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The wikiFactor (wF) is a measure of the "importance of a wikisite", as the inventor of this measure, Carl McBride, put it in his paper on the topic.[1]

Definition of the wikiFactor wF[edit]

In his paper, Carl McBride introduces the wF as follows:


The Hirsch h-index is defined as the number of papers, h, that have ≥ h citations. This simple metric has proved to be highly popular. For example, it is now included as one of the functions in the ISI Web of Science.


The new metric proposed in this paper is that of the wikiFactor (wF). It is based on precisely the same style of measure as the h-index, but with two differences; the first is that it examines hits on web pages rather than citations of a publication, and secondly, there is a factor of a thousand. In other words the wikiFactor is defined as the number of pages that have had ≥ 1000wF hits.

The wikiFactor of a wiki is the unique number wF such that there are wF pages on the wiki with at least 1000 * wF views.

This is easy enough to calculate, even manually if you have a list of the pages sorted by the number of views. Then, you only have to look at the n-th page in the list with less then n * 1000 views. Then, wF = n-1.

The more important the wiki, the easier the calculation. Take for instance aStorehouseOfKnowledge. A look at Special:Statistics shows on Mar 16, 2010:

# title views
1 Main Page 27,741 ≥ 1,000
2 User talk:Philip J. Rayment 17,889 ≥ 2,000
3 User talk:Ruylopez 16,995 ≥ 3,000
4 Talk:Evidence for God's existence 5,340 ≥ 4,000
5 Talk:Evolution 4,743 < 5,000
6 Evolution 4,484 < 6,000
7 MediaWiki:Common.css 3,967 < 7,000
So, wFaSK = 4. That fits the definition: though there are four pages with more than 4,000 views, there aren't five pages with more than 5,000 views, thus, the biggest number wF such that there are wF pages with at least wF * 1000 views is 4.

What the Heck?[edit]

Why do we need it? It's really not that hard to measure the impact of a wiki: clearly Wikipedia is more important than Conservapedia, as Wikipedia trumps CP in every category other than blocked IPs.

But what about Citizendium and Conservapedia? What is the best benchmark to compare those two? The number of active editors? The number of articles? The mean number of views per article? The statistics page of each wiki gives us an abundance of information, just try to compare these two.

The wikiFactor is another one, and it could just work.

WikiFactor of wikipedia.en[edit]

estimation of wFwp
For en.wikipedia, the wikifactor is difficult to calculate: wp:Special:PopularPages doesn't exist, in fact, the view counter (which usually can be found at the bottom of each page) is turned off. Fortunately, there are sites[2] which allow the curious to look at the number of views for a page - or the top 1000 pages - albeit on a monthly basis.

Using this information for Dec 2009, one finds that wFwp is at least 300. And just estimating that the overall page views of the most popular several thousand pages are at least fifty times the page views of a single month, leads to a wFwp of more than 4,000.

That is indeed enormous!


Why ask for wF * 1000 views? If possible, one should give wFh, too, with:

The h-wikiFactor of a wiki is the biggest number wFh such that there are wFh pages on the wiki with at least wFh views.

For the calculation of wFh, one needs to look at more pages, so it is not that easy. But it seems to be more elegant.

See also[edit]


  1. wikiFactor: a measure of the importance of a wiki site, Carl McBride, February 20, 2009, pdf
  2. Domas Mituzas data

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