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This question is inspired by the Twitter poll at https://twitter.com/HeidiBaya/status/989856293786710017 :

Should scientists write/edit @Wikipedia  entries about projects/topics/research they are involved in? ‍

 The poll resulted in 30 votes (70% Yes, 20% No, 10% Don't know), so let's explore mechanisms by which this can (and does) actually happen.

by (318 points)
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I was the person who posed the question on twitter. I'd love to hear some discussion about this! Thanks :)
by (43 points)
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What mechanisms are you looking for? I simply wrote a page on my main topic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homogenization_(climate)
Scientists/experts get no special treatment on Wikipedia, but you can participate like any other.

1 Answer

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by (2.6k points)
edited by

The existing mechanisms in this space are specific to each language but basically fall into three main categories: technical, subject-matter and social aspects of the writing/ editing process.

As for the technical aspects, there are guidelines on how to make an edit, e.g. how to add an image, a table or a reference.

In terms of subject matter expertise, there are often subject-specific guidelines that complement the more generic ones regarding what is considered notable (i.e. which topics should get their own articles), which sources are considered trustworthy, or what should go into an infobox.

As for the social aspects, there are guidelines on how to get or give feedback in the drafting process, and on how to navigate applicable policies. For instance, every content page (e.g. a Wikipedia article) has a talk page, where matters of direct relevance to the content page can be discussed.

Some concrete examples (described using the terms of the English Wikipedia but linked to the respective Wikidata entry, which then links to the individual languages):

  • Conflict of Interest, with comments on citing yourself or writing about topics near you
  • Tea house, a place to ask general questions about the respective wiki. Newbie questions especially welcome.
  • WikiProjects exist in many different areas and usually have talk pages where topic-specific issues can be discussed
  • Drafts allow for feedback before the material enters the article namespace

Besides these Wikipedia-centric mechanisms, there are other mechanisms for researchers to engage with the Wikipedia communities and content, e.g. by

  • uploading images or other media files to Wikimedia Commons (or other platforms where open licenses can be set and from where the media files can be transferred to Wikimedia Commons, e.g. Flickr or Open Access journals)
  • engaging in journal/wiki co-publication, e.g. at PLOS or through WikiJournals

There are many other channels for interaction, mostly online but also occasionally in person.

by (52 points)
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"every content page has a content page" - I think you meant "every content page has a Talk page" :)
by (2.6k points)
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Thanks - fixed.

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