[Foundation-l] Is random article truly random

Andreas K. jayen466 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 21 01:27:12 UTC 2011

On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 12:32 AM, Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi at gmx.net>wrote:

> * Andreas K. wrote:
> >Sounds good. I was going by last year's United Nations University survey,
> >
> >
> http://www.wikipediasurvey.org/docs/Wikipedia_Overview_15March2010-FINAL.pdf
> >
> >which is older, but had a much larger sample size (176,000 vs. 5,300,
> >comprising both readers and editors).
> I think the earlier study concluded some time in November 2008 while the
> more recent one concluded in April 2011, so there are about 2 1/2 years
> between them. Unfortunately the earlier study, at least in the report a-
> bove, only has average age for contributors, no median or quartiles or
> other groups that would allow for a meaningful comparison to the current
> study. It's normal and expected that younger people are more likely to
> make extensive use of an encyclopedia as they study the most. With only
> 7.42% regular contributors in the 2008 study, the age distribution does
> not tell us much about possible bias due to age in editorial judgement.
> There may be more detailed results but I could not immediately find any.


The median and quartiles are on page 7 of the report:


Valid responses were received from  respondents between 10 – 85 years.
Overall, the average age of the Wikipedians that participated in the survey
is 25.22 years. Half of the respondents are younger than 22 years. The most
frequent age that can be observed within the respondents is 18
years. Splitting the respondents in four equally large age groups shows that
25% are younger than 18 years old, 25% are between 18 and 22, a further 25%
are between 22 and 30 (e.g. half of the respondents are between 18 and 30
years) and the remaining 25% are between 30 and 85 years old. There is a
slight age difference between readers and contributors - readers are, on
average, 24.79 years old while contributors show an average age of 26.14
years. Finally, female respondents are younger (23.79 years) than male ones
(25.69 years).


So the median was below 22, the lower quartile below 18, and the upper
quartile 30.

The mode (most frequently observed age) was 18.

The total sample was N = 176,192. The English Wikipedia sample was almost
exactly a quarter of that, at n = 43,912 (page 3).

Occasional contributors were 23.25 per cent, regular contributors 7.42 per
cent, administrators 0.75 per cent of the overall sample (page 5).


More information about the foundation-l mailing list