Quality in online peer production communities – analyzing the impact of social structure, procedures and participant commitment

Project financed by National Science Center (NCN), (OPUS 14, Nr 2017/27/B/HS6/00626) – 2018-2020.

Principal investigator: Agnieszka Rychwalska

Abstact

Wikipedia is a prime example of an online community that collaboratively produces knowledge artifacts for anyone to use. What fascinates us as social scientists is that some online communities – built from enthusiast not seeking financial gains but simply enjoying common work – incredibly deliver products of high quality. What is it that makes some succeed and others fail? How can we support such peer production communities so that they can give us more of their interesting and useful products and services? To answer these questions we will take a closer look at editors of the Wikipedia that voluntarily join WikiProjects – sub-communities that look after articles on specific topics, for example, video games or movies. We will check how different WikiProjects organize their work – how they divide the tasks and check quality.

We hope that we can find a connection between how online communities organize their work and the quality of their products. This knowledge can help us design novel technological solutions – for example, new functionalities for social interaction platforms – and can support communities of committed volunteers deliver the products that serve us all.

Publications

Rychwalska, Agnieszka and Goodell, Geoffrey and Roszczynska-Kurasinska, Magda, Data Management for Platform-Mediated Public Services: Challenges and Best Practices (September 17, 2019).

Rychwalska, A., Talaga, S., and Ziembowicz, K. (2020) Quality in peer production systems–impact of assortativity of communication networks on group efficacy. In: Proceedings of the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.