As it goes, today of all days, I wanted to look up several pieces of biological pathways on wikipedia (I was doing quite a bit of molecular biology reading). For as much as I had forgotten about the SOPA protest, scientific journals certainly did not. Yesterday, an article on circadian rhythms of wikipedia posting and editing was published in PLoS. In brief, and not surprising, wikipedia posting and editing is most frequent across the late night independent of time zone and native language of entry/edit and least frequent across the early morning hours, mirroring ResearchBlogging.orga near 24 hour rhythm. A majority of posts are done in English (go figure) and additionally (and positively) correlate with the amount of internet users per population (also go figure; the US ranking first [tres go figure]). The data was beautifully graphed in this paper, varying in line graphs, tables, and pie charts. This pie chart shows the percent of articles written in a particular native language by region of the world.

 

Overall, while this data set is not baffling, it does illustrate that popular social and educational media platforms, such as Twitter [see recent Science article], Facebook, and Wikipedia, can serve as useful tools for predicting and modeling human physiology and behavior.

Taha Yasseri, Róbert Sumi, & János Kertész (2011). Circadian patterns of Wikipedia editorial activity: A demographic
analysis PLoS ONE 7(1): e30091 (2012) arXiv: 1109.1746v3