Friday, December 19, 2008
ars technica - It's easy to find the latest in scientific publications by going to a search engine, such as PubMed, that specializes in the relevant literature. But, if you're looking for something else—unpublished data, relevant software, a comprehensive database—you're likely to turn to a general search engine. These, more often than not, will return a Wikipedia page within the top 10 hits. In increasing numbers, scientists are reasoning that, if people are going to look at the Wikipedia page anyway, the scientific community should probably ensure that the information there is good. In the latest manifestation of this trend, the journal RNA Biology is requiring that authors of a specific type of paper submit a Wikipedia entry for peer review, as well.
This isn't the first effort involved in trying to improve the quality and breadth of biological information available through Wikipedia, but it appears to be the first time that entries in the online encyclopedia are being made a precondition of the research career's be-all and end-all: peer-reviewed publications.