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I presented this lightning talk at WikiConference USA 2014.
Tracking relations between scientific works, such as disputes
- Prof. Yang tells us that students have trouble interpreting a dynamic immunology literature which includes published papers whose findings are wrong or irrelevant.
- Let's imagine a wiki platform that made the state of research in a science more clear.
- Here's a feature it could have.
- On how much government debt stifles economic growth
- Claim about immune response to HIV ; Later paper with different view
- AcaWiki has 1100 academic summaries. Our prototype is there.
- See first two examples
- Substantive comment is formalized: A disputes B (using Semantic MediaWiki)
- note: the platform doesn't generally resolve claims or disputes ; it's finding a shallower kind of Truth -- that a dispute exists
- Similarly could incorporate other relations between scientific works: A cites B ; A is an important predecessor to B ; A and B use the same data set or the same clinical trial information ; A reproduced or could not reproduce result from B
- Could scale this up with big lists of relevant papers and works from many places including PubMed, SSRN, and Wikidata
- The list is not an innovation but the relations between the works can be useful if they are formalized a bit
- Trees of relationships can then be made visible ; could give a picture of a dynamic literature across fields, journals, and languages
- Could be useful for:
- students of this research . . . and . . .
- researchers not at a "central" place that is well-connected to the latest news (global South?) . . . and . . .
- grant-givers (?) . . . and . . .
- somebody with some other expertise (or technology or skill) that helps to address a particular issue
- Opportunities are rare if subfield has knowledge & institutional barriers around it.
- ===> A good site could save time for scientists and bring in more scientists ===> speed science along
- Report on disputes between papers on this site
- issue: who is qualified to make commentary & identify disputes on such a wiki? (to be worked out)
We need more people and ideas of what a wiki with scientific lit could have that would help spark critical mass (fun, addictive?)
- developed with Lane Rasberry (WM NYC), Otto Yang (UCLA medicine), others
- drawing from Yaron Koren's discoursedb.org ; Retraction Watch blog; many other sites