Monday, October 5, 2009

Yet another academic research wiki

MediaWikiImage via Wikipedia
I've said it before, Mediawiki proficiency will be an essential job skill for academics of all flavors going forward. It should be a part of every graduate education program.

So it makes me smile to see that yet another MediaWiki research site launch today. This one funded by the Hewlett Foundation:
Today, representatives from the new nonprofit project AcaWiki announced the opening of their website,, to the public. AcaWiki’s semantic-wiki based website allows scholars, students, and bloggers to easily post summaries, and discuss academic papers online. All content posted to the site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.
Also note the Creative Commons 3.0 attribution license. Commercial and derivative works allowed. Just give due credit to those you borrow from. It's so nice to see so many academics that get it.

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Peg said...

Exciting! But do the participating scholars violate the IP policies of their academic employers?

OK, so no one publishes or cuts and pastes from "academic articles" (whatever that means), but what if some of the ideas generated and collaboratively refined on the wiki add up to some startling new discovery? Something university IP departments might see as $$aluble.

Kevin Gamble said...

Some universities have some very progressive IP policies related to copyright. Not all are evil. My own institution has one of the best-- they they went totally to the darkside on the IP created by Extension faculty. Go figure?

I think for the most part you are right... not sure how faculty would be allowed to participate in this project. Then by the same token, how is it that faculty can publish in PLoS? And you can be assured that all of our faculty have published there. They can't be receiving permission. I'm thinking we have a don't tell don't ask policy at many of our institutions. They have no idea how to handle this, so they handle it by looking the other way. No way to run an institution.