[Air-l] Trusted Wikipedia, blessed versions

Alex Halavais halavais at gmail.com
Fri Sep 22 08:16:01 PDT 2006

Thanks! First, I agree on the name: a domain-specific name makes more
sense. Steve Jones already took the "Encyclopedia of New Media," but
I'm sure we can find something good.

I perhaps should have noted that the Wikiprojects, and particular the
Chemistry project, was a spur for me. I'd talked off-handedly with a
number of people over the last couple of years about how a peer review
of Wikipedia (and similar resources) might work, but the Chemistry
Wikiproject shows that it *can* work, which is inspiring.

Someone asked off list if we would be following the Wikiproject model,
and I would certainly like to provide a way to integrate with the
Wikipedia 1.0 process. That said, I do think it is difficult to get a
group of active academics to put in the kind of time the Chemistry
wikiproject clearly demands. So I am trying to extract a piece of
that--the review. I do think there needs to be a core devoted group
who will shepherd the articles through the process, but since pretty
much everyone who has contacted me so far has noted that their
interest is time sensitive (which I share!), I would see the academic
group helping with two areas in particular:

1. Nominating pages: Which pages are too good to pass up for peer
review, and which pages are sorely needed in a collection.

2. The review: A peer-review process that follows the process found in
most journals. Each article reviewed by three people with an
up/down/necessary changes sort of feedback. Of course, given the
brevity of many of the entries (when compared to a journal article),
reviews should not be onerous.

For it to work, we still need to count on both a dedicated core group
of writers and editors of content, and those who edit and write more
incidentally. But the peer-review group need not feel the obligation
to do the heavy lifting. I think minimizing the amount of time the
peer-review group needs to spend on the project ensures that we will
have the best reviewers possible.


On 9/22/06, SJ Klein <sjklein at hcs.harvard.edu> wrote:
> Alex : lovely idea.  confusing name, though.  99.9% of wikipedia is trusted
> by *someone*, after all...
> Better to do a small project as you suggest, with a topic specific name,
> and see how it works out.  The Chemistry WikiProject is currently doing
> that kind of expert peer review on chem articles;

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