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.

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


Latest blog posts

Articles

Chapters

Presentations

Theses

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

    Date Published: 1 December 2009

    Source: 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.

  • Map Reveals Which Countries Wikipedia Discusses Most — And Least

    Date Published: 12 December 2009

    Source: 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.'

  • The playcast: Decoding Wikipedia and following cricket on Twitter

    Date Published: 21 January 2010

    Source: Mint.com

    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.

  • Wikipedia wants more contributions from academics

    Date Published: 29 March 2011

    Source: 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'.

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

    Date Published: 11 November 2011

    Source: 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

    Date Published: 11 November 2011

    Source: 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 Language Maps Created By Oxford Internet Institute’s Mark Graham

    Date Published: 13 November 2011

    Source: 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."

  • Without Wikipedia, where can you get your facts?

    Date Published: 18 January 2012

    Source: 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 world: an interactive guide to every language. Infographic map

    Date Published: 4 April 2012

    Source: 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.

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

    Date Published: 6 November 2012

    Source: 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

    Date Published: 6 November 2012

    Source: Syracuse.com

    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. 

  • Big data and the death of the theorist

    Date Published: 25 January 2013

    Source: 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".

  • Who Writes the Wikipedia Entries About Where You Live?

    Date Published: 26 March 2013

    Source: The Atlantic

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

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

    Date Published: 17 April 2013

    Source: 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.

  • Catalan Wikipedia Reaches 400,000 Article Milestone

    Date Published: 19 April 2013

    Source: 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.

  • Why Wikipedia’s Millionth Russian Page Is Worth Celebrating

    Date Published: 11 May 2013

    Source: 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.

  • Gütesiegel für Wikipedia

    Date Published: 13 May 2013

    Source: 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.

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

    Date Published: 17 May 2013

    Source: 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.

  • Wikipedia is not free

    Date Published: 21 May 2013

    Source: Caijing.com.cn

    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.

  • The Controversial Topics of Wikipedia

    Date Published: 30 May 2013

    Source: 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 ‘Edit Wars’: The most hotly contested topics

    Date Published: 31 May 2013

    Source: 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

    Date Published: 31 May 2013

    Source: 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.

  • Wikipedians most likely to war over ‘Israel,’ ‘God’

    Date Published: 3 June 2013

    Source: 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

    Date Published: 3 June 2013

    Source: 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

    Date Published: 3 June 2013

    Source: 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’s most controversial pages include Jesus and George W. Bush

    Date Published: 5 June 2013

    Source: 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

  • Blockbuster-Prognose mit Wikipedia

    Date Published: 13 June 2013

    Source: 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.

  • Wiki wars: The 10 most controversial Wikipedia pages

    Date Published: 24 July 2013

    Source: 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.

  • Edit wars

    Date Published: 5 August 2013

    Source: 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.

  • Wikipedia Entries On Professors Mean Nothing, Study Finds

    Date Published: 8 November 2013

    Source: 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.

  • Wikipedia’s Secret Multilingual Workforce

    Date Published: 13 December 2013

    Source: 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.

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

    Date Published: 25 February 2014

    Source: 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.

  • Four Thought

    Date Published: 14 May 2014

    Source: 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.

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

    Date Published: 16 May 2014

    Source: 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.

  • What was the last book you read? Wikipedia wants to know Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/what-was-the-last-book-you-read-wikipedia-wants-to-know#ixzz3C4zUCbHX Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook

    Date Published: 13 August 2014

    Source: The National Opinion

    The interactive map of Wikipedia created by Mark Graham and colleagues is used to demonstrate inequalities in representation on Wikipedia.

  • Geotagging reveals Wikipedia is not quite so equal after all

    Date Published: 18 August 2014

    Source: The Conversation

    Rather than being an equaliser, Wikipedia may be reproducing an established world view. Mark Graham writes about his work on inequalities in Wikipedia. For example, he says, the Middle East is massively underrepresented.

  • Geotagging reveals Wikipedia is not quite so equal after all

    Date Published: 18 August 2014

    Source: New Statesman

    Rather than being an equaliser, Wikipedia may be reproducing an established world view. Mark Graham writes about his work on inequalities in Wikipedia. For example, he says, the Middle East is massively underrepresented.

  • Why global contributions to Wikipedia are so unequal

    Date Published: 8 September 2014

    Source: The Conversation

    Mark Graham authors an article explaining why the unequal global representation in Wikipedia matters and why it impedes Wikiepedia's aim to be the 'sum of all human knowledge'.

  • Why Global Contributions To Wikipedia Are So Unequal

    Date Published: 9 September 2014

    Source: Science 2.0

    Mark Graham's article, first published in The Conversation, on global inequalities in Wikipedia is reproduced in Science 2.0

  • Wikipedia’s geography problem: There are more articles about Antarctica than Egypt

    Date Published: 14 September 2014

    Source: Vox

    The distortions of global online representation is demonstrated with Mark Graham's map of the under-representation of Africa, Asia and South America in Wikipedia coverage worldwide.

  • The world wide SPREAD: Map reveals the extent of internet use around the globe – and the countries that are still not online

    Date Published: 22 September 2014

    Source: Daily Mail

    The map of global use of websites created by Mark Graham and Stefano De Sabbata is reported in the Daily Mail. The data visualisation shows each country sized according to its internet-enable population.

  • Why you probably won’t understand the web of the future

    Date Published: 6 November 2014

    Source: Quartz

    Although less than 5% percent of the world uses English as a first language, it dominates the web. Organisations like Google, Facebook and Mozilla are taking steps to address language issues.. Mark Graham's map and comments feature.

  • 2.5% of the world is responsible for more than 50% of Wikipedia articles

    Date Published: 11 November 2014

    Source: The Washington Post

    The information geographies project shows the majority of Wikipedia content is about 2.5% of the world's land area whilst the whole continent of Africa only has around 2.6% geotagged articles.

  • 25 maps and charts on language

    Date Published: 17 November 2014

    Source: Vox

    Vox features the map by Mark Graham et al showing the language in which the plurality of Wikipedia articles are written about particular countries. It shows that English is the major language even for articles about non Anglophone countries.

  • Wikipedia sockpuppetry: linking accounts to real people is pure speculation

    Date Published: 23 April 2015

    Source: The Conversation

    Taha Yasseri explains the background issues relating to accusations that Grant Shapps, Conservative party chairman edited Wikipedia pages relating to himself and to party rivals.

  • The hidden biases of Geodata

    Date Published: 28 April 2015

    Source: The Guardian

    In a guest post, Mark Graham examines the sources of geographic information on the internet and highlights some of the biases leading to uneven geographies.

  • The Digital Language Divide

    Date Published: 29 May 2015

    Source: The Guardian

    A Digital Guardian article which explores in depth the effects of language on internet use draws heavily on work done by OII researchers.

  • There are More Wikipedia Editors from the Netherlands than All of Africa

    Date Published: 8 September 2015

    Source: VICE Motherboard

    Research by the OII into participation in Wikipedia reveals that 45 percent of edits about places originate in five rich countries which challenges t he idea of that Wikipedia offers a platform for local voices.

  • Wikipedia’s view of the world is written by the west

    Date Published: 15 September 2015

    Source: The Guardian

    OII research has shown that most Wikipedia articles about places are edited by just five rich countries. Mark Graham, who led the research, says 'local voices rarely represent and define their own country'.

  • Wikipedia’s world view is skewed by rich, western voices

    Date Published: 15 September 2015

    Source: Wired.uk

    Research by Mark Graham and team has shown that most Wikipedia articles about places are edited by just five rich countries. Editors from low-income countries were more likely to edit articles about high-income countries than their own.

  • Wikipedia : un regard qui vient surtout de l’ouest

    Date Published: 15 September 2015

    Source: Le Devoir

    Coverage of research by Mark Graham and team on regional differences in Wikipedia editing.

  • Wikipedia world view ‘shaped by editors in the West’

    Date Published: 15 September 2015

    Source: Phys.org

    Coverage of research by Mark Graham and team on regional differences in Wikipedia editing.

  • Western Wikipedia editors writing history of poorer nations, study finds

    Date Published: 15 September 2015

    Source: siliconrepublic

    Coverage of research by Mark Graham and team on regional differences in Wikipedia editing.

  • Wikipedia world view ‘shaped by editors in the West’

    Date Published: 15 September 2015

    Source: Phys.org

    Report of the work of Mark Graham and team on biases inherent in Wikipedia edits.

  • Wkipedia’s world is written by the West

    Date Published: 15 September 2015

    Source: Al Arabiya

    Coverage of work by Mark Graham and colleagues about inherent biases in Wikipedia. (in Arabic)

  • Studi: Barat Monopoli Wawasan Tentang Dunia Lewat Wikipedia

    Date Published: 16 September 2015

    Source: Suara.com

    Coverage of research by Mark Graham and team on Wikipedia edits.

  • Wikipedia nhìn thế giới qua lăng kính của các nước phương Tây

    Date Published: 16 September 2015

    Source: Nhan Dan

    Coverage of research by Mark Graham and team on Wikipedia edits

  • Internet. Cartographie : l’archipel de la déconnexion

    Date Published: 16 September 2015

    Source: Courrier Sciences

    Report of the work of Mark Graham and team on biases inherent in Wikipedia edits.

  • Why It Matters That U.S. and European Editors Dominate Wikipedia

    Date Published: 19 September 2015

    Source: takepart

    Report of the work of Mark Graham and team on biases inherent in Wikipedia edits

  • Le taux d’accès à internet reste faible en Afrique

    Date Published: 28 September 2015

    Source: SciDevNet

    An article reporting on the work of Mark Graham and team on internet access in Africa (French language)

  • Four billion people remain remain without Internet globally

    Date Published: 2 October 2015

    Source: Hurriyet Daily News

    The Turkish news site reports on research by Mark Graham and colleagues on internet accessibility worldwide.

  • The Lopsided Geography of Wikipedia

    Date Published: 21 June 2016

    Source: The Atlantic

    At the University of Oxford, Mark Graham and a team of researchers have spent several years investigating just how “global” Wikipedia's collective intelligence really is.

  • How to win a Facebook argument, according to science

    Date Published: 11 February 2016

    Source: The Washington Post

    Taha Yasseri's study on Internet disagreements, which looked at patterns of edit reversion on Wikipedia, is cited in a Washington Post story on online argument and disagreement.

  • Focus: Wikipedia Articles Separate into Four Categories

    Date Published: 22 January 2016

    Source: APS Physics

    Taha Yasseri says that editing inequality in Wikipedia is increasing with time, with fewer editors gaining an ever more dominant role.

  • The Growing Problem of Bots That Fight Online

    Date Published: 20 September 2016

    Source: MIT Technology Review

    The way software agents interact on the Web is poorly understood. Now evidence shows that they fight each other for years.

  • The Wikipedia bots that are engaged in spats that never end

    Date Published: 21 September 2016

    Source: New Scientist

    Wikipedia editors sometimes use bots to help them keep on top of changes that users have made to the online encyclopedia. But sometimes two editors will task different bots with making incompatible edits.

  • Bots are waging passive-aggressive war on Wikipedia

    Date Published: 21 September 2016

    Source: TechCrunch

    Bots are a useful tool on Wikipedia: they identify and undo vandalism, add links and perform other tedious tasks. But even these automated helpers come into conflict, reverting and re-reverting each other on the same topic, sometimes for years.

  • Indefatigable WikiBots keep Wikipedia battles going long after humans give up and go home

    Date Published: 21 September 2016

    Source: The Register

    A group of researchers from Oxford University and the Alan Turing Institute in London say once Wikipedia bots get into a disagreement, they spend years reverting each others' edits.

  • Study reveals bot-on-bot editing wars raging on Wikipedia’s pages

    Date Published: 24 February 2017

    Source: The Guardian

    A new study by Milena Tsvetkova, Ruth García-Gavilanes, Luciano Floridi and Taha Yasseri finds that Wikipedia is a battleground where silent wars between bots have raged for years.

  • People built AI bots to improve Wikipedia. Then they started squabbling in petty edit wars, sigh

    Date Published: 23 February 2017

    Source: The Register

    An investigation into Wikipedia bots has confirmed the automated editing software can be just as pedantic and petty as humans are – often engaging in online spats that can continue for years.

  • Study: Even ‘benevolent bots’ fight, sometimes for years

    Date Published: 23 February 2017

    Source: UPI

    An analysis of bot behavior over the course of a decades shows even "benevolent" bots bicker. In fact, researchers found evidence of bot-versus-bot fights lasting several years.

  • The Spy in Your TV

    Date Published: 12 March 2017

    Source: BBC World Service

    Dr Taha Yasseri of the Oxford Internet Institute discusses his research into how software robots, or bots, that are designed to make articles on Wikipedia better often end up having online fights lasting years over changes in content.

  • Tech Tent: Snooping TVs and battling bots

    Date Published: 10 March 2017

    Source: BBC News

    Dr Taha Yasseri and his colleagues at the Oxford Internet Institute have been looking at by studying the behaviour of bots that maintain pages on Wikipedia. It turns out that sometimes they disagree over edits.

  • Artificial intelligence runs wild while humans dither

    Date Published: 6 March 2017

    Source: Financial Times

    Research from the Oxford Internet Institute and the Alan Turing Institute has found algorithms are battling with each other, undoing rival edits on Wikipedia. They were surprised by the findings, concluding that we need to pay far more attention to them.

  • Editing bots are more like humans

    Date Published: 28 February 2017

    Source: The Hindu

    Software robots designed to improve articles on Wikipedia sometimes have online ‘fights’ over content that can continue for years, say scientists who warn that artificial intelligence systems may behave more like humans than expected.

  • When bots go bad: how Wikipedia’s helpers ended up locked in conflict

    Date Published: 24 February 2017

    Source: The Guardian

    According to new research from the Oxford Internet Institute, the software robots, or “bots”, which carry out basic housekeeping tasks on Wikipedia articles have “fights” over their pages. The conflicts can go on for years.