It strikes me that there would be immediate disadvantages to editors not being anonymous. An article would become the property of Professor X the world renowned expert on whatever it is. Professor Xs work on wikipedia would naturally become known to Professor Y, his professional rival who has always coveted his post as dean and thinks Xs published work is rubbish. Don't tell me this is just the world of soap operas. Ive been to university. Wikipedia can not create impartial articles by relying on a few experts. Surely part of the reason for creating wikipedia the way it was, was because hordes of top men were not queing up to work for free writing about their subject, so us ordinary mortals would have to do it if we wanted it done. The sort of expert I would be interested in seeing recognised, if anyone is, is the sort who is not a trained expert on a particular topic, but someone who has a good track record of contributing content to articles which is generally accepted and sticks. Sandpiper 01:34, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Such situation can happen of course but I do not see how this can be avoided in principle. Nobody can prohibit me to use my real name, and anyone can put my name into Google and get an idea what my research field is, what my status and institution are, and whether he/she can rely on my opinion in my research area.
Not wishing to be insulting or anything, but I have no idea who you might be professionally. It might become obvious if I was working on an article and someone was using a name I recognised in that field, but I have seldom met anyone using their own name and arguing they are an established expert on whatever it is. My advice to anyone would be that they are likely to be better received if they do not claim to be a recognised expert but just a knowledgeable ordinary editor with a view on the subject. The point in question here is not whether editors might wish to identify themselves for whatever reason, but whether we should build up a stable of such editors, encouraging experts to identify themselves and put them in charge of something or other. I don't think we should. Experts on wiki ought to be more in the line of 'expert witnesses', not judges. Generally it is clear when one or another editor is knowledgeable about a subject and others will defer to their views if they regularly make good sense, but as a matter of academic rigour I automatically distrust anyone claiming pre-eminence.
I am a university professor at one of the top research universities in my field, fairly well cited. But I agree that we predominantly should use the experts as experts, and typically not let them make any administrative decisions, especially in the field they may have a conflict of interests.