User:Econterms/Lightning talk

From WikiConference North America
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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.


  • 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:
  1. students of this research . . . and . . .
  2. researchers not at a "central" place that is well-connected to the latest news (global South?) . . . and . . .
  3. grant-givers (?) . . . and . . .
  4. 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

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 ; Retraction Watch blog; many other sites