How oversight improves member-maintained communities

Dan Cosley, Dan Frankowski, Sara Kiesler, Loren Terveen, John Riedl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

72 Scopus citations


Online communities need regular maintenance activities such as moderation and data input, tasks that typically fall to community owners. Communities that allow all members to participate in maintenance tasks have the potential to be more robust and valuable. A key challenge in creating member-maintained communities is building interfaces, algorithms, and social structures that encourage people to provide high-quality contributions. We use Karau and Williams' collective effort model to predict how peer and expert editorial oversight affect members' contributions to a movie recommendation website and test these predictions in a field experiment with 87 contributors. Oversight increased both the quantity and quality of contributions while reducing antisocial behavior, and peers were as effective at oversight as experts. We draw design guidelines and suggest avenues for future work from our results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2005
Subtitle of host publicationTechnology, Safety, Community: Conference Proceedings - Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)1581139985, 9781581139983
StatePublished - 2005
EventCHI 2005: Technology, Safety, Community - Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Apr 2 2005Apr 7 2005

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0274-9696


OtherCHI 2005: Technology, Safety, Community - Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland, OR


  • Collective effort model
  • Contribution
  • Member-maintained
  • Online communities
  • Oversight
  • Participation
  • Quality


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