Tuesday, September 04, 2007


What to you get when you add peer review to wikipedia?.... scholarpedia! The way it works is simple:
  • Each article is written by an expert (invited or elected by the public).
  • Each article is anonymously peer reviewed to ensure accurate and reliable information.
  • Each article has a curator - typically its author -- who is responsible for its content.
  • Any modification of the article needs to be approved by the curator before it appears in the final, approved version.
Considering the bad press wikipedia is getting these days, because unscrupulous corporations are using it censor and rewrite history, this is a welcomed newcomer. I mean who would you rather have edit an article about mass media, Fox News or Chomsky (this link is to an awesome Canadian documentary). I don't think it will ever really replace wikipedia, because lets face it, no scholar is going to write about star treck episodes and other pop knowledge you can readily find in wikipedia. Rather this will be more old school, but in a good way, like back during the french enlightenment when french philosopher Diderot explained the purpose: "to collect all the knowledge that now lies scattered over the face of the earth, to make known its general structure to the men among we live, and to transmit it to those who will come after us, to make men not only wiser but also more virtuous and more happy.". While at first glance this may seem elitist, I think it can only be a positive step for knowledge-sharing accurate information with the great unwashed common folks. Now all we need is a convergence of scholarpedia with open-access publications to form one cohesive, ever-improving body of knowledge.


cow_2001 said...

Hoohoo! Check out http://www.citizendium.org! Somewhat similar to scholarpedia, but with a different article approval protocol.
Everyone can edit the draft version of an article, but only an expert can approve a particular draft version.

With Citizendium, people can contribute pop culture articles, but no sex positions or porn actors' articles... :(