Wikipedia:WikiProject Molecular Biology/Computational Biology/ISCB competition announcement 2017

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The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) announces its 6th annual international competition to improve the coverage on Wikipedia of any aspect of computational biology. A key component of the ISCB's mission to further the scientific understanding of living systems through computation is to communicate this knowledge to the public at large. Wikipedia has become an important way to communicate all types of science to the public and Wikidata plays an increasingly growing role in that. The ISCB aims to further its mission by increasing the quality of Wikipedia and Wikidata coverage of Computational biology, and by improving accessibility to this information via Wikipedia and its sister sites. The competition is open to students and trainees at any level either as individuals or as groups.

Event Date (in UTC)
Competition entries open 21 July 2017
Editing begins 21 July 2017
Competition ends 31 December 2017
ISCB Council shortlisting February 2018
Judging panel decision March 2018
Announcement of winners July 2018 (at ISMB 2018)

As in previous years, there are two different competitions that you can enter. These are for (1) Wikipedia articles in any language, (2) Wikidata contributions.

The prizes for the best Wikipedia articles in any language provided by the ISCB will be:

  • 1st prize - $500 (USD) and 1 year membership to the ISCB.
  • 2nd prize - $250 (USD) and 1 year membership to the ISCB.
  • 3rd prize - $150 (USD) and 1 year membership to the ISCB.

The prizes for the best Wikidata contributions provided by the ISCB will be:

  • 1st prize - $300 (USD) and 1 year membership to the ISCB.
  • 2nd prize - $150 (USD) and 1 year membership to the ISCB.

How to Enter[edit]

Deadline: 31st December 2017

The competition will officially start on the 21st July 2017 and finish five months later on the 31st December 2017. For each entry that is claimed in the competition, the difference in quality between these two dates will be reviewed. Contributions made before the 21st July or after the 31st December will not be counted.

Wikipedia competition[edit]

To enter, you should select the article or articles you intend to work on and record that along with your Wikipedia user name at the Competition Entries web page (Wikipedia:WikiProject Computational Biology/ISCB competition entries 2017). If a group of authors intend to contribute to the same article, all Wikipedia user names should be listed.

Contributions should be made in the area of computational biology.

If you plan to edit an existing article (recommended): WikiProject Computational Biology has selected nearly 1,400 English language articles that it considers within the scope of Computational Biology; we strongly suggest that you choose an article from this collection for your entry. A list of 'start-class' quality articles with high importance is available: any of the articles in this list would be an excellent starting point for a competition entry. Alternatively, a list of the most popular Computational Biology articles is available: these are generally more complete but any improvements to these articles would be more visible. A list of previous winning articles is provided at the end of the page. Below, we list a few articles that are considered to be of particularly good quality and would be good examples to follow:

If you plan to start a new article: please contact WikiProject Computational Biology by adding a new section to the WikiProject talk page (recommended) or emailing Alastair Kilpatrick to make sure the article would be considered within the scope of the project.

Non-English language articles are also welcome. These articles may be original articles, or they can also be translations of Wikipedia articles between languages. Please note on the entry page if the article is a translation.

Wikidata competition[edit]

The competition also includes a Wikidata component. As with the Wikipedia competition, the goal of the Wikidata one is to improve content related to Computational biology.

To enter, you should select the entries you intend to work on and record that along with your Wikidata user name at the Competition Entries web page (Wikipedia:WikiProject Computational Biology/ISCB competition entries 2017). If a group of authors intend to contribute to the same entry, all Wikidata user names should be listed.

Eligible entries for the competition are

Relatedness to Computational biology will be assumed as demonstrated

Assessing contributions in this space is more difficult than for single Wikipedia articles, so we require that any changes made should be documented in detail in order to count for the competition — the Judging panel will not take into account contributions it could not verify. Some good Wikidata items are those for protein (Q8054) or Cactaceae (Q14560), whereas well-used properties include Ensembl Gene ID (P594) and Entrez Gene identifier (P351).


To make the best possible contribution to Wikipedia and Wikidata, it is important to understand what content is desirable there and how best to go about editing it.

For Wikipedia, we strongly recommend that entrants read the PLoS Computational Biology article describing 10 Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia.[1] In addition, entrants who are not familiar with Wikipedia editing should take an online training course.[2]

For Wikidata, we recommend to read Wikidata:Introduction and to take the Wikidata:Tours.


Steering committee co-chairs:

Judging committee co-chairs:

Judging panel:

Publicity co-chairs

Rules and Regulations [See footnote][edit]

The competition is open to trainees and students at any level. Only entries listed on the Competition Entries page will be considered. An entrant or group can participate in both competitions, but at most, two entries in total can be “claimed” per entrant or group. Once an entry is “claimed”, it is considered as out of bounds for other entrants in the context of the competition. However, "claiming" a Wikipedia or Wikidata entry does not provide an entrant with any ownership rights over it; all Wikipedia and Wikidata norms on collaborative editing must be respected. Claiming a Wikipedia article in one language does not stop other entrants claiming the corresponding ones in another language or the associated Wikidata item.

Any entrant may claim an article or Wikidata entry and edit pseudonymously, but if shortlisted, he or she must identify themselves to one of the judging panel, with proof of student/trainee status, to be eligible for a prize. In the case of a group entry, the group will need to decide and implement how the prize will be distributed among the members. Please note that multiple people editing from one Wikipedia account is not permitted, therefore each member of a group must edit from their own account.

The following criteria will be used for judging the article entries:

  • Clarity of writing
  • Depth of knowledge of the subject area
  • Quality of figures and photos used to illustrate the article

The following criteria will be used to judge Wikidata entries

  • The quality of the statements made
  • The quality of the sources supporting the statements
  • The impact of the contribution for Computational biology

For educators and course coordinators[edit]

This competition provides an excellent training opportunity and we encourage its use as a class assignment. Course organisers should consider adding any such classroom uses in the Wikipedia Schools and University programme:


  1. ^ Logan DW, Sandal M, Gardner PP, Manske M, Bateman A (2010). "Ten simple rules for editing Wikipedia". PLoS Comput. Biol. 6 (9). doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000941. PMC 2947980. PMID 20941386.
  2. ^ We recommend User:Rockpocket/Training or Wikipedia:The Wikipedia Adventure.


^ All content added to articles during this competition must adhere to the basic policies and guidelines of Wikipedia. This includes:
The judges will be assessing this, and any article found to have plagiarized text or to contain non-free material under copyright will be disqualified. Please note that it is permissible to translate a Wikipedia article from one language to another but this has to be indicated.