November 28, 2015

University of Minnesota Study Finds Drop in Wikipedia Contributors

From The Minnesota Daily (Student Paper):

Wikipedia contains more than 4 million articles, written by tens of thousands of users for more than a decade. In fact, the user-edited encyclopedia has become so massive, it may be collapsing under its own weight.

Since 2007, the number of active Wikipedia contributors has steadily dropped, according to a new study released by the University of Minnesota earlier this month. The study blames the decline on Wikipedia’s strict and efficient editing protocol, which discourages newcomers.


Though many professors discourage Wikipedia use, Gary Nelsestuen encourages it.

The biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics professor uses Wikipedia in the classroom often.


Some of Nelsestuen’s classes also include a lesson wherein students look for and correct faulty information on Wikipedia.

“Wikipedia is free, and often you get what you pay for,” he said. “Consumer beware.”

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Here’s the Full Text of the Research Paper Discussed in the Article:

“The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System: How Wikipedia’s reaction to sudden popularity is causing its decline”

See Also: On a Related Note… “First-ever Wikipedia club innovates at University” (via The Michigan Daily)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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