Proposal talk:Expert review

From Strategic Planning

No, I think that once the expert write a review it is necessary that he also, repair the article.--Juan de Vojníkov 08:33, 14 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I've had this idea myself. If we could start an academic journal (or even an semi-academic blog) where experts did reviews of core topics on a regular basis like Nature did in 2005, I think we will be creating a great tool for improving these articles, and will be also be using a format that mainstream academics would be interested in contributing to.--Pharos 14:24, 14 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I've had this idea for years, but never actually made the effort to put it in writing. Excellent. Perhaps a good route would be to ask specific universities to "sponsor" the Wikipedia project for limited periods of time. The school could get some free press, and Wikipedia would get some free academic help. Just a thought. Vint13 20:22, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Summary of Proposal Talk; Draft Detailed Proposal

Just a reminder, we have to merge all proposal into one, so please read other proposals as well.


Wikimedia's Wikipedia, although highly successful in terms of its breadth, growth, and sustainability, loses much of its potential in its lack of high quality content, reliability, credibility and academic world/expert involvement . In order to raise the quality of the articles feedback must be collected from readers, knowledgeable people in the field that use Wikipedia and would like to contribute, as well as experts (and top-experts) in the field. Feedback can be in the form of comment, critique, suggestions, reader's surveys (e.g. questions like was this paragraph clear/useful/informative similar to what is done in Wiki news) and formal review (sample of article review is desperately needed). Feedback may be as simple as ordinary people critique to the article or to the portion of it which is already possible thru the discussion page, however, some standardized review process is a good idea. Review process must be done to determine the improvement course of the article and may be done by anyone; by the quality of work we may see which comes from the expert. To make an article a reliable source of information, highly qualified person with a reputation should sign his/her name under it. Even further, the expert-reviewed article can be peer reviewed by other experts. Such professional articles with expert name under it should be easily and reliably cited as any other academic work (if we want to reach the highest standard); thus, expert-reviewed articles should be locked from changes. However, the work on articles should never stop, Wikipedia must remain a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Thus, after the new knowledge has accumulated (or the views on the subject changed/ or some new structuring of the material appears to be better) a new review is needed. This calls for different versions of an article. One version should be always dynamic and everyone should be able to contribute (thus not cite-able version). The other versions of the article should remain static (locked) with the name of expert under it to serve as a reliable source of information.


  • Reliability - trustworthiness, accuracy, correctness of information. Assessments of its reliability usually include examinations of how quickly false or misleading information is removed. Vandalism damages reliability.
  • Expert - somebody skilled or knowledgeable: somebody with a great deal of knowledge about, or skill, training, or experience in, a particular field or activity. Websters!

Reading material; Literature review

Short summaries of each article are needed

Problem definition

On problems with Wikipedia that could be solved by expert review:

On expert review procedures used in Free Software projects:

Related Wikipedia policies and guidelines review

Flagged Protection and patrolled revisions


Summary here...


WikiTrust will color code every word of the encyclopedia based on the reliability of its author and the length of time it has persisted on the page: Text from questionable sources starts out with a bright orange background, while text from trusted authors gets a lighter shade.

get Mozilla add-on

WikiTrust is a plug-in for MediaWiki that implements automated algorithm to assess the credibility of content and author reputation. When installed on a MediaWiki website it enables users of that website to obtain information about the author, origin, and reliability of that website's wiki text.

Similar failed proposals


By a review process, we mean a series of verifications made to an article which, assuming a successful review, will lead to the removal of the Not yet reviewed tag on this article. The reviewed articles would have a quality assurance tag. It could say something like: "This article has been reviewed by Wikipedia. It was found to be compliant with Wikipedia's 7 quality assurance criteria." The latest reviewed article could be made available by clicking on an additional tab (maybe named Reviewed Article?) right where we presently have the Article, Discussion, Edit this page, History, and Watch tabs. The Article tab would of course continue to contain the latest freely editable version of the article, but we would also have an "official" version 1.0 of the article. This is similar to the concept of having a development branch and a stable branch of a program's source code.

The most important issue to solve if we go forward with a formal review process is "How do we create a review process that is 1) consensual, 2) effective, and 3) trusted by everyone?"

Motivation (problem definition)

...text here...


  • need to embrace professionalism and academic world
  • reliability and credibility
  • numerous calls for stable version of articles
  • Wikipedia may not only contain errors and bias but that the collected articles can be hijacked subtly by special interests to provide a distorted view of the facts
    1. contain factual errors,
    2. be poorly written (and thereby misleading),
    3. be biased to some degree, and/or
    4. even be vandalized.

The process

The actual review process could consist of 7 jobs (which can be done in parallel):

  • Content review (Is the information accurate? Is there any information that can be proven to be in contradiction with verifiable evidence?)
  • Neutrality review (Is there a visible point of view?)
  • Sources review (Do the sources exist? Are the sources in accord with the article's content?)
  • Copyright review (Are we in violation of someone's copyright?)
  • Spelling & grammar review (Are there any orthographic or grammatical errors?)
  • Language quality review (Is the language appropriate for an encyclopedia article? Can some sentences be rephrased to bring more clarity?)
  • Wiki syntax & style review (Does the article style comply with Wikipedia's recommendations? Is the proper wiki syntax being used? Can we wikify/unwikify some keywords?)

The time that will be required to do a full review will vary greatly from one article to the other. To take on the 7 jobs of the review process, we need 1) qualified volunteers 2) a set of criteria everyone agrees with.



  • anyone should be able to do a review and by the quality of the review we may determine which one comes from the expert. However this applies for dynamic version of the article and can only be used to identify improvement course of the article. Someones professional reputation should be on a line if the article serves as a reliable source of information.


Roles of experts: The primary roles of the experts will be:

  • Reviewing, correcting and endorsing existing contents in Wikipedia that has been developed so far.
  • Assigning/requesting the tasks of creating, correcting and reviewing specific contents to individuals/volunteers/experts that he/she thinks will be able to do justice to the topic.
  • Helping in recruiting new experts by refering them.
  • Creating contents (under creative commons license) with proper references and following the present Wikipedia quality standards.
  • Reviewing, approving/rejecting and passing on (to other experts) new contents and edits made by non-expert volunteers.

  1. Who is an expert?
    • Expert should have corresponding credentials to perform a review.
  2. How we know he/she is an Expert?
  3. Can we verify experts' identities and statuses?
  4. What kind of experts are to be selected for areas such as Astrology, Parapsychology, Homeopathy and Crypto-zoology? Who is an expert in the gray area (non-academic)?
  5. What motivates a professional teacher or writer to contribute to Wikipedia?
  6. How can we get the top experts in the world to review our content?
    • Perhaps a good route would be to ask specific universities to "sponsor" the Wikipedia project for limited periods of time. The school could get some free press, and Wikipedia would get some free academic help.
    • To be mentioned as a worldwide expert (or at least for a certain language) is very attractive for individual scholars as well as institutions. Perhaps even a list could be made mentioning the number of pages reviewed per person/institute.
  7. How can we give credit for good contributions?
  8. What content would be a priority for experts to review?
  9. How can we prioritize professional views and contributions without too much limiting openness?
  10. How many experts and institutions will apply? Who is able to chose an expert?


Experts are asked to submit reviews of Wikipedia content including articles, sounds, images, animations, and maps. This can be done through direct invitation, personal contact (experts contacts Wikipedia or Wikipedia contacts expert), free culture workshops and symposiums, or, if funds permit, advertising. The expert submits a review of the content (sample review needed). Improvements take place. After review is complete and the article is of a such quality that a well-known expert in the field is willing to put his/her name under it, a particular revision of an article should be locked and given a flag of an expert review version of the article. Different versions of the expert review should be possible. Dynamic version of the article is still open for everyone to edit.

Anyone should be able to do a review and leave a feedback. Standardized versions of review is welcomed as well as surveys. However, such feedback cannot lock the article.

Review standards

  • reviews are only informative and incitative, and do not carry any weight in any controversy (edit war and the like), nor could they be used to justify editorial decisions without going through the usual wikipedian due process ; (applies for dynamic version?). (this point needs refinement)
  • Language, before signifying something, signifies someone ([Jacques Lacan], Discours de Rome). The expert should consider factors such as historical relevance, the POV of the author of the source and most importantly the experts own limitations. From that perspective we must understand that any editor can only judge sources [subjectively]. The most important job of an expert therefore is to apply [source criticism]. That way the expert has to look into the point of view of the source and of the editor to separate the two and clearly depict what the source says and that it is the source saying it, so as to avoid elevating a source to a form of 'absolute truth' like a rulebase (since the wikipedia is only too often used for that) and preventing the experts POV as functioning as a rulebase to the wikipedia. Any creditable encyclopedia researches the etymology of a word and its historical uses. The difficulty is that this warrants private research of the reader and of the expert to determine what the source meant with the used words and if such a statement is wanted in the article. This will always remain a problem to a certain extent, but realizing that this is always done is the first step in correctly separating the source ([noumenon]) from the image the wikipedia is showing ([phenomenon]) thereof, thus defeating [dogma's].
  • Wikipedia standards:
  • Literature review section



  • user has the ability to, from the article view, hit a button that says "cite this article" or "revert to expert-reviewed version"
  • user has an ability to see all the experts reviewed articles (possible with popularity of article)


  • ask for "expert" review, but also always ask in parallel for "non-expert" review
  • design an article survey for everyone in order to determine course of improvements. (solicit feedback)


Develop new user interface with addition of the:

  • ask expert review chapter(not clear who can ask for it)
  • offer expert review
  • History line of articles where users can jump from one expert reviewed version of the article to the other or stay on the dynamic version of the article and edit it. (however there is a possibility of non-linear (brunching into different parallel versions) development of the articles where 2-D lines in form of a tree is needed)
  • Expert version of the Wikipedia (new expert accounts, reputation building non-anonymous accounts)

Experts reimbursement if any


Creating a great tool for improving these articles, and a format that mainstream academics would be interested in contributing to. Feedback and reviews would be of invaluable use for Wikipedians (Wikimedians) that can collaborate to improve the site and bring the content to an increasingly higher quality. Locked expert review versions of the articles can be referenced as reliable source; thus, providing the link between Wikipedia and academic world. The dynamic nature of the Wikipedia a free encyclopedia that ANYONE can edit is preserved.


  1. Too many versions of the same information.
    • Voting process can be applied to determine best version.
    • Experts can collaborate and merge two versions making the other versions obsolete.
  2. Need to ensure that the reviews will be processed and that we do not disappoint the expert if she/he spends hours writing a good review and then nobody cares
  3. Experts wars; power-games; block of alternative opinions; NPOV of the experts.
  4. Lack of incentive for top-level experts to review articles
  5. A common distrust of Wiki in the academic world

Nature combats stereotype

External credentialed review?

I too have thought of something similar to this proposal. Your proposal specifies that the review has to be done by experts who are not part of Wikipedia, and whose credentials are verified. Barring existing Wikipedia rules and culture, I do not see why this proposal cannot be done internally. There are many experts within Wikipedia and others with specialized or more than a “passing interest” on many subjects. Making the expert review process external might be conceived as acknowledging that Wikipedia is ‘’’inherently’’’ incapable of doing its own review.

But assuming we retain the proposal as is, there are some serious issues with how it would be carried out. For example:

  1. Would it be feasible to get every article “expert reviewed”, or will we prioritize some, over others, for review?
  2. How would one know an article was reviewed? Would the reviewer get noted or credited?
  3. What happens to an article after it was reviewed? Is it locked permanently or partially? Are only parts of the article, those reviewed and fact-checked, locked? If the article remains open to any level of revision, would a reviewer want to be continually associated with the article and liable for subsequent content revision?
  4. How could Wikipedia get a long-term commitment from individuals/organizations?
  5. If the stigma associated with Wikipedia is high, would individuals and organizations want to be associated with it? If not, how could this be overcome?

I know it is just a proposal, so I do not expect it to be exhaustive in its outline form, but these are just a few important things that could conceivably effect the proposals feasibility. The devil is in the details. GMJ 23:17, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I can think of a few cases when real expert reviews might be beneficial, i.e. when a topic is so complicated (and possibly controversial), and the available sources are so disparate that the normal consensus mechanism doesn't work. What an expert review then achieve is providing us with a new source that is citeable, and if the review is good, it might bridge the other varying sources so that the consensus discussion is restarted. Usually we have abundant sources, so that the discussion needn't be struck, unless the discussion participants are misbehaving. For that case, an internal peer review group with specialised administrative rights to accept and reject changes might be preferrable before directly disciplining users for participating in disputes. Otherwise expert reviews and peer reviews should IMHO be the exception, and unrestricted editing the normal modus operandi. Rursus 19:29, 18 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I consider this proposal as "toxic" as [1] for the same reasons. I agree with Rursus that there may be a few cases, where some academic-dispute can not be solved by standard-procedures, but this proposed "I´m the leading-expert, so the rest of you ****" concept to cope with problems is extremely counter-productive.Alexpl 10:44, 20 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

  1. Would it be feasible to get every article “expert reviewed”, or will we prioritize some, over others, for review?
    • I suppose the most popular or most read articles deserve to be reviewed first. However, the experts most likely would work to support a good spirit of the Wikipedia and get a free publicity; thus, expert would decide what articles gets reviewed first.
  2. How would one know an article was reviewed? Would the reviewer get noted or credited?
    • I propose the anonymous feedback where everyone can comment. Review process must be done to determine the improvement course of the article and may be done by anyone; by the quality of work we may see which comes from the expert. Expert-review is done in order to check the correctness of all facts, put a well respected name in the field under the article and lock it to prevent changes (dynamic version that anyone can edit is still available); thus bringing article, expert-reviewed article, to academic standards.
  3. What happens to an article after it was reviewed? Is it locked permanently or partially? Are only parts of the article, those reviewed and fact-checked, locked? If the article ::remains open to any level of revision, would a reviewer want to be continually associated with the article and liable for subsequent content revision?
    • answered in previous response
  4. How could Wikipedia get a long-term commitment from individuals/organizations?
    • I don't think it is needed. Under such proposal one expert-reviewed article is enough to bring the article to academic standards. Also it doesn't preclude any other institution to do a slightly different version or peer review the article.
  5. If the stigma associated with Wikipedia is high, would individuals and organizations want to be associated with it? If not, how could this be overcome?
    • Experts that don't want to damage their reputation due to stigma but believe in Wikipedia mission can still perform review anonymously. This will ensure that the quality of the articles will rise with time. Thus, at some point one expert would say that the article is good enough and worth to put his/her name under it; thus, locking the article and making it a reliable source of information. I am sure the trend will catch up with the professional striving to get publicity and acknowledgment and making stigma a thing of a past.
RonRodex 18:09, 7 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I've made a comment called Legitimizing WikiUniversity, which I think goes to the heart of both getting experts involved and giving them the confidence that only their peers may make a edit. Ideally, Wikiuniversity would be a "shared service" betwen unis, the access to which could be controlled by attributes agreed to by NRENetwork managers and Wikiuniversitarians.Simonfj 05:36, 9 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I agree wholeheartedly, and would like to add some ideas

I spotted this proposal too late, i created another one of similar intention Proposal:Experts. The bottom line is, we should think about ways to make more use of the knowledge of experts in a field.

Perhaps wikipedians could be present on big scientific congresses to give information about how to contribute to wikipedia.

It should also be made easier for experts to conribute to the wikipedia in a conventional way. What i would like to hear is one professor, telling another professor enthousiastically how he created or improved an article on his field of expertise, wasn't bothered with a remarks requiring him to cite more sources or some other wiki policy, the response by the community felt positive rather than critical, but the layout and wikification was done for him, and he got to know a few other people with interest in the field, perhaps even learned a few things from it.

If someone writes a scientific review paper, delving deeply into a subject, this person should feel invited to inject his/her knowledge in wikipedia. Citing your own review article (which, as a proper peer-reviewed article, cites sources abundantly), should be encouraged and accepted as a source for the statements you take from your paper. The "No original research" policy is just counter-productive here, imho.

Also, incorrect new articles on scientific subjects, like dictionary definitions without a source, should not be just deleted without the author being not only invited, but where possible aided to wikify it into a stub.

If we would create some kind of portal for experts, i'd love to contribute to it, especially in my field of expertise (medicine / vascular neurology) PizzaMan (if i can contribute, please let me know on this talkpage) 12:39, 20 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I totally agree, it should there should be more experts on Wikipedia and this proposal is a good way to make it easier for experts to contribute their opinion without having to go through the hassle of getting an account and getting to know the Wikipedia Markup language and the community guidelines. Usually, these people have other things to do and we should make it as easy as possible for them to contribute and also assure that their proposals will be valued. Thus we need some kind of verification system where the experts (professors etc.) can write a review without much coming into contact with the technicalities of editing a wikipedia article. Greetings --Hannes Röst 12:14, 22 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Who is going to ask?

The proposal states as proposal "Experts are asked". WHo do you propose will going to be asking experts? Have you ever asked an expert to review articles? Can you share us your experiences? Do you propose that you are going to ask experts in the future? Or do you propose somebody else will have to ask experts? How are we going to convince "Somebody Else" to do that? Dedalus 12:51, 20 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Its probably easiest to start a WikiProject and some members will identify themselves in an email to the expert and ask him/her for a review. Greetings --Hannes Röst 12:15, 22 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I think we should try to follow the "journalistic" model of expert review pieces that have worked in the past, like what Nature did in 2005.--Pharos 05:04, 23 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I asked some and they said they were too busy, but they also said that they were afraid, very afraid of this anyone-can-edit policy.
Hpvpp 03:41, 3 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Proceed with caution

Feedback is always a good idea. But this proposal should be very wary of two necessary precautions :

- that these reviews are only informative and incitative, and do not carry any weight in any controversy (edit war and the like), nor could they be used to justify editorial decisions without going through the usual wikipedian due process ;

- that no expert (and indeed no man), no matter how highly qualified, sincere, informed, etc. can hold the pure, perfect truth.

Thus even though it is a good idea to ask for feedback I fear that when given by "experts" it will be recieved as some sort of gospel, whereas the opinion of an "expert" on an article should not be regarded more highly than that of any good-willing, reasonably informed person - I'd even go so far as to say that all opinions should have the same a priori weight.

This proposal could be implemented and could have positive effects (creating links between Wikipedia and the academic community) but should be very closely monitored so that Wikipedia doesn't fall under "expert control". An idea : ask for "expert" review, but also always ask in parallel for "non-expert" review, soliciting opinions from motivated persons completely foreign to a given field. All opinions would then be considered on an equal footing.

--Tovarich1917 00:19, 21 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

We can treat these expert reviews exactly how we treat the occasional expert reviews of articles that are already being published in academic journals and the press. Just link to the external review from the talk page as at w:Talk:Islam, and let Wikipedia's normal processes take over.--Pharos 05:10, 23 August 2009 (UTC)--Pharos 05:10, 23 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I totally agree, WP editors will not become stupid and blind just because an "expert" told them to do a certain thing. But it would be extremely valuable to have these expert opinions. I rather see the problem that we need to ensure that the reviews will be processed and that we do not disappoint the expert if she spends hours writing a good review and then nobody cares. Greetings --Hannes Röst 09:26, 31 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
And what should we do if there is more than one expert offering his/her help? I see no practical way how the WP community can valuate contradictory expert-opinions.Alexpl 20:42, 6 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I think we already do that all the time, where articles discuss competing views. We simply lay out the arguments and counterarguments for the reader, without deciding ourselves which is 'correct' (outside of the provision, of course, that we do not give undue weight to a view that goes against the clear consensus of the community of experts). BD2412 14:35, 24 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
As a practicing chemist at a U.S. University, I have to urge caution about "credentialed experts." Knowledge, expecially in physical sciences, does not grow downwards toward a tree root, and one expert's opinion today is to be taken "high probability, not necessarily correct." Skepticism is penultimately important to the quest for an objective truth. A potentially worse problem is that of "expert egos" - one expert holding a contrary opinion just because his (her) opponent holds a different opinion. This has happened historically all too often, see Sergé on why Fermi had absolutely not produced any transuranium nuclei. I believe it is vital for Wikipedia to as BD2412 says, above - and not preclude opposing or competing views. NReitzel 12:19, 01 July 2010 (CDT)
Wikipedia is still very young. Academics are slowly realising that it is now the first port of call for most non-academic researchers and many academic ones too. Academics will soon start to edit Wikipedia articles without any prompting - most love their field of expertise and the concept of Truth or accuracy, so will not abide knowing of inaccuracies in a Wikipedia article with the immense potential readership it has. Those academics who simply want to climb up the greasy pole of academia by publishing to see their names in lights need not apply. I don't think academics/experts need help with "getting started on Wikipedia" - they are cleverer than most of us contributors, and we all managed to work it out for ourselves after a couple of hours. Wikipedia must remain as a democratic project, neither dominated by experts nor amateurs. The quality of the articles and the references quoted must speak for themselves. Let's be patient and wait for the academic experts to start contributing anonymously - as many undoubtedly already do - and as the reputation of Wikipedia continues to rise, more will be attracted. In 5 years' time I believe academics will have involved themselves in Wikipedia to a much greater degree, without any prompting. (Lobsterthermidor 13:42, 3 July 2010 (UTC))[reply]

Short Additional Note: Easily Accessible, Citable Snapshots

I too have been mulling over a similar idea for awhile now. In my mind, perhaps the most exciting possibility that this presents is the ability to cite Wikipedia in scholarly or official writing. When a bit of information is between common knowledge and necessary of proof, it is often useful to cite a Wikipedia page which is often the easiest place to find and confirm said information. Thus I want to make the following proposal for how this should play out:

  • expert marks a particular revision of a page as "approved" or "expert-reviewed"
  • user has the ability to, from the article view, hit a button that says "cite this article" or "revert to expert-reviewed version"
    • she is given said version, perhaps with a particular ID number to differentiate it from other expert-reviewed revisions of the same article

-- 04:50, 6 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:09, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Let everyone perform reviews and then determine which ones came from experts

Why must we first identify experts, and then permit them to perform reviews? It would be superior to let everyone perform reviews and then determine which ones came from experts. This way, if my definition of "expert" differs from yours, I can listen to a different subset of the reviews.

I agree. It's the same methodology adopted in Italian Wikipedia to give the flag to Bots: first we make some edit to test the bot, than we can have the flag.
In the specific case of this proposal, we can give to experts a period of time during they will demonstrate their ability, so we can choose the best of them. --Aushulz 01:45, 16 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Top experts might want a recognition and their name on a review. However, the idea is great.RonRodex 09:52, 4 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia system

We urgently need a Wikipedia-like system, which

  • enables us to store diverging opinions (the concept of a single truth is as stupid as the concept of a NPOV)
  • works without admins and bureaucrats and similar Alpha-Wikianimals (already Orwell knew: All Wikipedians are equal but some are more equal than others)
  • does not abuse the naivete of users
  • values contributions of the authors instead of just sucking in money and money and more money
  • bans these stupid headlines calling for money, calling for solidarity and at the same time completely ignoring valid suggestions for an improvement of the system

-- 17:19, 6 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]


Generally, i am sympathetic to the idea. The lack of quality of many articles has nearly caused me to leave, and i hardly edit articles lately. I don't know if this is the right solution, though. I believe more in stimulating discussion using literature and expert knowledge. An ideal article would be one in which there has been a genuine discussion on the most relevant literature of a topic. Instead of a company forcing its own view on articles (can this articles still be edited afterwards by everyone?), it works better to force editors to first read papers, articles and books and than discuss these, still keeping NPOV-policy intact.

When an article has been dealt with in this way, there is the problem that the quality can be lost due to editing by individual editors. I don't like to lose that ability. Instead, a collection of frozen articles can be created, which can exist next to the still editable article on the same topic. This way, the entire structure of Wikipedia can still continue to exist, but the expert made material will co-exist next of it.Daanschr 07:22, 24 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

My experience

Some expert or educated layman wrote an article and it might have taken him or her days or weeks of painstaking work. Then someone else ... can completely change this article in a couple of minutes. Often the expert will protest ... and he might experience some disappointment: he might even leave.

This is certainly my experience. I spent a lot of time improving some articles that fell into my area of expertise. Others, who thought they were knowledgeable on these topics but were not, then marched in a screwed up the articles. I became so pissed off at seeing my work destroyed that I retired my username and left Wikipedia. (I eventually came back, but only as a WikiGnome.) The articles on which I worked so hard are still screwed up. 03:14, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm an MD, PhD --- Provable, naturally. I have had the same experience. Worse, when I have tried to merely defend edits, I get accused of tendentious editing, unwikilike behaviors, etc. This is even though I try strenuously to avoid such by (e.g.) posting only to the discussion page when any issue emerges.
Worse, I have experienced really bad behavior from admins-- overt bullying, unjustified threats to ban, etc. merely for disagreeing. Almost as if were actively trying to drive off anyone who has expert knowledge. One admin even participated in forbidden wp:canvasing by another editor, rather than admonishing him about it. All totally against the rules, naturally. I don't mind playing by the wikipedia rules. But everyone, especially admins, should be required to do the same. Pproctor 19:28, 6 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I agree completely. Expert opinions must be given more weight in article discussions, or else what's the point?
In my case, I've written a book on my town's history, and my first big editing project on wikipedia was to extensively expand the previously stub-length article on that subject. A few months later, a user from the other side of the world with absolutely no knowledge of my hometown somehow stumbled upon the article and started shredding it blindly. I objected, and he and his buddy (who also had no knowledge of the subject) went back and forth arguing with me about what info was important. Unsurprisingly, I was the one who was warned for edit warring because 2 > 1 and they had "consensus". Eventually, they fluttered on to something else and I fixed the article in peace. It was a very frustrating experience, and one that would surely drive away academics with little time for wiki-nonsense. Zeng8r 00:39, 7 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
The problem is, how do you define an expert? How do you decide who is an expert, and who is a crank? Richard Hoagland claims to be an expert on everything related to NASA, but in reality he's completely insane. Are we simply suppose to take his word for the fact that he's an expert? Or are you suggesting that anyone with a PhD be proclaimed an expert? Unfortunately many people with PhDs eventually lose their marbles (mid 60s usually) and end up spending the rest of their lives spouting off a series of ever more ludicrous conspiracy theories. Should they be considered experts? Why not? They have PhDs, and even (on occasion:P) in a relevant subject. So tell me, who choses the "expert"? Gopher65talk 17:45, 9 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Can we learn from similar proposals-projects


Maybe the expert voting process as found in Scholarpedia would be useful for this proposal? --Fasten (Wikinews: Aktion Deutschland Hilft asks for donations after the earthquake in Indonesia) 15:49, 20 October 2009 (UTC)


Proposal Defense of content

Truth is not a function of consensus

Truth is not a function of consensus - While much of our content is subject to POV disputes, the fact is that some things are just, um...facts. This might seem like a silly example, but it's actually based on a local story which may or may not be true:

Many people are frustrated because in Math, the value of Pi is an irrational number; 3.1415927 etc, etc, etc. Articles on Math subjects would be much easier to write and understand if we could just express the value as Pi = 3. After all, everyone prefers round numbers and the benefits are obvious. So on a hypothetical day when all the mathematicians have slept late, one editor introduces a proposal to make the value of Pi = 3 and quickly garners enough support to pass the resolution. By the time the mathematicians wake up and have some coffee, it's all over. So here's the obvious point: Even a 100% consesus in favor of the proposal does not actually change the value of Pi. Any attempt to re-write Math articles using a value of "3" will result in disaster. Yes, I know this is a silly example, but I think it does illustrate the point.

--Doc Tropics 21:10, 25 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]

This isn't silly at all. In Indiana in 1897 the state legislator came within an inch of passing a law declaring that everyone must use Pi=3 when calculating the area or circumference of a circle, because it was easier. Yes, that actually happened. Gopher65talk 17:50, 9 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
      • I agree. This is not silly. Some topics require expert review and others do not. First, wiki will have to categorize the info. For example, math, science, physics, engineering, geography and history all require expert review. That is, some one with a PhD, 20+ years experience, proven track record in the field through publications and reviews of literature in the field would be an expert. Now, this is sensorship for that material and their decision would be final. Majority does not rule in certain cases. That could be a small committee. What ever small body of experts is choosen they have to be handpicked by a wiki committee or maybe each of these bodies could be self governing. The model to use would be similar to expert science jouranls like IEEE. You must submit articles for a peer review. The peers are well documented experts in the field. For this, make the author do the work. They must get expert reviews from public known experts. Wiki would only have to filter the submission into categories. If the category required an expert review, then wiki could pop up a list of known experts in the field. All public information so far. The author would have to get say two return edits. Wiki could track all this before pulication. This would keep the majority from ruling Pi = 3 or 2 + 2 = 5. As I mentioned, some topics are not open for debate. They just are defined that way. Of course, it will get more confusing with complicated topics, like String Theory, but let the experts speak on these topics. Wiki could MARK submission with Expert, Info Passing, and Discussion. See below for the later two topics.

Now, with that said there is other information that does not need experts, such as, sharing of government documents or what I call Info Passing. That is simply passing information. Maybe the validitity of the document may be required, which, would require validation of sources, similiar to good news reporting. By the way, does anybody do good news reporting anymore. It seems like all of it is political, baised and yellow-journalish, i.e., evoke emotion to sell, sell, sell?

The third area I see is open Discussion topics that do not need expert review. These would be opinions. Opinions on government positions, politics, etc.

Therefore, all information would have to go thorugh a filter which categorizes it first.

And, yes. Without expert review wiki is just another rag creating money. It can never be relied on for facts. Wiki's purpose is information sharing. I would change that to knowledge sharing. Knowledge requires the validation of information. I am educated in Knowledge management and performing expert reviews. However, there are people how are experts compared to me. Where are they? We have some good knowledge management people in the corporate world. Let's hear what they do to qualify information.

Locked content versus experimental democratic boobism

After years of writing for WP (which WP denigratingly calls "editing"), i started my own wiki on a topic-cluster that was having content retention problems at WP, using mediawiki software and limiting my staff to three writers. We are doing great. We enjoy the work, we are open to adding new, qualified writers (and, yes, we credit these contributors as WRITERS, not mere "editors"), and the site is thriving in its own way.

The topic-cluster i selected for my wiki experiment was Folk Magic, including Southern Black folkways; world-wide religious belief in clerical divination, including 19th and 20th century religions such as Spiritism, Spiritualism, and New Thought, and the attendant biographies of personages associated with the development of these religions; and a survey of the divination practices developed by various ethnographic groups, e.g. Scottish and Irish tea leaf reading, Scandinavian egg-divination, African American dream divination, Anglo-American rural dowsing and doodle-bugging, Chinese I Ching fortune telling, etc. In the interest of full disclosure, i will note that i am a published author on these subjects, and also a "notable wikipedian."

These topics were virtually taboo at WP, due to "ownership" by atheistic and skeptico-scientistic materialists who would not permit even mere descriptions of these subjects to stand in the encyclopedia without injecting their negative commentaries, which often took up 50% or more of a given article after they revised it. They often sub-headed their attacks on the material "Criticism," and, yes, they included "Criticism" of everything from the lives of 19th century New Thought authors to the fact that Cantonese-Americans born in the USA often use a system of divination employing 78 strips of bamboo dedicated to the Buddhist goddess Kwan Yin (Guanyin). After 3 1/2 years of attempted contributions to WP on these topics, during which i watched my texts repeatedly defaced by POV-pushing and admin-supported "skeptics" and drive-by racists (you haven't lived until you've found an article you spent 12 hours composing littered by the words "Niggers and porch-monkeys"), i simply collected my texts and took them elsewhere, to a cooperatively-owned non-profit wiki in which contributors manage their own content.

Can WP do what we did? I doubt it, frankly. The "democratic experiment" inherent in WP is going to contiue to run its full and entropic course. Like Usenet, and like the ODP/DMOZ, Wikipedia has peaked as a social network for intellectuals and is on the downward slide. Bandwidth is now so cheap that any author worth his or her salt can create a relevant domain name and host essays and topical articles that will easily be found by google's search engine. Why would any writer donate writing to WP, where writing is called 'editing" and bozos can abort an entire page and admins can "own" a topic and destroy content at whim?

My most popular site -- on the obscure topic of folk magic, and all written by me in html -- now has a rank of 71,000 at Alexa. Our collective new mediawiki site -- on the aforementioned obscure topic-cluster -- only went online on June 6, 2009 and already ranks in the 1,000,000 range at Alexa. We expect it to rank under 100,000 within three years.

Yes, i still write for WP, mostly bcause i am a polymath and when a passing news story outside of my chosen field catches my eye, i like to contribute, but i do so as an IP, and as a result i exprience considerable arrogance and abuse from admins.

So good luck, WP -- but you've already lost a lot of "experts" and professional writers. Bandwidth and hosting are chickenfeed-cheap; we have Yahoo Groups, MySpce, and Facebook for our social friendship needs; and we take enough pride in our work that we like to call it "writing" not "editing" and we like to see it stand out, undefaced, whole, inact against the ravages of a mindless boobocracy and WP's croneyistic cabal of "owning" admins and "editors."

Cordially, catherine yronwode, the IP known as "Ol' 64" -- 03:13, 30 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I am afraid this is very recognizable. By the nature of things there are severe limits to what content can be included in Wikipedia. And indeed, very often a select 'community' (e.g. in the form of a WikiProject) is engaged in pushing its own agenda, the official central policies of Wikiepdia be damned. - Brya 07:19, 30 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I am not sure what you mean when you say, "By the nature of things there are severe limits to what content can be included in Wikipedia." Do you mean that bios of military leaders can be included in WP but bios of religious figures should be limited somehow? Have i misunderstood you? 03:34, 31 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
No, it is a general remark. The way Wikipedia is set up means it is essentially self-limiting. The contents of Wikipedia are a function of the users (reflects the knowledge of the users). The knowledge of the users is a subset of all knowledge (5%, 10%, ?). Also, there are areas where prejudices and particular interests are so strong that actual knowledge does not stand a chance. - Brya 08:35, 6 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
yes, the bias of the wikipedia editors are well known. congratulations for overcoming, maybe a summary article could be written referring to your work. they are trying with expert editors, flagged revisions. let the admins, arbcom take note: solve the bias problem, or disenchanted writers will take their content off wikipedia Pohick2 14:42, 7 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]
"atheistic and skeptico-scientistic materialists" - is that meant as an insult? Skepticism and science are the foundation of WP, and atheism and materialism are neither here nor there when it comes to editing WP. You're using a personal computer, attached to a world-wide network, and you use the word "scientistic" as an insult? *spoing* goes my irony meter. Bpdlr 20:38, 8 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

No to locked pages

Wikipedia pages are great because they're not static, they can be updated as more evidence presents itself. An expert-reviewed page must therefore be time-stamped, not reviewed once and locked. Experts should submit their credentials to receive a special login that allows them easily (bookmarklet) to review a page and timestamp it, e.g. "Reviewed by Dr. X (y and z expert) on such a date".

Also, Wikipedia has a wealth of "expert" review in its sources, in references and citations. These sources could be encouraged to review their citations and approve the validity of the data they reference, adding another layer of expert review.

But ordinary noobs like me should still be able to add their 2c and be given a chance to be bold :)

EDIT: created user

Bpdlr 20:15, 8 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

"Also, Wikipedia has a wealth of "expert" review in its sources, in references and citations. These sources could be encouraged to review their citations and approve the validity of the data they reference, adding another layer of expert review." It sounds interesting. Could you add a little bit more details on this proposition. RonRodex 13:55, 9 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]