience on the quality of health-related wikipedia articles

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Holtz, P.; Fetahu, B.; Kimmerle, J.: Effects of contributor experience on the quality of health-related wikipedia articles. In: Journal of Medical Internet Research 20 (2018), Nr. 5, e171. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.9683

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To cite the version in the repository, please use this identifier: https://doi.org/10.15488/3469

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Sum total of downloads: 110

Background: Consulting the Internet for health-related information is a common and widespread phenomenon, and Wikipedia is arguably one of the most important resources for health-related information. Therefore, it is relevant to identify factors that have an impact on the quality of health-related Wikipedia articles. Objective: In our study we have hypothesized a positive effect of contributor experience on the quality of health-related Wikipedia articles. Methods: We mined the edit history of all (as of February 2017) 18,805 articles that were listed in the categories on the portal health & fitness in the English language version of Wikipedia. We identified tags within the articles' edit histories, which indicated potential issues with regard to the respective article's quality or neutrality. Of all of the sampled articles, 99 (99/18,805, 0.53%) articles had at some point received at least one such tag. In our analysis we only considered those articles with a minimum of 10 edits (10,265 articles in total; 96 tagged articles, 0.94%). Additionally, to test our hypothesis, we constructed contributor profiles, where a profile consisted of all the articles edited by a contributor and the corresponding number of edits contributed. We did not differentiate between rollbacks and edits with novel content. Results: Nonparametric Mann-Whitney U-tests indicated a higher number of previously edited articles for editors of the nontagged articles (mean rank tagged 2348.23, mean rank nontagged 5159.29; U=9.25, P<.001). However, we did not find a significant difference for the contributors' total number of edits (mean rank tagged 4872.85, mean rank nontagged 5135.48; U=0.87, P=.39). Using logistic regression analysis with the respective article's number of edits and number of editors as covariates, only the number of edited articles yielded a significant effect on the article's status as tagged versus nontagged (dummy-coded; Nagelkerke R2 for the full model=.17; B [SE B]=-0.001 [0.00]; Wald c2 [1]=19.70; P<.001), whereas we again found no significant effect for the mere number of edits (Nagelkerke R2 for the full model=.15; B [SE B]=0.000 [0.01]; Wald c2 [1]=0.01; P=.94). Conclusions: Our findings indicate an effect of contributor experience on the quality of health-related Wikipedia articles. However, only the number of previously edited articles was a predictor of the articles' quality but not the mere volume of edits. More research is needed to disentangle the different aspects of contributor experience. We have discussed the implications of our findings with respect to ensuring the quality of health-related information in collaborative knowledge-building platforms. © Peter Holtz, Besnik Fetahu, Joachim Kimmerle.
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: Article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2018
Appears in Collections:Forschungszentren

distribution of downloads over the selected time period:

downloads by country:

pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 47 42.73%
2 image of flag of United States United States 27 24.55%
3 image of flag of China China 7 6.36%
4 image of flag of No geo information available No geo information available 6 5.45%
5 image of flag of Portugal Portugal 3 2.73%
6 image of flag of Russian Federation Russian Federation 2 1.82%
7 image of flag of Ireland Ireland 1 0.91%
8 image of flag of Hungary Hungary 1 0.91%
9 image of flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 1 0.91%
10 image of flag of France France 1 0.91%
    other countries 14 12.73%

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