From Wikimania

What to expect of the Research Focus Area?

The main goal of Research Focus Area is to provide an opportunity for Wikimedia volunteers (editors, developers, event organizers, and beyond) and staff from chapters and affiliate organizations and us, the Research team at Wikimedia Foundation, to have an opportunity to discuss challenges and turn them to research questions when possible. We will also seek to onboard interested research volunteers.

Who should drop by the Research table?

All are welcome, and we especially encourage

  • Wikimedia volunteers who are interested to talk with us about some of their challenges and brainstorm to see if the challenges can be turned into research questions that we can then prioritize and address on our end.
  • Wikimedia affiliates and chapters who are interested to learn more about Research at Wikimedia Foundation, communicate challenges with us, and help us turn them into research questions when possible.
  • All others who are interested to pick up a research direction and need some help with onboarding, picking up a good question and scoping it, etc.
  • Wikimedia researchers who would like to drop by and talk research with us.

Areas of interest

We are always interested to hear from you about any research question you may have, or talk with you and turn your problems/questions to research questions. You don't need to know much (or really anything) about research to start a conversation with us. :) This being said, we list the areas of expertise of the researchers who you will see if you drop by our table, in case you want to have specific conversations with one or more of us.

  • Diego: Graph theory, addressing knowledge gaps
  • Leila: Recommendation systems, Characterizing user behavior, addressing knowledge gaps
  • Miriam: Computational vision, Knowledge integrity (more specifically at the moment: predicting citation needed templates and characterizing Wikipedia citation usage)

Our current projects

Come and talk with us about one or more of the following projects, or any other problem or question you have:

  • Knowledge integrity: This is a broad area of research focusing on research in provenance, misinformation, disinformation, and generally verifiability of content (via citations or not). We are currently focusing on a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to understand citation usage on Wikipedia, for example, through https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Characterizing_Wikipedia_Citation_Usage.
  • Addressing knowledge gaps: Broadly speaking, we build end-to-end recommendation systems that can identify missing content from Wikimedia projects, prioritize them, and recommend them to those who are most interested to close the gaps. In this context, we are interested not only in the content itself but also the tension between content and readership as well as the impact of editor diversity on content diversity. To this end, we have a variety of projects in place: building a section recommendation API (read some of the research behind it) as well as two lines of research to understand Wikipedia readers and their needs better and increase editor diversity.


If you are planning to spend time at the Research table during the hackathon, please add your name below.