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Can Automated Editorial Tools Help Wikipedia's Declining Volunteer Workforce?

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University College Dublin researchers have developed an algorithm that assesses the quality of Wikipedia pages based on the authoritativeness of the editors involved and the longevity of the edits they have made. "The hypothesis is that pages with significant contributions from authoritative contributors are likely to be high-quality pages," say researchers Xiangju Qin and Padraig Cunningham. Given this information, Wikipedia users should be able to judge the quality of any article more accurately.

The researchers started with a standard way of measuring the longevity of an edit by combining the size of an edit performed by a given author and how long this edit lasts after other revisions. The researchers also measured the authority of each editor by measuring how well connected they are to a network of established Wikipedia editors. Finally, the researchers combined these metrics of longevity and authority to produce a measure of the article quality. The researchers tested their algorithm on more than 9,000 articles that have already been assessed by Wikipedia editors.

"Articles with significant contributions from authoritative contributors are likely to be of high quality, and that high-quality articles generally involve more communication and interaction between contributors," the researchers conclude.

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