The “Wikipedia first” policy?

Huh. Apparently at least one journal out there has decided they won’t consider submissions unless there is the authors write a Wikipedia article too. I doubt that this is a satisfactory policy for math journals, but it’s good to see the desire for openness seeping in.

EDIT: Incidentally, to the smartasses thinking “wait, you can’t put original research on Wikipedia,” actually read the submission page.  They recommend making the article on your userspace, and then porting it to the main Wikipedia after the paper is accepted.  Yeesh, give the editors of RNA Biology a little credit.

11 thoughts on “The “Wikipedia first” policy?

  1. As I mentioned on Ezra’s blog, I’m pretty sure that such articles wouldn’t be allowed on Wikipedia as they are “Original Research”.

  2. it’s good to see the desire for openness seeping in

    My cynical interpretation is that this has nothing to do with a desire for openness, but rather a desire for publicity. It’s a win-win situation: the journal gets to look cool, the authors get something to brag about under “broader impact” in their grant proposals, and everybody involved gets a little more publicity. The net effect is that we wind up with a lot of Wikipedia articles like this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23S_ribosomal_RNA.

    I suppose it doesn’t do Wikipedia any harm, and it may help a bit. Maybe if I were a specialist in RNA I’d appreciate it more, but I don’t really think most of this is of general interest in an encyclopedia.

    Basically, I’m all in favor of putting things on the web, but I’m not convinced Wikipedia should be a universal repository for all types of data.

  3. I really don’t see Wikipedia letting this fly. Although you’re right that they’re not running afoul of the original research rules, I really don’t see these articles passing notability requirements.

    I think the world would be served well by wikipedia becoming more like the worldwide web. CERN isn’t the only one hosting webpages anymore, and I don’t see why wikipedia can’t spread out more. Something like “wikiacademics” with different requirements for notability, original research, proofs, etc. would be a good compliment to wikipedia. Keep the basic articles on wikipedia which can then link to articles on more detailed academic topics run by a different group with different guidelines.

    Wikipedia is full of haters who want to make wikipedia smaller and more encyclopedia-like (which is to say, less encyclopedic), when those haters get to the math sections and start killing stuff we’re all going to be very sad.

  4. Wikipedia is already a disaster on anything even mildly controversial. I’ve tried correcting a few physics pages here and there and have had things reverted as “original research”.

  5. Wikipedia has policies that discourage people from writing about their own work, even if it’s been published elsewhere. The logic, if I recall correctly, is that the author can’t properly assess the notability.of their own work. So this comes perilously close to contradicting Wikipedia policy.

    Perhaps RNA biology should start its own RNA Wiki, instead?

  6. I think the world would be served well by wikipedia becoming more like the worldwide web. CERN isn’t the only one hosting webpages anymore, and I don’t see why wikipedia can’t spread out more. Something like “wikiacademics” with different requirements for notability, original research, proofs, etc. would be a good compliment to wikipedia.

    You are entirely free to start such a thing using the same free software as Wikipedia

  7. I think the world would be served well by wikipedia becoming more like the worldwide web.

    I don’t get what that’s supposed to mean. Wikipedia is a specific encyclopedia that follows specific rules, run by a specific organization. The world-wide web is a general-purpose communication infrastructure.

    Maybe it means that more people should start wikis? I agree with that.

  8. I meant partly that more people should start wikis, and partly that people should think about wikipedia as only one of many wikis. Obviously the later is a bit more difficult a change to effect. I’d like things so that the natural thing when an article is deleted for certain reasons is just for people to transfer it over to another wiki for which it is an appropriate article, but that requires convincing heavy wikipedia editors that this is a good idea.

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