Good article (esp. for…

Good article (esp. for academics): Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past, by Roy Rosenzweig. I admit, I didn't read through the whole thing, but the parts I read thoroughly (and the bits I skimmed) looked solid and interesting. I may send a pointer to the folks in my department, some of whom seem nervous about students citing Wikipedia (which the students do more and more often).

"History is a deeply individualistic craft.... Although making people we generally view as our audience into our collaborators may prove unsettling, it will also be instructive....If Wikipedia teaches us (and our students) to speak more clearly to the public and to say more clearly what is on our minds, it will have a positive impact on academic culture.

"But a much broader question about academic culture is whether the methods and approaches that have proven so successful in Wikipedia can also affect how scholarly work is produced, shared, and debated. Wikipedia embodies an optimistic view of community and collaboration that already informs the best of the academic enterprise....Can the wiki way foster the collaborative creation of historical knowledge?"

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