This work is a longitudinal network analysis of the interaction networks of Wikipedia, a free, user-led collaborativelygenerated online encyclopedia. Making a case for representing Wikipedia as a knowledge network, and using the lens of contemporary graph theory, we attempt to unravel its knowledge creation process and growth dynamics over time. Typical small-world characteristics of short path-length and high clustering have important theoretical implications for knowledge networks. We show Wikipedia’s small-world nature to be increasing over time, while also uncovering power laws and assortative mixing. Investigating the process by which an apparently un-coordinated, diversely motivated swarm of assorted contributors, create and maintain remarkably high quality content, we find an association between Quality and Structural Holes. We find that a few key high degree, cluster spanning nodes - ‘hubs’ - hold the growing network together, and discuss implications for the networks’ growth and emergent quality.
Ingawale, Myshkin; Dutta, Amitava; Roy, Rahul; and Seetharaman, Priya, "The Small Worlds of Wikipedia: Implications for Growth, Quality and Sustainability of Collaborative Knowledge Networks" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. Paper 439.