User:Reagle/Berkman Reading Group

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Wikipedia Reading Group[edit]

Intermittent Thursdays at 18:00 (6:00 PM) ET
Email list
email list


This group is a small, user-driven forum for discussing Wikipedia related topics. We will discuss recent research, current practice in different fields, engagement of universities in Wikipedia and other broad collaborations, and historical parallels in large-scale synthesis and sharing of knowledge. Participants are welcome to report on their own work and experiences and contribute to the reading list.

For each item we read as group, we'll also link to an summary page on Acawiki (a wiki for summaries of academic articles and books). Participants are each encouraged to contribute and collaborate on the AcaWiki summaries to help create resources for others reading or referring to these work in the future!


Fall 2011 Schedule[edit]

Do we want to meet this semester? If so, what is a good day? – SJ +

Spring 2011 Schedule[edit]

This semester we are moving to a Thur 18:00-19:00 (6-7PM) EST time; the Berkman Center main conference is not available then. So the meeting venue will be determined in advance of the meeting. Feel free to email Joseph Reagle if more information is needed.

Session 1: 02/9 17:30-18:30EST[edit]

Facilitator: Joseph Reagle

Location : Berkman

Session 2: 02/24 18:00-19:00EST[edit]

Facilitator: Joseph Reagle

Location: Shun-ling Chen's

Session 3: 03/17 18:00-19:00EST[edit]

Facilitator: Shun-ling Chen

Location: Shun-ling Chen's (RSVP to <schen at law dot harvard dot edu>)

Session 4: TBD 18:00-19:00EST[edit]

Session 5: TBD 18:00-19:00EST[edit]

Possible topics/readings[edit]

We want to define some topics and readings of interest. Please propose readings (and be willing to facilitate their discussion) or leave a note of '+1' or 'support' underneath others'.


Piskorski, Mikolaj; Gorbatai, Andreea (2011-02-11), "Testing Coleman's Social-Norm Enforcement Mechanism: Evidence from Wikipedia" (PDF), HBS WP No. 11-055, retrieved 2011-02-16 

Since Durkheim, sociologists have believed that dense network structures lead to fewer norm violations. Coleman (1990) proposed one mechanism generating this relationship and argued that dense networks provide an opportunity structure to reward those who punish norm violators, leading to more frequent punishment and in turn fewer norm violations. Despite ubiquitous scholarly references to Coleman's theory, little empirical work has directly tested it in large-scale natural settings with longitudinal data. We undertake such a test using records of norm violations during the editing process on Wikipedia, the largest user-generated on-line encyclopedia. These data allow us to track all three elements required to test Coleman's mechanism: norm violations, punishments for such violations and rewards for those who punish violations. The results are broadly consistent with Coleman's mechanism.

  • Mako's recent 1-day paper on gender and surveys


Communities and trust

  • Theses on WP communities - Viegas-Jesus?
  • WikiTrust analysis
  • Defining trusted knowledge: credentials (history of the law or medical degree?)

Wikipedia related practices

Education practices

  • Is there any way to share what we know with jargon used in papers such as this one?

(Old) Fall 2010 Schedule[edit]

Session 1: 10/06 17:45-19:00EST: Intro and "Useful Knowledge"[edit]

Facilitator: Joseph Reagle

In the first session we will discuss the group's plans for the rest of the semester and discuss a short but interesting readings by Hunter Rawlings and a research article by Michael Zhang and Feng Zhu.

Rawlings, Hunter (2007), Information, Knowledge, Authority, and Democracy (ARL Keynote (PDF), retrieved 17 April 2009  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help) (AcaWiki Summary)

Xiaoquan (Michael) Zhang and Feng Zhu: Group Size and Incentives to Contribute: A Natural Experiment at Chinese Wikipedia (Forthcoming in American Economic Review) (AcaWiki Summary)

Session 2: 10/20 17:45-19:00EST[edit]

Facilitator: Joseph Reagle

Sanger, Larry (2010), "Individual knowledge in the internet age", EDUCAUSE Review: 14–24  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help) (AcaWiki Summary)

Hara, Noriko; Shachaf, Pnina; Foon Hew, Khe (2010), "Cross-cultural analysis of the Wikipedia community", Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61 (10): 2097–2108  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help) (AcaWiki Summary)

What's mine is mine: territoriality in collaborative authoring by J Thom-Santelli, DR Cosley, and G Gay. (Published in CHI 2009) (AcaWiki Summary)

Session 3: 11/03 17:45-19:00EST[edit]

Facilitator: Benjamin Mako Hill

This week we have three papers that are from the sort of social computing literature around CSCW, SIGCHI and the broader computer science based research community.

We've got two papers that are on the WP:RfA process:

Plus this third piece from CSCW last year:

Session 4: 11/17 17:45-19:00EST[edit]

Facilitator: Ayelet Oz

Our reading for this week is available online only with a username and password. If you are planning on attending and do not have the username and password, please contact Mako ( or any of the other participants for authentication information.

Session 5: 12/01 18:00-19:00EST[edit]

[Please note we start a little bit later because of room availability.]

Facilitator: Joseph Reagle

Session 6: 12/15 17:45-19:00EST[edit]

Facilitator: Joseph