[Foundation-l] Another look a bot creation of articles

Birgitte SB birgitte_sb at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 14 17:54:56 UTC 2008

I think there was recently a thread about the press about the paper A Gene Wiki for Community Annotation of Gene Function [1].  I was reading it today and found it interesting in respect to views generally expressed on this mailing list against bot created articles. Personally I can't see why this sort of work described here should be required to be done by hand (as is the case where some wikipedias don't allow this sort of bot creation).  Especially when analysis found that after the bot created stubs for all genes in the authorative database that were missing from Wikipedia, "approximately 50% of all edits to gene pages were made on the newly created pages."  There is also interesting argument is made about how the existence of a complete network (even if, as in this case, partially consisting of bot-created stubs) leads to more efficient browing of the entire subject area. 

Obvioulsly not all bot creations are equal, but I wonder if the feelings so often expressed against bot creations have more to do with the manner of creating articles than abandoning them (drive-by creation).  This project, run by subject experts who are tracking the additional editing to the created articles and courting more activity with papers like this one seem to be a different matter altogether.  So maybe it is not the creation of articles by bot that is a problem so much as creation by bot without a long term plan to work on the completed network of articles.

Birgitte SB



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