Engaging a Scientific Community in Contributing to a Biological Database

Wikipedia is ranked sixth in the world by web traffic rankings [1]. When an opportunity arose to shift textual annotations of RNA genes from the Rfam database to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, I leapt at the chance. I will discuss the issues we encountered during the process, how we dealt with vandalism and how we encouraged the scientific community to contribute [2-7].




  1. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wikipedia.org
  2. Daub et al. (2008) The RNA WikiProject: community annotation of RNA families. RNA.
  3. Gardner & Bateman (2009) A home for RNA families at RNA Biology. RNA Biology.
  4. Logan et al. (2010) Ten simple rules for editing Wikipedia. PLoS Comput Biol.
  5. Gardner et al. (2010) Rfam: Wikipedia, clans and the decimal release. Nucleic Acids Res.
  6. Finn, Gardner & Bateman (2012) Making your database available through Wikipedia: the pros and cons. Nucleic Acids Res.
  7. Gardner P (2012) Three years of RNA Families. RNA Biol.

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