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Author Topic: Do you know about Scholarpedia?  (Read 7697 times)

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do you know about Scholarpedia?
« on: 26/03/2009 20:50:57 »
I don't know why I haven't found this site earlier. It's like Wikipedia but all the entries are written by experts and it's peer-reviewed. I've had a quick look at it seems like a very good resource.

http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Main_Page
« Last Edit: 26/03/2009 20:57:18 by DoctorBeaver »


 

Offline neilep

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Do you know about Scholarpedia?
« Reply #1 on: 26/03/2009 21:22:39 »
Kewl...but how do ewe search ?

I can't see a ' search ' box !!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #2 on: 26/03/2009 21:24:09 »
Have you looked on the left under the logo? It says "search scholarpedia". Bit of a giveaway, that.
 

Offline DrN

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« Reply #3 on: 26/03/2009 21:52:06 »
Thats brilliant, it even looks like wikipedia too! But is it only for physics and astronomy and computing etc?
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #4 on: 26/03/2009 21:52:25 »
Have you looked on the left under the logo? It says "search scholarpedia". Bit of a giveaway, that.

Nope !

Can't see it...this is where your link takes me



 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #5 on: 26/03/2009 21:54:16 »
OK..I got it now !!..the left panel did not download !!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #6 on: 26/03/2009 22:08:08 »
Ah, you've got it. I just took this screenshot to show what I get when I click that link.




 

Offline LeeE

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« Reply #7 on: 27/03/2009 01:18:46 »
Never heard of it - sounds good though.
 

Ethos

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« Reply #8 on: 27/03/2009 03:57:00 »
Cool site, adding it to my favorites without delay..............Ethos
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #9 on: 27/03/2009 04:01:51 »
Does it have other languages too?
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #10 on: 27/03/2009 08:52:47 »
Looks like it will be a very useful and reliable resource.
 

blakestyger

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« Reply #11 on: 27/03/2009 13:58:07 »
I was using it a year ago when I had a paper to do on Dark Matter. It was fairly new then and it didn't have anything I could use, but what was there was v. good - and it allowed me in despite not belonging to an organisation.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #12 on: 27/03/2009 20:45:06 »
Does it have other languages too?

No, everything is in Standard American so you won't learn Bulgarian from it.
 

Variola

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« Reply #13 on: 27/03/2009 23:04:25 »
I don't know why I haven't found this site earlier. It's like Wikipedia but all the entries are written by experts and it's peer-reviewed. I've had a quick look at it seems like a very good resource.



http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Main_Page

I've just had a mooch too, what a good idea. Lots of references at the bottom too which is a real help when trying to write something. I have had the misfortune of having to edit a Wiki page before as part of an assignment, and it was not the easiest of tasks.
I hope it keeps growing, lots of really good, well written articles amd the curator idea is genius.
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #14 on: 28/03/2009 03:42:39 »
NOT FAIR !!! - The search for "geology" comes up with this:

 

Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #15 on: 28/03/2009 03:44:16 »
Same for "Organic Chemistry'!
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #16 on: 28/03/2009 03:46:47 »
Need to click this:

 

Offline wolfekeeper

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« Reply #17 on: 28/03/2009 04:13:04 »
These kinds of 'alternatives' to the wikipedia usually sound much better than they actually are.

The problems include:

a) experts aren't necessarily that good at explaining stuff to mere mortals (they're too good- everything for them is too obvious)

b) they have few contributors because there's lots of hoops to jump through, and true experts usually have better things to do

c) the wikipedia is based on experts anyway, it's just based on stuff they wrote down and got through peer review

d) some subjects like homeopathy, the credentialled 'experts' are very biased.

e) at the end of the day, experts are just people, giving them an unreviewed publishing medium isn't necessarily as good idea as it sounds

f) the wikipedia scales much better; the wikipedia gains about a thousand new articles per day, most of the other pedias only have a few thousand articles tops.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #18 on: 28/03/2009 07:44:10 »
Well, the individual can decide whether it is reliable or not.
 

Variola

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« Reply #19 on: 28/03/2009 12:07:09 »
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a) experts aren't necessarily that good at explaining stuff to mere mortals (they're too good- everything for them is too obvious)

Thats true, but Scholarpedia is aimed at undergraduate students or higher, which means they already have a knowledge base on whatever they are looking up. Wiki is designed to be approachable to the average Joe, I had to keep that in mind when editing an article for my assignment.

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b) they have few contributors because there's lots of hoops to jump through, and true experts usually have better things to do

Agreed. But Its still a novel way of sharing information, that might well appeal to some.

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c) the wikipedia is based on experts anyway, it's just based on stuff they wrote down and got through peer review

I'm afraid not, Wiki can be edited by anyone, and you don't even have to provide references at the bottom. You can say whatever you like, and you are not accountable. Its a blessing and a curse. Thats why much of wiki is innaccurate, misleading, biased or just plain plagiarised.

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d) some subjects like homeopathy, the credentialled 'experts' are very biased.

Totally! But then any good curator should be able to put some balance on it.

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e) at the end of the day, experts are just people, giving them an unreviewed publishing medium isn't necessarily as good idea as it sounds

True, but from what I understand it is peer-reviewed, the curator mus approve of anything submitted and other expert in the field have access to it, meaning they can contribute or make complaint.

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) the wikipedia scales much better; the wikipedia gains about a thousand new articles per day, most of the other pedias only have a few thousand articles tops.

But the scholarpedia is more specialised, its unlikely to have articles of Brad Pitt or a popular TV show! So naturally it will gain less in terms of amount of articvles, but hopefully the articles will be of better quality and more importantly they are cited and referenced.




 

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« Reply #20 on: 28/03/2009 12:08:28 »
Same for "Organic Chemistry'!

Same for biology, biochemistry and molecular medicine.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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« Reply #21 on: 28/03/2009 14:49:48 »
Quote
c) the wikipedia is based on experts anyway, it's just based on stuff they wrote down and got through peer review

I'm afraid not, Wiki can be edited by anyone, and you don't even have to provide references at the bottom. You can say whatever you like, and you are not accountable. Its a blessing and a curse. Thats why much of wiki is innaccurate, misleading, biased or just plain plagiarised.
You're wildly exaggerating. The quality is, on the whole, reasonable, and is constantly improving. There was a comparison done with the Encyclopedia Britannica a couple of years ago, the error rate then in the wikipedia was only marginally worse, and there were quite a few things in the wikipedia that just weren't in EB at all.

And note that just because anyone can edit an article, it doesn't mean that the article quality can go down for very long. The history feature means that if accidental or deliberate changes to the article are found to be negative, then this can be easily fixed and there are mechanisms that help ensure that the errors are not reintroduced.

I agree that a lot of articles have few references, but over time this improves for all the articles; all the articles are still improving; the wikipedia is very new as encyclopedias go.
 

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« Reply #22 on: 28/03/2009 14:59:22 »
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You're wildly exaggerating. The quality is, on the whole, reasonable, and is constantly improving. There was a comparison done with the Encyclopedia Britannica a couple of years ago, the error rate then in the wikipedia was only marginally worse, and there were quite a few things in the wikipedia that just weren't in EB at all.

I don't think that stating much of Wiki is innacurate is wildly exaggerating! It just natural that articles than can be edited by anyone can be innacurate, and uncited. 
Wiki is subject to plagiarism and bias, while its absolutley fine for a general overview, or a starting point of a topic, it is still not a useful academic resource, which is where scholarpedia comes in, its attempting to bridge that gap.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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« Reply #23 on: 28/03/2009 15:59:30 »
I don't think that stating much of Wiki is innacurate is wildly exaggerating! It just natural that articles than can be edited by anyone can be innacurate, and uncited. 
Wiki is subject to plagiarism and bias,
There's a distance between 'subject to' and 'consists mostly of' a mile deep and a mile wide. And you can say the same about any source at all, anywhere.
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while its absolutley fine for a general overview, or a starting point of a topic,
Well, that's what they're for.
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it is still not a useful academic resource,
It is, because you can use it as a starting point.
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which is where scholarpedia comes in, its attempting to bridge that gap.
Yeah, well, maybe. I've seen enough of these things to know that the growth rate of articles is unbelievably slow in most cases 1 percent of the wikipedia's maybe. And the primary criticisms against the wikipedia are losing their strength; not only is the number of articles increasing (it looks like it will peak at 3.5 million articles in the English wikipedia), but also the quality is more or less monotonically going up as well, it only goes up, rarely down for very long. And the wikipedians can read the scholarpedia and steal the ideas where it may be better. Copyright only covers the exact wording.
 

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« Reply #24 on: 28/03/2009 16:19:26 »
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Yeah, well, maybe. I've seen enough of these things to know that the growth rate of articles is unbelievably slow in most cases 1 percent of the wikipedia's maybe. And the primary criticisms against the wikipedia are losing their strength; not only is the number of articles increasing (it looks like it will peak at 3.5 million articles in the English wikipedia), but also the quality is more or less monotonically going up as well, it only goes up, rarely down for very long. And the wikipedians can read the scholarpedia and steal the ideas where it may be better. Copyright only covers the exact wording.
   

Scholarpedia isn't meant to be an alternative to wiki, its supposed to run along side it.
Can I ask where you base your info on that its quality is going up? I just wondered if there was some info on it on the net thats not in Wiki. The growth rate of Scholar will be slow, but like most things that doesn't mean it wont one day be as comprehensive in academic terms as Wiki.
The criticisms of Wiki are not losing strength all the while it can be edited by anyone, and  those edits to not require citation, and that should not change. It should stay as open and free, but it is not reliable when it is that way. It cannot be used as an academic source, I mentioned, as did you that its a starting point but you cannot cite Wiki as an academic source, not if you want to do well on a piece of work! I like Wiki a lot, because of the original ethos and because of its ease of use, I hated editing it but thats an aside.
 

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« Reply #24 on: 28/03/2009 16:19:26 »

 

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