Wikipedia is more relevant then peer-reviewed papers

I like to write my radical conclusions as titles 🙂 Treat this article as a contribution to Wikipedia advocacy.

Of course, Wikipedia is far from to be more relevant then all peer-reviewed articles; there are a lot of scientific fields which are not tainted by big business, ideology and trends in relation between money and science; maybe it is far from being more relevant then the most of peer-reviewed articles; but there is one important thing which is, believe it or not 😉 — very often not counted as an advantage of informations gathered from Wikipedia (and other Wikimedia projects): Wikipedia has almost completely transparent knowledge building process. (I was talking earlier about need for “Deleted:” namespace as a way for making transparency better.)

Wall Street Journal published the article about the problems related to scientific researches in “hot fields” (I found the article via Slashdot article).

How many times did you hear that “a group of scientists” found that there is no correlation between human activities and global warming, which is, by accident, funded by some big oil company? How many times did you hear that some scientists “almost made a cure for lung cancer”? How many times did you hear that archeologists from one country found “an epochal historical discovery” which have been, by accident, forgotten in the next couple of months?

The most of such articles are peer-reviewed. This means that it is hard to talk about relevancy of peer-reviewed articles in general. Of course, it varies from field to field. Some fields are almost stupidity-free only because there are not a lot of money around their researches.

And if peer-reviewed articles are not so stable field, then what is the relation of stability between Wikipedia articles and peer-reviewed articles from the “hot scientific fields”? I am sure that such fields may be a space for often edit wars on Wikipedia. But, I am sure that such articles are much more stable on Wikipedia then they are in peer-reviewed periodicals.

And, of course, this is just an idea for advocacy. Before it comes into the world as a real Wikipedia advocacy, relevant researches should be made.


~ by millosh on September 20, 2007.

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