InterJournal Complex Systems, 2154
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [2154]
Submission Date: 20080226
A biological model for Wikipedia article development
Author(s): Rebecca Mancy

Subject(s): CX.4

Category: Article

Abstract:

Wikipedia demonstrates collective dynamics through the collaborative way in which multiple authors collectively write and edit articles. Understanding this system is interesting in its own right from a social sciences and educational point of view, and may also offer insights into more general understandings of collective dynamics that arise through social interactions. We are interested in understanding the interactions that take place as authors iteratively write and improve Wikipedia articles to characterise the development process and gain understanding of how articles of general and pedagogical quality articles arise. With this in mind, we consider a possible models drawn from the biological literature that can be used as analogies: biological evolution. We explain the mapping between the model and Wikipedia and evaluate whether it represents and appropriate structure. We consider the questions that remain before the model can be fully operationalised.

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