[Foundation-l] Another look a bot creation of articles
lars at aronsson.se
Mon Jul 14 21:53:06 UTC 2008
Birgitte SB wrote:
> I think there was recently a thread about the press about the
> paper A Gene Wiki for Community Annotation of Gene Function .
> 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."
PLoS Biology is a recognized journal for biology research, but not
for wiki research. Their statements about the usefulness in wikis
of bot-generated stubs are not backed up by verifiable evidence.
For example, they don't define what a "stub" is, and how the
usefulness varies with that definition. The stub shown as example
in the article (fig. 1) is far longer and more well-written than
what one usually has to confront when criticizing stub articles in
Their statistic that 50% of edits landed in new articles doesn't
indicate quality or usefulness. It only says that carpet bombing
might sometimes hit a target.
Their work is interesting biology. But for wiki research, this
paper is merely of anecdotal interest. Maybe they are writing a
separate article focused on wikis? Are the authors coming to
> 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.
Yes, if your task is to create a navigational user interface, then
a wiki might be a useful tool. But that doesn't imply that this is
a good method for creating a free encyclopedia.
Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se
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