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Continuing to Bridge the Journal-Wikipedia Gap: Introducing Topic Pages for PLOS Genetics

Have you ever wished that Wikipedia had a better article on your favourite subject? Or felt that more credit should be given to experts who contribute to this most indispensable of modern information sources? To help tackle these issues, in March 2012, PLOS Computational Biology launched “Topic Pages”, whose success was followed by the establishment of a Topic Pages Collection in September 2014. Topic Pages are written in the style of a Wikipedia article, and are openly and publicly peer reviewed before being published in our PLOS journals with a second, living version posted to Wikipedia. Since the project’s launch, PLOS Computational Biology has published ten Topic Pages, covering a range of subjects from Viral Phylodynamics to Approximate Bayesian Computation. The published articles have been widely viewed on Wikipedia, as well as in PLOS Computational Biology and PubMed, and are well-cited.

Cartoon representation of the protein hemoglobin in its two conformations. (Image from Stefan, Le Novère (2013) Cooperative Binding. PLoS Comput Biol 9(6): e1003106. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003106)

From the start, Topic Pages have contributed to filling important gaps in Wikipedia’s coverage of computational biology content, and have fulfilled PLOS’ aim of transforming research communication and interacting with researchers and the public in a new way.

We are now excited to introduce Topic Pages for PLOS Genetics. PLOS Genetics Topic Pages will be led by our Topic Pages editor Thomas Shafee, and will expand the reach of the current Collection, encouraging submissions on genetics-related topics that are not yet covered in Wikipedia, or exist as stub Wikipedia pages which can be expanded on. Examples could include oncogene, coding region, DNA transposons, the neutral theory of molecular evolution, and plasmid partitioning, to name a few. Like the PLOS Computational Biology Topic Pages, they will be written in the style of a Wikipedia article and peer reviewed on the open PLOS Wiki. On acceptance, a citable version will be published in the corresponding PLOS journal, with a second version uploaded to Wikipedia, where it will begin a new life and can be edited by other readers.

See here for a personal account from a Topic Pages author, on his experience and description of how Topic Pages work.

We are now inviting submissions for the new PLOS Genetics Topic Pages, and, with Topic Pages for PLOS Computational Biology continuing to grow, look forward to receiving new proposals from you for both of these areas! Please email or visit the PLOS Wiki site for more information or to submit a proposal.


Featured Image: Credit:

Written by: Ann Luk, Publications Assistant, PLOS Genetics

  1. The link for the ‘Topic Pages’ Wikipedia Playlist in the second paragraph was updated on the 18th April (Ann Luk, Publications Assistant, PLOS Genetics).

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