Wiki into journal

1 minute read

PLoS Computational Biology has started a new collaboration with Wikipedia, in which short review articles called “topic pages” will be peer-reviewed, given journal references, and simultaneously put on Wikipedia to further its content in computational biology. From the journal editorial by editor Shoshana Wodak and colleagues “Topic Pages: PLoS Computational Biology Meets Wikipedia”:

Topic Pages are the version of record of a page to be posted to (the English version of) Wikipedia. In other words, PLoS Computational Biology publishes a version that is static, includes author attributions, and is indexed in PubMed. In addition, we intend to make the reviews and reviewer identities of Topic Pages available to our readership. Our hope is that the Wikipedia pages subsequently become living documents that will be updated and enhanced by the Wikipedia community, assuming they are in keeping with Wikipedia's guidelines and policies, either by individuals, or, perhaps as is already happening in medicine and molecular and cell biology, by something more organized, or with a more formal review structure. We also hope this will lead to improved scholarship in a changing medium of learning, in this case made possible by the Creative Commons Attribution License that we use.

The first of these topic pages appears in the current iteration of the journal, by Spencer Bliven and Andreas Prlić: “Circular Permutation in Proteins”. It is interesting to see a journal article following the basic outline of a Wikipedia entry, but also refreshing because it gets to the point. I would seriously consider writing this kind of publication, which would have much greater impact than the typical review article.