Required reading from Dr Larry Sanger
An extremely valuable link on academic/medical wikipedias has emerged from the comment thread, this time from Wikipedia co-founder/chief organizer, Dr Larry Sanger.
Larry's essay at Digital Revolution entitled, "Text and Collaboration," takes a lengthy but clear and highly worthwhile look at many of the issues of a wikipedia (or whatever) for medicine and the academy at-large.
As I commented there,
"Your post here is fascinating and truly begins to discuss the issues that might keep academics and journalists from buying into the concept. The post is well-worth reading and re-reading, with its length reflecting that there are many issues that require contemplation and discussion."
"I’ll write more later on the idea that while academics are expected to be independent and develop a track record of individual, peer-reviewed attribution, there is also a strong movement to encourage and demonstrate collaboration. In fact, I’d argue that research problems in the life and biomedical sciences have grown so complicated and require such diverse and specialized expertise, that one can rarely succeed without [strong] collaboration."
"I’m always inspired by people who continue to move beyond, “no, it won’t work,” and find a way to make it work because of the great benefits for all."
Between hosting last week's Tar Heel Tavern and current research demands, I haven't developed much original content as of late and really do promise to address some of the topics raised by e-mail contributors. But until I can dig out, Larry's essay makes for great reading and further discussion amongst all of us stakeholders in both the blogosphere and traditional academic publishing.