Science through Semantic Wikis
|SMWCon Spring 2014
|Science through Semantic Wikis
|Semantic wikis offer an alternative to organizing scientific knowledge. Several semantic wikis are currently in use in a variety of scientific domains. The goal of this session is to understand the motivations and benefits of using semantic wikis for science.
Scientists continuously have the need to organize and aggregate knowledge as they relate experiments, observations, findings, and models. In recent years, ontologies have emerged in many scientific fields as a useful means to organize knowledge, and have produced many standards that facilitate knowledge sharing and aggregation. The most notable is perhaps the Gene Ontology, which has grown in adoption and use and has led to a significant change in the biomedical community particularly in mapping and integrating heterogeneous databases. However, the vast majority of these ontologies require formal processes and a strong governance to facilitate agreements and community acceptance.
Semantic wikis offer an alternative to organizing scientific knowledge. Several semantic wikis are currently in use in a variety of scientific domains, including genomics, neuroscience, hydrology, and ecology. The goal of this session is to understand the motivations and benefits of using semantic wikis for science. Specific topics of discussion include:
- How does a community in science get organized behind a semantic wiki approach?
- What approaches are being taken to manage contributions?
- What are good strategies for growth and for recruiting new contributors?
- What kinds of contributors (seniority, skills, etc) are needed?
- How can users manage changes as the content grows over time?
- What are the incentives for contributors to participate and stay engaged?
- How is the quality of the content monitored and improved?
- How is the content integrated with other scientific information sources?
- How is the provenance of the contributed content specified?
- How stable is the community of contributors?
- What is the quality of content collected in a semantic wiki compared with more traditional means?