Editor survey FAQ

From Strategic Planning

General questions

Why is the Wikimedia Foundation conducting a survey of Wikipedia editors?

The Wikimedia Foundation is conducting the survey to get a better understanding of Wikipedia's editors and their needs, in as many languages as possible, so we can provide a better experience for them. Here are some of the objectives of the survey:
  • Gather some baseline data about Wikipedia editors.
  • Shed some light on the technology ecology of the editors, especially understand what their online experiences are outside of Wikipedia.
  • Understand the motivations behind contributing to Wikipedia.
  • Understand what kinds of interactions editors have with others within the community.

What does the survey cover?

The survey currently is limited to Wikipedia projects. The questionnaire has been written in English, and we are going to employ the help of the community to translate the survey into other languages. The translation process should begin shortly, in the second week of March.

When, and how often will the survey be conducted?

This survey will begin in the first week of April 2011, for about 5-7 days depending upon the response rate to the survey. We plan to conduct a similar survey twice a year.

How can I take the survey?

Every registered user (editor) will see a notification once to participate in the survey. Anyone may click on this link and participate in the survey.

How will the survey data be handled? What about privacy?

The data will be anonymized before conducting analysis to ensure that individual responses cannot be associated with specific respondents. The data will be analyzed collectively and responses will not be associated with any one respondent.

Will the report from the editor survey be shared with the community?

The report from the survey will be shared publicly, and placed into the public domain (Creative Commons Zero).

How can I provide feedback?

You can provide feedback about the survey by emailing Mani Pande in the Global Development team at mpande at wikimedia.org or leave your feedback at Editor survey feedback.

Survey design

Who designed the survey, and how?

The survey was designed by the Wikimedia staff. Several staff members, especially editors, provided input into the design of the survey.

How can I help design or improve the survey?

We are currently focused on translation and fielding the survey. We realize that every survey has its imperfections, but at this stage we want to push towards the next phase in the survey process. The foundation is planning to conduct the editor survey frequently, and questions that are unanswered in this round will be answered in subsequent rounds.

Why does the survey only cover Wikipedia?

The survey covers only Wikipedia since to begin with we would like to have a deeper understanding of Wikipedia editors.

Survey implementation

What software will be used? Will it be hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation?

We are using open source software Lime Survey to conduct the survey, and it will be hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Will the referring site be tracked?


Will unfinished surveys be saved? Will the answers be counted?

Yes, unfinished surveys will be saved, and the answers will be analyzed, and will be accounted for in the final analysis.

Can the respondent "skip" questions?

Every respondent depending upon they answer the questions will have a different path to the survey. Based on previous experience conducting surveys, we recommend that respondents should answer all the questions since we don't want anyone to skip any question that might be considered "uncomfortable."

Why will a user see the link to the survey only once? How?

This will ensure that all users (editors) have an equal probability of participating in the survey, and the survey is not biased towards those editors who edit more frequently. The foundation is interested in eliciting responses from all types of editors. We'll set a cookie within the Central Notice banner for the survey to guarantee that it will only show up once per user.

Privacy & transparency

Is the survey covered by the Wikimedia Foundation's privacy policy?

Yes, the usual Wikimedia privacy policy will cover the survey.

Who will have access to the raw data? Will the raw "anonymized" results be shared publicly?

Researchers at the foundation will have access to the raw data. We will share data with other researchers for analysis also.

Why isn't the anonymized raw data made public?

Raw data can include errors in the way a question is worded and in turn produce answers that are irrelevant or misleading. In such a case the question is usually dropped from the survey. This study is also for editors that know and understand the editorial process and what could benefit it as a whole for other Wikipedia editors.

How long will the data be kept?

Since we will use data from the survey to do longitudinal analysis, we will keep the data. At this point, it is hard to put a timeframe to it.

What do you mean by "anonymized"?

Individual responses will not be associated with any user.