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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2100,
Chinese Wikipedia Survey Explores Factors that Drive Online Knowledge-Sharing Communities

New Rochelle, NY, July, 12, 2011-Factors such as encouragement, praise, a sense of control and self-worth, and peer support can all influence knowledge-sharing behavior in virtual communities such as Wikipedia, according to a study presented in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.  The article is available free online.

A team of Taiwanese researchers devised a model for evaluating the factors that support knowledge-sharing among contributors to the Chinese language version of Wikipedia. Online, collaborative knowledge-sharing platforms such as Wikipedia are created, updated, and maintained by virtual communities whose participants desire to share and acquire information via electronic media.

Shun-Chuan Ho, PhD, Ping-Ho Ting, PhD, Dong-Yih Bau, PhD, and Chun-Chung Wei, PhD identified three main factors that influence the intention to share knowledge: attitude (driven by a desire to help and to form reciprocal relationships); subjective norms about knowledge-sharing (based on peer influences and sense of self-worth); and perceived control over knowledge-sharing behavior.

The authors represent multiple academic institutions in Taiwan, including Yuanpei University (Hsinchu City), National Chi Nan University (Nantou), Tung-Hai University (Taichung City), Dayeh University (Dacun, Changhua), and National Central University (Jhongli City). They present their findings in the article "Knowledge-Sharing Intention in a Virtual Community: A Study of Participants in the Chinese Wikipedia."

"It is interesting to see that positive reinforcement encourages sharing, even in an electronic environment," says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA.

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly in print and online that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies. Complete tables of content and a free sample issue may be viewed online.