Wikis, collaboratively edited web pages named after the Hawaiian word for "quick", offer a solution to the growing data glut in science. Wikipedia, the largest online encyclopedia, is the top hit for most searches on scientific topics. Yet, scientists are reluctant to believe or contribute to Wikipedia. Although discoveries in chronobiology have been named Breakthrough of the Year by Science magazine repeatedly, this explosion of information has not made it into Wikipedia. This project has Bio 4030 students identify wiki sites in need of updating, edit their content, and distribute their information to the world.

Wikipedia Project: Why do this real-world experiment in editing?

  1. Teach chronobiology to a world-wide audience
  2. Update Wikipedia with current information on chronobiology
  3. Enhance your ability to evaluate the accuracy of scientific writing
  4. Enhance your ability to connect scientific ideas (e.g. by linking out from your wiki site)
  5. Correct errors of omission and content
  6. Experience large-scale collaboration
  7. Practice scientific communication with the public
  8. Master a topic in chronobiology
  9. Have fun editing Wiki sites

Resources:

 


Natural Sciences Learning Center
Washington University - Biology
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