Wikipedia project available for a good home

By Grant Jacobs 06/04/2010 15

If anyone is keen to contribute to wikipedia, reads science-related blogs, and is not a science blogger, this discussion that might start a little project for you.

wikipedia2It’s been pointed out by @edyong209 that

Wikipedia’s list of science blogs is interesting in its brevity

and indeed it is rather short on content, listing all of 14 entries. I would guess there are at least several hundred individual science blogs.

The links in this category page refer to pages on wikipedia, not the original blog or blog networks. With that in mind, there is a need for the wikipedia pages about the science bloggers or collectives that would be referenced to be created first.

We’d love to see a wikipedia entry for, and the individual blogs hosted here. It’d be a conflict of interest for us to do this ourselves. We’re happy to fill volunteers in with the details so you don’t have to spend your time searching this site for all the bits n’ bobs. A couple of starter starter articles are listed below:

  • Taranaki Daily News article on sciblogs (I do not write about climate science as this article makes out! Other writers here do, however.)
  • Blurb from launch of (Several new writers have been added since the initial launch of our collective, so the tally is now more than 26. There is also a Guest Blog slot which is filled with occasional articles from guest writers.)

Anyone keen can reply in the comments below, or contact us privately. Or just go ahead and do it without telling us! It’s not as if we can stop anyone…

I was hoping to attend to this myself by approaching the editors at wikipedia, but it is clear it is too much for this man and his workload; it’s been sitting there undone.

HT’s: To Ed Yong, Bora and others for bringing this to my attention; to my sciblings for their discussion on this issue.

Other articles on Code for life:

Easter eggs and science

The iPad: a device to consume, not produce

Aww, crap.

Writing a popular science book; links and writers’ warnings

Friday picture: molecular modelling of the cytoplasm

Molecular biology in museums

15 Responses to “Wikipedia project available for a good home”

  • The category is not a “list of science blogs”, it’s a “list of science blogs which meet the wikipedia criteria for notability and which someone has actually written articles about.”

    The criteria for notability are reasonably complex, but two separate fully independent articles in old-school media on the blog (i.e. where the blog itself is the main subject of the article, rather than a news item that was broken on the blog) should do it. Most high-quality science blogs do not meet the wikipedia notability criteria, but I suspect that more scientists do.


  • Thanks for elaborating.

    I’m no judge of what is “sufficient, but I’ve cited one MSM article in the links (it was syndicated in another larger paper, too). There were earlier media reports when the initiative started that we should be able to find citations for. Several of our members have appeared on radio and television. (I’m not familiar with the details of these myself.)

    I’d best let other’s chip in on this; there are ~30 people here and I can’t speak for them all!

  • There are a couple internal processes you might want to take advantage of.

    The page for requesting that an editor research and write an article is, though there’s a large backlog on that page since it relies on volunteers who decide that they want to write your article rather than one in which they are personally interested.

    If you’re willing to do the work of research and writing a draft, there is much less of backlog at, where editors review submissions to see if they meet standards and will post on submitters’ behalves.

    I agree with the poster above that your major stumbling block will be proving the notability of the website under the “multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the site itself” criterion. A brief Google search doesn’t reveal any such works in the top results, including the Taranaki Daily News article you link above. If there are more such works (to make it “multiple”), they seem to be buried in search results and you may be better off locating and drafting an article yourself. An experienced Wikipedia editor would not even move to the writing phase if, after an initial attempt at finding sources, he or she doesn’t think they can assert notability, since such an article would eventually (perhaps immediately) get nominated for deletion.

  • I’ve created a WP stub. The articles you linked to fulfill the notability criteria as far as I’m concerned. More refs and text would be good. Esp. references to articles in peer-reviewed literature or perhaps wider read papers than the good old Taranaki Daily News. 😉

  • Hi everyone,

    rather than one in which they are personally interested

    That’s why I’m asking here :-) I figured slightly better odds that there would be someone interested amongst readers than non-readers…

    If you’re willing to do the work of research and writing a draft

    Unfortunately there is a difference between willing and able, at least in the next few weeks. I’d honestly love to and meant to but this has been on the agenda for a approximately month and I haven’t found time, which pretty much says I haven’t time for it. Rather than have it go to waste, I thought to put a post out and see if there are any takers.

    I will try find time. One day :-)

    re: the published articles, it did appear in the Christchurch Press, which is a major metropolitan paper in New Zealand. (The largest in the South Island.) See here & links within (note my comment):


    BT, you’ll laugh but ‘BT’ makes me think of the botulism toxin! :-) (I knew a scientist who worked on it, and used BT as a short-hand for it…)

    Paul, thanks for the stub! I’ll see if I can encourage some of the others to point to sources, etc. behind the scenes.

  • Hopefully the bits will become available over the next few days. The Hot Topic blog is associated with the book of the same name. I don’t have the details of the TV & radio appearances as I haven’t been on them myself. Not sexy enough :-)

    Away from the mainstream media, several of the blogs short-listed on the Research Blogging awards (one of my articles was picked as an Editor’s pick for that matter).

  • All these comments are best left on the stub wikipedia page, not here. Don’t worry if you’re new to wikipedia, just start a new paragraph with your new information; the wiki gnomes (copy-editors) will get to it eventually, knitting it together into an article and getting all the formatting correct.

  • Although it would be best if things are sent straight to wikipedia, if anyone finds it easier to post them here for whatever reason, by all means do and I’ll send it on. (Put it this way: we’d rather have the information than not!)

    Stuart, love the name ‘wiki gnomes’ :-)

  • Stuart,

    I mentioned earlier this was syndicated. The article Darcy points to (Waikato Times) is independent. Peter is suppling some media coverage links sometime later.

    BTW, I’m not controlling the content at this stage, too busy. So there will be overlaps in content, etc. I can’t do a lot about that at this stage, esp. if the content is just being tossed in as it arrives.

Site Meter