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How many people constitute a crowd and what do they do? Quantitative analyses of revisions in the English and German Wiktionary editions

  • Wiktionary is increasingly gaining influence in a wide variety of linguistic fields such as NLP and lexicography, and has great potential to become a serious competitor for publisher-based and academic dictionaries. However, little is known about the "crowd" that is responsible for the content of Wiktionary. In this article, we want to shed some light on selected questions concerning large-scale cooperative work in online dictionaries. To this end, we use quantitative analyses of the complete edit history files of the English and German Wiktionary language editions. Concerning the distribution of revisions over users, we show that — compared to the overall user base — only very few authors are responsible for the vast majority of revisions in the two Wiktionary editions. In the next step, we compare this distribution to the distribution of revisions over all the articles. The articles are subsequently analysed in terms of rigour and diversity, typical revision patterns through time, and novelty (the time since the last revision). We close with an examination of the relationship between corpus frequencies of headwords in articles, the number of article visits, and the number of revisions made to articles.

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Author:Sascha WolferORCiDGND, Carolin Müller-SpitzerORCiDGND
ISSN:2224-0039 (online)
ISSN:1684-4904 (print)
Parent Title (German):Lexikos
Publisher:Buro van die Wat
Place of publication:Stellenbosch
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2016
Date of Publication (online):2016/11/17
Contributing Corporation:African Association for Lexicography (AFRILEX)
Tag:online dictionary; revision; user-generated content; wiktionary; wisdom of the crowd
GND Keyword:Computerunterstützte Lexikographie; Internet; Qualitätskontrolle; Wörterbuch
First Page:347
Last Page:371
DDC classes:400 Sprache
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt