Hi all, 

I want to share some new research in to Wikipedia article creation trends on the 10 largest Wikipedias: English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Japanese and Russian. 

This work was led by Aaron Halfaker and done in part as background work in to potential future design work by the Growth team, aimed at helping newcomers be more successful at creating their first articles. 
This is really important insight in to the nature of who creates articles and how on large Wikipedias. Aaron compares the overall success rates of editors based on their experience level, as well as the workflow used to create a page (direct creation, userspace draft, or a more elaborate review process like English Wikipedia's Articles for Creation system). 

In particular, some important or unusual conclusions/questions we have are...
  1. Retention of articles by newly-registered users is actually getting worse over time. How can we use new software and better social policies to turn this around? In addition to Aaron's thoughts in the presentation, we have notes on mediawiki.org.[1][2]
  2. Except in Polish and English (where anonymous article creation is turned off) anonymous editors are actually much more prolific and successful article creators than users who create a page in their first 24 hours after registering an account. How can we support these anonymous editors more? Our hypothesis about why they are more successful is currently that they include some experienced editors, including some small number of logged-out Wikipedians. 
  3. Why is survival of new articles so high on Japanese Wikipedia? 
  4. How can we seriously reform review processes like "Articles for Creation", Flagged Revisions, and so on? These backlogs of review hamper throughput of new articles created by newbies. In English Wikipedia's case, it is seriously choking off new article creation. The quality of articles that make it past is high, but is not enough to make up for the 50% (!) drop in volume of new articles in my view. 
More thoughts are welcome, 

1. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikipedia_article_creation
2. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Draft_namespace and its /Usability testing subpages

Steven Walling,
Product Manager