I have been editing Wikipedia articles on topics related to Microbiology and Immunology for a long time. I am fascinated by the concept of Wikipedia, and despite my initial misgivings about the authenticity of the contents, I have often found, at least for relatively non-contentious topics (read: not-religion, not-politics), the articles are of reasonably high quality, well-researched, well-referenced.
This is my first contribution written from scratch, that just got accepted. While reading some random article, I noticed that the topic Küttner’s tumor was written in Red – a Wiki format which indicates that no corresponding article exists. So I got busy, wrote one up, and submitted for review. However, I got a system message that there is no set date when my submission may be reviewed, because of a current backlog of over 2000 articles.
Imagine my surprise then, when early this week, when I logged on to Wikipedia, I was informed that someone had reviewed it. After I communicated with the reviewer regarding some specifics, it was accepted and put up in its own page.
I seriously and strongly urge my fellow researchers and scientists to donate a little bit of their time and effort to help Wikipedia with its mission to make knowledge and information accessible to people. Specialists in their fields writing up about various topics would be an important resource and knowledge-base. There is no remuneration, but the society will be a little better for it.
Even if you cannot spend the time to write whole articles, you can still help by taking part in the review process. There are thousands of articles begging to be reviewed, so that they can be posted. The Wikiproject AFC (“Articles For Creation”) holds these Backlog Elimination Drives, during which reviewers can log on and review as many as possible from the 2124 articles currently pending. The current drive has already started on December 1, and will run until end of January 2014. Please help as much as you possibly can.
(AFC Logo image © User:Mono/Wikimedia Commons; downsampled from PNG original created by User:Mono, and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)
Fellow immunologists and infectious disease specialists, if you prefer, you can go directly to this page and start with the articles that need serious review and/or reformatting. Please be sure to read the rules first, because this review process is slightly different from the academic peer review process for journal articles which we are used to. The following are a few helpful links to start you off. Happy editing!
- Pending submissions queue
- AFC Help Desk
- Wikipedia’s policies and guidelines
- What Wikipedia is and is not
- Wikipedia Manual of Style
- Wikipedia article naming conventions
- AFC reviewing instructions
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