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English Language Summaries December 19, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in D0, physics, physics life.

This is pretty neat. The RNA Biology journal is now requiring a Wikipedia article along with every submitted paper. The guidance from the journal is as follows:

At least one stub article (essentially an extended abstract) for the paper should be added to either an author’s userspace at Wikipedia (preferred route) or added directly to the main Wikipedia space (be sure to add literature references to avoid speedy deletion). This article will be reviewed alongside the manuscript and may require revision before acceptance. Upon acceptance the former articles can easily be exported to the main Wikipedia space.

Keep in mind that Wikipedia articles are to be targeted at a level that an undergraduate could comprehend. Try to avoid jargon and do provide links to other Wikipedia articles at the first use of specific terms, e.g. [[RNA]]. Also the title of the page should appear in bold at the first use of the text of the article, e.g. "eRNA."

This is fantastic. For a long time here at DZERO we were trying to write English Language Summaries (or Plain English Summaries) of all of our papers. For example, here is one for an old Z+b analysis. These were aimed at people who weren’t particle physicists, but had some real interest in the science – the general interested public. We have mostly given up on this, however (I haven’t followed why). Currently the best summaries of this nature I know about are on a blog – Tomasso’s, specifically (e.g. here and here for recent examples).

But Wikipedia is a great idea! It is an increasingly popular search destination. And it is, supposedly, better organized than a blog. And more permanent. Writing the results up there I think would be a great idea. The only thing thing that this doesn’t address is a central pillar of the power of Wikipedia: inter linking. For these articles to really fit in they have to be linked. And if similar results (for example, measurements by both CDF and DZERO of the same thing) are presented then pages would have to be combined or correctly linked. Perhaps a page a paper and then other pages that discuss the specific pages? The experiments could appoint topical editors (i.e. service work) that maintains all the W/Z results, all the Higgs results, etc. Ok, now this is starting to sound like lots of work!

A neat idea, however!

I found this reading read/write web.



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