Join the Research Team at the Wikimedia Foundation  for their monthly
Office hours on 2020-09-01 at 16.00-17.00 (UTC).
Through these office hours, we aim to make ourselves more available to
answer some of the research related questions that you as Wikimedia
volunteer editors, organizers, affiliates, staff, and researchers face in
your projects and initiatives (*).
To participate, join the video-call via this Wikimedia-meet link . There
is no set agenda - feel free to add your item to the list of topics in the
etherpad  (You can do this after you join the meeting, too.), otherwise
you are welcome to also just hang out. More detailed information (e.g.
about how to attend) can be found here .
Started in the beginning of 2020 as an experiment , after the first 6
editions we have evaluated the scope and format of the Research office
hours. In order to decrease barriers of accessibility and to facilitate
more direct interaction, we have switched the format from IRC to video
call. We will re-evaluate the current format at the end of the year. We
would also be glad to hear your feedback and/or comments.
(*) Some example cases we hope to be able to support you in:
You have a specific research related question that you suspect you
should be able to answer with the publicly available data and you don’t
know how to find an answer for it, or you just need some more help with it.
For example, how can I compute the ratio of anonymous to registered editors
in my wiki?
You run into repetitive or very manual work as part of your Wikimedia
contributions and you wish to find out if there are ways to use machines to
improve your workflows. These types of conversations can sometimes be
harder to find an answer for during an office hour, however, discussing
them can help us understand your challenges better and we may find ways to
work with each other to support you in addressing it in the future.
You want to learn what the Research team at the Wikimedia Foundation
does and how we can potentially support you. Specifically for affiliates:
if you are interested in building relationships with the academic
institutions in your country, we would love to talk with you and learn
more. We have a series of programs that aim to expand the network of
Wikimedia researchers globally and we would love to collaborate with those
of you interested more closely in this space.
You want to talk with us about one of our existing programs .
Hope to see many of you,
Martin (WMF Research Team)
The next Research Showcase will be live-streamed on Wednesday, August 19,
at 9:30 AM PDT/16:30 UTC, and will be on the theme of readership and
YouTube stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeUl0zjHdF8
As usual, you can join the conversation on IRC at #wikimedia-research. You
can also watch our past research showcases here:
This month's presentations:
What matters to us most and why? Studying popularity and attention dynamics
via Wikipedia navigation data.
By Taha Yasseri (University College Dublin), Patrick Gildersleve (Oxford
While Wikipedia research was initially focused on editorial behaviour or
the content to a great extent, soon researchers realized the value of the
navigation data both as a reflection of readers interest and, more
generally, as a proxy for behaviour of online information seekers. In this
talk we will report on various projects in which we utilized pageview
statistics or readers navigation data to study: movies financial success
, electoral popularity , disaster triggered collective attention 
and collective memory , general navigation patterns and article typology
, and attention patterns in relation to news breakouts.
 Early Prediction of Movie Box Office Success Based on Wikipedia
Activity Big Data. PLoS One (2013).
 Wikipedia traffic data and electoral prediction: towards
theoretically informed models. EPJ Data Science (2016).
 Dynamics and biases of online attention: the case of aircraft
crashes. Royal Society Open Science (2016).
 The memory remains: Understanding collective memory in the digital
age. Science Advances (2018). https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1602368
 Inspiration, captivation, and misdirection: Emergent properties in
networks of online navigation. Springer (2018).
Query for Architecture, Click through Military. Comparing the Roles of
Search and Navigation on Wikipedia
By Dimitar Dimitrov (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
As one of the richest sources of encyclopedic information on the Web,
Wikipedia generates an enormous amount of traffic. In this paper, we study
large-scale article access data of the English Wikipedia in order to
compare articles with respect to the two main paradigms of information
seeking, i.e., search by formulating a query, and navigation by following
hyperlinks. To this end, we propose and employ two main metrics, namely (i)
searchshare -- the relative amount of views an article received by search
--, and (ii) resistance -- the ability of an article to relay traffic to
other Wikipedia articles -- to characterize articles. We demonstrate how
articles in distinct topical categories differ substantially in terms of
these properties. For example, architecture-related articles are often
accessed through search and are simultaneously a "dead end" for traffic,
whereas historical articles about military events are mainly navigated. We
further link traffic differences to varying network, content, and editing
activity features. Lastly, we measure the impact of the article properties
by modeling access behavior on articles with a gradient boosting approach.
The results of this paper constitute a step towards understanding human
information seeking behavior on the Web.
Different Topic, Different Traffic: How Search and Navigation Interplay
on Wikipedia. Journal of Web Science (2019).
Janna Layton (she/her)
Administrative Associate - Product & Technology
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>