Participate in Research for the Wikimedia Foundation

We seek input from the Wikimedia community.

Spring 2013 hackNY Student Hackathon
photo by Matylda Czarnecka on Twitter, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you would like to be apart of our research participant pool, sign up here. As a participant, you will be contacted periodically with opportunities to take part in our research projects. Please see our privacy notice. You may remove yourself from the participant list at any time by submitting this form.

About our Research Participation Program

At the Wikimedia Foundation, we are committed to making Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects as useful and accessible as possible, for as many people as possible. Thorough and thoughtful research on the needs and experiences of our current and future users helps us ensure that our product design can meet this goal. This is why we rely on diverse perspectives in our research. We realize that there are barriers to participating in our research for some, and we value the time, effort, and insights these folks give to the research process. In observance with best practices for research, to lower the barriers to participation and in recompense for time and internet data used, we are committed to offering a gratuity to our participants.

Qualifying for Incentivized Research

Research participants are recruited directly from our Wikimedia user base and communities. We typically search for users with specific characteristics such as user activity, type of user, native languages, role within a Wiki project, community membership, devices used to read or edit, etc. There are a number of channels we use to find research participants who will match the criteria for the study. To find the right types of participants, we may ask a community liaison for recommendations, reach out to editors on their Talk Pages, or post a recruitment message in a Village Pump or similar page. We frequently ask interested users to submit a screener survey to ensure the user is a good fit for the specific research study. We will also send a privacy statement that explains how the Wikimedia Foundation plans to use and store personal information that participants provide in the screener survey and during the research session. Our team will contact qualified users with information about participating in the study, including information about the gratuity offered for participating. For those selected to participate, we will also send a consent form for participants to sign that explains the research activities and grants the WMF limited use of the data and insights obtained in the session. After the research activities are completed, the research team will dispense the gratuities to the participant.

Our team often contracts with research partners local to the population of interest. These “third party” research partners may be involved in any stage of the research described above. They have all signed a non-disclosure agreement, meaning they are prohibited from sharing user information or data outside of the project they are contracted for. Research partners may contact participants, conduct the research sessions, and they may also dispense gratuities.

Activities Not Incentivized

Gratuities or compensation are offered only when explicitly stated by the research team during the recruiting period. The activities eligible for gratuities begin only after any relevant screener survey and upon completion of the invited activities. We do not offer gratuities or compensation for any other conversations or activities that are not described above. Examples of activities that are not compensated are email or talk page exchanges, surveys unless gratuities are explicitly offered, commentary or feedback on features or programs outside of a research session, screener surveys, etc.

Gratuity Allocation

Our research team will work with participants to determine gratuity distribution before research activities commence. Accepting the gratuity is optional and participants also have the option to donate their gratuity to a Wikimedia chapter or a nonprofit organization if they prefer.

The gratuity amounts are determined for each project by the research team based on the research requirements. For some projects we offer a flat rate, regardless of participant location. For other projects, we offer a localized rate. We start with a cost of living base rate based on the location of participants. We adjust this rate according to the duration of the research session, any special skills required, and internet data used during the session. Whenever possible, we consult partners in the region where participants may be based to help inform us about local standards.

At this time, we are only able to issue gratuities through the following services: Ethn.io, Tremendous.com, and Paypal.com. Terms of service for these companies are posted on their websites, and accepting the gratuity signifies that the participant agrees to all terms. Due to the limited coverage of these services, we cannot offer gratuities to those located outside of the covered regions, though we are actively working on filling coverage gaps. Sometimes, Paypal may be the only service operating in certain countries. In those cases, the participant will have to be able to receive payments through Paypal which will require a Paypal account.

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