A timeline of design research and related studies by the Wikimedia Foundation.


In 2020 our focus is on research related to communicating the trustworthiness and veracity of Wikimedia project content.

Searching on Commons: Structured Data Across Wikimedia The SDAW program has created prototypes that reimagine searching for images on Commons. This project tests usability of prototypes and captures users’ expectations/wants in their search experiences on the wikis.

Project Lead: Daisy Chen, with the Structured Data Team

Android App Suggested Edits As part of the iterative participant testing and development for the app’s Section Editing feature, this project addresses user difficulties using and understanding the Contributions screens.

Project Lead: Daisy Chen, with the Android App Team

Interpersonal Communication on Wikipedia This project seeks to understand more about interpersonal communication and coordination within the Wikipedia community, in particular the role of talk pages in creating and maintaining Wikipedia’s content.

Project Lead: Anna Rader

How Do News Organizations Use Wikipedia? This project seeks to understand more about how and why media and news organizations use Wikipedia.

Project Lead: Anna Rader

Content Moderation Explained An overview of how a global community of volunteer moderators determine which contributions to Wikipedia are accepted and rejected.

Project Lead: Claudia Lo, with Lucy Blackwell

Machine Translation Meets Human Perception The Machine Translation Meets Human Perception (MTMHP) study developed a protocol for evaluating how readers perceive and evaluate machine-translated content - across three different languages, cultural contexts, and content domains.

Project Lead: Michael Raish, with Hureo and Bethany Gerdemann

Content Translation Newcomer Survey TA customizable survey that can be used to more easily, quickly, and reliably collect feedback from a more diverse pool of Content Translation users.

Project Lead: Eli Asikin-Garmager, with Pau Giner and Amir E. Aharoni

CheckUser Workflow and Tools CheckUser is a critical tool for moderators in anti-vandalism efforts on Wikipedia. This research surfaces the pain points in the CheckUser workflow and opportunities to improve the tool.

Project Lead: Claudia Lo, with the Anti-Harassment Tools team

Readers’ Perceptions of Desktop Wikipedia This study seeks to understand the experience and sentiment of new and casual readers on Wikipedia.

Project Lead: Daisy Chen, with Hureo and the Readers Web team

Article Section Translation Study An evaluation of new designs for tools that help editors translate article sections and receive translation support on mobile devices.

Project Lead: Eli Asikin-Garmager, with the Language team and Pau Giner

Why Do People Edit Wikipedia? This literature review examines the drivers of engagement and the motivators of sustained involvement in Wikipedia. It provides an overview of academic research on Wikipedia production and editor motivations, highlighting the themes and queries of scholarship in this area.

Project Lead: Anna Rader


In 2019 our focus was on understanding the potentials and pitfalls of small but essential contributions (e.g. spelling corrections, image captioning, tagging, section translation, etc.), especially from mobile devices. We also did a deep dive to understand the spectrum of contributors that fuel and enable the Wikimedia projects. And, we began to evaluate the user experience of machine augmented content.

Microcontributions Study What drives users to make small edits and what is their experience while doing so.

Project Lead: Daisy Chen, with the Android team and Robin Schoenbaechler

Community Health Survey An inquiry into the unique challenges faced by volunteer administrators in conflict resolution situations and what types of resources would be most beneficial to this work.

Project Lead: Mike Raish, with the Anti-Harassment Tools Team

New Page Patrol Content integrity on Wikipedia relies on editors who patrol articles and respond to vandalism. This research brings to light the workflows of editors who patrol on Wikipedia(s) and the tools used in the course of their work.

Project Lead: Jonathan Morgan

Movement Organizers The Movement Organizer Study sought to understand the life cycle of contributors by documenting paths, practices, challenges, and risks faced by successful organizers throughout the Free Knowledge Movement.

Project Lead: Abbey Ripstra, The Community Engagement Team, and Ana Chang of Concept Hatchery

Ethical & Human-Centered AI This project identfies challenges and emerging opportunities to leverage AI technologies to further the mission of Wikimedia.

Project Lead: Jonathan Morgan

Harassment on Arabic Wikipedia This study aimed to establish a baseline understanding of the frequency of harassment, trolling, and threatening communicative practices on Arabic Wikipedia, to explore the effects of these practices on editing and community health, and to guide future investigation and strategic decisions for the Anti-Harassment Tools team.

Project Lead: Mike Raish, with the Anti-Harassment Tools Team


Augmentation This is a position piece developed by Wikimedia Foundation to frame the potential of machine-in-the-loop technologies in making all the world's knowledge available to all, and to ensure the process to assemble that knowledge is inclusive, balanced and safe.

Project Lead: Wikimedia Foundation, with David Goldberg


New Editor Experiences This study sought to understand the experiences, needs and challenges of new editors on midsize Wikipedias with the goal of learning how best to support and retain them.

Project Lead: Wikimedia Foundation, with Reboot


New Readers This study sought to understand potential Wikimedia readers in countries where access to the internet is quickly growing.

Project Lead: Wikimedia Foundation, with Reboot