Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Publishing wikified and non-wikified versions of the same articles

Open Medicine, the OA journal, has launched an associated Open Medicine Wiki.  The purpose is to provide "an online collaborative tool for improving and updating peer-reviewed systematic reviews."

According to the blog post announcing the project, OM now publishes selected articles in three formats:  HTML, PDF, and wiki. 

...Readers are invited to edit the [wiki version of the] article either by adding, deleting or modifying its contents....


  • This is a very interesting experiment.  The HTML and PDF versions of the peer-reviewed OM articles are not publicly editable, and will always be available for reading or reference no matter what users do to the modifiable version on the wiki.  That should answer any worries that wikification will degrade quality.  Now the question is whether wikification will improve quality.
  • This quality ratchet is a simple idea with significant consequences.  It should enable riskfree experimentation with all sorts of Web 2.0 innovations, social networking, and collaborative research and writing.  Some will fail to add value.  That doesn't matter.  The point is not that all experiments will succeed but that this simple idea frees us to experiment.