[wiki-research] Re: Wikipedia research and/vs wiki research
Filippo A. Salustri
salustri at ryerson.ca
Mon Aug 14 16:16:53 CEST 2006
I tend to agree with Helmut here, and would like to add to it by mentioning
the difference between science and engineering.
Science seeks to explain how (and to a degree why) things "are". Engineering
seeks to change things to make them "better".
As we consider research into/on/with/for/whatever wikis, we should keep that
distinction in mind.
Scientific research on wikis might help us understand why there are so many of
them, why they can be so different from one another, and so on.
But since wikis are artefacts, we may also consider how to make them "better",
based on the results of the scientific research. And that would be, dare I
say it, "wiki engineering"....
Helmut Leitner wrote:
> Dirk Riehle wrote:
>> Is Wikipedia research a subset, superset, or just overlaps ... ?
> I think for all practical purposes Wikipedia research can be
> considered a large and important subset of wiki research.
>> but I'm not sure it matters practically. Wikis are so broad that all
>> the sociological etc. research that's relevant for Wikipedia in
>> principle also works with wikis.
> What means "research ... works" ?
> We probably
> ... can use the same research methods
> ... need a common language
> ... results may not be transferable,
> e. g. when boundary conditions are very different.
>> However, Wikipedia is such a singular phenomenon that I doubt much of
>> the investigations done into it can be transfered easily to other wikis.
> But this is no hinderance but just more "fodder" for science
> - what is transferable?
> - what are the reasons that some aspects are (not) transferrable?
>> Because of its singularity, by some sciences Wikipedia research
>> probably wouldn't even qualify as research as it is difficult to show
>> repeatability of experiments etc.
> I think that each new field of science has to define its own
> methodological "state of the art" and "wiki research" in a very early
> stage of development, not comparable to e. g. physics.
> imho science isn't only repeatable facts and theories but starts with:
> - description of phenomena
> - development of a common consistent to-the-point language
> - description of patterns and (best) practices
> - hypothetical "cause-effect-releationships" and their investigation
> - development of empirical settings and accepted methods
> - ...
Prof. Filippo A. Salustri, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Ryerson University Tel: 416/979-5000 x7749
350 Victoria St. Fax: 416/979-5265
Toronto, ON email: salustri at ryerson.ca
M5B 2K3 Canada http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil/
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