L. de Alfaro
Measuring Author Contributions to the Wikipedia.
In WikiSym 2008: International Symposium on Wikis
We consider the problem of measuring user contributions to versioned,
collaborative bodies of information, such as wikis.
Measuring the contributions of individual authors can be used to
divide revenue, to recognize merit, to award status promotions, and to
choose the order of authors when citing the content.
In the context of the Wikipedia, previous works on author contribution
estimation have focused on two criteria: the total text created, and
the total number of edits performed.
We show that neither of these criteria work well: both techniques are
vulnerable to manipulation, and the total-text criterion fails to
reward people who polish or re-arrange the content.
We consider and compare various alternative criteria that take into
account the quality
of a contribution, in addition to the
quantity, and we analyze how the criteria differ in the way they rank
authors according to their contributions.
As an outcome of this study, we propose to adopt
total edit longevity
as a measure of author contribution.
Edit longevity is resistant to simple attacks, since edits are counted
towards an author's contribution only if other authors accept the
Edit longevity equally rewards people who create content, and people
who rearrange or polish the content.
Finally, edit longevity distinguishes the people who contribute little
(who have contribution close to zero) from spammers or vandals,
whose contribution quickly grows negative.