WikiJournal of Science/About

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WikiJournal of Science
WikiJournal of Science logo.png
Technical data
ISSN 2470-6345
DOI Not yet

The WikiJournal of Science provides students and instructors at or near the college or university level with concise articles that are focused to specific levels of education. While editors are committed to having each article reviewed by at least one person familiar with the subject, this is not a traditional peer-reviewed journal.

This journal can accept submissions from any Wikimedia sister project, or even abridged versions of such articles. Each published article is available in both editable and uneditable forms, including a PDF format that is convenient for off-line viewing or paper-copy printing. The CC-by-SA license places well over 5 million articles in this journal's "in-box".

Purpose of this journal[edit]

  • To create resources that are "static" in that they will not be edited mid-course. One reason for preferring "static" documents is that the instructor is never certain that Wikipedia or Wikiversity resources won't evolve mid-course. The posting of documents that have been peer reviewed also frees the instructor from the chore of verifying the correctness of a Wikviersity or Wikipedia resoure, and it facilitates the development of a bank of quiz and exam questions (see Quizbank)
  • To provide instructors with labs and demonstrations. Many labs and demonstrations cannot become Wikipedia articles.
  • To attribute and credit individual authors for their efforts. This is especially useful for students at or near college graduation, who have yet to establish their reputations among the standard scholarly journals. We are attempting to implement the policy that least two experts will view and approve each accepted article.

Mission statement (proposed)[edit]

  • This journal is the second Wikiversity effort designed to guide readers through the cornucopia of articles Wikiversity and its sisters. Such journals seek to reward and credit authors for outstanding contributions, and to help guide readers through the cornucopia of articles and resources on Wikiversity and its sisters.
  • This journal believes decisions regarding which resources are "the best" should be decentralized to the greatest extent possible. The format of this journal is such that any person or group of people could start a journal just like this one, and this journal strongly encourages others to create such journals patterned after this one and the Wikiversity Journal of Medicine.

What this journal is not[edit]

  • It does not plan to publish scientific research or discussions on how to teach.

Publication format[edit]

Each article published in this journal is presented in three versions:

  • The title above the abstract links to a version stored in the article's history page that cannot be changed. It is the version of the article that was accepted by the journal.
  • If the article is not an abridged version of a Wikipedia article, a "wiki (editable)" version is available as the article in its current state. Typically the latest "wiki (editable)" current version is the best version, as most Wikipedia articles tend to improve.
  • The PDF is a completely stable and printable version of the article as it was accepted by the journal.

Editorial board[edit]

The editorial board of the WikiJournal of Science consists of:

If you wish to join the editorial board, leave a message at the talk page.

Peer review[edit]

It is not important that a journal have the right policies regarding standards and refereeing procedures, but that policies are clearly stated, consistently followed, and if necessary, gradually improve.

This journal can publish three types of articles, and each will be reviewed differently:

  1. Traditional articles by single author or a collaborative team will be reviewed in the traditional manner.
  2. Wiki-articles (from any Wikimedia sister project) are those that were created collaboratively by many editors. Virtually all articles on Wikipedia are wiki articles. These articles will be reviewed by the community at large.
  3. Abridged wiki-articles are wiki-articles that have been copied (with proper attribution) and then abridged. The process for reviewing these articles has not been fully determined.

The first of three types of articles published in this journal are traditional peer-reviewed articles that were written by a single author or a team of authors in collaboration. The second and third type shall be referred to as "wiki-articles" that

Traditional article by a single author or collaborative team[edit]

If the manuscript seems like a likely candidate for acceptance by this journal, it will be peer reviewed by at least one qualified confidential reviewer (who is not the editor-in-chief). It is recommended that such articles be written in userspace to avoid having too many authors.

Wiki-articles (from any Wikimedia sister-project)[edit]

Most Wikipedia articles are too comprehensive and diverse in reading level for students to use as instructional materials. But an article that is unusually focused in both content and reading level may be nominated for publication in this journal.

The manuscript will be "published" in one of the standard issues of this journal, with the caveat that the byline will indicated that it is "under consideration". A subpage will be made available for comments by any editor (including IP editors). If and when a consensus is reached, the words "under consideration" will be removed and the article will be fully "accepted". Or, the article will be rejected and removed from the "Past Issue".

Abridged wiki-articles[edit]

The initial motive for creating this journal was frustration with Wikipedia articles that contained far more than was deemed useful for an introductory science course. Prospective creators of such abridged versions should be warned that it is much easier to declare that a Wikipedia article is too comprehensive than it is to trim it down to something students can use.

Although abridged wiki-articles probably represent the most significant category in this group, it is not clear how they will be reviewed. For the time being, they will be treated as wiki-articles and subject to community review. They can be "rejected" by the community, but the protocol for "accepting" has not yet been formulated.

Abridged versions of Wikipedia articles are complex and awkward to submit, but they are also important, considering the encyclopedic but authoritative nature of Wikipedia articles.

To create an abridged version of a Wikipedia article, follow these steps.

WARNING! This requires that you create a page in your Wikipedia user space that might disrupt Wikipedia if you are not careful. If you are not an experienced editor please ask Guy vandegrift for assistance before starting this project

  1. Create the page as a subpage your Wikipedia user space, e.g. User:Joe_Doe/Article_title_(abridged)
  2. To maintain friendly relations between Wikipedia and this journal, place {{user page}} template at the top.
  3. Copy the entire text of the Wikipedia article into your user space.
  4. Add a sentence at the top to inform Wikipedia administrators that this is a copy of a Wikipedia article and include a permalink to that article. This is most easily done by using the left-side tools (Tools > Permanent link) and saving the entire link (it looks like
  5. Now you must immediately remove all category statements. Do a search of the text for [[Category: to make sure you have removed them all. Failure to do so will irk administrators who see a link to your user page.
  6. Just in case you have failed to remove all categories and confusing templates, write a concise but polite letter at the the top of your page explaining what you are doing.
  7. Now cut the article, always leaving the {{draft}} template and the permalink with an explanation at the top of the page.
  8. You can try to format the rest to look like a journal article, but it is easier for me to do it than explain how. Either way, submit a link to your work to WikiJournal of Science/Contribute

The Wikipedia policy at Wikipedia:User pages gives us permission to keep abridged articles for publication here.




In a broad sense of the word "science", these neolithic cave paintings represent one of the first known sciences.

The original name of this journal was "First Journal of Science", chosen somewhat whimsically. The word "First" was in the spirit the practice in small towns in the US to designate churches and banks as "First", "Second", ..., and the intent was to invite other journals to form on Wikiversity. The word "First" was also selected because the journal is not a research journal, but focused on those "first" introductory courses often taken in the first two years of college.

The word "first" caused confusion, so the name was changed to "Second Journal of Science". This name was chosen primarily because it was an easy substitution for the templates, and also because Wikiversity's "first" journal is Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. The omission of "Wikiversity" in the name was deliberate: From Wikiversity, the link [[First Journal of Science]] makes it obvious that this is a Wikiversity journal. On Wikipedia or Wikibooks, the link would be [[Wikiversity:First Journal of Science]], which can be taken as an "onofficial" name for this journal.

If a guild emerges that requires a standardized name for this journal, two names come to mind: [[Wikiversity:Journal of Science Letters]] and [[Wikiversity Journal of Science Letters]]. The name Wikiversity Journal of Science Education should be reserved so as to also include articles on how to teach science. Such articles are not envisioned for this journal. It is fortunate that we have two similar names from which to choose, because the guilds should be decentralized as much as possible. This will permit the construction of two all-encompassing guilds, while allowing small informal guilds that include journals with names like [[Second Journal of Science]]

First name change[edit]

The original name of this journal was the Second Journal of Science. Back then, the concept of a guild as proposed so that journals could self-regulate themselves in a manner more efficient than the usual (long-winded) wiki-way of making decisions. The guilds would have little or no power beyond that which they earn by maintaining their own reputation. But, by having a few editors and referees making the decisions wiki wiki, it is hoped that less time will be wasted. In contrast with the situation on a Wikipedia article, where much thought must be given to the exclusion of information, the editor who is seeking to publish focused and readable articles must make snap judgments. To compensate, we many journals just like this one. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, the original (Second Journal of Science) refused to join any guild that would accept it. But the intention was to apply for probationary membership in a well-respected guild, if such a guild existed.

Two important communities govern the behavior of Journals hosted by Wikiversity. Most important is the Wikiversity Journal User Group, which for all practical purposes is the governing organization. However, if this user group were to ever misbehave (unlikely), or if no resolution to a dispute can be made, the next step up is the Wikiversity community itself. Wikiversity supports virtually all student efforts, and for that reason tries to accommodate low-quality efforts whenever possible. In contrast, reputation is an important factor with journals, and hence the need for some sort of "guild". With this name change, the old "Second Journal of Science" and the WikiJournal of Medicine have formed a de facto guild.

Second name change[edit]

In 2017, the journal was renamed to WikiJournal of Science to keep it in line with the WikiJournal of Medicine and give some naming coherence to the general WikiJournal project.

See also[edit]