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Submissions/Cultural Configuration: Autoreferentiality in Wikipedia

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

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Title of the submission

Cultural Configuration: Autoreferentiality in Wikipedia

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Marc Miquel

E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)

micrib - marcmiquel@gmail.com

Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Amical Viquipèdia (Catalonia)

Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

Autoreferentiality is a property belonging to any language edition of Wikipedia which measures in a way how ethnocentric a version is. We took into account all the content of articles and categories which concerns the language and the national area. This can refer to its history, sport teams or pop culture. Later we quantify this knowledge and observe its unique properties among twenty Wikipedia languages like Hebrew, Italian or Catalan and also produce an index to compare them.

We may ask ourselves: when topical coverage is already described, is this self-national/linguistic content really important? From a survey in Catalan Amical Wikipedia association we could understand it was key in conflict, money and contribution. It was the most conflictive preceding social sciences. Besides, more than 50% of readers might give money but only 10% to Wikimedia Foundation or a Spanish Chapter, they still prefer to give it to a chapter related to their language. Catalan readers said that Catalan culture content was very well covered, but the results point out it is one of the least autoreferential.

Autoreferentiality helps us to understand how this content evolves and who creates it. One of every three anonymous editors decides to contribute on this articles, which cover 15 to 30% of the versions. Autoreferentiality is defined by a set of qualities and characteristics of articles regarding the interest shown by the editors. After all, we see which are more important and significative in all editions and which are unique in each one. Also which are the most important concepts in a culture and how they represent us or how the categorization is made.

At last, we will give our point of view on how these are interesting tools for understand both the cultural influence in each language edition, whether it is a systemic bias or not, it exists and in a large percentage. Therefore it must be taken into account when designing new promotional campaigns and make the Wikimedia projects bigger and more participative.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)

Wiki Culture and the Community

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Yes, if I get the scholarship.

Slides or further information (optional)

Translation pending.

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  1. Gomà 20:42, 31 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Hindustanilanguage 06:26, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Phoebe 21:12, 1 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Marcus Cyron 15:09, 19 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Vibhijain 07:08, 8 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Amir E. Aharoni
  7. Viatcheslav Ivanov
  8. Ashina 05:01, 26 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Tomo suzuki 09:22, 30 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]