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Gladstone scientists create Wikipathways to foster research collaboration
Date:7/22/2008

start," said Alexander Pico, a postdoctoral fellow in the Conklin lab. "This strategy fits well with the current trend to information exchange through community-defined data formats, collaborative online environments, and the growing number of open access journals."

WikiPathways hands over the keys to the database, lowers the technical and hierarchical barriers with creative support tools, and let the data producer organize the data. By allowing anyone to contribute and edit content, they expect to increase the capacity for curation and better manage the increasing flood of data. Despite initial misgivings, Wikipedia has shown that these projects can succeed with the right balance of infrastructure, participation, and administrative principles.

Each pathway has a dedicated wiki page, which displays the current diagram, description, references, download options, version history, and component gene, protein and metabolite list. Any pathway can be edited from within its wiki page by activating an embedded pathway editor.

As the first wiki dedicated to biological pathways, WikiPathways is an experiment of sorts. "We recognize that several factors are critical for WikiPathways to be successful," said Dr. Pico. "Nevertheless, we believe that bringing a kind of democracy to the process will be helpful and that this example might encourage others to develop similar mechanisms for disseminating information."


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Contact: Valerie Tucker
vtucker@gladstone.ucsf.edu
415-734-2019
Gladstone Institutes
Source:Eurekalert

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