Authors: Brian Keegan, Darren Gergle and Noshir Contractor.
Abstract: Wikipedia editors are uniquely motivated to collaborate around current and breaking news events. However, the speed, urgency, and intensity with which these collaborations unfold also impose a substantial burden on editors’ abilities to effectively coordinate tasks and process information. We analyze the patterns of activity on Wikipedia following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami to understand the dynamics of editor attention and participation, novel practices employed to collaborate on these articles, and the resulting coauthorship structures which emerge between editors and articles. Our findings have implications for supporting future coverage of breaking news articles, theorizing about motivations to participate in online community, and illuminating Wikipedia’s potential role in storing cultural memories of catastrophe.