A mission for Wikipedians

So it seems that ScienceBlogs has a wikipedia entry, but there’s not much there, and of course it’s a little dodgy for Sciencebloggers themselves to write the entry. If anyone wants to improve on it, please do. Katherine Sharpe, our blogmistress (she’s the one with the whip, but it’s a nice whip), has dumped some basic information on the discussion page, so it ought to be fairly easy for someone to check the info and clean it up.


  1. says

    I’m in the habit of correcting spelling and grammar mistakes on Wikipedia, as a useful contribution I can make. I went to the Science Blogs entry all keen as mustard to do my bit, but couldn’t find any. Damn you literate science types.

  2. Tom says

    There’s nothing wrong with Sciencebloggers updating the Wikipedia page, as long as it’s not something like “omg scienceblogs SO COOL!” Who would know the site better than its contributors?

  3. says

    I was about to say what Tom remarked. After all, there is nothing dodgy about biologists writing about biology, so why shouldn’t contributors to the Scienceblogs site share their experience?

    Of course, there’s a certain line beyond which information sharing turns into self-promotion, and objectivity is hard to maintain, but I can’t see that applying here. For example PZ shouldn’t edit his own Wikipedia entry – except, perhaps, for purely factual, verifiable things such as a birth date or place of residence, etc. – whereas he could surely contribute to an entry on Morris, Minnesota, if one such exists, without having to recuse himself for conflict of interest.

  4. Jon H says

    Can I write that the founders of ScienceBlogs met during the Bataan Death March?

  5. Brian says

    I wandered over to Quantcast & looked at the stats for ScienceBlogs. Under “Audience Keywords,” right between “amy winehouse” and “tv listings,” I found that topic that keeps me coming back to ScienceBlogs all the time: “blowjobs.”

  6. says

    While there’s nothing that seems obviously wrong with editing purely factual information on yourself, Wikipedians do tend to get into a big stink about it. The problem is basically that it’s impossible to expect someone to write neutrally about themselves or something they have an affiliation with. While these editors may but in true, positive information, they likely won’t put in true, negative information, and this can easily lead to a biased article. Purely factual information is usually accepted, though even this can be suspect on occasion (let’s say Ann Coulter edits her date of birth, for instance).

    While we could debate the merits of this rule all day, in the end, we just have to accept that it’s the rule Wikipedia goes by. Ignoring it simply because you don’t agree with it is just going to lead to trouble.

    However, I don’t think you really have anything to worry about with getting the article looking good. In cases like this, it’s general fans or interested Wikipedians who will come along and fix up the article. Of course, fans also have a potential neutrality problem, but it doesn’t amount to a Conflict of Interest…

    Bleh. COI stuff can get really overblown sometimes. On the other hand, it’s not all bad. For instance, it recently kept Dean Radin from turning his article into a self-promotion piece.

  7. says

    The conflict of interest policy doesn’t prevent science bloggers from editing the article. However, it does prevent people from using themselves as sources; that ends up running into problems with verifiability. There’s no reason verifiable facts can’t be added to the article by people in the best place to know them. However, unverifiable facts can’t be added to the article, even if you know them.

    Also, if someone wants to write some posts about the history of scienceblogs and whatnot and post them to their blogs, those can (generally speaking, and with some qualifications) be used as sources in the article, so if you want to improve it, that’s a great way.