Please, put your thoughts and suggestions here.
(see "history of reviews" to access prior comments).
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Feedback relating to the latest Scholarpedia changes
We have been in discussion regarding the latest changes to Scholarpedia and list below some comments that we hope you will find constructive.
Graham W Griffiths and William E Schiesser
We cannot understand why the list of curators and contributors is shown prominently on the main page. Readers are generally not interested in who the curators are and the list is likely to be of interest only to authors, editors and registered users of Scholarpedia. If it is to be displayed, it would be more appropriate for it to be shown on the history page where it at least has some relevance. Referees are not listed in main-stream peer-reviewed journals! Also, how are the ranking numbers calculated and by whom? The numbers have the potential for causing offense and we cannot see what purpose they serve.
This is not an accurate description. Contributor implies some level of co-authorship and, if this is the case, then contributors should be listed as co-authors. However, if not, then they should be considered as part of the editorial team or, perhaps, referees.
Suggestions for change
In the Curator box, list the authors at the top followed by the editorial team, but no ranking; for example, initially the box would look like:
When the original authors no longer wish to perform the curator task or are unable to, then new curators (possibly chosen in consultation with the authors) would be appointed and the box would look like:
We suggest that authors, curators and editorial team members should all have editing privileges and that the box should be located on the history page.
Whilst the latest changes are now settling down and have resulted in a substantial improvement in overall presentation, the process of change has not been smooth. We would submit that authors are the life-blood of Scholarpedia and therefore we cannot understand why authors were not consulted before the recent major changes were implemented. This can lead to authors feeling that they are being sidelined or ignored. Consequently, we would propose that, in future, consideration be given to the issuing of a consultative document prior to implementation of major changes. Also, a more thorough checking of new features is desirable before general release.
The capitalization for "editor-in-chief" is inconsistent: "In the current phase of Scholarpedia, the curators are invited by the editor-in-chief or by one of the editors" and "Authors of Scholarpedia articles are either invited by the Editor-in-Chief or by other curators..."
-Fixed Trottier 01:23, 18 January 2010 (EST)
"... anyone can edit", really?
This section seems misleading:
- "Scholarpedia feels and looks like Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Indeed, both are powered by the same program - MediaWiki. Both allow visitors to review and modify articles simply by clicking on the edit-this-article link."
Impulsive vandals cannot simply click a button and destroy Scholarpedia's integrity. Only registered users can do that. Scholarpedia doesn't allow uninvited anonymous editors. You must also have a "recognized affiliation"; doesn't this preclude high school dropouts, for example?
Webster's says a scholar is "a person who has done advanced study in a special field". Isn't being a scholar a tacit requirement? Is Scholarpedia now intentionally encouraging and/or allowing non-experts to participate?
- Nick Orbeck 14:35, 8 November 2011 (PST)
- Anyone can participate, provided they're scholarly and supportive -- even high school drop-outs. Non-experts are welcome to co-author articles with experts able to certify the quality of the work. Similarly, non-experts can propose edits to any article, however those edits will be expert-vetted. Leo Trottier 20:56, 8 November 2011 (PST)
Other languages sections; new focal areas; a public forum
I would invite Scholarpedia to open other languages sections;
and a Mathematics, a Complex Systems, a World Philosophy, a History and Historiography, an Archaelogy, a Economy, a Psychology, a World Literature, a Biographies focal areas.
World Philosophy and World Literature should have sections not mainly by continents and, more, nations. Occasionally I could propose one I elaborated for another project of mine.
- I'm not sure I fully understand what you're proposing. Leo Trottier 20:36, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
- Dear Sir,
- 1 - a Scholarpedia in Italian? in German? etc. of course holding its worldwide horizon.
- 2 - I have just proposed to introduce new focal areas.
- 3 - I have added some detail to the proposal of some of the proposed focal areas, but I will not "hang to that".
- 4 - I have just added Economy to the list.
Furthermore a public forum lacks on the Scholarpedia, I have looked for it and, before taking a glance to this page, not finding that, I am sending at different times different pieces of those considerations to the Editor-in-Chief.
- Wikipedia lacks such a forum, but it does ok. Leo Trottier 20:36, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
- Well, there is something, well, similar, more a chit-chat zone than other however. A forum would need also there, not to scatter at least general discussions.
For the website nature it would be of a multilevel sort: an open forum, a registered users area and Editors and Curators areas, by Scholarpedia topic too; furthermore, self-constituting forum areas of self-constituting groups, open and not.
- Self constituting is good, certainly. Scholarpedia does not currently have restrictions on the kind of discussion that can take place in discussion areas. Leo Trottier 20:36, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
- Of course I am referring again to the forum areas.
Doesn't it? The main problem is the need of moderators, like there are Editors for articles writing.
- Is there a need for moderators? Where do you see this problem? Leo Trottier 20:36, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
- Of course again for forum areas (mainly open and registered users...), but if there is consensus or Editor consensus moderators would not need, I have nothing to add. That was mainly a trial to prevent objections.
- Let that be clear: I am just making proposals and opening a debate, not saying we are doing wrong!! I apreciate this website pattern, and also I would better apreciate synergies with Wikipedia and some project-oriented social network.
- I can easily imagine how this website is born, and I like that, beside other forms of knowledge collection.
Under Editors direction, it would drive also improvements of the website, of course holding its Editor-Curator specificity. E.g. I would better post those considerations publicly there. Discussion page on the main page is not enough (however it holds well the discussion flow...).