I am a former research faculty member from a major university, and a mid-career scientist with broad experience. My work emphasis is on small molecule therapeutics, natural products chemistry, and aspects of medicinal and organic chemistry, structural biology, and cheminformatics. I write and correct primarily in these areas, and most often in areas related to my degree or ongoing scholarly research work. Because drug discovery involves the life sciences and team approaches to problems, and because it is a business, I have some associated interests in proximate areas of the life sciences and in areas related to business and organizations/processes.
I have doctoral, masters, and undergraduate degrees in my area of specialty, the graduate degrees from a global top-10 university, the undergraduate from a top 25 (Times Higher Education/Thomson Reuters world university rankings, Nov 2011, both rankings vis-a-vis the overall universities and their physical sciences). Research training experiences at both venues were with recognized leaders in their fields. I have always been fully employed in my field of training, doing teaching and discovery-oriented research (and its associated writing tasks). As well, I am married to and collaborate with a partner who is a Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS)-certified editor (one of about 1000 or so globally), and so one that I periodically consult on matters of grammar, etc.
My undergraduate was a strong liberal arts education, with a "great books" type of approach to areas of the humanities and social sciences (including the philosophy of science, ethics, sociologies of science and medicine, and history, broadly speaking). I therefore also read and raise questions, and sometimes correct clear errors, in these areas, generally in consultation with parties more knowledgable. Finally, I grew up in the home of a jurist and legal scholar and so have some fundamental interests in the fairness of procedures within organizations; I will occasionally raise questions on Wikipedia procedures and process, based on my education and these early-derived and long-honed instincts. None of the preceding experiences guarantee correctness of my content or writings (and so challenge is invited). The training and related experiences are stated, simply, so that those who wish to challenge what I offer also understand what has informed the scope, content, and process of my writing.
As will become clear, because of the confidence that comes from these professional and other experiences, I am not averse to defending my positions regarding content or procedures, nor to challenging other content in need of correction even if errors are of emphasis or nuance.
My strong interest is in editing-as-content-creation-and-correction, and much less in formatting or other stylistic aspects. While I am competent in creating high quality and scientifically accurate scientific images related to chemistry, I have very limited time to do so, and remain somewhat limited in my interest and knowledge about bringing them into wikipedia. I therefore work very well with wikipedians that understand the technical aspects of online encyclopedic styles and formatting, and the same aspects relating to image use.
Two significant scholarly concerns in my science and other writing are:
- (i) the lack of referencing in many articles, particularly when the lack extends past 6 months of its being flagged; and
- (ii) referencing that is done via a "citation-mining" process (connecting article content to citation by shared title or abstract keywords), rather than the reading and nuanced understanding of the article and its field of context.
A related concern is the failure while writing and referencing to differentiate professional organization-approved or otherwise justifiable scientific nomenclature from definitions and understandings of science as they appear in rapidly evolving online and/or other non-reviewed sources.
Wikipedia, in its policies (WP:This and WP:That), makes clear that scientific information that is not known to the layman (i.e., essentially all of it) should be accompanied by citation, that plagiarism includes unacknowledged ideas, not just quote, and that unreferenced material may be removed; hence, my unpopular opinion is to hold us to that, and to move such plagiarized text to Talk, so that the article is returned to a more honest intellectual presentation until the work of providing properly sourced writing can occur. In responding to such unreferenced material, I utterly reject calls to perform forensic referencing—to add references to scientific content of another editor after the fact—because it is fraught with issues of misinterpretation, inaccuracy of sourcing, etc., and because, frankly, it only serves to encourage initial sloppiness. In the case of an excellently presented and argued scientific text I may be tempted otherwise, but I have never found such an article here that is not already decently referenced. (The correlation, there, is suggestive.)
Five further significant and more general Wikipedia policy concerns are:
- (i) the ways in which content and policy conflicts are negotiated and, when consensus is unachievable, are thereafter adjudicated, with special reference to whether the outcomes are actually just by any real-work standard;
- (ii) the ways in which wikipedia policies are applied or ignored, in part or in whole, during particular Wikipedia disagreements, and the extent to which practical hierarchies of policy exist in deciding these disagreements, and in any adjudications that follow;
- (iii) relatedly, the ways in which longstanding editors and administrators make use of social networks at Wikipedia, overtly, tacitly, or covertly, to accomplish their editorial or social ends;
- (iv) the interaction of all of these in wikipedia conflict, and the question of whether these in total are sufficient to explain the outcome of Wikipedia conflicts (e.g., versus the existence of something approaching the legal concept of indeterminacy); and
- (v) the ways in which technological tools aid or hinder by impacting the foregoing, and thus impact the achievement of just outcomes of conflict at Wikipedia.
As a result of these interests, I should note that I will protest outcomes of conflict resolutions regardless of adherence to Wikipedia principles if a "bottom line" of the resolution is not rigourously accurate content (regardless of consensus, or other positive wikipedia considerations), and whether the outcomes of conflict are arguably just and reasonable on the basis of general standards (i.e., would be found so by an informed jury of laypersons unsteeped in Wikipedia practice). Hence, I am apparently not as deeply committed to Wikipedia basic principles as many.
Finally, because life is short and the time that I can spend on this effort much, much shorter, I will press for timely acceptance of new articles I write, and for inclusion of changes that I know to be correct and accurate. If the opportunity cost of seeing accurate, well-referenced material make its way into the encyclopedia becomes too high—if contributions do not remain, if quick reversions and Wikipedia politics ensue, etc. I will generally wash hands of a matter after a cycle or two, having externally saved rejected drafts. (To warn, on a rare occasion, when the article is of seminal importance, I will stand and fight. Lor' he'p us all.)
If the editing situation at an article becomes hopeless, and I depart, I will annotate the article in Talk as to its not being reliable/verifiable from this contributor's perspective, thereafter checking on it from time to time to see if the situation has changed. Meanwhile, I will use the drafts, rather than Wikipedia, in my teaching and my communications to other academicians. In the preceding two regards, I am admittedly a "Wikipedian in Protest", believing that consensus and other wikipedia processes do not always arrive at accurate, scholarly content. When we so fail, I will seek other online venues for placing content before those who might need it.
|The Barnstar of Diligence|
|For your talk page comments and alerting on the talk page before doing anything. Though I encourage you to be bold, it's incredibly satisfying that you went to the talk, first. Tutelary (talk) 14:59, 15 May 2014 (UTC)|
|The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar|
|In recognition of your many years of quality Wikipedia contributions while assisting and building morale among other editors in both small and large ways. Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 09:47, 13 June 2014 (UTC)|
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