Why the World Reads Wikipedia: Beyond English Speakers

As one of the Web's primary multilingual knowledge sources, Wikipedia is read by millions of people across the globe every day. Despite this global readership, little is known about why users read Wikipedia's various language editions. To bridge this gap, we conduct a comparative study by combining a large-scale survey of Wikipedia readers across 14 language editions with a log-based analysis of user activity. We proceed in three steps. First, we analyze the survey results to compare the prevalence of Wikipedia use cases across languages, discovering commonalities, but also substantial differences, among Wikipedia languages with respect to their usage. Second, we match survey responses to the respondents' traces in Wikipedia's server logs to characterize behavioral patterns associated with specific use cases, finding that distinctive patterns consistently mark certain use cases across language editions. Third, we show that certain Wikipedia use cases are more common in countries with certain socio-economic characteristics; e.g., in-depth reading of Wikipedia articles is substantially more common in countries with a low Human Development Index. These findings advance our understanding of reader motivations and behaviors across Wikipedia languages and have implications for Wikipedia editors and developers of Wikipedia and other Web technologies.


Published in:
Proceedings of the Twelfth ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (Wsdm'19), 618-626
Presented at:
12th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM), Melbourne, Australia, February 11-15, 2019
Year:
Jan 01 2019
Publisher:
New York, ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY
ISBN:
978-1-4503-5940-5
Keywords:




 Record created 2019-09-12, last modified 2019-12-05

Final:
Download fulltext
PDF

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)