Predictors of answer quality in online Q&A sites

Max Harper, Daphne Raban, Sheizaf Rafaeli, Joseph A Konstan

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

272 Scopus citations

Abstract

Question and answer (Q&A) sites such as Yahoo! Answers are places where users ask questions and others answer them. In this paper, we investigate predictors of answer quality through a comparative, controlled field study of responses provided across several online Q&A sites. Along with several quantitative results concerning the effects of factors such as question topic and rhetorical strategy, we present two high-level messages. First, you get what you pay for in Q&A sites. Answer quality was typically higher in Google Answers (a fee-based site) than in the free sites we studied, and paying more money for an answer led to better outcomes. Second, we find that a Q&A site's community of users contributes to its success. Yahoo! Answers, a Q&A site where anybody can answer questions, outperformed sites that depend on specific individuals to answer questions, such as library reference services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication26th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Proceedings, CHI 2008
Pages865-874
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 22 2008
Event26th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2008 - Florence, Italy
Duration: Apr 5 2008Apr 10 2008

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Other

Other26th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2008
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityFlorence
Period4/5/084/10/08

Keywords

  • Digital reference
  • Expert services
  • Information exchanges
  • Information quality
  • Knowledge networks
  • Online community
  • Q&A

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