User:Daniel Mietchen/Talks/Elephas 2011/Wiki definition

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Research cycle.png   Abstract · Start · PDF · J Future · Beyond PDF · Workflows · Review · Wikis · Embeds · Citation · WikiJournal · Obstacles · Outlook · Alternatives · Summary · Q & A · Notes   Large-scale collaboration - ants in the sugar jar.jpg

Science is already a wiki if you look at it a certain way. It’s just a highly inefficient one — the incremental edits are made in papers instead of wikispace, and significant effort is expended to recapitulate existing knowledge in a paper in order to support the one to three new assertions made in any one paper. — John Wilbanks. Illustration: papers and wikispace.


  • For our purposes, any set of interlinked documents (or research objects) that are collaboratively editable from within a common environment (and be this a standard-based API) shall be regarded as a wiki.
  • Just like Wordpress or Drupal, MediaWiki is open source, with a plethora of plug-ins, and used by millions.
  • A wiki page might serve as a community hub for users interested in a specific topic/ semantic tag
  • Wikiedit as "least citable unit" for more fine-grained referencing

Let's have a look at just one: The lack of integration between wikis and scholarly workflows. Is this a principle problem of wikis?

Many of these projects will have an article on a given topic. Experts want information to be aggregated by topic rather than project.
  • Typical design of a wiki revolves around types of information, e.g. WikiPedia, WikiBooks, WikiNews, WikiSource, WikiQuote

  • Expert workflows revolve around topics, and for these topics, many kinds of information are potentially relevant, so should be easily accessible

NMR Wiki

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Quantum Wiki

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