From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Role of experts in Wikipedia[edit]

    • Experts should rarely write/edit articles.
    • Experts should guide the laymen experts in writing the article
    • Citing in-depth, publicly available resources that can be understood by laymen experts but not novices
    • Experts should start articles
    • Experts should validate articles, thereby contributing their authority to Wikipedia.


    1. Encyclopedias exist to inform novices, and are written by (relative) experts
    2. Experts are often busy expanding their expertise, and don't have a lot of time to contribute to projects like Wikipedia. This is compounded by edit conflicts and slow servers that make Wikipedia writing and editing less productive than other uses of expert time.
    3. Laymen experts (hobbiests and evangelists) dominate the content of wikipedia


    I haven't been following the validation discussions, but I think that the socially most effective means of validation would be an individualized validation system, where each user can validate particular verions of articles, much in the same way that we place articles on watch-lists. Each user would then be able to share his own validation list with others (including real-world contacts, such as students, etc.), and thereby lend his authority to the Wikipedia project. I have no idea of how hard this would be to implement on the software side, but I think that socially it makes more sense than devising a centralized, "official" version of Wikipedia (and it is more in line with the spirit of the open, inclusive wiki community). I am excited about the Trust extension.

    Wikimedia Foundation logo - vertical.svg Licensing rights granted to Wikimedia Foundation
    I grant non-exclusive permission for the Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to relicense my text and media contributions, including any images, audio clips, or video clips, under any copyleft license that it chooses, provided it maintains the free and open spirit of the GFDL. This permission acknowledges that future licensing needs of the Wikimedia projects may need adapting in unforeseen fashions to facilitate other uses, formats, and locations. It is given for as long as this banner remains.