“”http://www.wikigenes.org/“>WikiGenes is the first wiki system to combine the collaborative and largely altruistic possibilities of wikis with explicit authorship. In view of the extraordinary success of ”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia">Wikipedia there remains no doubt about the potential of collaborative publishing, yet its adoption in science has been limited." So writes Robert Hofmann of MIT in a Perspective article in the September edition of Nature Genetics (40, 1047-1051; 2008) about this “dynamic collaborative knowledge base for the life sciences that provides authors with due credit and that can evolve via continual revision and traditional peer review into a rigorous scientific tool.” From the article:
In WikiGenes, authorship tracking technology enables users to directly identify the source of every word. This was not possible in first generation wikis, although authorship is essential to acknowledge contributors and to appraise the reliability of information. On the basis of clear authorship attribution, users can rate each other, and a self-regulating reputation system can be implemented. This is useful to address quality maintenance and the problem of editing conflicts, which used to depend on slow and theoretically refutable top-down decisions. To facilitate contribution and unambiguous use of scientific language, WikiGenes enables editing of articles in their final layout and citation of scientific terminology and references through integrated database and ontology lookups. All contributions to WikiGenes will be open access.