Social media platforms allow near‐unfettered creation and exchange of user generated content (UGC). Drawing from network science, the purpose of this paper is to examine whether high and low quality UGC differ in their connectivity structures in Wikipedia (which consists of interconnected user generated articles).
Using Featured Articles as a proxy for high quality, a network analysis was undertaken of the revision history of six different language Wikipedias, to offer a network‐centric explanation for the emergence of quality in UGC.
The network structure of interactions between articles and contributors plays an important role in the emergence of quality. Specifically the analysis reveals that high‐quality articles cluster in hubs that span structural holes.
The analysis does not capture the strength of interactions between articles and contributors. The implication of this limitation is that quality is viewed as a binary variable. Extensions to this research will relate strength of interactions to different levels of quality in UGC.
The findings help harness the “wisdom of the crowds” effectively. Organisations should nurture users and articles at the structural hubs from an early stage. This can be done through appropriate design of collaborative knowledge systems and development of organisational policies to empower hubs.
The network centric perspective on quality in UGC and the use of a dynamic modelling tool are novel. The paper is of value to researchers in the area of social computing and to practitioners implementing and maintaining such platforms in organisations.
Ingawale, M., Dutta, A., Roy, R. and Seetharaman, P. (2013), "Network analysis of user generated content quality in Wikipedia", Online Information Review, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 602-619. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-03-2011-0182Download as .RIS
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