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Survey among editors of the Dutch language Wikipedia - December 2018

What do the editors think? Editor survey Dutch-language Wikipedia 2018

In December 2018, editors of the Dutch Wikipedia were give the opportunitu to complete a survey. This was the third time that Wikimedia Nederland organized such a survey. Earlier editions were in 2013 and 2015. The aim of the survey was to gauge the opinions of the editing community, and to gather information about the composition of the community. WMNL thus gains insight into the wishes of the processors regarding the support and services provided by WMNL. For the community, the survey provides factual data about its own composition (male / female, education level, age, etc.) and another way to gauge opinions than usual on Wikipedia.

The results

From 1 December to 16 December, logged-in Wikipedia users were able to complete the survey: they were shown a banner on Wikipedia with a link to the survey. In addition, the 250 most active Wikipedians were personally approached via their talk page with the request to participate in the survey. This means that the results may have a bias towards the very active users. A total of 303 editors completed the survey.

Full report

Summary of the results

Sharing knowledge is the most important motive

For the majority of editors, the main reason for making a substantive contribution to Wikipedia is their desire to share knowledge and information. The gaps in Wikipedia coverage are the most common reason for starting to edit Wikipedia.

A small proportion of the editors are actively involved in the Movement Strategy 2030

About half of the editors have heard of the Movement Strategy 2030. Only one tenth of these editors actually participated actively in the strategy process by, for example, attending a discussion meeting, participating in an online discussion or commenting on texts. This is only 6% of all editors. One fifth of the editors would be willing to contribute (in the future) to the Movement Strategy 2030. Most of them would wish to do this only by commenting on texts.

Most editors communicate with each other

The majority of editors communicate with other editors; only one in seven never do this. Talk pages are the most commonly used communication channel here, followed by 'De Kroeg' (Village Pump) and personal emails. A quarter of the editors sometimes meet other Wikipedia editors in person. The most common reason for visiting a meeting for Wikipedians is to meet other editors. One third of all editors are not interested in the meetings for Wikipedians and they have therefore never attended a meeting.

The Wikipedia community is not very diverse

The Wikipedia community consists mainly of Dutch, highly educated men aged over 40. Only 10% of the editors are women and 3% of the editors have a non-Western migration background. According to the majority of editors, the low proportion of female editors has negative consequences, particularly for the diversity of subjects covered. According to one sixth of the editors, a smaller proportion of editors with a non-Western migration background also has a negative impact on the diversity of subjects.

Negative working atmosphere is an important obstacle

The working atmosphere at the Dutch Wikipedia was mainly described by the editors as 'quarrelsome' (45%). The predominantly negative working atmosphere is the main reason for stress during editing and for editors to consider stopping their Wikipedia editing work. It is also an obstacle to more involvement of editors in Wikipedia. For example, the negative working atmosphere was mentioned by a number of editors as a reason for not wanting to occupy a position such as admin, and not wanting to contribute to the Movement Strategy 2030. In addition, improving the atmosphere and mutual communications was the change that was most desired.

Quality of content is important for editors

The quality of the content of articles and the use of sources are important for the editors. To source an article on the Dutch Wikipedia, an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and a statistical database from scientific and government institutions are by far the most useful sources, according to the editors. In addition, for one sixth of the editors, the poor quality of editing by others leads to work stress. Improving the substantive quality of articles is also one of the most frequently mentioned areas for improvement in the Wikimedia movement.