Wikipedia's Networks and Geographies: Representation and Power in Peer-Produced Content

This project brings together OII research fellows and doctoral students to shed light on the incorporation of new users and information into the Wikipedia community.


Dr Mark Graham

Tel: +44 (0)1865 287203



Wikipedia captures complex online social interactions among its over 13 million users and has managed to create free online encyclopedias with over 10,000 articles in nearly 100 languages (list of wikipedias). Yet, analysis of geo-tagged articles reveals that large knowledge gaps remain. Contributions from new Internet users in underrepresented regions are key to expanding the coverage and raising the quality of Wikipedia.

As the Wikipedia user community has grown, it has developed norms and expectations about how users should contribute. These norms and practices may at times be opaque and intimidating to new users. These issues are compounded for users who are contributing in a foreign language.

This project brings together research fellows and doctoral candidates at the Oxford Internet Institute aiming to shed light on the incorporation of new users and information into the Wikipedia community. Current research focuses on how new users are perceived, represented, and incorporated into the community, and how, and to what extent, knowledge is shared between various language editions.

Map of frequency of geotagged wikipedia articles by country






Conference papers

  • Sumi, R., Yasseri, T., Rung, A., Kornai, A., and Kertész, J. (2011) Characterization and prediction of Wikipedia edit wars. Proceedings of the ACM WebSci'11, Koblenz, Germany, June 2011.
  • Sumi, R., Yasseri, T., Rung, A., Kornai, A., and Kertész, J. (2011) Edit wars in Wikipedia. IEEE Third International Conference on Social Computing (SocialCom), 9-11 October 2011, Boston, MA. pp. 724-727.



  • Loubser, M. (2010) Organisational Mechanisms in Peer Productions: The Case of Wikipedia. DPhil Thesis, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.


  • How Big Data Will Change Our Lives and Our Understanding of Them

    16 May 2014 dataeconomy

    Taha Yasseri takes the optimistic view that Big Data techniques used in computation social sciences will create 'self-aware' societies in the future which will be better places to belong to.

  • Four Thought

    14 May 2014 BBC R4

    Mark Graham explores the causes, manifestations and effects of global informational inequalities in a first-person talk as part of the Four Thought series on BBC Radio 4.

  • There Are More Wikipedia Articles About This One Small Part of the World Than the Rest of It Combined

    25 February 2014 The Atlantic

    Analysis by Mark Graham and colleagues of over 3 million Wikipedia articles in the 44 most popular languages reveals that the majority of references are about an area occupying only 2.5 percent of the world's land mass.

  • Wikipedia's Secret Multilingual Workforce

    13 December 2013 MIT Technology Review

    Wikipedia's various language editions often carry entirely different content. Scott Hale has identified a small band of multilingual editors who are working to change that.

  • Wikipedia Entries On Professors Mean Nothing, Study Finds

    8 November 2013 Huffington Post

    A study co-authored by Taha Yasseri reveals that Wikipedia is no more likely to cite prominent researchers than other, less influential sources.

  • Edit wars

    5 August 2013 The Economist

    The Economist Graphic Detail column highlights the work of Taha Yasseri and colleagues on Wikipedia’s so-called ‘edit wars’, the most contested subjects which Wikipedia’s editors edit or ‘revert’ the most.

  • Wiki wars: The 10 most controversial Wikipedia pages

    24 July 2013 CNN

    An article on the most controversial topics in Wikipedia as revealed in research by Taha Yasseri and colleagues George Bush and anarchism are the most hotly contested in the English language edition.

  • Blockbuster-Prognose mit Wikipedia

    13 June 2013 Deutschlandfunk

    Forecasting Blockbuster with Wikipedia.  Taha Yasseri,the OII’s Big Data Research Officer interviewed on national German Radio about his work and how Wikipedia can be used to predict which films will become blockbusters.

  • Wikipedia’s most controversial pages include Jesus and George W. Bush

    5 June 2013 Toronto Star

    Work by Taha Yasseri and colleagues on 10 different language Wikipedia sites showed that Jesus was the one controversial subject, as measured by editor amendments that came across the board. Politics and religion still trigger the biggest arguments

  • Wikipedians most likely to war over 'Israel,' 'God'

    3 June 2013 The Times of Israel

    Reporting Taha Yasseri’s work the Times of Israel notes that in Hebrew Wikipedia  the greatest divisions are mainly about religious sects and armed conflicts but across the languages ‘Israel ‘ and ‘Hitler’ are the most contested subjects.

  • Wikipedia 'Edit Wars': The most hotly contested topics

    3 June 2013 NBC News online

    Taha Yasseri says Wikipedia suffers from traditional features of human societies. People argue most on Wikipedia about religion and politics with variations on non-English language sites. Romanians for example argue most about musicians and art.

  • Chile, el tema más controvertido de Wikipedia en espaňol

    3 June 2013 BBC Mundo

    The most controversial topics in Spanish Wikipedia, identified by Taha Yasseri and Mark Graham are highlighted on the BBC’s Spanish language web site.

  • Wikipedia 'Edit Wars': The most hotly contested topics

    31 May 2013 Live Science

    Taha Yasseri says Wikipedia suffers from traditional features of human societies. People argue most on Wikipedia about religion and politics with variations on non-English language sites. Romanians for example argue most about musicians and art.

  • The Most Controversial Article in all of English Wikipedia is George Bush’s

    31 May 2013 The Huffington Post

    The Huffington Post says that the study of controversial topics in Wikipedia by Taha Yasseri and Mark Graham contains some ‘incredible graphics’ several of which are displayed.

  • The Controversial Topics of Wikipedia

    30 May 2013 Wired Science Blog

    Wired magazine article sets out some of the findings of Taha Yasseri, mark Graham and colleagues’ work on contested subjects in Wikipedia.  The table of the most controversial articles in each language edition is featured.

  • Wikipedia is not free

    21 May 2013

    The challenge for Wikipedia of expanding beyond the English speaking world is published in the independent Beijing-based Chinese language magazine. Mark Graham’s research is referenced and DPhil student Heath Ford is quoted.

  • OPINIÓN: El acceso generalizado a internet, ¿es una meta alcanzable?

    17 May 2013 CNN Mexico

    Is widespread access to the Internet and achievable goal? Mark Graham’s work is referenced in the Spanish language site, noting the US, Canada and Europe account for 84 per cent of the articles in Wikipedia.

  • Gütesiegel für Wikipedia

    13 May 2013 Technology Review

    The German Technology site looks at how academics use Wikipedia in Germany and beyond. It refers to Mark Graham’s work, quoted in ‘The Atlantic’, suggesting that Wikipedia reflects the background of its editors and contributors.

  • Why Wikipedia’s Millionth Russian Page Is Worth Celebrating

    11 May 2013 Simulacrum

    An English language version of an article originally in Russian links to Mark Graham’s work on the origins of Wikipedia articles and notes that diasporas have an important role to play.

  • Catalan Wikipedia Reaches 400,000 Article Milestone

    19 April 2013 Global Voices

    The Catalan version of Wikipedia plays an important role in raising global awareness of the region, people and its language.  Mark Graham says that nowhere in the world has such high visibility for a language is relatively little spoken.

  • Free for all? Lifting the lid on a Wikipedia crisis

    17 April 2013 New Scientist

    In an in-depth analysis of the challenges facing Wikipedia in expanding participation beyond the English speaking world, Mark Graham’s research on Wikipedia is referenced and DPhil student Heather Ford is quoted.

  • Who Writes the Wikipedia Entries About Where You Live?

    26 March 2013 The Atlantic

    Mark Graham tackles the issue of where our information comes from, and how this should influence the way we interpret it?

  • Mathematical model 'describes' how online conflicts are resolved

    20 February 2013 University of Oxford

    Researchers have produced a mathematical model to describe how conflicting opinions are resolved over articles that appear on Wikipedia, the collaboratively-edited encyclopaedia.

  • Big data and the death of the theorist

    25 January 2013 Wired

    Mark Graham is skeptical about on the death of the scientific theory at the hands of big data analysis: "when talking about 'big data' and the humanities, there will always be things that are left unsaid, things that haven't been measured or codified".

  • Twitter Map Predicts 2012 Presidential Election: Will It Be Right?

    6 November 2012 Huffington Post Technology (US)

    A map of the origins of tweets referencing either Obama or Romney in the month leading up to the US presidential elections predicted the outcome. 

  • Election 2012: Twitter map predicts presidential race results

    6 November 2012

    A map of the origins of tweets referencing either Obama or Romney in the month leading up to the US presidential elections predicted the outcome. 

  • Geography, Big Data, and Augmented Realities

    1 August 2012 Oxford Internet Institute

    New digital dimensions of place profoundly affect the ways that we interact with our urban environments. Dr Mark Graham leads a research project to interrogate these virtual layers of the city, asking what they are, where they are, and why they matter.

  • OII Recognised as Educational Institution of the Year at Wikimedia UK's Annual Conference

    15 June 2012 Oxford Internet Institute

    The OII has been recognised as Educational Institution of the Year at the "UK Wikimedian of the Year" awards (12 May 2012). The award was made largely in recognition of the work by OII Research Fellow Dr Mark Graham to map and visualise Wikipedia data.

  • Wikipedia world: an interactive guide to every language. Infographic map

    4 April 2012 The Guardian

    In 'Show and Tell' on the Guardian Data Store, Simon Rogers, winner of the OII award for best internet journalist in 2011, highlights the Mapping Wikipedia project which shows millions of articles worldwide in a variety of languages.

  • Without Wikipedia, where can you get your facts?

    18 January 2012 BBC News

    On the day that Wikipedia blacks out its English language site, the BBC News magazine explores alternative sources of information. Mark Graham says that Wikipedia is open access, free and that mistakes are quickly corrected.

  • Wikipedia Language Maps Created By Oxford Internet Institute's Mark Graham

    13 November 2011 Huffington Post

    "Mark Graham led a team of researchers who broke down Wikipedia's geotagged articles by language and examined the global scope of the encyclopedia. They plotted these data onto maps of the world to show the spread of languages within the encyclopedia."

  • This Map Shows the World of Wikipedia Broken Down by Languages

    11 November 2011 Gizmodo US

    "Ever wondered if anyone outside your redneck little town writes about it on Wikipedia? Or if anyone has ever written about Australia in Arabic? Guess no longer, because someone's worked it out for you."

  • The world of Wikipedia's languages mapped

    11 November 2011 Guardian Datablog

    What happens if you map every geotagged Wikipedia article - and then analyse it for language use? A team of Oxford University researchers has found out.

  • Wikipedia wants more contributions from academics

    29 March 2011 The Guardian

    Mark Graham is quoted in an article examining why academics seem reluctant to donate their expertise to Wikipedia. He says: 'Unfortunately, there is no reward system set up in academia for us to contribute our knowledge in Wikipedia'.

  • The playcast: Decoding Wikipedia and following cricket on Twitter

    21 January 2010

    Interview with Mark Graham about the geography of Wikipedia, looking at those places in the world that are well-represented in in wikipedia, and those which aren't.

  • Map Reveals Which Countries Wikipedia Discusses Most -- And Least

    12 December 2009 Huffington Post

    Mark Graham's Wikipedia map shows areas best covered by Wikipedia: 'Remarkably there are more Wikipedia articles written about Antarctica than all but one of the fifty-three countries in Africa.'

  • Wikipedia's known unknowns

    1 December 2009 The Guardian

    Marks Graham's analysis of Wikipedia entries reveals the world's knowledge deserts - which may provide a second wave of activity for the online encyclopedia.