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

Andrew Su asu at gnf.org
Tue Jul 15 16:38:00 UTC 2008

As the author of the paper in question, I thought I'd chime in my two
cents here...


> 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.


Agreed, our intention was to create a resource for biologists, not to
make any broader statements about wikis as a whole.  Apologies if anyone
felt we were overinterpreting our observations, but I felt all of our
conclusions were supported by our analyses.  As for the statements not
being backed up by verifiable evidence, I (obviously) disagree.  All of
our figures and conclusions were derived from publicly-available sources
(edit histories, page sources, etc.), and anyone who is interested would
be able to reproduce our results.


> 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.


Perhaps there is some misunderstanding here in what the article said?
The 50% of edits refers to edits *subsequent* to our bot effort, not the
bot effort itself.  If there is still confusion, I'm happy to clarify in
more detail.


> 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

> Wikimania?


Great, then we succeeded in our goal of doing interesting biology.  No,
we have no plans to attend Wikimania or do another article on "wiki
research", but that's mostly because it's not our field.  If anyone has
suggestions on how we might use our effort to comment on wiki research
and would like to collaborate, we're certainly open to hearing more.


... and in response to a comment on another thread, it is a bit
unfortunate that some headlines seem to indicate that this was a
foundation-sponsored activity.  But, alas, we don't write the
headlines...  (The title of the article we wrote is "A Gene Wiki for
Community Annotation of Gene Function".)




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