Some protosciences have electronic journals devoted to their efforts. Generally, such efforts are part of an attempt to escape the label "protoscience". Publishing peer-reviewed research is part of how protoscientific efforts join the conventional scientific community. However, it might be possible to create a new Journal of Protoscience that would explore the possibility of scientific publishing in a wiki environment. The mission of such a journal would be something like this:
1) Promote the application of the scientific method to all areas of human interest, exploration and curiosity.
2) Encourage people who are outside of the scientific main-stream to adopt the methods of science such as hypothesis testing and peer-reviewed publication.
3) Make use of modern electronic tools such as wiki websites and blogging as both the medium for publishing new science and communicating that science to the public at large.
Wiki publishing issuesEdit
Free and open science. What will be the consequences of new computer technologies that allow the scientific literature to be free, widely distributed, and open to comment by all? How will a viable system that uses tools like wiki and opens the scientific literature to the world develop? What can be done now to speed that process?
Any particular scientific journal in a wiki format would become part of a global system of wiki publishing. At the "lowest" level of this system of wiki publishing, there would be a distributed system websites and databases containing "original scientific publications". These would be characterized by:
- E-Publishing of science articles. Websites suitable for scientific publication would have to meet some basic minimal requirents for reliability, sustainability, and backup to archival sites. There would have to be some kind of international standard for marking websites as being suitable for scientific publication. This system should be as open as possible and flexible but assure that no content of the scientific literature could ever be lost. For profit companies could host publishing and archiving sites, but it is in the interests of non-profit entities and governments to support websites which would either be free or charge only small fees to scientists. There would be a conventional market place, where free sites would be "bare bones" while for-profit entities would provide authors with incentives and services to enhance the publishing process.
- Primary science authors. For the individual scientist submitting work for publication, it would be a matter of personal taste when selecting which of the available websites to use for posting new science articles. In many cases, this choice might be driven by a desire to make sure that the newly published work has the best chance of reaching the desired target audience as quickly as possible.
- Secondary publication. Reviews, editorial commentaries, press releases, media commentaries would all make use of the raw material of primary articles. The secondary literature of science should also be part of the scientific literature archiving and publishing system that is used for the publication of primary research articles.
- A true challenge for a distributed, open publishing system would be trying to provide optimal linkage of published articles to those people who would want to read each article. There should be a diverse system of websites specializing in indexing, cataloging, reviewing, ranking, and presenting science articles in value-added formats. For-profit companies woul sell access to their presentations of science material. However, there would also be a free-access global community. Analogy: Christian sects.....think of conventional science publishing as the Roman Catholic Church. Various sects break away and form their own churches. The RCC never goes away, but it has a continual decline in "market share".
Wiki science publishing has begun.
- What is probably the largest single wiki-format resource for the protoscience of Intelligent design is the EvoWiki.
- Can a study of a protoscience be part of a conventional science like anthropology or social science?
New adventures in the primary literatureEdit
If science publishing is going to become totally open and transparent, all phases of the scientific process will need to be open. Grant applications, decisions by funding agencies, laboratory notebooks.....everything.
In the current system, scientists keep secrets in order to compete for funding and cridit for ideas. In an open system, prioriy for ideas will come from the existence of a clear, public, electronically published chain of ideas and work. Ideas should not be kept secret. There should be an open market for ideas such that the best ideas have a chance of reaching the most people as quickly as possible.