Whither the Wikis? With your help, not the case for Physiopedia.

I came across this article recently on the Inside Higher Ed website and thought it a pertinent and interesting read in relation to what we are doing in Physiopedia.  The article suggests that “it is becoming clearer where wikis are jibing with the culture of academe, and where they are not” and suggests that many of the academic wikis have failed to take off.  A good time to talk about the academic successes and opportunities in Physiopedia.

We like to think of Physiopedia as an “academic wiki” in that we advocate evidence based content, have students completing academic work on the site and also allow our community to publish research and other academic work.  As far as students completing classroom work in Physiopedia these projects have been a great success.  So far six student projects have been completed in Physiopedia with great results and great feedback from tutors and students alike. Some have successfully been for academic credit and most have resulted in great content being produced for our profession.  This looks like it is set to continue with more and more educators and their students becoming involved from all over the world.

With regards to publishing academic work (i.e. research) in Physiopedia it is still early days.  For this to be a success we need, as suggested by the article, an overhaul in the way we think about publication.  In my opinion publishing academic work in a professional topic specific wiki has a place along side traditional means of publishing in journals.  Researchers can benefit from greater exposure and discussion surrounding their work, we can bridge the gap between completing research and publication and also provide an opportunity for publication to those that don’t want to go through the rigorous process of publishing work in a journal, a good example of this being student dissertations.

The opportunity to publish research in Physiopedia increases the impact of scholars, students, and bloggers by enabling them to share summaries and discuss academic papers online.  The subsequent opportunity for open peer review then provides a place where academic papers can be summarized, discussed, clarified, or made fuller by the general community.  Surely this collaborative activity surrounding academic work is a great way to highlight and discuss new research and subsequently provide evidence and support (or not!) for what we do.

Key to all of this is continuous support from our Physiopedia community.  So if you have some research that you would like to publish in a new way, or an abstract from previously published work that would benefit from discussion among the community please do get in touch….