Submissions/Wikipedia is not the sum of all human knowledge: do we need a wiki for open data?

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission
Wikipedia is not the sum of all human knowledge: do we need a wiki for open data?
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Finn Årup Nielsen
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences), fnielsen
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Technical University of Denmark
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)
"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing" is an oft-repeated quote of Jimmy Wales. However, in cases of knowledge representation of neuroscience information I have found that the encyclopedia genre used by Wikipedia is not well suited, and it has been the reason why I have started a MediaWiki-based wiki: The Brede Wiki. There are two issues with science data on Wikipedia: The first is notability and the second issue that of data representation. In Wikipedia a scientific paper can rarely reach a sufficient level of notability to maintain its own page, and a large portion of scientific results can simply not be represented in Wikipedia. Numerical results from individual research papers are of interest to database for the scientific community, and therefore the Brede Wiki has a page for each scientific paper. On that page the bibliographic information as well as experiment data from the paper are stored. Templates provide a means for storing data in a structured way. Wikipedia use templates primarily for formating, so that field values might be obfuscated with formating code such as wikilinks and multi-level templates, making it difficult to do extraction and process the data further. In the Brede Wiki with its simple templates the extraction is complete, so all structured data is added to a SQL database. Semantic MediaWiki provides means for simple database operation within a wiki. A wiki with this extension enabled would also help to organize scientific open data better, and provide a platform for data sharing.
Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge and Collaboration
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  1. Psychology 12:23, 30 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Kocio 00:37, 4 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  3. JuhaV 09:07, 4 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]