[Foundation-l] [Junk released by User action] Re: Another look a bot creation of articles

Andrew Su asu at gnf.org
Thu Jul 24 16:48:07 UTC 2008

On the issue of scientific data knowledge in Wikipedia versus
"specialist databases"...  Magnus emphasizes a great point that the
unstructured nature of Wikipedia (free-text, figures, diagrams, etc.) is
very complementary to the structured databases of existing resources.
Consider these two links:



Clearly they have different goals in what information to present and how
to present it.  I'd also say that Wikipedia has an advantage of
presenting data to a more diverse audience, having information of
interest to both lay-people and scientists.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org [mailto:foundation-l-
> bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Magnus Manske
> Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 1:45 AM
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Subject: [Junk released by User action] Re: [Foundation-l] Another
look a
> bot creation of articles
> On Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 8:04 AM, Gerard Meijssen
> <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hoi,
> > You may want to consider the scale of things ... when you are
> > chemicals, proteins a number like 240 million articles can be
> With
> > such numbers you have to wonder to what extend Wikipedia can cope.
> IMHO the point is database vs. free-style text annotation.
> It is reasonable to expect that every human gene, in the not-so-long
> run, will have loads of text annotation that doesn't fit well in a
> classic database; in fact, it will have a few data points and a lot of
> text. Remember, we're talking <25.000 genes in human. This is what a
> wiki is best at, and pre-creating articles for them that contain the
> bare facts is perfectly valid.
> OTOH, millions of real/predicted/hypothetical molecules that will, for
> the most part, have nothing but a few numbers with them, would fit
> better in a "normal" database. That doesn't exclude the possibility of
> writing about some of these molecules on wikipedia when there's
> something to write about.
> Magnus
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