Mandatory Wikipedia Edits?

December 22, 2008

(Reposted from Savage Minds)

Nat Torkington reports that the RNA Biology journal (published by Nature) requires authors to submit at least one Wikipedia article on their research before they will publish their article. This is partially because the publisher, Nature, has something called the RNA WikiProject which syncs each night with related Wikipedia articles.

I thought this was interesting because I know there is a certain hesitancy among scholars in the social sciences to post their own research findings to Wikipedia for fear that it might hurt their efforts to publish material later on. Anthropology isn’t like the sciences, in that some of our “findings” might not even meet Wikipedia’s increasingly stringent standards for what qualifies for an article – and we certainly don’t subscribe (as a discipline) to Wikipedia’s concept of a “neutral point of view”; still, I think that there is a lot of basic information we acquire during the course of our research which is perfectly suited for Wikipedia. What would happen if American Anthropologist required that all authors make some substantial Wikipedia edits on their topic before considering their article for publication?