Some recent email (asking me for advice on getting started at Wikipedia) prompted me to write a short essay on how and more importantly why researchers should become involved in Wikipedia editing. You can find it at Wikipedia:Wikipedia editing for research scientists.


ext_689663: Nice essay
It's a nice overview of the distinct aspects of editing Wikipedia (which differ from academic writing), and it provides several pointers to help an "academic" quickly become a productive editor. It's clear that going forward Wikipedia will need more expert editors so that it can reach a greater "depth" (especially in technical areas).
11011110: Re: Nice essay
Thanks! And thanks for the edits to the essay. I hope this ends up luring some more long-term contributors and not just being a nice essay, but it seems likely to be difficult to measure that.
ext_689663: Re: Nice essay
It's unfortunate that there's no way to measure the "impact" that one's contributions to Wikipedia have on the learning/research of others. When I want to know more about a topic that's new to me, Wikipedia is usually a first stop before I start digging through a textbook or google scholar results. And I'm sure many (most?) others do the same. Editing Wikipedia is mostly an altruistic act for academics (and others for that matter). There's no glory in it, but it does give me a "warm fuzzy" feeling when I make an improvement to an article.
ext_689663: Re: Nice essay
Maybe "warm fuzzy feeling" should be added to the "Why?" section! :-) (Although, it's probably covered by "Public service".)
gnivasch: Wikipedia
My biggest worry about seriously contributing to the Wikipedia is: How do I know one day someone won't do something "bad" to my articles? Do I have to keep watch on them indefinitely?
11011110: Re: Wikipedia
Keeping watch on articles you've edited is a good idea, but it's not necessary: I think most articles have several people watching them, so if one drops out there are others who will notice any problems.