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Wikipedia and Scholarpedia

John Simkin

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I was very wary about the role Wikipedia would play in providing good information on the JFK assassination and other political conspiracies. For example, Wikipedia initially described Operation Mockingbird as an “urban myth”. However, after a long fight they accepted my article on the subject.


This is important as Wikipedia is always ranked high in search-engines.

I have noticed in recent weeks that the entries in Wikipedia are becoming more critical of the status quo. For example, the entry for Richard Helms, includes details of my account on Operation Mockingbird. I urge members to become involved in this struggle for an accurate account of our past.


The people behind Wikipedia recently launched Scholarpedia, the free peer reviewed encyclopedia written by scholars from all around the world.

• Each article is written by an expert (invited or elected by the public).

• Each article is anonymously peer reviewed to ensure accurate and reliable information.

• Each article has a curator - typically its author -- who is responsible for its content.

• Any modification of the article needs to be approved by the curator before it appears in the final, approved version.

Herein also lies the greatest differences between Scholarpedia and traditional print media: while the initial authorship and review processes are similar to a print journal, articles in Scholarpedia are not frozen and outdated, but dynamic, subject to an ongoing process of improvement moderated by their curators. This allows Scholarpedia to be up-to-date, yet maintain the highest quality of content.


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The Citizendium Project is a "citizens' compendium of everything," will be an experimental new wiki project that combines public participation with gentle expert guidance. It will begin life as a "progressive fork" of Wikipedia. But we expect it to take on a life of its own and, perhaps, to become the flagship of a new set of responsibly-managed free knowledge projects. We will avoid calling it an "encyclopedia," because there will probably always be articles in the resource that have not been vouched for in any sense.

We believe a fork is necessary, and justified, both to allow regular people a place to work under the direction of experts, and in which personal accountability--including the use of real names--is expected. In short, we want to create a responsible community and a good global citizen.

The Citizendium will be launched as soon as possible, meaning within a few weeks at most.

To learn more, read an introductory essay, "Toward a New Compendium of Knowledge".


While waiting for the wiki to be set up, what can the ordinary rank-and-file future authors or editors do? Three things: first, join a project mailing list (the list called Citizendium-L at least); second, contribute your thoughts to the discussion; and, third, wait for the announcement that the wiki is ready to edit. Also, a donation at this crucial juncture would help get this venture off the ground.

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