Abstract: This paper presents evidence that several changes that the Wikipedia community made to manage quality and consistency in the face of a massive growth in participation have lead to a more restrictive environment for newcomers. Specifically, the restrictiveness of the encyclopedia’s primary quality control mechanism and the algorithmic tools used to reject contributions is implicated as a cause of decreased newcomer retention. Also, the community’s formal mechanisms for norm articulation is shown to have calcified against changes — especially for newcomers.
Recommended citation: Halfaker, Aaron., R. Stuart Geiger, Jonathan Morgan, and John Riedl. (2013). “The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System: How Wikipedia’s reaction to sudden popularity is killing it.” American Behavioral Scientist 57(5). http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002764212469365