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For the project page on WikiProjects, see Wikipedia:WikiProject.

A WikiProject (or Wikiproject) is the organization of a group of participants in a wiki established in order to achieve specific editing goals, or to achieve goals relating to a specific field of knowledge.[1][2][3] WikiProjects are prevalent within the largest wiki, Wikipedia, and exist to varying degrees within sister projects such as Wiktionary, Wikiquote, and Wikisource. Some Wikipedia WikiProjects are substantial enough to engage in cooperative activities with outside organizations relevant to the field at issue. For example, in 2014 the Cochrane Collaboration announced that it had entered into a partnership with Wikipedia's WikiProject Medicine, "to improve the reliability and accessibility of Wikipedia medical information online".[4]

Wikipedia has hundreds of WikiProjects, primarily divided between specific topical areas and performing specific maintenance tasks.[1][3] One task commonly performed by topical WikiProjects in Wikipedia is the assessment of the quality of articles that fall within that topic area.[5] In Wikipedia and sister projects, WikiProject pages are located in project space,[1] and the meta information regarding the association between the article and the WikiProject is usually included on the talk page of the article.[5] WikiProjects provide an additional avenue for engagement between editors with similar interests, and have thereby been found to increase the productivity of such editors.[2] In order to spur participation and concentrate effectiveness, WikiProjects in Wikipedia may engage in activities like having a "collaboration of the week",[6] or designating one article to be improved to the point of achieving "featured" status.[7]

A 2008 academic study of Wikipedia concluded that participation in WikiProjects substantially improved the chances of an editor becoming an administrator, finding that one Wikipedia policy edit or WikiProject edit is worth ten article edits,[8] and concluding:

Merely performing a lot of production work is insufficient for “promotion” in Wikipedia. Candidates’ article edits were weak predictors of success. They also have to demonstrate more managerial behavior. Diverse experience and contributions to the development of policies and WikiProjects were stronger predictors of RfA success. This is consistent with the findings that Wikipedia is a bureaucracy[9] and that coordination work has increased substantially.[10][11] [...] Participation in Wikipedia policy and WikiProjects was not predictive of adminship prior to 2006, suggesting the community as a whole is beginning to prioritize policymaking and organization experience over simple article-level coordination.

WikiProjects and assessments of article importance and quality[edit]

The English Wikipedia currently has over 2,000 WikiProjects, with varying degrees of activity.[12]

In 2007, in preparation for producing a print version, the English Wikipedia introduced an assessment scale of the quality of articles.[13] Articles are rated by WikiProjects. The range of quality classes begins with "Stub" (very short pages), followed by "Start", "C" and "B" (in increasing order of quality). Community peer review is needed for the article to enter one of the highest quality classes: either "A", "good article" or the highest, "featured article". Of the about 4.4 million articles and lists assessed as of March 2015, a little more than 5000 (0.12%) are featured articles, and a little less than 2000 (0.04%) are featured lists. One featured article per day, as selected by editors, appears on the main page of Wikipedia.[14][15]

The articles can also be rated as per "importance" as judged by a WikiProject. Currently, there are 5 importance categories: "low", "mid", "high", "top", and "???" for unclassified/unsure level. For a particular article, different WikiProjects may assign different importance levels.

The Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team has developed a table (shown below) that displays data of all rated articles by quality and importance, on the English Wikipedia. If an article or list receives different ratings by two or more WikiProjects, then the highest rating is used in the table, pie-charts, and bar-chart. The software regularly auto-updates the data.

Researcher Giacomo Poderi found that articles tend to reach featured status via the intensive work of a few editors.[16] A 2010 study found unevenness in quality among featured articles and concluded that the community process is ineffective in assessing the quality of articles.[17]

Circle frame.svg

Quality-wise distribution of over 4.8 million articles and lists on the English Wikipedia, as of 3 April 2015[18]

  Featured articles (0.11%)
  Featured lists (0.04%)
  A class (0.03%)
  Good articles (0.48%)
  B class (2.05%)
  C class (3.99%)
  Start class (25.73%)
  Stub class (54.08%)
  Lists (3.50%)
  Unassessed (9.99%)

Circle frame.svg

Importance-wise distribution of over 4.8 million articles and lists on the English Wikipedia, as of 5 April 2015[18]

  Top (0.91%)
  High (3.21%)
  Medium (12.29%)
  Low (49.37%)
  ??? (34.22%)
  •   Featured articles
  •   Featured lists
  •   A-class articles
  •   Good articles
  •   B-class articles
  •   C-class articles
  •   Start-class articles
  •   Stub articles
  •   Lists
  •   Unassessed articles and lists

[Note: The table above (prepared by the Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team) is automatically updated daily by User:WP 1.0 bot, but the bar-chart and the two pie-charts are not auto-updated. In them, new data has to be entered by a Wikipedia editor (i.e. user).]


  1. ^ a b c Phoebe Ayers, Charles Matthews, Ben Yates, How Wikipedia Works: And how You Can be a Part of it (2008), p. 213.
  2. ^ a b Robert E. Kraut, Paul Resnick, Sara Kiesler, Building Successful Online Communities (2012), p. 207, "WikiProjects are groups of editors who work together on articles within a domain, like military history, sports, or medicine".
  3. ^ a b Broughton, John (2008). Wikipedia – The Missing Manual. O'Reilly Media. pp. 165–175. 
  4. ^ Press Release, "Cochrane announces partnership initiative with WikiProject Medicine" (February 11, 2014).
  5. ^ a b Huijing Deng, Bernadetta Tarigan, Mihai Grigore, Juliana Sutanto, "Understanding the ‘Quality Motion’ of Wikipedia Articles Through Semantic Convergence Analysis", HCI in Business: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 9191 (July 21, 2015), p. 64-75.
  6. ^ Robert E. Kraut, Paul Resnick, Sara Kiesler, Building Successful Online Communities (2012), p. 38, "WikiProjects are groups of editors who work together on articles within a domain, like military history, sports, or medicine".
  7. ^ Robert E. Kraut, Paul Resnick, Sara Kiesler, Building Successful Online Communities (2012), p. 85, "WikiProjects are groups of editors who work together on articles within a domain, like military history, sports, or medicine".
  8. ^ Burke, Moira; Kraut, Robert (2008). "Taking up the mop". Proceeding of the twenty-sixth annual CHI conference extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems - CHI 08: 3441. doi:10.1145/1358628.1358871. 
  9. ^ Butler, Brian; Joyce, Elisabeth; Pike, Jacqueline (2008). "Don't look now, but we've created a bureaucracy". Proceeding of the twenty-sixth annual CHI conference on Human factors in computing systems - CHI 08: 1101. doi:10.1145/1357054.1357227. 
  10. ^ Kittur, Aniket; Suh, Bongwon; Pendleton, Bryan A.; and Chi, Ed H. (2007). "He says, she says: conflict and coordination in Wikipedia". Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing (Association for Computing Machinery): 453–462. doi:10.1145/1240624.1240698. ISBN 978-1-59593-593-9. 
  11. ^ Viegas, Fernanda B.; Wattenberg, Martin; Kriss, Jesse; van Ham, Frank (2007). "Talk Before You Type: Coordination in Wikipedia". 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (IEEE Xplore Digital Library): 575–582. doi:10.1109/HICSS.2007.511. 
  12. ^ "Wikipedia: Wikiprojects". Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment". Retrieved October 28, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Comparing featured article groups and revision patterns correlations in Wikipedia". First Monday. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  15. ^ Fernanda B. Viégas, Martin Wattenberg, and Matthew M. McKeon (July 22, 2007). "The Hidden Order of Wikipedia" (PDF). Visual Communication Lab, IBM Research. Retrieved October 30, 2007. 
  16. ^ Poderi, Giacomo, Wikipedia and the Featured Articles: How a Technological System Can Produce Best Quality Articles, Master thesis, University of Maastricht, October 2008.
  17. ^ David Lindsey. "Evaluating quality control of Wikipedia's featured articles". First Monday. 
  18. ^ a b Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Statistics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.