Individual focus and knowledge contribution

Lada A. Adamic, Xiao Wei, Jiang Yang, Sean Gerrish, Kevin K Nam, Gavin S. Clarkson

Abstract


Before contributing new knowledge, individuals must attain requisite background knowledge or skills through schooling, training, practice, and experience. Given limited time, individuals often choose either to focus on few areas, where they build deep expertise, or to delve less deeply and distribute their attention and efforts across several areas. In this paper we measure the relationship between the narrowness of focus and the quality of contribution across a range of both traditional and recent knowledge sharing media, including scholarly articles, patents, Wikipedia, and online question and answer forums. Across all systems, we observe a small but significant positive correlation between focus and quality.

Keywords


focus;knowledge contribution;Wikipedia;question and answer forums

Full Text:

HTML


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v15i3.2841



A Great Cities Initiative of the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library.

© First Monday, 1995-2017. ISSN 1396-0466.