Friday, May 10, 2013

Emerging Ideas about Content of Final Report...

Unfortunately, most of the research I find myself collecting (after partially reading it) is probably only going to make an appearance in the final report of the research, which I will begin writing in September, 2013.

As I've been collecting research (and my thoughts!), I've been writing notes on various themes that I will write about in the final report. These are my very rough thought-notes on these themes:

-How many women edit
-Survey, issues with that, active editors, editors that identify as male/female, how many women edit in Indian community
-Mention decrease from 13% to 9%. Look at survey sizes. Decrease or disproportionate increase in male editors?
-Mention the average WIkipedia user (systemic bias page)
-”WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia's Gender Gap” + articles for research proposal
-Why is this happening on Wikipedia and not on other platforms?

-How does this compare to their participation in other online communities/activities?
-About the same amount of women and men read Wikipedia...
-Women and men tend to use the internet about the same amount (PEW research study)
-EMPHASIS: Other FOSS communities/activities...Lots of research done on this.
-Social media, journalism, other forms of online activities.

-Barriers that have been identified
-See resources: 9 reasons why women don't edit, Wikipedia page on systemic bias, outcomes from the Wikiwomen Camp 2012 (
-Systemic bias, culture that is unfriendly to women and to women's knowledge, notability and verifiability, traditional knowledges
-”WP:Clubhouse?” An Exploration of Wikipedia's Gender Gap”
-Multple examples of stereotypical male knowledge articlers versus stereotypical female knowledge articles:

-Lack of dialogue about women editors and unique barriers in the global south
-Heather Ford's “The Missing Wikipedians”
-"Wikipedia is not the sum of all human knowledge: do we need a wiki for open data?"
-Some more discussion of traditional knowledges, etc.
-What are some of the unique barriers faced by women in the south (Mentioned in Wikipedia page on systemic bias)
-What is missing? As pointed out byWarewitz in her brief articles “Who Speaks for the Women of Wikipedia?” Little to no work has been done with current female editors. Many outsiders are speaking about it, but little is being asked of the already established/involved editors. This is where I come in. Even Sue Gardner takes sources from outside of Wikipedia in her article “9 reasons why women don't edit”
-See CIS' work and reports on this

-Research Justification (Why should we identify these barriers)
-Look how Wikipedia is being used (who is citing, how often it's being cited, etc.)
-what happens when we have a bias in knowledge repositories? What is the societal effect of content bias on Wikipedia?
-Halavais & Lackaff argue: “If an encyclopedia is only as good as its weakest areas, it is important to identify these weaknesses(431).
-What happens when women's voices aren't heard?
-Wikipedia shaping knowledge of the offline world (pew study: and also p.8 of “WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia's Gender Gap”
-Wikipedia is not expanding at the rate it is expected to—See Heather Ford's “The Missing Wikipedians”
-Women difference in editing (“Gender Differences in Wikipedia Editing” article)
-Lack of dialogue about women editors in the developing world, particularly in India
-Example of women behaving as the keepers of “local” or “traditional” knowledge in India—this is gendered knowledge, but there is no place for it on Wikipedia, even though many argue that preserving local culture and knowledge is very important.

Important resources (as of May 10th):
-S. C. Herring. Gender and power in on-line communication. In J. Holmes and M. Meyerhoff, editors, The Handbook of Language and Gender, pages 202–228. Blackwell, 2003.
-Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing. Margolis, J. And Fisher, A. 2001.
-Hargittai, E. & Shafer, S. (2006). Differences in actual and perceived online skills: The Role of Gender. Social Science Quarterly. 87(2), 432-448.
-Krieger, B., & Leach, J. N., Dawn. (2006). FLOSSPOLS gender: Integrated report of findings. Retrieved July 26, 2011, 2011, from Gender_Integrated_Report_of_Findings.pdf
-Rafaeli, S., & Ariel, Y. (2008). Online motivational factors: Incentives for participation and contribution in Wikipedia. In A. Barak (Ed.), Psychological aspects of cyberspace : Theory, research, applications (pp. 243-267). Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press.
-Henderson, J. J. (forthcoming). Toward an ethical framework for online participatory cultures. In A. Delwiche, & J. Henderson (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of participatory cultures. New York: Routledge.
-Fallis, D. (2008). Toward an epistemology of Wikipedia. Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 59(10), 1662-1674. Retrieved from
-IAMAI for stats about computer and internet penetration (
-"Wikipedia is not the sum of all human knowledge: do we need a wiki for open data?" Finn Arup Nielson
-Comparison to other online encyclopedias and Free and Open Source online societies.  

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