After Roy Rosenzweig’s June 2006 article on Wikipedia in The Journal of American History, “Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past“, I predicted a large-scale change in the way scholars—humanists in particular—view Wikipedia. Things started slowly; Marshall Poe’s September article in The Atlantic Monthly, “The Hive” was the next major piece, and other interesting viewpoints continued to trickle in until the Middlebury College ban.
But lately, calls for involvement and reports of classroom success have been coming in rapidly. Recommended reading:
- If I were “You”: How Academics Can Stop Worrying and Learn to Love “the Encyclopedia that Anyone Can Edit”, by Daniel Paul O’Donnell, The Heroic Age, May 2007
- Strange Facts in the History Classroom: Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Wiki(pedia), by Christopher Miller, Perspectives, May 2007
- What open access research can do for Wikipedia, by John Willinsky, First Monday, March 2007
- Western Civ As We Know It, the course blog for Mills Kelly’s Western Civilization course, which used Wikipedia as the “textbook” (see my Signpost report)
- Wikipedia is good for academia, by Eric Rauchway, The New Republic Online, March 21, 2007 (paywall, sorry)
- We Can’t Ignore the Influence of Digital Technologies, by Cathy N. Davidson, The Chronicle Review, March 23, 2007
I’m working on my own piece for historians of science, and I’m trying to kick the inflammatory rhetoric up a notch. I probably need to come up with a catchy title, though. Unfortunately, garden-variety historians and English professors have already melted the obvious Dr. Strangelove snowclone. (What’s up with that? That’s history of science territory!) Maybe I could go with the other Strangelove snowclone: “We must not allow a Wikipedia gap!”
By the way, any suggests for improving the above article would be greatly appreciated; I’ll be submitting it soon.