Gender differences in Wikipedia editing

Judd Antin, Raymond Yee, Coye Cheshire, Oded Nov

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


As Wikipedia has become an indispensable source of online information, concerns about who writes, edits, and maintains it have come to the forefront. In particular, the 2010 UNU-MERIT survey found evidence of a significant gender skew: fewer than 13% of Wikipedia contributors are women. However, the number of contributors is just one way to examine gender differences in contribution. In this paper we take a more fine-grained perspective by examining how much and what types of Wiki-work men and women tend to do. First, we find that the so-called "Gender Gap" in number of editors may not be as wide as prior studies have suggested. Second, although more than 80% of editors in our sample were men, among the bottom 75% of editors by activity-level, we find that men and women made similar numbers of revisions. However, among the most active Wikipedians men tended to make many more revisions than women. Finally, we find that the most active women in our sample tended to make larger revisions than the most active men. We conclude by discussing directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2011
Event7th Annual International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration, WikiSym 2011 - Mountain View, CA, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2011Oct 5 2011


Other7th Annual International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration, WikiSym 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMountain View, CA


  • Wikipedia
  • gender
  • participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications

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