Web magazine launches with “Wikipedia relay race”

Today Vox Publica launched, a new Norwegian web magazine with democracy and freedom of speech as its main topics. It’s the result of intensive work over the last couple of months by a small group of people, including me, at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies at The University of Bergen.

I’m very happy that we could launch the magazine with a new initiative we’ve called “Wikipedia-stafetten” – the Wikipedia relay race, where the participants are scientists/academics. It works like this: Vox Publica’s editor professor Jostein Gripsrud started the race by writing an encyclopedia article about “offentlighet” – the public sphere. The article was published in Vox Publica, where it will remain in that form. Simultaneously we published the identical text as the article about “Offentlighet” in the Norwegian (bokmål) version of Wikipedia. And then Gripsrud challenged another academic, Erling Dokk Holm, to write the next article in the race. Hopefully the “competition” will go on for a very long time. As Nature wrote last year, “Researchers should read Wikipedia cautiously and amend it enthusiastically.” (quoted here earlier). We see the initiative as a practical way of supporting and enhancing one of the tools of democracy and free speech.

The Wikipedia community’s treatment of the article is very interesting to observe: The original version lasted five minutes on Wikipedia before the first edit. And the community has done an excellent job so far in adding links, list of contents and other editing. All the relay articles will also be presented on a special portal page.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.