Centre for Vocational Education Research LSE RSS Email Facebook Twitter


CentrePiece article
Wikipedia: the value of open content production
Aleksi Aaltonen and Stephan Seiler
October 2014
Paper No' CEPCP428:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 19 (2) Autumn 2014

JEL Classification: D24; L23; L86; M11; O31

Tags: wikipedia; open source; user-generated content; knowledge spillover; cumulative knowledge

Without the ‘spillover effects’ of open content production, the growth in Wikipedia editing activity between 2002 and 2010 would have been halved. That is the central finding of research by Aleksi Aaltonen and Stephan Seiler, which analyses editing data by Wikipedia users to show how content creation by individuals encourages others to contribute to the collective process of knowledge production. Many organisations are developing open source platforms to create, store and share knowledge. This study shows how a larger mass of potential contributors to an online platform will generate bigger spillovers. Providing incentives for early users to contribute content will trigger further contributions.

This article summarises 'Quantifying Spillovers in Open Source Content Production: Evidence from Wikipedia; by Aleksi Aaltonen and Stephan Seiler, CEP Discussion Paper No. 1275, June 2014