HandWiki:Limitations of Wikipedia

From HandWiki

A long-standing problem of Wikipedia is its policy of notability[1], which often is considered as inappropriate for wiki-style public resources exposing scientific knowledge[2][3].

A Wikipedia article describing a technical or scientific term, with a reference to the original published article, is considered non-notable, and cannot be posted to Wikipedia, unless "there is a published third-party review article entirely dedicated to this term". When this applies to a scientific term or computer program, the probability to find such a review article is small. Therefore, many Wikipedia articles have been removed by anonymous editors who were enforcing this notability policy.

As the result of this policy, Wikipedia became less relevant for scholars. For example, this List of numerical libraries List of numerical libraries has been significantly reduced compared to the 2015 Wikipedia article. The remaining 50% of entries of this article (retrieved in October 2019) are still discuss "non-notable" software, with one or two insignificant blog references and self-pointing web sites. Such articles will likely be removed in the future.

To avoid biases in decisions for accepting new articles, Wikipedia articles are posted through the consensus of many editors. However, for scientific and software topics, it is not uncommon when such discussions happen between the author and a single anonymous administrator without professional credentials [4]. Many editors for scholarly articles have left Wikipedia, and moved to Everipedia Everipedia and other similar resources, while the remaining Wikipedia editors have focused on removal of existing Wikipedia entries (a safer choice for the editors without a solid scholarly background when it comes articles with empty "talk" pages and without "notable" external references).

One famous example is the article on the DataMelt statistical program. It existed on Wikipedia for more than 10 years, but was removed in 2018 due to the lack of "independent reviews", despite the fact it is discussed in dozens of publications and books, had several independent reviews, had thousands of users and a significant Internet presence. The decision about the removal was made by a Wikipedia editor (Dennis Brown) who was specialized in anything but science and software. The article removal was preceded by an attack from freelance editors offering "independent" reviews of this program (for payment) [5]. An appeal to restore this article was ignored by Wikipedia.

Even large corporations suffer from the notability and other Wikipedia policies that are not aligned with the spirit of the original Wikipedia creators and limit the publication of scholarly content. For example, Origin (data analysis software) Origin (data analysis software) article is marked by the tag "undisclosed payments a violation of Wikipedia's terms of use", while the OriginLab Corporation[6] cannot be even inserted in Wikipedia.

  1. Wikipedia article Wikipedia:Notability Wikipedia:Notability guideline
  2. See the article Criticism of Wikipedia Criticism of Wikipedia Re-posted to Everipedia for content protection.
  3. The Mutilation of Wikipedia. Anonymous Wikipedia editor. Article 2018 jWork.ORG
  4. Article "Wikis for publishing scholarly articles on data science and software", By R.Riviera (Oct. 2019), URL to article, jWork.ORG
  5. The Death Of Wikipedia: An In Depth Look At Behind The Scenes Of Gate Keeping, Elitism, Mismanaged Funds, Information Vandalism + Blockchain Based Alternatives (Everipedia & Lunyr), By Makishima Shougo. Busy.Org, 2018 URL to article
  6. OriginLab Corp. Official web site